« 上一頁繼續 »
[From report of Hon. Henry X. Bolander, State superintendent of public instruction, for the scholastic year
ended June 30, 1873, and from other sources, prepared by Mrs. S. B. Cooper,
Number of white children attending public schools at some time in year.....
STATISTICS OF SCHOOLS.
Whole number of school-districts....
Increase over 1871..
Total number of schools....
Increase over 1871.....
COMPULSORY EDUCATION. In his report upon the condition and progress of the public schools of the State, Superintendent Bolander has given special attention to the collecting and collating of data necessary to the consideration of two questions, to which he calls the serious attention of the people and legislature of California.
The first, one of the most important school-questions of modern times, he states as follows:
“How shall we arrest the evils of non-attendance and truancy and secure to every child of the State the rights and benefits of education ?” “From a carefully-compiled table of statistics, showing the attendance at public and private schools and the nonattendance and truancy of census-children for a period of eight years, two facts are brought prominently to view, viz, the steadily increasing popularity of public schools with the better portion of the people and the almost inappreciable abatement of the evils of non-attendance and truancy on the part of children that most need them."
PUPILS CHANGING FROM PRIVATE TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. “In eight years the attendance at private schools has decreased 21.08 per cent., and 15,294 children, in a total of 141,610, have been transferred from private to public schools. No greater tribute could be paid to the popularity of our public-school
INCREASED RATIO OF NON-ATTENDANCE. “But, while we are steadily gaining for our public schools the support of those who were at first opposed to them or indifferent, we have sigually failed to impress that large class of people who, through self-interest, carelessness, or ignorance, ignore the claims of their children to the rights and benefits of at least a common-school-education. To have reduced in eight years the non-attendance only 3.38 per cent., or by 4,736 in a total of 141,610, and to find that truancy has increased 2.24 per cent., and now amounts to 19,259 in a total of 141,610, is a very discouraging showing for the State."
To the question “What is the remedy p" the superintendent replies :
“Admitted that education forms the only secure foundation and bulwark of a republican form of government, if not of every form of government; admitted that the universality of education becomes thus of vital importance to the State; and admitted that the exigencies of the case not only empower, but compel, the State to provide all the facilities necessary to enable every child to acquire at least a common-school-education, and we are forced to the conclusion that it is not only the privilege but the duty of the State to compel every parent to bestow upon his children at least the education which the State places within his reach."
TEACHERS' CERTIFICATES. On entering upon his official duties, the State-superintendent appointed a Stateboard of examination, composed of teachers who were residents of San Francisco. The business of this board was transacted very satisfactorily until the office of the Statesuperintendent was removed to Sacramento. Then meetings became irregular, and delays almost necessarily occurred in the dispatch of business. The superintendent, hence, had to re-organize the board by appointing teachers resident at Sacramento. Of this board he is, ex officio, chairman, and to his office all applications for State-certifi. cates or diplomas must be sent. The qualifications of the higher class of teachers come thus under bis observation and he has an opportunity to select the best material for his purposes.
THE SUPPORT OF OUR COMMON SCHOOLS. The second question to which Superintendent Bolander calls attention relates to the ways and means of providing for every district of the State sufficient and equal educa
tional advantages. The summaries of statistical information show that, of the 1,462 school-districts in the State in 1873, only 637, or 43.57 per cent., maintained public schools for eight months or more, and the remainder, 825 districts, or 56.43 per cent., . maintained them for less than eight months. Thus, while in the centers of wealth and population the children have the advantages of a full year's instruction, for the more remote and sparsely-settled districts of the State the present system proves wholly inadequate, since many districts can maintain schools only from three to six months in the year. During these short school-terms the pupils of such schools only get fairly started in their studies, and, after a ruinous interval, come back to commence again, too often at the former starting-place.
DEFECTS OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM. The present system goes even further in its injustice: it determines when a district is to be thrust without the pale of the common-school-system; for, should the number of census-children fall below a certain figure-twenty for some counties, up to as high as thirty for others--the present system does not provide funds enough to support in the district a school for three months in every year. Over a hundred districts in the · State are thus stricken from the list of school-districts under the law, and this when in many counties the maximum rate allowed by law is levied for school-purposes and when in every county more than the minimum amount of county-school-money is raised.
As the school.law stands at present, the public schools derive their funds, first, from State apportionments, the amounts of which, per census-child, are decreasing in proportion to the increase in the number of census-children ; secondly, from county-apportionments, yielding in many counties the largest amounts which the law allows or the people well can bear; thirdly, from special taxes voted by the district.
The superintendent, in considering the disabilities of the law, esteems it not so much inadequate as discriminating most unjustly against the thinly-populated districts of the State in not providing for an equitable apportioning of the funds. At present, the number of census-children belonging to a district deterinines the amount of funds apportioned to the district, while within a certain limit the number of census.children does not determine the expenses of maintaining a public school : as, for instance, one district may have fifteen census-children, another fifty, still the same amount is needed by each district to maintain a school for a definite length of time; yet the former district may not obtain funds for a three-months school, while the latter, perhaps, re. ceives enough for an eight-months school. In short, the largest schools, the best schools, the best teachers, and the best and most complete furniture, apparatus, and library are given to the district having a sufficient number of census-children, while a district wanting these is proportionally curtailed in its educational facilities. Now, except there is an inherent right in numbers to warrant it, such discrimination is a blot upon the school-system, and should if possible, be immediately removed, or the system fails in the object by reason of which alone it can claim recognition and support, for tbat object is surely the free and equal education of all the children of the State.
