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STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
GENERAL CONDITION. The State report of public schools in California being issued biennially, and in the even years, the only information respecting them for 1884-'85 comes from the figures furnished in advance of publication by the superintendent. These show advance in a great majority of cases, but not as great as could be wished. With 14,425 more children of school age, the additional enrollment in the schools of the State system was less than one-third of that number, and with the counting in of those enrolled in private and church schools, it was still less than one-half. Besides this failure to gather in the full harvest of fresh school youth, there appears also a failure to hold steadily in school the pupils that had been enrolled, the average number belonging being less by 1,402 than in the preceding year, and the average daily attendance less by more than six times the decrease in the number belonging. With these exceptions and a few smaller ones, there are clear evidences of advance,-many more school districts, with good accommodations, with sufficient grounds, with well ventilated buildings, and with good school furniture; while of the graded schools provided for by law, not including high schools, there appears an addition of 112. The number of teachers holding life diplomas or first-grade county certificates, valid for 4 years, also very considerably increased, so that, even with a decrease of 92 in those holding educational diplomas (the next to the highest grade), there were at least 579 more teachers with evidence of qualification for excellent school work; or, including 55 more normal school graduates, an increase of 534 so qualified. And as good teachers make good schools, this gives fair promise of many more such schools.
ADMINISTRATION. A State board of education, of which the governor is president, has general control of public school affairs. A superintendent of public instruction is secretary and chief executive officer of this board. For local supervision there are city and county boards of education, each with a superintendent of schools, and sometimes a deputy superintendent; also a board of 3 trustees for each school district. These officers are all elective. Women are eligible.
The State schools are open to children between 6 and 21 years of age; but apportionment of school funds is on the basis of the number of children from 5 to 17 years of age in each district.
Since 1879 the schools have been graded as primary and grammar; the State school revenues are applied exclusively to the support of schools of these grades. The studies in them include, besides the ordinary English branches, history of the United States, elements of physiology and of book-keeping, vocal music, and industrial drawing. Instruction in morals and manners is also to be given, though no sectarian doctrines may be taught. Books for the children of parents
not able to furnish them may be supplied by the school trustees and boards, to be returned to the district school library after use. All children in the State from 8 to 14 years of age are required to attend the publicschools at least two-thirds of each annual session, unless attending elsewhere or excused for cause. The minimum session is 6 months of 20 days each, without which none but newly organized or suffering districts may receive State school funds.
SCHOOL FINANCES. The free schools are sustained from the income of a State school fund, which income must be used for paying teachers; from the proceeds of an annual poll tax of not less than $2 on each male between 21 and 60 years of age; from county taxes not to exceed 50 cents on $100; and from optional district taxes, not to be more than 70 cents on $100 for building, or 30 cents on $100 for other school purposes.
NEW LEGISLATION. An act of February 20, 1885, requires the State board of education to compile, or cause to be compiled, for use in the common schools of the State, a series of text-books of the following description: 3 readers, 1 speller, 1 arithmetic, 1 grammar, 1 history of the United States, and 1 geography—the matter contained in the readers to consist of lessons beginning with the simplest expressions in the language, and, by a regular gradation, advancing to and including the highest style of composition in both prose and poetry.
The printing of the text-books thus provided for is to be done by the State printer, and the State board of education is to secure copyright of all the books compiled. When
1 Mongolian and Indian children not under white guardians are not included in this apportionment.
any one or more of the series shall have been compiled and adopted, the State board of education is to issue an order for the uniform use of said book or books after the expiration of a year from the time of completion, or earlier if any school district should so choose. The sum of $20,000 is appropriated for compiling the series of text-books thus provided for, and $150,000 for the plant and material for the work. The books so prepared and published are to be furnished to the common school children of the State at cost.
March 3, 1885, the code was amended to the effect that no new district should be formed unless the parents or guardians of at least 15 census children (5–17), resident in such proposed new district and residing more than a mile from any school house, present a petition to their school superintendent, setting forth the boundaries of the new district asked for.
March 5, 1885, provision was made for the establishment of an Industrial Home of Mechanical Trades, in which blind persons may be instructed how to carry on such trades, with a view to self-support, the provision to be available for blind persons of either sex that have resided in the State a year prior to application for admission.
March 9, 1885, “An Act to promote learning and advance the priblic welfare" was approved, this being a new law for endowing, erecting, and maintainiug in the State, universities, colleges, schools, seminaries of learning, mechanical institutes, museums, and galleries of art. March 15, there was further provision in this line.
