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(From reports of Hon. J. W. Patterson, State superintendent of public instruction, for the two years above indicated.)
STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
GENERAL CONDITION. The public school system of New Hampshire has entered upon a new era, inaugn. rated by the new legislation since 1883. The most important feature of tbis is the change from the old school district system, which las been abolished, the town being made the unit. This change was widely called for, and is fully approved.
The advantages are apparent, the purpose being to decrease the number of schoone in a town, increase the attendance in tho united schools, and thus equalize the oppor. tunities of learning; also to increase the pay of teachers (without increase of taxation), and thus secure more efficient work. Then, by uniting the districts of a town and placing all under one board of supervision, it is hoped to avoid the dificulties which have impaired the usefulness of many schools, and to give to most towns a graded system and the advantages of a bigh school. The State superintendent says that of the 2,684 public schools in the State, 804, or nearly one-third, number only 12 scholars or less, and 307, or nearly one-eigbth, average 6 or less. By so locating the schools as to hive them average 30 pupils to a school, the dumber may be reduced to 2,122, or 562 less thap now. The average annual cost of each school was $187; this multipliej by 562 would give $105,094, which could be ased to lengthen the school term in the sparsely popalated sections, and secure more accomplished and experienced teachers. "It is impossible,” says the superintendent, "fully to realize the improvement which this change may effect in the educational opportunities of the State, or how greatly it may enhance the knowledge and mental discipline of our young people, especially in the rural districts.” Besides this, it is estimated that a saving of nearly $25,000 annually, heretofore spent for school accominodations, will result under the new system from lessening the number of school-bouses.
Nor is this the most important item of reform boped for from this change to the town system. There are sections in the State whose educational condition can be credited only on the official statement of the State superintendent, which be afirms is neither untruthful oor extravagant. He says that there are some districts whose accommodations for the education of children indicato an intellectual and moral sense but little above the level of barbarism. In these localities, to save the paltry pittance of a school tax, the pupils are crowded into hovels in which for several hours they breathe an atmospbere reeking with nowholesome odors and loaded with disease, are compelled to sit in chilling draughts that are ruinous to health, and that fill the churchyards with victims of parental meanness. These wrecks of a bygone age are often located near stagnant frog-ponds or miasmatic bogs festering with germs of disease, and are supplied with contaminated water, if at all. The seats are engines of torture, often effecting a permanent deformity. These conditions, it is hoped, will soon disappear, either from a sense of shame or by the force of law.
Still much has been done, and much is now being done, to improve the school buildings, grounds, out-houses, and ventilation. Scattered through the rural districts may be seen many convenient and attractivo edifices, ople in size and pleasant in location. In the cities and larger villages structures of a higher order bave been erected. and furnished in a style adapted to approved methods of education. During the 2 past years 40 such buildings were erected, of which 14 were added in 1881–83.
The new law requiring instruction in physiology and hygiene, says a town superintendent, is popular, and, so far as taught, has created much interest.
The provision of free text books, now authorized by law, is another step in advance, meeting a great evil in the small districts—a lack of uniformity in books.
The statistical summary presents, on the whole, an encouraging view of the year's work. The decrease in enrollment is ascribed to the fact that many of the pupils have been withdrawn and sent to private schools. These, the State superintendent suggests, should be open to the inspection of the State officers, and their pupils registered and returned as other scholars are.
ADMINISTRATION. The general educational interests of the State are under the control of (1) a saperin. tendent of public instruction appointed biedpially by the governor and council; (2) a board of commissioners of the literary fund, consisting of the governor, secretary, and treasurer; (3) a board of trustees of the State normal school. For towns, there are school boards of 3 persons, elected for 3 years, and in any towo which may so decide, a superintendent of schools. For districts, there were formerly a moderator, a clerk, and a prudential committee; bat ander chapter 43 of the State laws of 1885 the old school districts have been abolished, and the town made the unit of the scbool system, except in the case of districts organized under special acts, which may retain their organizations if they so chooso. Women may hold school offices and nay vote in school meetings:
The public scbools are free to all resident children of school age, and children 8-14 years of age are required to attend a public or private scbool, or receive instruction at home, at least 12 weeks in every year, 6 of which, in the case of a public school pupil, must be consecutive. No child under 14 years of age may be employed in any manufacturing establishment unless he has attended 6 months, or the full term of the school taught in his district the preceding year; none under 16 who have not attended at least 12 weeks during the year preceding, onless such can read and write well; inoreover, they are not to be employed escept in vacation, and done under 10 may be employed at all.
The owner or agent of a maoufactory employing a child under 16 years of age, and uncertified by the school committee as eligible to be employed, becomes llaolo to a
fine pot exceeding $20 for each offense. Parents or guardians of children 8-14 years of age violating this law forfeit $10 for the first and $20 for each subsequent offense.