REMEDY PROPOSED. To get at the matter in the most feasible way, Superintendent Bolander proposes the following method of apportioning State- and county-school-funds, viz: “That for every hundred cepsns-children, or fraction thereof, one teacher be allowed to a district, and for every teacher a certain amount of school-funds.” In apportioning according to the number of census-children, he would take as a basis the number of census-children repfesented by the average attendance at school, not as between counties, but applied only to the districts of a county, so that no injustice be done to those counties which contribute more toward the school-fund than they receive in apportionments; for the fact is, no matter how accounted for, that the average attendance is less than the nunber of census-children in proportion to the density of population and the length of school-terins.
REPORT OF THE STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. Number of pupils in attendance, aside from training-school, 118. The board of trustees have ordered an addition to the training-school of two classes of 40 each. The attendance now for the month is 40. In addition to the studies prescribed for the senioryear, the seniors are studying Methods of Teaching, devoting one exercise each day to purely professional preparation. The trustees bave determined to connect with the Institution a preparatory class. Provision has also been made for a post-graduatecourse, open to graduates of this or other normal schools, bigh schools, colleges, or acadernies who may present satisfactory evidence of having taught successfully for one year. The instruction here will be, in the main, professional, and to those graduating from this class a professional diploma will be granted. This course will afford to teachers an opportunity to review their studies, to become acquainted with the most approved methods of instruction, and, by the aid of the apparatus with which the school is to be supplied, become more familiar with the means of scientific illustration,
SAN FRANCISCO. The school-accommodations of this city comprise 46 school-buildings, many of which are substantial, commodious, and handsome edifices, with all the modern improvements
in school-architecture. Besides these, the department has 56 rented rooms. The "average number of pupils belonging to public schools is 19,720; number of teachers clie
ployed in the department, 506, at salaries amounting to $155,976.27. The total annual expenditure for school-purposes was $607,889.34; annual cost per pupil for tuition, $23.12. The estimated expenditures for the coming year are put down at $671,000. The estimated cost of additional school-buildings, which are needed at once, is $352,500. About 3,000 pupils now in attendance at the public schools have to be accommodated iu rented buildings, at an advanced rate of tuition per pupil. Superintendent Widber, in his late report, says: “ To provide accommodation for these pupils, application ought to be made to the legislature for authority to issue bonds to the amount of $300,000, payable in twenty or thirty years. To prevent the necessity of having to rent in the future, an annual building-fund of about $60,000 ought to be provided, in order to accominodate the yearly increase of school-children."
Comparative number taught.-The estimated population of the city is 175,000 ; whole number of children under 15 years of age, according to the last school-census, is 54,469; whole number between 6 and 15, (legal school-age,) 32,387; average number belonging to public schools, 19,720; number attendiug private and churcli-schools, 5,285-making the total of 25,948 attending school, leaving the approximate number not attending any school, 5,000.
Examinations.-From the annual report of Deputy-Superintendent Swett the following information in regard to the schools is collated :
Two trial-examinations of all the classes of the grammar-grades were held during the year. These esaniinations were held in writing, on questions prepared by the deputssuperintendent. As a general rule the classes acquitted themselves admirably and the results stimulated the pupils to greater earnestness in study.
A thorough system of oral examinations by experienced oxaminers has also been pursued during the past year, with the most satisfactory results. Detailed reports in writing were made to the cominittee concerning the standing of each class in the more important studies, the general order and discipline of the class, and the apparent merits ordemerits of the teacher. This was the first official oral examination niade in the city of each grammar-class in the departinent. The information thus obtained was so raluable and the results were so satisfactory, that at the close of the school-year a regular examining teacher-at-large was elected. Written examinations may serve as a basis for annual promotions, but oral examinations have a marked effect in stimulating and encouraging both teachers and pupils. A good oral examiner is a traveling normal-schoolinstructor, suggesting methods of teaching, and his salary is a trifling expense compared with the substantial educational benefits resulting to the school-department from his services.
Graduation from grammar-schools.—The standard of graduation from the grammarschools and for admission to the high schools was 70 per cent. of credits on the whole examination. Of the 247 girls that graduated from the grammar-schools, 211 entered the girls' high school; of the 166 boys, 130 entered the boys' high school. The unusually large number of graduates from the grammar-schools the present year furnishes conclusive evidence of the thorough manner in which the first-grade classes were trained by principals, vice-principals, and head-assistants.
Arithmetic.— The percentages on this study ranged unusually bigh: 44 papils gained 100 per cent. of credits and 72 obtained from 90 to 99 per cent. The papers were characterized by remarkable exactness in answers and by good methods of analysis.
