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At some length is argued the necessity that teachers should be continually looked after and instructed in the art of teaching.

The superintendent contends it is a mistake that school finances are not entirely controlled by the board of inspectors, bnt are liable to supervision and revision of another board who are elected for another purpose and are not acquainted with educational systems.

The report has some observations upon correlation, in which, admitting its importance to a degree, it stops short of the extent to which it is carried by some of the disciples of Herbart. It also discusses the two tendencies in kindergartens-one toward formalism and the other toward freedom-and warns against too close adherence to unimportant details.

In the schools here, as in scveral other States and cities, a very decided trend toward vertical penmanship is noticeable.

The work of the Mechanic Arts High School and the Teachers' Training School is much commended, but serious remonstrance is made against too many subjects heing studied daily in the high schools, which leave little time to students for use of library or counseling with teachers. Much regret is expressed for the fact that financial conditions hinder furnishing free text-books. The following extract tells of a plau devised during emergency:

- The plan that was authorized by this board, and carried out for a short time during the last year, of allowing the children to make a fixed contribution of money to be spent for books, which books belong to the school, was an excellent one. In soino schools it worked marvelous changes. The enthusiasm of the children over the abundance of new reading matter was great. In one building, where the children had heretofore been starved upon a single reader, the varions classes read different books, varying from 6 to 15 in number. No better commentary is possible. The complaints were few, and came mainly from those people who never buy any books and from certain publishers whose books were not bought as much as horetofore."

This plan, however, the board thought best to do away with, and another is now being considered.

Soine additions have been made to existing school buildings, and ono new one has been erected. The supply, however, is far below pressing needs, which, under present laws regulating appropriations, have little promise of being fully met.

The number of pupils enrolled is 21,276, who are taught by 502 teachers.

Besides tables of statistics in the work of the whole system, the report contains a copy of the act abolishing the board of education and creating the board of school inspectors.


The report to July 1, 1896, is from the same superintendent, C. B. Gilbert, esq.

The report makes complaint of the great lack of material. These are some of its words:

“We greatly need more material for our work. Our course of study is broad, and, if properly administered by good teachers, means such an edncation for children as shall fit them for complete living, but in order that the greatest benefit may be derived from it a considerable amount of material of various sorts must be supplied. We especially need more books; good literature for children. This need is imperative. We get a little each year from the State, but it is not enough."

The board have decided to promise free text-books, in trust that necessary funds will be supplied. Another decision is regarding supervision. It is that in buildings with not more than nino rooms principals be relieved of supervision, for which a separate supervisor is appointed.

Manual training is doing so well that it is recommended for the primary grades.
Wo copy the following extract under the head “High schools :"

“The most noteworthy features of the high-school department of our system this year have been the development of the minor schools and the creation and growth of the Mechanic Arts School. The Cleveland and Humboldt have each completed the junior year and in 1897 will graduate their first classes. The Mechanic Arts School has had a fine year and graduated its first class in June.”

Work in elementary English needs modification, better preparation being desirable for their entrance into high schools. Some enlargement of plan has taken place in the Teachers' Training School, in the matters of more practical surroundings and moro systematic child study. Graduates have no difficulty in finding employment, such is the constant demand for them.

While the lack of sufficient school accommodations has been partially relieved, there is still much more needed.

The number of teachers grew to 528, and of pupils en rolled in day schools to 22,329.

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The report for the year 1895 is from Charles M. Jordan, superintendent of schools, and it is preceded by an address to the board of education by M. Falk Gjertsen, its president.

In the latter claim is made that the system of high schools is better and their euroilment greater than those in any other city in the Union of similar size, the four now existing containing over 2,200 pupils.

For want of adequate funds for new buildings the schools have been crowded to a degree that is regarded a municipal calamity. Whatever was possible to be done for the overflow of pupils was accomplished by building annexes, and also by renting. The board were unable to obtain but 3 mills for the 4 mills tax to whică it claims to have beeu entitled, and in vain sought issuance of bonds with which to meet emergencies.

The president refers with becoming pride to the enhanced care and adornment of late bestowed upon school grounds, the excellent orderly discipline by which principals control and conduct their classes, even in the evening schools.