SCHOOL FINANCES, The public schools are sustained mainly from a town tax on polls and ratable estates, from a literary fund arising from a tax on the capital stock of banking corporations and on savings-bank deposits, and from a fund derived from the sale of public lands.
NEW LEGISLATION. As already noted under the revised school laws of 1885, the old school district system is abolished, and the town made the unit of the school system.
An amendment passed in 1883 made instruction in physiology and hygiene with reference to the effect of alcoholic stimulants and parcotics on the human system ob. ligatory in all schools sufficiently advanced, and another of the same year permitted towns or districts to raise money, by taxation or otherwise, for supplying the scholars in the common schools with text books free of charge. SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF CITIES WITH 7,500 OR MORE INHABITANTS.
ADMINISTRATION. Towns and oities, as already mentioned, have school boards of edacation of 3 perBons, elected for 3 years, for the control of public schools. A superintendent may be elected or appointed in such manner and for such terms as the city, by an ordinance, may provide.
Concord shows a gain of 54 in enrollment, and of 32 in average daily attendance, but employed 8 fewer teachers, and expended for public schools $6,285 less than in 1883-'84. There were 55 public schools, 40 being graded, including a high schocl, the sessions including 159 days, taught in 30 school-houses, valued, with other school property, at $182,615. St. Paul's private school of high grade bad 275 male students. Teachers of public schools for the year are said to have been competent, and, in the main, successful. The committee having in charge the outlying districts of the city was doing what it could to make a more equal provision of school facilities in those localities.
Dover, according to the statistics reported, did not hold its own as compared with 1883-81. While it gained 71 in school youth, and expended $2,190 more during the year, it lost 629 in enrollment, 451 in average daily attendance, and employed 3 fewer teachers. The 39 public schools are embraced in one legally organized district, 29 of them being graded, including a high school. The school term comprised 175 days. There were 18 school buildings, 1 built during the year, and all valued, with other school property, at $116,200. Of the 931 in average attendance, 135 were pursning higher Dranches. A private school reports 45 pupils enrolled. 'One hundred children between 5-15 years of age, according to the reports, were not in any school.
Manchester reports 80 public schools, 66 of wbich, including a high school, are graded. These schools were taught 184 days, in 24 school-bouses, valued, with other school property, at $317,725. Compared with 1883–84, there was a decrease of 344 in enrollment, and of $14,395 in expenditure for public schools, while there was an increase of 152 in average attendance. The schools are classed as primary, ungraded, grammar, high, and evening schools. One special teacher in music was employed
The remarkable feature of the Manchester school system is the enrollment of avont 2,500 in private and church schools, which is nearly 61 per cent. of the entire enrollment in the public schools.
Nashua shows, as compared with 1883–84, a falling off of 370 in enrollment, and an increase of 00 in average daily attendance, with 12 more teachers, while it expended for public schools 88,457 more. For its 61 schools there were 17 school buildings, which, with other school property, were valued at $232,395, $10,660 being for apparatus. Publio schools are classed as primary and middle schools, covering 5 years; and grammar and high schools, each 1 years. Of the 61 schools, 45, including a high school,
were graded, and wore tnaght for a term of 165 days. Evening schools had 416 pupils attending, tanght by 17 teachers. Private and church schools enrolled 511 pupils of children butween 8-15 years of age; 300 are reported as not attending any school.
Purlsmouth shows but slight changes during the year, neither materially gaining por losing, average attendance not given. Its 32 public schools, embraced in one legally organized distriot, were taught for a term of 200 days. There were 14 school buildings, valued, with other school property, at $84,000, $5.000 being for apparatus. Twenty-eight scbools, including a bigb school in which 154 pupils were studying the bighor branches, were graded. Privato and church schools ourolled 150. Number, between 5-15 years of age not reported in any subool, 200. PREPARATION AND QUALIFICATIONS OF TEACHERS.
GENERAL STATE REQUIREMENTS. A person desiring to teach in the public scbools must present a certificate of qualification from the school comoittee of the towy in which the school is to be tanght. This certticate must give evidence of the inoral character of the toucher, of ability to govern, and qualifications for teaching the school applied for.
STATE NORMAL TRAINING. The New Hampshire State Normal School, Plymouth, as heretoforo, admits young men of 17 years of age and yonng women of 16, wbo declare their intention to teach. If, upon examination, candidates are found proficient in any branch tanght in the school, they may be excnsed from further study of that branch, except in the diethods class In this way the course may be compluted in 3 terius of 20 weeks each. The common and higher Euglinb branches, with music and drawing, are taught, and special instruction is given in the elements of psychology. The pupil teachers bave one half day each week for the inspection of work in the training school, thus acquiring a practical knowledge of teaching and school discipline. For statistics seo Table III of the Appeudix.
OTHER NORMAL TRAINING. The training school in Manchester, organized in 1883–84, for the snpply of the city schools with good teachers, continues its work under the arrangements reported for
TEACHERS' INSTITUTES. The school law makes it the duty of the State superintendent to organize, and superintend at least one teachers' institute aunnally in each county of the state, to appoint the time and place, and make suitable arrangements therefor.
