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believed the course of study now in use in the schools is too heavy. In my humble opinion too much time is taken up with studies of little or no value, to the detriment of many cardinal branches of practical cducation, and it is to be hoped that steps will soon be taken to remedy this objection. Too much can not be said of the importance of an increase in the school revenue. It is highly important that the revenue of the public schools should be increased yearly, yet the past year shows a decrease."
The adılress urges especially the pressing need of erecting an entirely new building for the girls' high school, suggesting that the one now used be given up to the boys. The fund needed can be raised only by direct taxation, but it is asserted that the people would submit to it cheerfully.
The committee on salaries and supplies recommended increase in the salaries of several of the teachers in advanced positions, and that the schedule of salaries in general be baseal on the principle that all should be according to the rank and meritoriousness of services, instead of averaging them, as at present, between the highest and the lowest salaries paid. All teachers should have set before them the sure prospect of rising wages according to increase in their professional experience and value.
The continued increase of school children makes necessary frequent rents of rooms, as well for coloreil children as white.
A historical sketch is given of the earliest attempts to found a mannal-training high school since its induction into the country at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. The hostility of trade and labor unions long obstructed these attempts, but persistence was at last rewarded and the school was founded in May, 1892.
The plan of instruction followed in the manual-training high school, says the report, " is such as will fit boys of ability who are mechanically or scientifically inclined, and who may have neither the time nor means to continue at our school after they become 17 or 18 years of age, for positions of usefulness in the various productive and construction pursuits. It also prepares students who desire to continue their education in technological branches for the best engineering and scientific schools in this country."
Attendance on the evening schools had decreased from last year, owing mainly, as the report believes, to the hard times. Out of 1,150 whites enrolled, the average attendance was 639.1. It was 861 among colored pupils in an enrollment of 1,867. Corresponding falling off' for the same reason was in the high schools.
The total number of pupils enrolled during the year in the day schools was 24,860, of whom 5,071 were colored. The average daily attendance among whites was 15,311; among colored, 3,258.
ng palicred in text-books and
?Bier was made manifest
wenres every child bet
The weak point in
per cent were
et for the norinal school hafranged for a three
desire to do advanced Mas the great benefit to of teachers. Applicati oltarters than was antici zaislatore provided for
Fas held, and althou date was good, being
Report for 1895, W. W. Stetson, State superintendent of common schools.
War for the rear 1896 is fro
interest in schools and atal stereotyped re u etisfactorily' servei 11 setiel in the notion ell as could be expecte
a bs an expert super e loputably fail to do,
ating of school superin - aardly be greater varie
slabe vocations. Thi aber, physicians, hor
teen, laborers, dri Bren, sionecutters, bla
w filers, survey railtuari postal cl
line to this busine with their personal affair
The legislature, in compliance with the suggestion of Mr. Luce, late superintendent, repealed the law of biennial reports. The new superintenilent cordially indorses the change, which brings the superintendent in more frequent and close communication with subordinate superintendents, teachers, and other school officials.
The decrease in the whole number of different pupils attending school at any time during the year is accounted for by the law raising the school age from 4 to 5 years. The increase in the average length of the time during which the schools wero open is said to be owing to the fact that the town system, while reducing the number of schools, increased their length. There has been sone increase in the amounts paid for text-books and other school appointments, and it is a gratifying fact that such things cost only about one-third of what was paid under the old system. The superior value of the town system over the old is quite notable in the cecrease in the number of ungraded and increase in that of graded schools. There has been abandonment of many of the schoolhouses whose condition was poor, which led to the erection of an increased number of those well suited for all purposes.
The superintendent visited two hundred of the rural schools, with a view to becoming acquainted as accurately as possible, by personal inspection, with their condition and needs. Among these were several in the extreme portious and most sparsely settled. Of these, in the elaborate investigations had by him, 6 per cent were ranked as “excellent," 21 per cent as “good," 32 per cent as “fair,” and 41 per cent 18 “poor,” or “very poor.”