The superintendent, after giving a statement of the various shifts made for obtainment of adequate room, by additions, etc., makes an urgent appeal for greater accommodatious. He says:

“During the latter part of the year just closed at least 1,100 pupils were unable to attend school more than half of each day, on account of tho lack of accommodations. Some pupils, to my personal knowledge, have not had a full day at school since they first entered in September, 1893. Others have spent all their school days thns far in annexes. There are some basement rooms yet remaining which will be suitable for school purposes. While they were not intended for schoolrooms, and are not in all respects fitted for the purpose, they are nevertheless much better than the ordinary aunex which the board is now using. One thing is evident, that new school buildings are imperatively needed, and that they must be had in some way if the best work is done in the schools."

The pupils in day schools for the year numbered 29,623, an increase of 1,537. The increase of attendance was gratifying, being 97 per cent.

Corilial sutisfaction is expressed at the operation of the rulo abolishing written examinations as the sole tests for promotion. As cordial is that for the change requiring the teaching of vertical penmanship, which, it is confidently claimed, has been shown to be the best.

Much good has resulted from the Teachers' Library, towarı whose support in the last year $300 was contributed. The superintendent earnestly recommends that steps be early taken to furnish to all of the schouls reference libraries. The fund for the support of high schools has iudeed been such as to allow diversion of a portion in that way, but it has not been possible to do the like for the grade schools.

Evening schools have been kept during sixty-seven weeks, with an enrollment of 1,326.


The report for 1896 is from the samo officials as last year.

The report of the president offers felicitations on the universally popular interest in the schools. We give the following extract:

“There are few if any cities outside of Minneapolis that can show an enrollment of 37,340 children in the schools to a population of 200,000, and it is a noticeable and encouraging fact that the business stringency, with its hardships for laboring classes, has in no way diminished their interest in the schools.”

Most marked advancement has been in the industrial branches. The sloyıl system has been advanced until it is now employed in the eighth grade, so that there is a coatimual course from the fourth through to the high school.

While several new buildings have been constructed, there is yet a deplorable lack of sufficient accommodations in the south and south west, where large numbers of children are put in basements on double sessions, while the schools are much overcrowded.

In the report of the superintendent, this crowded condition, increasing constantly on account of increase of pupils, is dwelt upon at length and in detail. This increase for the last year has been confined to the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, whereas decrease has been in the tirst and fifth grades and in the high school. Notwithstanding the unusual prevalence of sickness among children, attendance has been 97 per cent, the same as last year.

Sewing is now taught in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, and there is a continuous course from the fourth to the eighth grades, inclusive, for girls in domestic economy, and in the seventh aud eighth for cooking, for which last there are three schools attached-the Adams, Blaine, and Winthrop.

Appeal is made for larger libraries for schools. Tho Teachers' Library, with over 6,000 volumes, is doing much good.

Time serves to strengthen the favor with which free text-books are regardeil.

For trial of the two systems of penmanship, the vertical and the slauting, six schools were assigned to the former aud the remainder to the latter. The decision is heartily in favor of the vertical.

Eveving schools are increasing in favor and attendance, as from year to year they are coming to reach children of school age, a very decided preponderance of attendance heretofore being of those over 21 years of age.


Report for 1895, Hon. John R. Kirk, superintendent of public schools.

It opens with an urgent appeal for more care in the construction of schoolhouses and laying off school grounds with a view to sanitation, convenience, and taste.

Alreally city schools have recoguized the importance of employing skilled architects to plan and oversee such work, and, besides the construction of new buildings, have gotten their services in the remodeling of such of the old as were susceptible of it. The case is unfortunately different in rural schoolhouses, which have been constructed mainly by cheap rural carpenters who have never even seen such a building that was constructed after modern methods. The superintendent visited as many as two hundred of these houses widely scattered, from the borders of Iowa to those of Arkansas, and he thus writes of them:

“With these evidences of existing conditions the conclusion is unavoidable that the children of the State are suffering enormous loss as to bodily health, strength, and vigor because of the unsanitary condition of our rural schoolhouses."

It is no comfort, the report argues, that the condition in Missouri in that respect is no worse than in many other States or that it is better than in some of them. This is not due to parsimoniousness in the people, but to want of intelligence in the investment of the liberal appropriations granted for the purpose. Any well-built schoolhouse can be sufficiently ventilated at a small cost, and only carefulness and some knowledge of the means are needed to make it so.

It is a matter of congratulation that the prominence taken by education in the mind of the public has wrought vast good, and in this special respoct, that it is impossible for any one or more leaders of opinion to spring a system upon the people with expectation of its being adopted until they, who are to be responsible for it and affected by it, have had time and leisure to consider it. The report points with pride to the State University, the State normal school, to county teachers' institutes, to the multiplication of private schools and colleges, and the already 400 towns in the State that are aiming to establish high schools.' " How,” says the report, “ to correlate, unify, and strengthen these institutions is a problem vast enough."