March 12, 1885, came An Act to regulate the practice of dentistry” in the State, through a board of 7 examiners, themselves engaged in the practice.
March 18, another Act was passed, to create a “Calitornia Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-minded Children;" such children to be from 5 to 18 years of age, and resident in the State at least a year before reception into the home.
Also on March 18, amendments to the charter of the Hastings College of the Law, putting it under control of the regents of the University of California, giving the chief justice of the supreme court of the State power to fill vacancies among the trustees and to act as president of the board of directors; also requiring that there shall always be in said college a course of lectures on the duties of municipal officers of San Francisco, and upon legal ethics, and morality in business. SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF CITIES WITH 7,500 OR MORE INHABITANTS.
ADMINISTRATION. Boards of education in cities are elected under the provisions of their city school laws. There is, consequently, no uniform rule as to the number of members, or the basis on which such membership shall rest, some having 1 for each ward, others 2; still others, a fixed number, apparently without regard to wards. A president and secretary appear in each case to be members of the board, while under it, as executive officer, is a superintendent, and in the larger cities an assistant superintendent, with subordinate officers.
Among their powers and duties are the following: to prescribe rules for their own government and the government of schools; to purchase furniture and apparatus; control school property; build school houses, if authorized by vote; employ teachers; enforce a course of study and the use of the text-books prescribed by due authority; appoint annually a school.census marshal; and make at the close of each year a report to their constituents and the State superintendent of public instruction.
ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS. Los Angeles presents an increase of 493 in school youth, of 669 in public school enrollment, of 622 in average attendance, of 19 in teachers, and of $17,405 in expenditure for
its free schools in 1884-'85; but from deficiency of means to meet the expenses growing out of this rapid growth, had to shorten its school term by opening a month later tban the usual time, and was only saved (if saved) from an early closure in the spring by a generous offer of the teachers to continue their work for 2 months without pay.
The estimated value of property used for school purposes was $248,000, of which $4.00n was in apparatus and a library. The sittings for study numbered 3,200, the school buildings 19; the former an increase of 900, the latter of 7. In place of the musica the preceding year, drawing was taught. In private and parochial schools 759 papil: were reported.
Oakland, next only to San Francisco in population and importance, reports $15,509 additional expenditure for schools, and 507 more children of school age in 1884-'85; bus, from some cause unexplained, enrolled 30 fewer children in its public schools and is creased by only 46 the average attendance in them, including 2 evening schools. In private and parish schools the number reported was 1,500, as in the preceding year. Music and drawing under special teachers were continued. Number of buildings, 13. Public school property (including grounds, buildings, furniture, apparatus, and libra ries) was rated at $419,450. Of the instruction in astronomy and in cookery, reported last year as projected, no information has come to hand.
Sacramento, the State capital, with 247 more youth of school age, and $6,761 more to provide for the instruction of them, shows in 1884-'85 a falling off of 355 in enrollment, of 374 in average attendance, and of 5 in teachers, school buildings remaining the same in number as before reported. Two eveningschools (one of them for instruction in drawing) were continued, and there were special instructors in penmanship, French, and German. School property was rated at $220,000. No private or parochial schools are reported in the written return, which is the only source of information.
San Francisco, which in 1883-'84 failed to report fully its statistics, had in that year 63,029 youth of school age; enrolled in its public schools 41,942 of these, besides 7,780 in church and private schools; held 31,578 in average daily attendance under 714 teachers, and expended for school purposes $797,452. In 1884–85 it went beyond these figures at all points, showing 69,000 school youth; 43,265 enrolled in public schools; 32,183 in average attendance, with 734 teachers, and an expenditure of $817,168 for the schools; an increase respectively of 5,971, 1,323, 605, 20, and $19,716. The report shows, however, a very poor condition of many of the school houses, and great need of repairs and of new buildings. Two new ones were erected through a special appropriation of $40,000 by the board of supervisors; and these are spoken of as “ model school houses, perfect in their interior arrangements, with all the requisites for health and comfort," one of them accommodating 12 classes, the other 8.
A comparatively new feature is reported, under the title of "deportment classes," composed of children that have been wild, unruly, and even dangerous, whom an earnest and calm teacher takes in hand, to improve by quiet but firm discipline, without the use of any corporal punishment. Three such classes have been established, and all in charge of them are said to concur in declaring their influence on both pupils and schools salutary and beneficial. Some of the best results reached appear to have been in an evening school.