The circumstance is noted that inferior schools are not peculiar to sections unenltivated and remote from educational centers, but are scattered throughout the State, Some of the best are to be found in the former, and a few of the very foremost are in towns most advanced. Even among teachers, there are some who, claiming to le graduates of institutions of respectable standing, yet are among the poorest, ippar.
to who are not ex tren murh in looking
of the schoolbouses i Stall areas. Dar cent of the teach * of kin to some of
ate or business asso) Testing things art
luat of "Wante," I. in esery qnality de ar: l in respect of there is what the
ently little cultured in text-books and woefully devoid of knowledge outside of them. Some of them are extremely young, in one case only 15 years old.
Another matter was made manifest in the oxamination of the rural schools. This was an occasional glaring advertisement of tradesmen's wares on the walls. One of these was of a highly exalted brand of tobacco.
It speaks not well for these districts that so many of the children quit school at a too early age. Eighty-seven per cent in them were under 13 years, and, as far as could be ascertained, those who had left had not gone to higher schools. Unfortunately, this tendency has been increasing for some time past, notwithstanding the law, which reqnires every child between 5 and 15 years to attend school for at least sixteen weeks in every year. The average of attendance in the schools attended was 21, average length of term ten weeks, and the average age of pupils between 8 anul 9 years. The weak point in them, as appears from these figures, was not so much in the small attendance as in the early age at which pupils are withdrawn.
A very small number of the rural schools were supplied with books and other appurtenances for supplementary work in studies. Nono had what night be called libraries. About 90 per cent were supplied with maps, but the majority of these were oli anıl of little worth. About 50 per cent were supplied witli some sorts of charts. Bookkeeping, civics, music, drawing, instruction about plants, minerals, and animals hardly obtain at all.
Tho superintendent urges the creation of a State board of examiners for deciding upon the applications of teachers. The liberal sim (over $500,000) appropriated by the legislature demands that its distribution should be in the hands of capablo experts.
Tbe report for the normal school refers to the fact that the trustees at their meeting in March arranged for a three years' course of study. This gives facilities to stridents who desire to do advanced work.
It comniends the great benetit to education of the law providing for the State certification of teachers. Applications have been made for them by a much larger number of teachers than was anticipated.
The last legislature provided for holding at least three summer schools. A yet larger number was held, and although such institutions are new among the people the attendance was good, being more than double that of a year ago.
The report for the year 1896 is from the same superintendent, W. W. Stetson. An increased interest in schools is quite apparent among the people at large. The old typified and stereotyped reports that everything in the line was going on quietly and satisfactorily” served to hinder investigation and inquiry, and people were about settled in the notion that the schools were doing reasonably woll, at least as well as could be expected under the circumstances. But close personal investigations by an expert superintendent showed numerous defects. These, as Le could not honorably fail to do, he laid baro, anil calloul public attention to them.
The statistics of school superintendents exhibited some rather curious things. Thero coulel hardly be greater variety in a like number of officials in other positions. They are of many vocations. Thirty-five per cent (the greatest) are farmers; the rest are teachers, physicians, housekeepers, merchants, lawyers, clergymen,' carpenters, lumbermen, laborers, druggists, journalists, fishermen, postmasters, engineers, painters, stonecutters, blacksmiths, and one each of express agents, bookkeepers, guides, saw filers, surveyors, ferrymen, barbers, printers, manufacturers, haberdashers, railroad postal clerks, dairymen, and spinsters. Four per cent devote all their time to this business. The rest devote such time as they are willing to tako from their personal affairs. This shows that selections are made indifferentiy among those who are not expected to have much fitness for their positions or busy themselves much in looking after its responsibilities. The report shows a largo portion of the schoolhouses in poor conditiou, with yards of insufficient, some eren of undefinerl, areas.
Seventy-one per cent of the teachers are residents of the towns in which they teach, 12 per cent are of kin to some of the superintending school committees, and 5 por cent by marriage or business association.
Some very interesting things are said under the liead of “Statistical curiosities;" more so under that of “Waste,” in which the greatest item is the wages paid to teachers, who, in every qnality desirable for the work for which they are employed (intellectually and in respect of personality), are woefully deficient. The employment of such teachers is what thô report styles being “economical to the point of the most reckless extravagance."