The first suggestion as to needed legislation inade by the report is a system of more careful inspection and supervision of all rural schools. The superintendent, after making himself acquainted thoroughly with the conditions and methoils of many of these, particularly in the southwestern section of the State, cites one county especially in order to show how schools could be bettered by the use of proper care.

This county is Jasper, the condition of whose schools is incomparably superior to that of those in the adjacent counties, and this is the cause of the difference:

"There is in that county an enthusiasm, a professional spirit, a standard of scholarship, an effectiveness of work done with which the schools of adjoining counties can not compare. But Jasper County has a man in the field every year. For two years or more she has done this. The county superintendents have been energetic, enthusiastic, professional teachers, ambitious young men who got out of town and worked. The schools of Jasper County are a monument to the intelligence of her superintendents and teachers, and to the progressive spirit of the people.”

The report urges action on the part of the legislature for the efficient care of the feeble-minded children of the State, whose number is calculated to be about 3,000.

The report highly praises the efforts of the university to secure “articulation" with the secondary schools. Last year the legislature appropriated $4,000 for the University Summer School of Science, and great good has resulted in the importation of instruction to the high-school teachers. This instruction is given both by the university professors and by skilled specialists in high-school work. Harm has been done, the report says, by confused conception of high-school work as distinct from the work of colleges, and it is contended that there are sixty or seventy institutions in the State called colleges whose names ought to be those of academies or private high schools.

While admitting that the work in the normal schools has been of great benefit, there are some things yet the report considers needed. It says, Every normal school should have a pedagogical laboratory. By this is meant a laboratory in the form of a model graded school of fifteen or twenty children in each grade, beginning, of course, with the kindergarten."


Tho report for the year 1896 is from the same superintendent. It begins with an carnest, thoughtful argument in favor of industrial education, answering the objections of thoso who are wont to style schools for that purpose as "shop schools," “trado schools,” and “cooking schools." cites the fact that prejudices have been so far overcome that work on a liberal scalo has already been begun in the Stato University, and in Kansas City and other places.

“Manual training has the indorsement of our State University, as shown by provisions for certain classes of its students; the second largest city of the State pnts abont $200,000 into a manual training high school. The manual training school of Washington University has long been well and favorably known; the industrial department of Lincoln University has cordial and general indorsement.”

Attention is directed to the greater progress in form of such education that has been made in several other States when it has been established in institutions below high schools, beginning with the kindergarten. It is admitted that in rural schools such training has neither the same purposo nor the same necessity, yet there are things in which it would be found of much importance to the children of farmers, such as elementary principles that relate to the source, character, and reproduction of soils, and rotation of crops. They might easily have what ought to be known of the planting of trees, vegetables and flowers, the grafting of fruit trees, the care needed in their raising, the habits of noxious insects and the means of arresting their incursions. Then it is recommended that more instruction be given in the geography, fauna, and flora, not only of the State, but of other States and foreign countries. These would have, besides the valuable knowledge obtained, much greater influence than many suppose on mental development. An interesting report is given of the Kansas City Manual Training School. In that occur the following words, taken from a recent United States Governinent report, by Dr. C. M. Woodward :

“Manual training as an educational factor owes its existence to a widespread conviction that the etlucation of the school has been dealing too exclusively with the abstract and remote, and not enough with the concrete and present," and there is given this statement regarding the aim of that institution, which is declared to be

to prepare students of both sexes for the practical duties of life; to furnish a training of head and hand, useful alike to all classes, regardless of future occupation, and fit for entrance into inodern courses of the best universities. It is not a trade school."

The report deals with much plainness of the vastly unsatisfactory condition of rural schools. The following are some of the statements in this behalf:

"Missouri has over 9,000 one-room schoolhouses, each one under control of threo directors—more than 9,000 separato independent school districts with more than 27,000 school directors, and these directors too often elected without regard to the fitness for position.”

It may well be supposed that the argument against such a state of things is to the point.

On the subject of county institutes, the report declares that they are becoming slowly more useful as their importance becomes as slowly studiod and appreciated. After setting down what are and what are not their purposes, it emphasizes the fact that these are wholly pedagogical, and until this truth becomes settled in men's opinions not very much of benefit is to be expected from the work done at their sessions.

