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Statistical summary of institutions, instructors, and students, as collected by the United
States Bureau of Education, for 1870, 1871, 1872, and 1873.
* Previously included in the academies; so that the real increase of these is as follows: 219 institu. tions, 1.247 teachers, and 32,128 pupils. † Including schools of pharmacy and dentistry.
As these reports go on improying in completeness and accuracy, it is easily seen how changes, whether indicating loss or gain, for the whole country, will readily appear.
I am assured by officers of different systems and institutions of education that, during the four years these collections bave been in progress, their methods of keeping records have become much improved and that their knowledge of the history of their own experiences has greatly increased. The publication of educational statistics in journals and newspapers has also very manifestly increased.
Tbero is a danger of setting a wrong value on these statistics, against which all especially familiar with work in this direction are likely to be on guard. It has been our aim always neither to overestimate nor to undervalue the exact lessons of these statistics. Equal care must be exercised in using figures in commerce or geography,
Scientific men are well aware how difficult it has been to agree upon the exact heights of mountains. A writer of a recent English work on navigation is only just now prepared to agree that the longitude of the Capitol at Washington and of the observatory at Cambridge, after decades of most accurate observation, can be taken as settled with sufficient accuracy for the use of sailors. With much less time for observation, we are rapidly approaching a condition of educational statistics in which we may, and with equal safety, trust our efforts to calculate the bearings of the movements in our systems and methods. Social science in this country and elsewbere is attracting increased attention. Its discussions and publications so far are largely speculative, and yet have been useful in arousing and directing public attention. Already here and there the necessary basis of fact is appearing. A greater effort on the part of those appreciating the value of this science to secure proper record by civil government in its various organizations—municipal, State, and national-would, doubtless, hasten the attainment of accurate and trustworthy results.*
Clearly, individual observation is not sufficient; government or the civil organization alone has the instrumentalities and the power to obtain such record of facts that the report of them from year to year and month to month may form solid ground upon which to rear beneficial theories in regard to health, disease, political economy, edueation, &c. In no department of social science perhaps are the records so far advanced as in that of education. The day is rapidly passing away when mere statement of opinion will suffice, however eminent the author. Generally, in the past, even since the revival of education in the generation now passing away, the declaration of an eminent educator would pass unchallenged as an argument. Now, its weight is determined by the array of facts with which it can be found to tally. We are told that the word “philosophy" and its cogpates do not occur in Homer or Hesiod. They used a word which implied that the individual to which it referred was distinguished from the mass of men by some kind of art or skill. The growth of human history alone renders possible that accumulation of facts upon which great generalizations may be based. Bacon's method has greatly quickened the use of facts in all reasoning for the guidance of human conduct, individual or civil. The spirit of the times clearly points to educators, a class of intelligent observers, as leaders in this department of science.. The process of scientific elimination may be slow, but in the United States there is great encouragement. The field is wide, our great freedom affords the largest room for diverse methods, and thus for the most varied experience and application of tests. It is the conviction that this Office is for the benefit of all in recording the observations and comparing the deductions made by individuals in tbeir various localities and under various conditions, which is really the secret of the great harmony exist. ing between it and all the great active educational forces in the country.
TABLE I-STATE-SYSTEMS OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
I have alluded to the growing interest in educational statistics and to the progress of this Office, year by year, towards greater completeness in the statistics presented in its annual reports. The comparative statement for the years 1871, 1872, and 1873 following will show what success has attended its efforts to give a full exhibit of the publicschool-systems of the several States and Territories :
* The following letter, said to have been received by Mr. Layard, the eastern explorer, from a Mo. baru medan official, whom he had asked for some statistics of the city in which he lived, well illustrates the spirit of a civilization opposed to our own, too much of which spirit exists among us :
"MY ILLUSTRIOUS FRIEND AND JOY OF MY LIVER : The thing you ask of me is both difficult and useless. Although I have passed all my days in this place, I have neither counted the houses, nor have I in. quired into the number of inhabitants; and as to what one person loads on his mules and the other stows away in the bottom of his ship, this is no business of mine. But, above all, as to the previous history of this city, God only knows the amount of dirt and confusion that the infidels may have eaten before the coming of the sword of Islam. It were unprofitablo for us to inquire into it. O my sonl! O my lamb! Seek not after the things which concern thee not. Thou.comast unto us, and we Welcome thee. Go in peace."