Tho subreports coming in from county oxaminers and the principals of State acadomies and scliools receiving donations from the State all show gratifying improvement in education.
It appears that hostility to the public system, although continuing, is constantly diminishing, and is directed rather to individual things than to the whole. Attempts were mado at the last legislature to have school commissioners elected by the people, instead of receiving their appointinent from the governor. It is hardly probable that, if such a law had been passed, it wonld have failed to be speedily shown imprudent and impracticable and been repealed. In the meantimo, however, much barm might have been done, which it would have taken several years to cure. As it is, the average among such examiners is acknowledged to be high. Among them are the most prudent, thoughtful men, who study the school problem with sincerest intent for whatever is best for the conduct and operation of the schools. If elections were held by the people, such men or a majority of them would refuse to run for offices, elections to which are to depend upon partisan machinations, with which they would shrink from entangling themselves, and they would be sought by a class whose eagerness to obtain them would be the more fiery according to their incapacity to the discharge of their functions.
Much felicitation is indulgerl on the passage of the free text-book law. It is claimed to have largely increased attendance and elevated the standard of education generally.
Among the many recommendations for tho consideration of the committee on programme for the next session are the following:
Sufficient State funds to pay all teachers' salaries.
Salaries of all teachers throughout the State to ho arranged between the State board of education and the city and county school boards.
County funds to pay strictly local expeuses of schoolhouses, furuiture, fuel, etc.; county supervision by school board.
Separation of the offices of State superintendent and principal of the normal school.
Separation of the offices of county examiner and secretary and treasurer of the couty boards.
Obligatory anmual sessions of teachers' institutes and associations in all the countics of the State.
The consolidation of rural schools and the transportation of distant pupils at the public expeuse.
A number of well-considered suggestions occur in the last pago of Mr. Prettyman's report in behalf of the State board, of which he is secretary, and at the same time ex officio State superintendent. He was one of the most earnest among tho supporters of the free text-book system. He claims that the annual appropriation fixed by tho last legislature of $150,000 has served already to increase attendance from 10 to 30 per cent. He urges, among other things, provisions for additional and liigher grade of teachers' certificates; that is, liigh-school certificates. The appeal regarding the essential need of separating the two highly responsible positions, at present united in himself, is in the following words:
“It has been repeatedly urged that there should be a separation of the duties of the principal of the Stato normal school from those of the State superintendent of public instruction. It is manifest, in tho present condition of the public-school system of the State, after the experience of thirty years, and considering its gradual but steady development, that one person can not perform the duties pertaining to the two positions named. . . . It is impossiblo for the normal school principal to give it proper attention and also attend a teachers' institute in each county in the State, visit the high schools, conduct the voluminous correspondence of the education department, prepare tho annual State report, and perform the other duties now required by law. He is obliged continually to elect between conflicting duties. This is the only State in which such manifold duties are united in one office.”
Report for 1894-05, Hon. Frank A. Hill, secretary of State board of cılacation.
Comment is made in the beginning on tho gradual assnmption by the State of active control over the subject of State education. This has been done thus far gradually, because of the indisposition of many towns to part from the exercise of what they have been dceming vested rights. Yet the obvious advantage of having
superintendents who have been specially trained for their service las tended to overcome this reluctance. The board recommend that supervision be extended on geographical lines. For the formation of districts by town meetings they would substitute school committees, who are in position to be better acquainted with the subject.
They argue, further, that since the establishment of the system of district superintendents they, the board, shonld be invested with the power of examining and issuing eertiticates, and that provision by law should bo made for the additional force which such increased responsibility rould make necessary.
The State has now ten normal schools, whose results have been highly valuable to general education. This is so apparent that the board insist that hereafter candidates who have not passed through those schools should be reqnired at least to give evidence of proficiency corresponding with that of those who have.
