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SCHOOL FINANCES. Public schools are supported from the income of a State school fund and from taxes voted by the people. Towns determine at their annual meeting the aniount of funds necessary to the support of their public schools; and any towv refusing or neglecting to raise snch money forfeits a sum equal to twice the highest ever voted for the support of schools therein. SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF CITIES AND TOWNS WITH 7,500 OR MORE INHAB
ADMINISTRATION. School committees of 3 members or some multiple of 3, chosen for 3 years, bave charge of the poblic schools, generally with the assistance of a snperintendeut. Boston, besides a superintendent, has 6 supervisors for special parts of the school work.
Cities and towns.
Population, Children of
Average Number of Expendi.
8, 456 362, 839 13, 608
7, 587 10, 570 10,931 58, 291
79 39 228 80 40 40 213 68 95 98 106 147 215 173 69 52 33 55 55 132
26, 528 1,983, 567
41, 707 43, 771 223, 429 83, 088 28, 400 27. 852 180, 411 58, 044 78, 855 109, 135 77, 939 96, 113 213, 143 115, 002 52, 124 29, 199 39, 905 32, 223 22, 950 97, 830 22, 240 107, 951 20, 733 33, 888 29, 815 37, 134 46, 939 94, 784 127, 056 118, 643 57, 758 67,000 25, 676 35, 161 40,043 266, 860
a From State report.
Four hundred and twenty pupils withdrawn after being enrolled at the begioning of the year, this effecting the relation of the average attendance to enrollment.
Boston comprised in her public school system, during the year, 454 primary, 50 yrammar, and 10 Latin and high schools, a normal school, 14 evening and 5 evening drawing schools, a school for the deaf, and one for licensed minors. The last, for newsboys, boot-blacks, and others who could attend but a few hours each day, was discontinued in September, 1885, the pupils being received into the uugraded classes of the ordinary public schools. The superintendent notes a continuation of the decrease formerly mentioned in attendance of the younger pupils. This is supposed to be chiefly caused by insufficiency of primary school accommodations in some parts of
the city, and it is hoped that the completion of houses in process of erection will arrest the evil. It is recoinmended, however, that the matter be carefully looked into in each district, and, if possible, the primary schools be made more attractive to parents of young children, and that such parents be made better acquainted with the advantages of the schools. No striking changes are noted in the management of the primary and grammar schools, but marked improvement is reported almost every: where. Extracts from reports of supervisors show that care is being taken to avoid overpressure, and to teach children to see, to think, and to express thoughts, for themselves. Continued use of supplementary reading causes it to be appreciated more and moro in every grade. In the primary schools such reading is used mainly for additional practice; in others it serves also as a means of imparting knowledge. The course of study has been amended by the introduction of physiology and hygiene, including a study of the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics on thé human system. The new law requiring all text-books and school supplies to be furnished at the expense of the city has somewhat increased the expenditure for the year, but only by about $1.22 per capita; and it is believed that even this amount will be greatly reduced during succeeding years, the expeuse for the first year being necessarily greater than for those following:
The 13 evening elementary schools are said to bave been well taught and well attended, baving good accommodations in the day school buildings. The evening high school, taught in the rooms of the High and Latin School building, is reported to Lave filled a much needed place in the school system. An indication of the appreciation in which the evening school instruction is held may be seen in the fact that 70 per cent. of the average number of 3,117 pupils belonging were in average daily attendance.
Experiments recently made by the board in combining manual training with pub. lic school work have resulted satisfactorily. Instruction in carpentry was given for 2 hours a week to 200 boys belonging to 10 different grammar schools, no boy being taken who was not 14 or who had not the expressed permission of his parents to receive the instruction. A very lively interest was shown by all the boys in this new study, and at the close of the first year, in March, 1885, it had been fully demonstrated tbat this class of work can be joined to that of the ordinary grammar school with good effect. An equally successful experiment was made later in the year for the benefit of the girls, who in two different parts of the city were taught cookery, The special committee of the board in charge of these schools speaks of their success in the warmest terms and recommends the establishment of others.
Brockton reports an average year in respect to efficiency in the schools, which, in some cases, were overcrowded. Commendable progress was made by pupils in the evening school. The recent establishment of the office of city school superintendent is expected to give a new impetus to education. Though some parents regard the compulsory attendance law a hardship, manufacturers generally acknowledge, the propriety of it.