Another step beyond the ordinary lines was the establishment of a sewing class in the Broadway Grammar School. In it were 30 little girls from grades 5 and 6, for whom the work was cut beforehand, and each girl was made to come provided with at least a thimble, and also a card marked distinctly with her name to be pinned on articles wrought by her. With some preliminary instruction from the teacher as to the size of thread and needles, kinds of stitches, and care of hands, the prepared materials were distributed among the pupils, and when a piece was finished, another kind was given for further effort. The lesson over, each folded her work and pinned her card upon it, so that it might be readily found at the next session, as well as be examined by the teacher meanwhile, and receive the praise or counsel needed. The result was sufficiently encouraging to warrant the teacher in believing that sewing conld be successfully taught in as large divisions as arithmetic, drawing, or other ordinary branches, and that one or two hours a week might be given to it with good results, parents to furnish the material, and the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades to be open for the work, engagement in it being optional with each papil.
An experiment was made as to the possibility of securing better results in the grammar grades by having each teacher attend to but few studies, and those the most congenial and closely related ones. A year devoted to the trial of this method by one principal has convinced him, and appears to have convinced the superintendent, of the usefulness of this arrangement; and it, on another year's trial, it should fully prove its superiority to older methods, it may be generally adopted for those grades.
In the year which ended July 30, 1885, there were 35 evening classes organized in the city, enrolling 3,021 pupils, 247 of them young women; but, from want of funds and a
comparatively small attendance in 5 of the classes, pupils in these 5 were soon consoli. dated with other classes. Both the interest and attendance are said to have been well maintained till the close of the day schools, when only those who were expecting to be promoted or to graduate remained. At the final exercises, June 13, 35 from the first grades and 22 from the book-keeping classes received diplomas of graduation, which aroused great enthusiasm.
For the Girls' Normal School and the high schools, see “Preparation of teachers" and "Secondary instruction,'' further on.
San José again revised its course of study, making several changes, to take effect at the beginning of the school year 1885–86. The chief of these was a transfer of such studies as reading, spelling, history of the United States, English grammar, and common arithmetic from the high school to the grammar grades, adding thus a year to the gransmar course and reducing the high-school course to 3 years. Further changes, such as the introduction of kindergarten training and some forms of industrial education, are suggested for consideration. Drawing and music enter into the schedule of studies throughout all the grades, as before. The evening school noticed in the report for 1883–84 was discontinued. Besides the 2,738 pupils in public schools, 616 were reported in private and church schools.
In all the cities above mentioned high schools, as well as primary and grammar schools, continued to form a part of the school systems, though, under the existing constitution, no funds are received from the State for high-school purposes.
KINDERGÄRTEN. In Table III of the Appendix may be found reports of 2 schools of this class for training teachers; in Table V reports of about 30 more for elementary training in Froebellian methods, most of them in San Francisco, some in other cities of this State. PREPARATION AND QUALIFICATIONS OF TEACHERS.
GENERAL STATE REQUIREMENTS. All applicants for employment as teachers in the public schools must be at least 18 years old, and must file with the superintendent of the county in which they wish to teach a certificate of qualifications, either from the State board of education or from the county examining board. The certificates are for 2, 4, or 6 years, or for life, according to proven qualifications and experience. Those from the State board for life are termed diplomas.
STATE NORMAL SCHOOLS. The State continues its 2 normal schools at San José and Los Angeles for the education of teachers for the public schools. Each has an elementary 2-year course, leading to a certificate for 2 years, and an advanced 3-year course, leading to a diploma and firstgrade county certificate. Attendance at the former was 566 in 1884–85, of whom 108 graduated; at the latter 231, of whom 35 graduated and were either teaching or about to teach. State appropriation to the San José school, $40,000 for the year; to that at Los Angeles, $15,000.
OTHER PREPARATION FOR TEACHING.
This consists of the following: (1) Two private training schools of Miss Marwedel and Mrs. Kate Wiggin, in San Francisco, for preparing young lady kindergartners; (2) a l.year normal class at San Francisco, composed of graduates from the girls' high school, the number in 1884-'85 limited to 66, admitted in the order of their rank at graduation, 64 of them getting normal diplomas; (3) a 3-year normal course in the Stockton high school, reported in 1883 and supposed to be still existent; (4) instruction in normal studies and methods at Hesperian, Pacific Methodist, and Pierce Christian Colleges, and at a newly reported Sierra Normal College, Aubur. Hesperian offers to its pupils :-p:-cial instruction in the theory and practice of teaching without extra charge; Picha Christian, like instruction through the collegiate year, with a normal course ora moni!! or six weeks at the close of the session. Pacific Methodist has a special principal for its Lormal department, and reports 28 students in it, not otherwise connected with the col. Inze. Sierra Normal, established in 1882–83, has preparatory and normal courses of 4 weeks each; drills in methods of teaching, school government, and school law of California are offered, and also instruction in the history and philosophy of education and in school supervision; but, though a considerable corps of students is reported, there is no indication how many of them are under specific normal training.