The normal schools aro declared to be advancing satisfactorily, each with its own peenliar distinctive features, which aro owing to different individualities among teachers, individualities with which the board wisely deem it improper to interfere. All of them except two are coeducational, I'ramingham and Salem being for girls only. In each are declared to be toachers of much ability. This fact, as well as the constantly enhancing value of high-school education, is considered by the board as lessening the preferenco for private schools, yet shown by many parents.
The board intimato an intention to move for a compulsory law regarding desks, chairs, and other furniture.
In the matter of the normal art school tho standard was raised in 1895, requiring candidates for entrance to have a high-school diploma or its equivalent. The difliculties arising from lack of opportunity for those fitting to bo teachers to observe the drawing work done in the schools of Boston have been removed by permission received from the latter to observo and teach there.
It has become a matter of serious consideration as to whether those susceptible of considerable improvement in schools for defectives ought to be sent back home after attaining the degree of improvement possiblo or kept within thio institutions. It has been found that in many cases such return is not desirable on the score of what is best for the invalid, and they have been retained. But this course has served to overcrowl the schools and binder the taking in of many to whom there is a crying nerd of being received. In view of the difficulty in drawing sharp lines between tho most gifted of the feeble-minded and those least so among the normal, much painstaking and oven much delicacy in dealing with the subject will be required. Tho board commends it to the legislature as one deserving of careful consideration and liberal expendituro of moneys in providing for whatever is decided to be practicable.
School attendance for tho gear shows a large increase, 11,981 larger than that in the enrollment of children between 5 and 15. This increase is attributed to the large numbers outside of these ages who attend schools and to the growth of kindergarten ; and bigli schools.
In the matter of the comparative nnmbers of men and women teachers, the preponderance keeps with tho latter. The men, however, are gaining somewhat, the present ratio being about 1 to 10. Tho secretary admits that the teaching force must be mado up of women mostly, but contends that their preponderanco has been too great. Referring to tho year 1886, he says " while the number of men is 14 less than in that year, that of women is 2,371 greater."
The disparity between tho wages of men and women is yet great. Yet the secretary regards it not as unreasonably so as it appears, and for this reason:
"It should not be forgotten, when we comment unfavorably upon this disparity, that the men almost invariably hold positions of directorship, or of superior responsibility, and that when women aro pnt in any of these higher positions, as they sometimes are, their pay is not much, if at all, inferior to that of men. It is certainly far aboro tho average paid to women. This is conspicuously true in those cases in which women servo as superintendents of schools, their pay being the samo usually as that of men holding corresponding positions. On the other haud, if there is a class of positions that are comaionly filloi by women and that grado aliko in pay, the salary of the man who is occasionally appointed to servo in this class is likely to follow that of tho women in it. Ilero we have, as it were, exchange of position:-women taking their place among men and men taking their place among women-in which it appears that compensation rests more upon tho popular estimate of the magnitudo of the position filled than upon considerations of sex.
The secretary makes some very judicious remarks upon the tendency of methods which have been constantly improved upon to teachi pupils other things besitles knowledge of text-books, such as development of taste, exaltation of character, more just views of the purposes of life-in short, cultivation of all elements needed in the making of manhood and womanhood.
hans are on truancy, more satisfact
sahip stools in particn'ar bare Wed by their striving to fulf
na preparatory training for er erishing course for practical
sana which, if generally ador So give to the work of sec Was long existed between
echa great majority of high-sc
mats of various studies
e dal notes and deaf children without
mbed of trnaney, under direction of the 1
mlading words of the president of the S what re shall give them in full: sta pàgment of experienced observers t1 Strecorded with work. The number al into courses of public instruction are la in any of them. Some of these studie on as the language we speak and write, a Kwald be well for the public schools non ef instruction, founded on recognized rarlante with the concurrent opinion q Steh a course should be simple in tai be growing child as he passes through estars in his report discusses the fact t
The constant advance in education and in the development of the State system in Massachusetts is very notable. Interesting is the following extract from the article headed “Schools and teachers” in the report for this year:
“It appears from the school returns of 1895-96 that there were in the State 9,153 public schools, taught by 12,275 teachers. Of this number, 4,540 received some training in the State normal schools, and 3,903 have completed the prescribed course of normal instruction. . As the schools of a country are inevitably what the teachers make them to be, reason, experience, and even public sentiment seem now in favor of limiting their selection and employment to those who by natural and acquired qualifications are specially prepared for their work. Tho State will soon bo provided with normal schools, thoroughly organized, sufficient in number and conveniently located for the instruction of teachers required for the public schools.