In Brookline fewer changes than usual were made in the corps of teachers; the per cent. to be attained in examinations for promotions was raised from 60 to 65; school accommodations were enlarged; satisfactory work was noted in the high school as well as in the evening school, which was fast becoming a valuable aid in reaching those who cannot attend during the day. An industrial school, taught 10 weeks during the summer under the auspices of the school committee, gave excellent satisfaction. Pupils ranging in age from 10 to 15 were taught to use tools. An appropriation was made to continue the school the following year.
Cambridge reports (for the calendar year 1884) po change in school curriculum or management. The teachers, as a whole, were faithful and painstaking, but many of the schools were overcrowded, including the high school, in which the attendance was 50 more than the previous year. A training class for teachers was organized during the year with satisfactory results. Four evening schools were taught, the most serious difficulty in the way of their usefulness being irregularity of attendance, measures for correcting which were taken. Increased interest in drawing was expected to follow the appointment of a special lady teacher, which was made during the year. The evening class in free-band drawing opened in October, with 104 scholars; tho mechanical class with 66; the former giving instruction in perspective free-band outlining in pencil, and shading in crayon, also in industrial designing; the latter instructing in geometry, isometric and orthographic projection, machine draw. ing, and building construction. An experiment was made here, also, in industrial training in connection with public school instruction. Sixty boys selected from the various grammar schools spent half a day each week in carpentry work, oply those being chosen who could maintain their standing in other studies with the loss of half a day each week. Great interest in the work was shown by the pupils and good progress was made, and the masters all gave cordial support to the experiment. All, however, are not entirely agreed as to the effect of the half day's absence on the other studies.
Chelsea maintained 77 public schools during 1884–85, the same number as the precrious year, bat this year had them all housed in buildings belonging to the city, which was not previously
the case. Increased accommodations were provided, but these barely kept pace with the increased demand. The course of study in the high school was revised and bronght more into harmony with modern ideas and needs; evening schools were well taught and well attended by pupils ranging from 11 to 57 years of age ; and the evening drawing school, with 65 pupils, including both seres and representing various trades and occupations, did good work.
Fischburg reports in 1884–25 a considerable increase in number of pupils enrolled und in average daily attendance, which is attributed in part to the operation of the new text-book law, whose results thas far have been for the most part beneficial. The subject of ball-time schools has been under consideration, and a vumber were rstablisbed during the year among the primary and secondary grades as a matter of necessity, though there is a general opinion that three hours a day is sufficient time for pupils from 5 to 7 to spend in school work. The half-time schools made as good progress as they would have done had they remained in session the whole day. Two evening schools were successfully taught, one being larger and more efficient than any previously sustained in the city.
The school population has increased during the past five years by 23 per cent., and the average daily attendance on pablic schools by 30 per cent.
Gloucester reports a larger number of pupils enrolled than during the previous year, bnt an increase in average attendance less marked, owing to a prevalence of epidemic diseases. Aside from such causes, the average attendance was all that could be desired, and this regularity is secured by the strong public sentiment in the schools. It is considered dishonorable to break the record except for sickness or such argent necessity. Discipline in the schools is excellent, having greatly improved during the past few years, owing to a change of methods on the part of teachers, who have come to rely largely on moral forces, on the power of pleasant tones and cheerful looks, and on the sense of justice in children. The books furnished under the free text-book law were generally in excellent condition, and it seems probable that with the extra care given them under the present system they will last twice as long as forinerly, while the pupils will learn an important lesson in carefulness and cleanli. ness.
Holyoke reports a constantly increasing school population and a corresponding public school enrollment and attendance, which have necessitated increased school accommodations; good progress made in all the schools in arithmetic and in the practical use of language, while improvement in reading has been less noticeablo; special attention given to vocal music with good results; attendance in evening schools was so irregular as to render their usefulness questionable.
The truant officer finds that while the law relating to the employment of youth 14 to 16 is not universally observed, generally through inattention on the part of employers, nearly all such youth in the city were able to read and write, his last toor of inspection having discovered only 14 out of 811 of that age who were unable.
Lowell reports an increased number of pupils attending the Irigh and grammar schools during 1884, while the prevalence of contagious diseases reduced attendance in primary grades.' Useful work is reported in the evening schools, of which 9 were taught, 8 elementary and 1 high. Certain changes were adopted in the management of the latter; it was modeled as nearly as practicable on the plan of tbe Boston evening high ; 6 rooms in the day high school building and a corps of 7 teachers were placed at its disposal, a course of study adopted, and the school placed on an equal footing with the day school. As one of the results, it is noted that he average attendance during the months of November and December, 1884, was 84 per cent of the inembership, against 40 per cent. for the same months of the previous year. Music is a recognized study in the public schools and its importance understood ; penmanship and drawing received due attention under a special teacher, with satisfactory results, and the free evening drawing schools were in good condition, enrolliog 511 pupils at the beginning of the term 1084-'85.
