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XV. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS.
During the session of the National Teachers' Association at Harrisburg for 1865, a meeting of State and City Superintendents there present was held, of which Rev. B. G. Northrop, Agent of the Massachusetts Board of Education, was Chairman, and Rev. L. Van Bokkelen, LL. D., State Superintendent of Public Schools of Maryland, was Secretary. At this Convention it was decided to hold a meeting in February, 1866, at Washington, for the purpose of forming a National Association of School Superintendents, to be composed of those devoted to the supervision of schools in the several States and Cities of the country, and the discussion of topics appropriate to such meeting.
A meeting was accordingly held on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of February, 1866, at which nine States and twenty Cities were represented. The Mayor of the city of Washington gave the Association a cordial welcome, and the President of the United States, on receiving their call, expressed great interest in their object, and in the extension of school instruction to every child in the country, and the Secretary of the Interior expressed to a committee on a memorial to Congress on a National Bureau, who waited upon him, his interest in the success of their memorial.
Papers were read by Charles R. Coburn, Superintendent of Com mon Schools of Pennsylvania, on "School Statistics ;" by L. Van Bokkelen, State Superintendent of Maryland, on “The Practicability of Greater Uniformity in the School System of Different States ;" by E. E. Wbite, State Commissioner of Ohio, on “ A National Burcau of Education ;” by C. M. Harrison, State Superintendent of New Jersay, on “Defects of our State System of Schools ;” and by Newton Bateman, State Superintendent in Illinois, on the “Leading Features of a Model State School System.” These subjects were thoroughly discussed and resolutions pertinent to the same were adopted, and several committees were appointed to report more in detail to the next meeting.
A committee consisting of Messrs. White of Ohio, Bateman of Illinois, and Adams of Vermont, were appointed to memorialize Congress on the establishment of a National Bureau of Education.
The following officers were elected for 1866–7 :-Birdsey Grant Northrop of Massachusetts, President; Charles R. Coburn of Pennsylvania, Vice-President; G. H. Hoss of Indiana, Corresponding Secretary; L. Van Bokkelen of Maryland, Recording Secretary; Duane Doty of Michigan, Treasurer.
The memorial of the Association of School Superintendents praying for the establishment of a National Bureau of Education, drawn up in behalf of the committee by Hon. E. E. White of Ohio, was presented in the House of Representatives by Gen. Garfield of Ohio, who at the same time introduced a bill to establish the Bureau in the Department of the Interior. The bill was read twice, referred to a Select Committee of seven and ordered, with the accompanying memorial, to be printed. The committee, consisting of Garfield of Ohio, Patterson of New Hampshire, Boutwell of Massachusetts, Donnelly of Minnesota, Moulton of Illinois, Goodyear of New York, and Randall of Pennsylvania, reported, instead of the bill referred to them creating a Bureau of Educational Statisties under the Secretary of the Interior, in favor of creating a Department of Education, the head of which, appointed by the President, shall report directly to him, as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be established, at the City of Washington, a Department of Education, for the purpose of collecting such statisties and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several States and Territories, and of diffusing such information respecting the organization and management of schools and school systems and methods of teaching as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a Commissioner of Education, who shall be intrusted with the management of the department herein established, and who shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, and who shall bave authority to appoint one chief clerk of his department, who shall receive a salary of' two thousand dollars per annum; one clerk, who shall receive a salary of eighteen hundred dollars per annum; one clerk, who shall receive a salary of sixteen hundred dollars per annum; one clerk, who shall receive a salary of fourteen hundred dollars per annum; and one clerk, who shall receive a salary of twelve bundred dollars per annum; which said clerks shall be subject to the appointing and removing power of the Commissioner of Education.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Education to present annually to Congress a report embodying the results of his investigations and labors, together with a statement of such facts and recommendations as will in his judgment subserve the purpose for which this department is established. In the first report made by the Commissioner of Education under this act, there shall be presented a statement of the several grants of land made by Congress to promote education, and the manner in which these several trusts have been managed, the amount of funds arising therefrom, and the annual proceeds of the same, as far as the same can be determined.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Commissioner of Public Buildings is hereby authorized and directed to furnish proper offices for tho use of the department herein established.