· In the opinion of many prominent educators the time has come when school boards sliould be required to employ no other persons as instructors of their public schools than graduates of normal schools or those who have had an equivalent for teaching. If necessary, the small towns should receive special aid from the State to enable them to comply with this requirement."
In addition to the six already existing four others are in rapid process of establishment. In connection with these institutions it is intended to create what are termed practice schools, by which those expecting to become teachers may acquire sonio experience in that line before entering upon it.
A part of the educational system is a board of agents who, although without control over the management of schools, visit them, observing the condition of buildings, text-books, etc., state of school atteudance, courses of studies, and afterwards report on these to higher officials. They also conduct teachers' institutes, aud have been notably efficient in aid and encouragement of smaller towns to form then selves into districts for the employment of union school superintendents. Detailed reports of their work are appended.
Much stress is laid upon the value of school supervision and its extent in the State.
“Supervision las, by the voluntary action of the towns and cities, steadily won its way into public favor, until 259 towns, embracing 93 per cent of all the school children in the State, have their schools under the care of intelligent superintendents.
"There are now 94 towns not under supervision” says the report. “ These are mostly small country towns, many of them heavily burdened with taxation for the support of schools and other town purposes, but especially needing the benefits which flow from skilled supervision. Soine of these towns have voted in favor of uniting in a district for the employment of a superintendent, but are unable to effect such union by reason of their relations to other towns and cities. They may be nearly or quite surrounded by towns of too high a valuation to unite in a district entitled to State aid, or by towns now under supervision, or by those indifferent or averse to the plan.”
Recommendation is made of such changes in the law as to render such supervision universal.
The number of high schools has grown to 257, being 5 greater for the year. Education therein is provided for children from towns where high schools are not required by law. An act of the legislature provided for reimbursement of tuition to towns of less than $500,000 valuation. This will servo to bring secondary education within attainment of every child in the State.
The advantages in manual training, as the law makes no distinction in that respect between boys and girls, are now favorable to the former, some of the things taught being practicable for both, while others are not so, such as foundry, machine, and other such work.
An important feature in the system of education is the maintenance of evening schools, that are located mainly in manufacturing towns wherein children, because of employment, can not attend in the day. As many as 30,000 of these attend near 700 schools. Since 1886 every town of 50,000 inhabitants is bound to maintain an evening high school. The chief difficulty is irregularity of attendance, dne mainly to being voluntary. It is not believed to be well to extend tho compulsory law in the case. Some remedy it is hoped will come from rendering schoolrooms more attractive and placing the schools under the charge of especially skillful teachers.
As many as 4,000 teachers attend teachers' institutes, seventeen of which were held in 1895, conducted by the secretary and State agents. They are regarded as institutes of great value.
Regarding provision for the blind, deaf, and feeble-minded, the following is somo of the language of the report:
"Massachusetts makes provision at her own expeuse for the care and education
kam are all women. Benign and indispes garded a misfortune when pupils silof acquiring certain degrees of rol part
, after giving statement of the extr as the much mooted question of th
Te give the following brief extract. teasures have all proved helpful to th palities of school burdens, and mak bals
. They have left untouched, howev have served to increase those ine wakened to support its own schools is retributes its own share toward aiding at leases with this summary of reco nal and permanent supervision of ter in a normal school or in some sal sate participation in the support inal years and summer scholarship hal teachers, and additional genera
trert for 1993-94, Edwin P. Seaver, el skot that the number of pur
made of the usual statistics,
De tommittee on secondary sch zational Association, July 9, his committee and held
Deceu zikis report Superintendent se
on wanting as well as en