Lynn reports a courso of study during 1884 nearly the same as the previous year, the only change being a further omission of non-essentials and the introduction of mental arithmetic into the 3 upper grammar grades. The objective method is fol. lowed in the primary schools, spelling being taught chiefly by means of writing. The progress in nuusic, writing, and drawing, directed by special teachers, was satisfaciory. Music is taught in all the grades, note singing prevailing from the very first, and in the high school pupils are able to read music at sight. Additions were made to school accommodations, but more were needed. A sanitary comunittee was doing much for tho health of pupils in drainage of school yards, provision of better light, and other iinprovenients. Evening schools had a larger attendance than usual, and good practical work was do e in them; but the problem of how to secure regularity of attendance bad not yet been solved. The number of papils enrolled was 554; aver. age attendance, 246.
Marlborough reports a school saperintendent appointed during the year 1884–85, who dovoted his entire time to the work of supervision, but no radical changes were made in the management of the schools. They are said to have given, in the main, sound instruction in the common branches and in high school studies, to have been generally well disciplined, and to have had a good influence on the manners and morals of pupils ; still, the superintendent sees need for reform and improvement. Sobool-houses were generally in a satisfactory condition, although too little attention has been paid to ventilation and to other matters having reference to the health of pupils.
Now Bedford reports an increased attendance in the public schools, which is attributed in part to the release of parents from the exponse of text books. Music and drawing were successfully taught under the charge of special teachers. The evening drawing school has prepared hundreds of people in the city to gain a livelihood. In the three elementary evening schools taught there was an improvement in regularity of attendance, with corresponding attention to study and improvement therein. The scbools for factory children have been of great value, not only to the pupils who attend them, but also to the graded schools, which, in default of their aid, would be disturbed by continually receiving an element that could not be properly graded. These mill schools enroll during the year between 300 and 400 childrez of 12 to 14 years of age, their entire personnel being changed nearly four times a year. In the truant school, industrial training was, to some extent, added to the other studies, a mechanic having been engaged to give the boys instruction on Saturdays in the use of tools. Sewing is taught the girls in all the day schools, one hour each week being devoted to it.
Newton reports school work retarded by excessive heat at the opening of the term and the prevalence of sickness during the winter, yet substantial progress was made, throngh the earnest efforts of teachers and pupils and the co-operation of parents. Some improvement was made in the methods of instruction, especially in reading and arithmetic. The topical method was pursued more largely than bofore, and special attention given to training papils to think. The free text-book law is expected to provo beneficial, tending to increase the average attendance, to lengthen the average term of years spent in the schools by pupils, and to exert a healthful influence on their character from the care they are required to take of the books; it also effects a saving of time and of expense. The evening school work done was successful and useful, as also was the special instruction given the girls in the day schools, amounting to one hour a week in each.
North Adams reports its schools working harmoniously and the methods of study remaining about the same as the previous year. Language study, both oral and written, is made prominent in all grades; much attention is given to the building of sentences and great gain has been made in this branch. The
free text-book plan has worked well. Books have been better cared for than when owned by pupils, and the cost of them to the city probably only about a third what it used to be when bought by parents. Evening schools were taught for the first time and were fairly successful. About 137 pupils were in average attendance, a large proportion of them being mill operatives, many of whom could not read or write.
Peabody reports an increased attendance, additions and repairs made during the year in school buildings, free text books supplied according to law, and the books well taken care of. To the faithfulness of the truant officer is ascribed, in part, the increase in the number of pupils in the schools. Of 129 cases of truancy reported only 23 cases were habitual, and it is thought that with a place of commitment for the worst of these cases, tho evil would almost disappear.
Pittsfield, notwithstanding overcrowding, reports good work done in the public schools and improvement made in its quality. Constantly increasing excellence is found among the primary teachers, probably owing to the fact that those who have shown aptness in this work have been continued in it and have been rewarded by increase of pay rather than by change of grade and position, since no good reason is seen here for giving teachers of intermediate and grammar grades preference over those of primaries, which require in their management an equal amount of ability, tact, and teaching power. Salem notes in its report for 1884 an increase of trua
also too many
ases of corporal punishment in the public schools. These consist of primary, grammar, high, and evening schools, also an ungraded school for French Canadian children connected with the Naumkeag factory, and who speak no English. In the ungraded school, especially, the new free text-book plan has been a great assistance.