The report is equally plain in discussiug colleges so styled, and urgently asks that those which have much of the work of the mere academy should work for separation from it. In its opinion 10 college can exist, except in name, which is dependent upon tuition fees alone, and which has not an income-producing endowment of at least $100,000.

The report, however, speaks with pride of the five Stato institutions which are well organized and well equipped. The State University, the three State normal schools, and the Lincoln Institute for colored people. The first, during the last five years particularly, has been growing with great rapidity. The creation of the oflice of high-school cxaminers is looked upon as of much importance, promising to contributo to bring the high schools into more definite relation with the university and with others above them. Gratifying accounts come from Lincoln Institute and the three normal schools. Of that at Warrensburg the report says:

"The board of regents last June established a chair of pedagogy. . . . This will enable us to concentrate the work of the course under one management, instead of farming it out among the teachers of other departments.”


The report for the year 1896 opened with an address to the people of the district by R. L. Yeager, president of the board of education, followed by a report from J. M. Greenwood, superintendont, to which is appeuded returns of subordinate officials.

The address says that the amount raised by taxation for school purposes has not been adequate for the rapidly increasing needs of accommodations. During the year as many as forty-six additional rooms have been employed, and at the time of sul). mitting the superintendent's report the schoolrooms were yet as crowded as ever.

It is earnestly desired to begin with manual training; the ground has been secured for the purpose, and it is hoped that the buildings will be ready for occupation by the end of 1897. The same is the case with the coming library building.

The following extract is from the observations concerning politics on school boirds :

“It is a fact that in many places movements are being made toward non, or bipartisan and nonsectarian boards of oducation, while in quite a number of places such school boards bave already been organized. This is as it should be, as by no other methods can school work be so well performod. The death knell has been sounded, we believe, to political boards."

The first movement toward kindergartens was not a success ; get the feeling in its favor has become so general that the board has decided to make another trial, which if successful will lead to general establishment of such schools throughout the city.

The Central High School, with its 1,800 pupils, is greatly overcrow.led, but some relief is expected from the opening of the mannal training school next year.

Much praiso is bestowed upon the Lincoln High School for colored people. It was* hampered for several years by tho difficulty of obtaining competent colored teachers, This has at last been overcome, and the instruction is rapidly advancing in satisfactory, benign work.

The report indulges at much length in observations on many subjects, as the school and citizenship, the principal and the teacher, suggestions to principals on management, etc. It admits that more rapid improvement is needed in many schools. The following paragraph concerning enrollment, attendance, etc., wo give :

“The total enrollment for the year is 20,008, a gain of 819 over last year's total enrollment. Tho average number belonging is 15,286, also a gain of 667 over last year, and the average daily attendance is 14,535, gain of 770 over last year, while the teaching force remained practically the same.”

School children are allowed very generous privileges in the public library. What is called a children's room has been set apart for several years for udvanced pupils. These facilities aro to be larger in the coming new library, and that special department is to be presided over by a librarian who has become thoroughly acquainted with all varieties of child literature.


The report ending in June, 1895, is made by F. W. Brockman, president of the school board organization, followed by one from F. Louis Soldan, superintendent.

Very large expenditures of school funds were made during the year, owing to peculiar circumstances. There has been a notable shifting of population toward the west, northwest, and southwest, so rapid as to be quite in advance of the means aceruing for the provision of school facilities. As current revenues were not at all sufficient, it was decided to sell a part of what is known as the permanent fund property, rather than submit the citizens to additional tax during a period of unusual financial exigency.

Enrollment of school children in day schools during the year was 70,428, with average of attendance of 51,014 and seating capacity of 59,668 seats. As many as eight night schools were held from October to March, two of which were for colored pupils, whose attendance was over 2,000. Tho showing for kindergartens is good, being connected with fifty-four of the schools. We subjoin the following under thó head “ Teachers' relief fund:"

"At the biennial session of the legislature of this State, held this year, the act creating the fund for the relief of tho sick and superannuated teachers was passed.

The Teachers' Aid Association has labored many years in this noble work, and by the act of the legislature its hopes bave been crowned with success. It is to be regretted that the law could not be made so as to require a specific tax for the purpose, but under the circumstances all was done that could possibly be accomplished."

Notable attention is given to sanitation in the schools of St. Louis, the regulations as to which require much circumspection on the part of teachers both in school time and during the hours of recreation,

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