« 上一頁繼續 »
welfare or calamity of all the children of the district.” But the actual working of this principle wrought a gradual change in the views of many. In 1845 and again in 1846, in order to elicit the public feeling upon the subject, it was recommended to the voters in each district to hold a special meeting to consider the expediency of legalizing a general system of taxation, and though no change was effected in the law, yet a favorable change was gradually created in the popular feeling. The amount raised by tax in Newcastle county in 1852 was nearly double that of 1832, while in Kent and Sussex counties it had increased but little more than one-fifth, and was actually less than in 1841. In 1853 a committee was appointed to obtain a law authorizing the school taxes within Newcastle county to be levied as other taxes without vote of the schooldistricts.
The subject of the training of teachers for the public schools and the establishment of a Normal School was discussed in the early meetings of the Convention, but after an adverse report in 1838 from Willard Hall and others, it was deemed inexpedient to take any special measures with respect to such a school.
Numerous resolutions were passed favoring the procuring of libraries, the formation of lyceums, and the circulation of the New York Common School Assistant. Committees were appointed for the examination of teachers and the visitation of schools; and efforts were made towards the procurement of a law creating a Board of Examiners in each Hundred, and requiring greater strictness in the examination of teachers. In 1844 the question of a State Superintendency of Schools was raised but indefinitely postponed; and in the following years the formation of Teachers' Societies was recommended. In 1846 a resolution was adopted, “ approving the effort making by a portion of the colored population to confer upon their children the advantages of education, and urging upon them this important duty as a means of improving their moral and social condition."
In 1847 an “Association " of the teachers of the county was formed at Wilmington on the 14th of October, called together by the Convention, for the purpose of mutual benefit. It was still the opinion of the Convention that “the teachers of our youth should be formed in our communities in the spirit of the times under the influences of public opinion, and not educated in normal schools, a distinct profession with views and sentiments peculiar to them as a body," and no method of training was thought more practical and useful than mutual conference and discussion. This Association, however was but of brief continuance. In 1854 an Association was again attempted, but from want of interest on the part of teachers and others it-was discontinued. In 1850 and later years attempts were made to procure the means for sustaining a School Agent, first by private subscription, then by application to the Legislature, but unsuccessfully. In the same year attention was called to the subject of school architecture, and the improvement of the school-houses of the county was made a prominent object of the Convention.
The office of County Superintendent had existed since 1829, but its duties were limited and did not include the visitation or supervision of schools. In 1853 it was sought to obtain from the Legislature the appointment of a Superintendent, with a definite salary, who should visit the districts and schools of the county, collect and diffuse information, and by private intercourse and public addresses excite a deeper interest in the general interests of the schools. In 1854 the attempt was repeated and a bill drafted including also other proposed amendments to the school law, which bill passed the House but was defeated in the Senate. Upon the resignation of Hon. Willard Hall who had for many years held the office under the old law, and who had labored in the cause of education with untiring patience, Dr. A. H. Grimshaw was appointed to the office by the Governor in 1855 and made a full report to the next Convention, upon the condition of schools and the subject of education generally. Besides the unsuccessful attempt in 1854 to establish a Teachers’ Institution, the publication of an educational monthly, the “ Delaware School Journal," was commenced, under the editorship of Dr. A. H. Grimshaw and others, but it was not continued beyond a few numbers, for want of sufficient encouragement.
The last meeting of the Convention was held in 1855. Hon. Willard Hall had been annually reëlected its President, with scarcely an exception. Dr. Arnold Naudain held the office in 1839 and '40, and H. F. Askew in 1847. To the published proceedings of the Convention of each year, it had been the custom of the President to append remarks relating to the action of the Convention and the wants of the public schools. These reports doubtless added much to the beneficial influence of the Convention upon the educational interests of the State.
where only two, or at most three, can be introduced. And yet the average capacity of punits in the cities must be met as well as those in the country and the range of studies must not be so high as to render the school of no use to those for whose sake it is specially designed. It is the grade of schools every where and not the name that confers on them real rank.
Now it is clearly beyond the proper province, as it is beyond the ability of nearly all the high schools conducted as they are or ought to be in these days, to fit boys for “ye universitie as the ancient grammar schools might do; since the standard of college education and of the preparatory schools is as much higher now than formerly, as is the rank of the best high schools of our times above the elemental schools half a century ago.
Far better is it for the pupils who wish to prepare for college, and far more economical is it for the community, that the Academies should continue to do that work well, than that the high schools should assume to do so great a work for so few in number, while the welfare of the great majority of their pupils is neglected.