Springfield, whose latest report received is also for 1884, has during this year introduced sewing in the grammar schools and the Indian Orchard (or mill) school, the girls receiving instruction in this branch for one hour a week. The plan has been in every sense attended with satisfactory results. The free text-book law has resulted in an increase of attendance. Improvement was secured in evening school attendance by requiring an excuse for absence, and better work was accomplished also
through a more systematic classification under suitable teachers. It is found that the very best teaching talent is required for evening schools; and to an absence of experience on the part of teachers is attributed the lack of success often obtained in the schools.
Taunton public schools, comprising primary, grammar, high, evening, and evening drawing schools, show a fair record in respect to attendance, considering the fact that there was an almost unprecedented prevalence of contagious diseases. Thus while only about 72 per cent. of the whole number enrolled were in average daily attend. ance, 97 per cent. of the average membership were in constant attendance.
The most notable occurrence in connection with the school system during the year was the completion of a new and commodious high school building, about 170 by 88 feet in extent and 3 stories high, including a basement, and capable of accommodating 250 to 300 pupils. The building is heated by steam, the most approved methods of lighting and ventilation have been used, and care taken that the rooms for the daily work of the school bo mainly on one level, and on the floor next above the basement, thus avoiding the necessity of much going up and down stairs.
Westfield reports 2 new school-houses erected, and repairs and improvements made in nearly every school-house in the town; also punctuality and diligence on the part of pupils and good attendance, notwithstanding a prevalence of scarlet fever. A year's experience bas confirmed the belief of the committee in the advantages of the free text-book law. The committee urge the appointment of a city school superintendent and the introduction in the schools of industrial education.
Woburn.-The superintendent thinks some of the schools have been wasting a certain amount of energy from the lack of a definito course of study; that the line pursued in some studies-notably language, is vague and indefinite; that better results in arithmetic would follow from a more rational course, and that the time devoted to geography is out of proportion to the amount of benefit derived, that in the last, the motto “From the known to the unknown" has not been sufficiently observed. The school buildings were in excellent condition, with the exception of a fanlty arrangement for the admission of light in many of the rooms. In the evening schools irregularity of attendance was a great drawback, although their benefits were unquestioned. A requirement of a deposit of tuition fees, to be forfeited in case of truancy, is suggested as likely to induce more regular attendance.
Worcester, including in its public school system primary, grammar, high, evening, and evening drawing schools, reports an increase in the number of children of school age and in that of those under instruction, the day schools showing a larger increase in the average number belonging and in average attendauco than in the
number enrolled. This increase of attendance, as compared with registration, shows, as the superintendent points out, the faithfulness with which the law for school attendance is executed, while the daily attendance indicates the interest pupils take in their schools. That over 90 per cent. of the number belonging were held in average attendance is thought very satisfactory, especially considering the severity of the climate, the laborions habits of the population, and the fact that no attempt is permit. ted to "fix up" the records or to insist on the attendance of children regardless of the necessities of health and of other reasonable causes for absence. The enrollment in day schools was nearly equal to the school census of 1885 (13,269), or about onesixth of the population. Including 465 pupils in evening schools and drawing classes, it was almost one-lifth; and, counting the estimated 1,500 in private schools, the proportion would be still greater.
Evening schools were, as usual, carried on successfully. The plan of requiring a deposit of one dollar for admission as a guarantee of constant attendance and atten. tion to duty vindicates itself anew with each succeeding year. There is no more question about the orderly and studious behavior of pupils in evening schools than in any others. The "leposit” plan has proved so useful in these schools that it has been adopted in the free evening drawing schools, where its effects have been equally good.
Music has been tanght in the schools by a special teacher for more than 20 years. Aside from the benefits this conterred upon the community in supplying an important source of pleasure and refinement, this study has been found to exert a strong intuence for good in the schools, in relieving the attention from other studies, in giving variety to the exercises, in expanding the lungs, and in softening the asperities of school idiscipline. A large part of the steady decrease of the disagreeable, which has steadily been going on in school discipline during the last two decades, is ascribed to the influence of this study; and in this respect alone it has been worth three times as much as it cost.
KINDERGARTEN TRAINING. It is the opinion of the secretary of the State board that children are by a course of kindergarten instruction prepared to enter with facility on the primary school studies, and that the experiences they acquire by actually handling the objects of