Grammar.--In this study about 100 pupils obtained from 90 to 100 per cent. The papers, for the most part, were well written, and many classes ranked exceedingly bigh.
Geography.— The examination in physical geography was quite thorough, but the pupils stood the test well ; 55 gained from 90 to 100 per cent.
İlistory.—The written papers on this study were remarkably good. Nearly 200 pupils obtained from 90 to 100 per cent.
Spelling and reading.–The spelling, both in words dictated from the reader and in all the written exercises, was remarkably good. The mistakes were most numerous, pot in the regular spelling-exercises, but in the composition-exercises. The examination in word-analysis was difficult, yet many pupils were perfect and nearly all stood well. The reading, judging by the credits given, was only moderately good. In fact, on account of the number of studies pursued, it is impossible for teachers to give special attention to elocntionary training.
Penmanship.-The specimens of writing from some classes were exceedingly fine and poor hand-writing was an exception. In all grades, from the highest to the lowest, penmanship is very thoroughly taught. Even the children in the lowest grade, at thó. end of their first year at school, are able to write quite well on their slates.
Composition.-The exércises in this important branch of instruction were quite thorough. Some pupils acquitted themselves well, but few reached a very high standard of excellence. They were generally better in technical grammar-in analyzing sentences and in parsing-than in actually writing Englisb. Training pupils to clearly express their thoughts in correct English is one of the most difficult tasks of the teacher. It requires practice, skill, and patience, and it must be done without the aid of text-books. If less attention were devoted to the abstractions of techuical grammar and more care given to plain and practical composition, the study of language would be more interesting and profitable to pupils.
Drawing and music.-Many of the specimens of drawing were exceedingly well done, but some were very poor. On the whole, the examination showed a marked advance over the results of previous years. The first- and second-grade-classes of boys have made good progress in architectural drawing, and the corresponding classes of girls presented fine specimens of perspective drawing at the end of the year. The primary schools have made a good beginning. The school-room-blackboards, covered with well-executed drawings, furnish conclusive evidence of the interest which the children take in their work. The new graded course of instruction in drawing, if properly carried out, cannot fail to result in great practical good. Skill in this line will be of practical valne to every boy who may engage in the mechanic arts, and, apart from this, as a means of cultivating taste, this branch of school-study is of great importance. The classes in industrial drawing are in need of charts and models, which can be provided at an expense of a few hundred dollars.
The examination in music was quite satisfactory. The instruction in this branch is 50 systematically given in the primary grades and lower grammar-grades that most pupils have a fair knowledge of music when they graduate from the grammar-schools.
French and German.—The examination of pupils from the cosmopolitan schools in these two languages exhibited à decided improvement. The questions were very thorough, but many pupils passed creditably in both, and also stood high, in their English studies. There were, in all, 60 pupils that passed in one or both of these languages. Ever since the establishment of the cosmopolitan schools there has been a strong tendency to centralize pupils in those schools. * Partly to prevent the trans. fer of pupils from other schools and partly in compliance with the expressed wishes of parents, during the past year a special teacher of French or German has been appointed in several of the grammar and primary schools.
Modern languages in public schools.—There is a difference of opinion as to the extent to which the study of the modern languages can be advantageously pursued in the public schools. In St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and many other Western cities, the study of the German language has been extensively introduced. In this city, on account of the cosmopolitan population, instruction in both French and German has been strongly demanded. Some schools are needed for this purpose, but the attempt to introduce instruction in French in many primary schools has proved a failure. This instruction interferes with the English course, and, to a majority of the pupils, the smattering of the language acquired is of po practical benefit.,
Phonography.-About one year ago the committee on classification reported in favor of the appointment of a teacher of phonography for a period of three months, on trial, in the first-grade grammar-classes and the boys' high school. As a general rule, the boys have pursued the study with interest and thorough instruction has been given ; but it is yet too soon to judge of practical results. Out of the three or four hundrei pupils that take up the study it is not probable that many will continue it long enongh to become practical phonographic reporters, and consequently there is room for donbt as to the desirability of making it a compulsory study in the common-school-course.
Erening-schools.-These schools have now become an indispensable part of the pub. lic-school-system. They confer great benefits on boys who are compelled to leave the day-schools at an early age and on working men who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity of acquiring the rudiments of an education. In these schools hundreds of boys are kept from idling away their evenings on the streets or in low places of amusement. The evening-schools must be fostered and encouraged in every way possible.
During the past year, the average number belonging, in all the evening-classes taken together, was 669, with an average daily attendance of 541. The whole number registered was 746 boys and men and 121 girls and young women. The classes in industrial drawing have been well attended. Suitable models, casts, and charts are needed in these classes.
City trening normal school. This school was organized about one year ago, mainly for the purpose of aiding teachers already employed in the department to secure certificates meeting all the legal requirements of tbe new standard required by law. The school opened with an attendance of about 150, which, during the rainy season, fell to 100. The principal studies pursued have been arithmetic, algebra, and grammar, with occasional review-lessons on other topics required in examination. In connection with the regular studies, some attention has been given to methods of teaching; but now that most of the teachers have secured regular certificates it will be possible to give more attention to practical methods of instruction and less to the studies of the schools.