14 recent amendment of the constitution substantially disposes of the former city examining boards, and limits the power of examining and certifying teachers to county boards and county superintendente.
PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS. Since 1879 no State school money apportioned on the basis of school population goes toward the support of schools of a higher grade than grammar. Where high schools exist in cities, they are sustained from special local levies; but, as before stated under “City systems,” they do exist in all the cities reporting to this Bureau. San Francisco has 3– one for boys, one for girls, and a commercial high school, the total attendance in the 3 reaching 1,319 in 1884-'85, of which number 325 were in the boys', 125 in the commercial, and 869 in the girls' school. Oakland reports 1 for both sexes, with 379 pupils under 9 teachers; Sacramento and San José 1 each, under 5 teachers, pupils not given. Los Angeles shows high-school rooms and teachers, but makes no return of pupils.
OTHER SECONDARY SCHOOLS. For statistics of business colleges, private academic schools, and preparatory departments of universities or colleges, see Tables IV, VI, VII, and IX; for summaries of same, see corresponding tables in the report of the Commissioner preceding.
COLLEGES FOR YOUNG MEN OR FOR BOTH SEXES. The University of California, Berkeley, continued in 1884-'85 its 3 regular 4-year courses in the college of letters (classical, literary, letters, and political science), leading to the degrees of A. B., Lit. B., and Ph. B., respectively, besides graduate courses leading to higher degrees. There were also, as in preceding years, courses at large, special and limited courses, with one in military science and drill that led to no degree. In the 3 first mentioned there were 151 students, -51 of them in the classical course, 52 in the literary, and 48 in that of letters and political science. Besides these there were 2 graduate students, one of them a candidate for the degree of master of arts, the other for that of master of letters, and 3 resident graduates not candidates for a degree.
For courses leading to degrees in agriculture, mechanics, mining, civil engineering, and chemistry, see "Scientific instruction” further on.
All courses are open alike to both sexes, and all the undergraduate ones except the professional (law, medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy) are free of charge for tuition to persons qualified for admission. Since 1884 graduates of approved high schools in the State have been admitted without examination on recommendation of the principal of the school from which each comes and on his certificate that the candidate has completed all the studies preparatory to the course that he desires to enter.
Besides the University, 12 institutions for young men, or for both sexes, claim collegiate rank, and in most cases prove the claim by fair courses and apparently sufficient bodies of instructors, though naturally there are considerable differences in the degree of thoroughness. The Roman Catholic colleges, which for some years were very unsatisfactory, have improved at many points, though one of them (St. Vincent's, Los Angeles) still welcomes even primary pupils,' and devolves on 2 professors most of the collegiate instruction; while St. Augustine, Benicia (Prot. Ep.), which formerly came short of full college training, now presents full and rich 4-year curricula, classical, lite erary, scientific, and commercial, together with military drill, and excellent moral and Christian influences that remind one of the English Rugby under Arnold's principalship.
Washington College, Washington, still remains unheard from since 1878–79. For statistics, location, and prevailing influence of the reporting colleges, see Table IX of the Appendix; for summaries of the same, the report of the Commissioner preceding.
INSTITUTIONS FOR THE SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION OF YOUNG WOMEN, All the departments of the California, Southern California, and Pacific Universities, Pierce Christian, Pacific Methodist, California, and Hesperinu Colleges, are open alike to both sexes; Washington College, heretofore reported among this number, not heard from. Colleges especially for the higher training of young women are: Young Ladies' Seminary, Benicia; Harmon Seminary, Berkeley; Mills Seminary” and College of Notre Dame, San José; to which, from 1884-'85, must be added Ellis College, Los Angeles, opened with full courses, good buildings, and fair promise. 1 Hesperian College, Woodland, also admits primary pupils.
Mills Seminary, which has had almost collegiate rank, developed, at the opening of 1886-'86, into a full-blown woman's college, retaining its seminary work.