In Boston and New York and large cities and towns, where wealth is abundant and the gradation of the public schools is perfect, the highest in the series may be a school preparatory for the university; for such places can well afford the expense, although the proportion of city boys who prepare for college is not one-half as great as it is in the country, and in the country not more than one in a thousand of the boys belonging to the public schools ever go to college.
The Boston Latin School, the oldest grammar school in the land, has always sustained the very first rank as a classical seminary. It has for a constituency one of the largest and most enlightened of American cities. The wealth of that city is equal to nearly onethird of the entire valuation of the State of Massachusetts. The Latin School is the only classical seminary in that city sustained by public taxation. It has the best teachers which the highest salaries can procure,
and all the advantages which the best instruction and the best discipline can give.
According to the report of the Committee on the Latin School of Boston (Dr. N. B. Shurtleff, chairman) to the Boston School Committee, September, 1861, which was published in this Journal, Vol. XII., page 559, it appears that the average number prepared for college, for the ten years previous, at the Boston Latin School, was 16.8 per annum; and of these the average number of those received from the public schools was 7.7, while the number repare an address to the people on the subject of public instruction, which address was afterwards prepared and published by Messrs. C. Gillett and Richardson. The former officers were reëlected. In accordance with the action of the Institute, the publication of the first and only educational periodical of the State was commenced February 1st, 1847, styled the “Public School Advocate," under the direction of Messrs. J. W. Miller, P. W. Gray, and H. H. Allen. Probably but a single number was issued. A meeting of the Institute was called to be held at Houston, April 14th, 1847, to be addressed by Dr. Ashbel Smith, Hon. Mr. Wheeler, Gen. H. McLeod, and Dr. Starr. Reports were also to be made by Messrs. John Sayles, W. W. Swain, J. C. Walbridge, and Mr. McNair. None of the subsequent records of the Institute are at hand.
The history of other educational conventions in Texas is brief. At a mass meeting of the friends of learning, held at Austin, Jan. 23d, 1854, a Central Committee of Education was appointed, consisting of Rev. J. W. Philips, W. M. Baker, Rev. D. Baker, D. D., E. Walbridge, Andrew Neil, Rev. J. B. Smith, and L. C. Cunningham. They were directed to correspond with the friends of education throughout the State, in order to arouse and unite them in the cause of education, and also to call a State Educational Convention. This Convention was fixed to meet at Huntsville on the 16th of June, 1854. We are unable to give a statement of its proceedings or results.
John Adams, Osgood Johnson, and others, who were at the head of the school for the sixty years previous to Dr. Taylor's accession. We refer not to the results of the English school always sustained at Phillips Academy, of which Wm. H. Wells and J. S. Eaton have been masters, nor to the Normal Seminary connected with Phillips Academy for many years, the first established in America. We refer only to the department of the classics from which, in the last ten years, 46.9 per annum have been fitted for college. In the previous eighteen years the average number fitted was 25%, and for the entire period of twenty-eight years the average has been 337 per annum.
This number does not include two hundred who advanced as far in their course of study as through the first or second term (three in a year) of the last year's course of study, more than half of whom were pretty nearly fitted for college and others within two terms of study.”
Thus more than one thousand young men have been sent from Andover to the different colleges, in a little more than a quarter of a century, by one eminent instructor. This one fact is enough to show the vitality of this institution as a power in the land. But the endowment on which all the departments of Phillips Academy rest as their basis does not exceed $75,000, while the funds at Exeter do not vary much from $100,000.
But in these days all the colleges and nearly all Academies are no less schools of science than of the classics. All the best colleges • have scientific departments, and the Academies having the greatest patronage are furnished with instruction and apparatus for the preparation of young men for the higher scientific institutions. So extensive has the routine of scientific studies become, that they can not be pursued with profit unless in well endowed institutions where a course of study is established and adhered to. Hence, in Williston Seminary the amplest provision is made for this branch of studies as well as the classical department. As these branches can not be well taught without special teachers and expensive cabinets and apparatus of every kind, the best Academies have been furnished with facilities of teaching in these respects as the high schools with few exceptions have not been.
But the public schools have endeavored, not only to provide classical but scientific instruction also, in obedience to a popular demand for a class of studies deemed specially practical; and the consequence has been that in many places the public schools have been overburdened with an excess of branches of study, while tho branches essential as the foundation of real mental culture have