In case of his inability to condnot tbe same, he is required to appoint the principal of the State normal school, or some other suitalile person for that purpose. The expenses incurred are paid from the income of a fund arising from the sale of Stato lan«ls.
The State snperintendent reports for 1884-'85 that institntes were held in each of the 10 counties in the State, with an aggregate attendance of 859, at an expenditure of $1,700, both iteme being greater than during the previous year. The unperintendent says that the institute work of the year has more than realized the expectations awakened by the experience of 1883, when this work was begun; still be ihinks the law will fail to accomplish the good it miglit unless 80 amended as to require the closing of the schools and the attendance of the teachers apon at least one lustitute without loss of time.
EDUCATIONAL JOURNALS. There being no journal of this claas published in the State, educational information continues to be giveu iu the Now Hampshire department of the New England Journal of Educution, Bustou, Mass.
PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS. The law still provides that if a majority of the voters so agree any town or any school district having at least 100 children 6-16 years of age, by a vote of two-thirds of the qualified voters, may enablish a bigb school. Such town or district inay appropriate As much as it thinks it of that part of the school money to which it is entitled, for the support of the high scbool, and may raise by taxation additional funds for the parpose if the voters so agroo.
Tho Stato roport gives 41 poblio high schools whiob had replied to a gironlar sent out; the list is not completo, from the fact that some of the schools failed to report. These 41 scbools employed 43 rale and 60 female teachers; aunberod 1,266 male and 1,609 fomalo students, of whow 2,045 were studying the higbor branchos, 1,140 the ancient and 52A modern languages. Connected with these schools were libraries containing 7,832 volanos.
PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS. Forty-seven private academic schools are reported, some of which, as Phillips Eseter Academy, Eseter, and St. Paul's School, Concord, are of especially recoguizei bigh grade, the lattor, with excellent general arrangements, and witb 21 male teachers for its 275 male pupils, standing at the head of its class in the State, if not in the United States; the foriner, with 7 male teachers for 251 male pupils, long well known as one of the best preparatory schools for colleges in all New England.
For statistics of this class of scbools, see Tables IV, VI, and VII of the Appendix; for summaries of same, the roport of the Commissioner proceding.
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE. Dartmouth College, Hanover, presents in 1884–85 its usual high standards for ontrauce and study, the latter in departments of academic, scientific, agricultural, and medical instruction, making substantially a nniversity course.
In the academic, the 4-years classical course includes both modern and ancient lan. gnages, mathematics, history, and English, Anglo Saxon, and American literature courses, oloctive and optional studies seeming to predominate in the later years of the courses.
Students from such preparatory schools as have a rognlar course of at least 3 years aro admitted without examination on prosoutiug a prescribed form of certificate. All othors are admitted on oxaminations of bigb grado.
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION OF YOUNG WOMEX. For information concerning institutions of this class reporting, see Table VIII of the Appendis; for summaries of same, the roport of the Commissioner preceding.
SCIENTIFIC AND PROFESSIONAL.
SCIENTIFIC The New Hampshire College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, which was made a department of Dartmonth College in 1866, by Act of legislature, for tbe liberal and practical education of the industrial classes, aims to give in agriculture, as far as can be taught in a school, all that bears upon the subject. The full course is 4 years, with numerous elective studies. One class of these includes the bigber niatbematics and its applications to the mechanic arts; another class an ext nsive course in chemistry, with analyses of agricultural products, assaying, and application of chemistry to the arts. Provision is also made for graduate students.
The State farm bas 360 acres in the immediate vicinity of the college, presented by the late Jobo Conant; it is in a higb state of cultivation, and is provided witb new and good farm buildings. The degree of Sci. B. is couferred on completing the full course and passing a final examination.
The Chandler Scientific Department of Dartmouth College gives instruction in a 4-years course in practical and useful arts, such as mechanics, civil engiveering, invention and manufacture of machinery, carpentry, masonry, architectare and draw. ing, and the properties and uses of materials en ployed in the arts; also modern languages, English literature, book-keeping, and other studies.
Thayer School of Civil Engineering, another department of Dartmouth, ooptinned in 1884-'85 ite osolnsive professional training for young men of ability who may desire instruction of an advanoed character. The course is of 2 years and is essentially a graduate ono, limited in range and fundamental in scope, being intended to meet the demand for mon qualified for rapid advancement and difficult service. There were 7 students in this school. The degree of C. E. is conferred after a final satisfactory ex. amination, and the acceptance of a graduating thosis.
MEDICINE.-The Medical Department of Dartmouth College in 1884–85 sbows a col. legiate year of 42 weeks. For admission, satisfactory evidence of fitness for the toob. dical stady of medicine is required; for graduation, 21 years of age, goud woral charac