In 1871, information respecting the school-population of only twenty-nine States could be obtained from school-officers; in 1872, thirty-seven States and seven Territories reported this item, and in the present year (1873) thirty-seven States and eleven Territories give a pretty accurate statement of their school-population. In 1871, twenty. eight States reported the children enrolled in the public schools; in 1873, thirty-five States and ten Territories ; in 1871, twenty-five States reported the average attendance of enrolled pupils; in 1873, thirty-one States and five Territories. The pumber able to report pupils in private elementary schools bas increased from fourteen States, in 1871, to twenty-two States and five Territories, in 1873. In 1871, thirty States reported their public-school-income; in 1873, thirty-five States and ten Territories; in 1871, twenty-four States reported total expenditure for public schools; and, in 1873, thirtysix States and ten Territories.
It was sought in the inquiries sent out this year to the State-superintendents of puls lic instruction to elicit the approximate number of persons in the several States and Territories between 6 and 16 years of age, included in the school-censuses. So long as the present diversity of ages in the enumeration prevails, no very trustworthy comparative estimates can be made of the relative effectiveness of our school-systems. Only six States could respond to tbe inquiry, viz: Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin, giving the number under 6 years of age and the number over 16 in the enumeration; Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio, the number over 16 years of age. It is believed, however, that school-officers of all the States recognize the importance of a census which shall be substantially uniform in respect to the ages embraced therein, so far as necessary for purposes of comparison, and that measures will soon be taken to secure it.*
The following table shows the ages enumerated in the school-censuses:
* On page xxvi of my report for 1872, I observed as follows: "It is not necessary, of course, that the legal school-age in any two States or cities should be the same for this purpose. If it should be agreed by city or State-officers to report all persons between the ages of 6 and 16, inclusive, and then by years whatever number there might be below 6 to the lowest limit of school-age, and the number by years of those above 16 to the upper limit of school-age, and following the samo principle in regard to en. rollment and average, all of the conditions necessary for purposes of comparison would be secured."
Statistical summary showing the school-population, enrollment, attendance, income, ex
penditure, fc., for 1871, 1872, and 1873, as collected by the United States Bureau of Education.
Arkansas, Oregon, and Wyoming do not report pupils enrolled in public schools. Delaware, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Dakota, New Mexico, and Wyoming do not report average daily attendance of pupils. Arkansas, Minnesota, Nevada, and Arizona do not report number of public schools. Alabama, Maryland, Tennessee, Arizona, Dakota, Idaho, and New Mexico do not report duration of schools in days. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Dakota, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington do not report the number of pupils in private schools corresponding in grade with the public schools. Delaware, Georgia, Arizona, Dakota, Idabo, Washington, and Wyoming do not report the number of teachers in the public schools. Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Vermont, Idaho, New Mexico, and Washington do not report the average monthly salary of teachers. Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia, Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming do not specifically report expenditure for sites and buildings. Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampsbire, Tennessee, Dakota, District of Columbia, Montana, Nevr Mexico, and Wyoming do not specifically report the expenditure for salaries of teachers. Tennessee and Wyoming do not report total expenditure for schools. Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont do not report amount of school-fund. Colorado is the only Territory reporting a school-fund.
The following is a statement of the amount expended in the several States and Territories, (1873,) per capita of population of legal school-age, and also the expense per capita of the estimated population between the ages of 6 and 16. I estimate the population between these ages at 10,103,115, for the thirty-seven States, and 114,710, for the eleven Territories, reporting their scholastic population. It will be observed that the column "estimated expenditure per capita of population between 6 and 16 years old," presents a uniform standard of comparison and brings out more strikingly the actual differences between the educational efforts of the respective States.
Statistical summary of public-school-expenditure in the several States and Territories per
capita of legal school age and per capita of population between 6 and 16.
District of Columbia...
7 37 1
4 80 4 80
The following summary shows the average monthly wages of public-school-teachers in the several States and Territories in 1873. (No reports of this item were received from Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Vermont, New Mexico, Washington, and Idaho.)