Page images
PDF
EPUB

up, and after an appropriate address, shall read from the Cards with a distinct and audible tone of voice, the letters of the Alphabet: In like manner, the first division of the same class, shall read in words of ope and two syllables; and no one of this class shall be advanced to the third or higher class, who cannot read deliberately and correctly in monosyllables and dissyllables.

Rule 2. The third class must be furnished with the Spelling Book adopted by the Board, and the second division of it must be taught to read therefrom in words of three, four and five syllables. The first division of the same must be continued in their spelling, and advance to the easy reading lessons of the same book, and learn the Lord's Prayer: the learning of Abbreviations and Numbers is to be commenced, and no one is to be promoted to the second class, who cannot spell with ease and propriety words of the above syllables, and read well in the easier lessons of the said Spelling Book.

Rule 3. The second class must proceed in the Spelling Book, through all the spelling, reading and other lessons of the same; and be taught to recite well the Ten Commandments; must be provided with the book of Reading Lessons, and make progress therein; and no one of this class can be advanced to the first, who has not learned and recited, as far as practicable, all the lessons in the Spelling Book, including the stops and marks, and their uses in reading; the use of the common abbreviations; the letters used for numbers and their uses; and the catalogue of words of similar sound, but different in spelling and signification. They must be able also to recite the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer, and to read correctly and readily in the book of Reading Lessons.

Rule 4. The first class shall be continued and perfected in the lessons of the Spelling Book and book of Reading Lessons; be furnished with the New Testament, and taught to read therein fluently and correctly; and no one of the first class shall receive the highest reward—the recommendation of the examining Committee, to be received into an English Grammar School-unless he or she can spell correctly, read deliberately and audibly, has learned the several lessons taught in the second class, and is of good behavior.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS; MADE TO THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE

OF NEW-YORK, MARCH 13, 1826.

[The liberal and enterprising spirit which characterises the public measures of New-York, is by no means confined to schemes of topographical improvement and physical resource. The efforts which that state has made for the wide diffusion of the blessings of education, have raised her to honorable eminence among the members of the national union. The extracts which we have made from the annual Report on Schools will, we presume, be read with much interest. The document from which our present article is taken, reflects, we may add, no ordinary credit on the style in which public business is conducted in the state of New-York-both in regard to the prompt compliance so generally manifested with the requisitions of the acts of legislature,* and the perspicuous and accurate style in which the Report is presented.]

State of New-York, Secretary's office Albany, March 13, 1826. The Secretary of State, in obedience to the act for the support of common schools,' passed April 12, 1819, respectfully submits the annual report required of him by the act of April 3d, 1821, as superintendent of common schools.

The second section of the act of 1819, makes it the duty of the superintendent of common schools,

*To prepare and report estimates and accounts of expenditures of the school moneys:

To digest and prepare, and report to the legislature, plans for the improvement and management of the common school fund, and for the better organisation of common schools:' "To apportion the moneys to be distributed for the support

of common schools:'

And generally, 'to give information to the legislature respecting all matters which may appertain to his office.

Under the first head, will be embraced the present condition and progress of common schools.

There are 714 towns and wards in the state; of this number, 700 have made returns in conformity with the law.

From these abstracts it will be seen, that 425,350 children have been taught in the common schools during the

year 1825; the general average of instruction having been about eight months.

• We would invite the particular attention of our readers to the following fact mentioned in the Report. There are 714 towns and wards in the state ; and of these 700 have made returns according to law. Fourteen only then it would ap. pear have not complied with the act requiring returns. We cannot refrain from expressing our hope that, when the returns of our own State are presented to the legislature, the proportion may be equally creditable to Massachusetts. It is with regret we have learned that one town in this state bas actually voted a refusal to comply with the requisitions of the late act for the improvement of common schools. We hope this exception will be found a solitary one.

That there are in this state, in the towns which have made reports, 7773 school districts, and of course the like number of common schools organised, and that returns have been received from 7117 of those districts.

That 131 new school districts have been formed during the year 1825, and that the number of districts which have made returns, exceeds that of the preceding year by 241.

That the sum of $ 182,790 09 cents has been paid to the several districts during the year 1825, out of the moneys drawn from the state treasury, from the local school fund, and from the amount raised by tax.

The number of children taught has increased 22,410 in the last year, and it will be perceived that the number of children instructed, exceeds by 29,764, the whole number of children between the ages of five and fifteen. This disparity is readily accounted for, when it is considered, that many attend the schools who are over fifteen and under five

years

of

age. It is gratifying to observe, as indicative of a more general attention to the means of education, that whilst the whole number of children returned between the ages of five and fifteen has increased only 12,086, the number of children instructed under the common school system, has increased 22,410.

The first distribution of school money was made in 1816. The number of children reported as having been taught in that year, was 140,106—the number between five and fifteen was then stated at 176,449, exceeding the number taught by 36,343. In 1925, the number taught was more than treble that of 1816, and the excess is nearly 30,000 in favor of those instructed.

Revenue. The amount of the capital of the common school fund is $ 1,319, 886 46 cents. The revenue actually received from this fund in 1825, was $ 81,815 41 cents.

In addition to this fund, the constitution provides, that 'the proceeds of all lands belonging to this state, which shall hereafter be sold or disposed of,' shall belong to the fund for the support of common schools. The construction given to this provision in the constitution, by the commissioners of the land office, is, that it embraces all lands which were unappropriated at the time the constitution was adopted.

In a report of the surveyor-general, (Assembly Journals, 1825, p. 1041,) these lands are computed at 853,090 acres, and valued at 406,418 dollars.

As the additions to the school fund from the sale of lands, must necessarily be gradual, and in no degree commensurate with the VOL, I.

50

[ocr errors]

were

rapid increase of the children to be instructed, it is most respectfully recommended, that the amount to be distributed the coming year, be increased to one hundred thousand dollars.

In reference to the requirement in the law, to report plans for the better organisation of common schools,' the superintendent thinks it incumbent on him to remark, that as he has but just en. tered upon the duties of the office, he has not had an opportunity of observing the general operation and effects of the system, and would therefore feel a diffidence in suggesting any alterations of the existing laws, or of varying the regulations made in conformity to those laws. The system has now been in operation about ten years, and the unexampled success which has attended it, is its best commentary. The law of 1819, and the forms and abstracts, originally drawn and designed by Gideon HAWLEY, Esq. And it is due to justice to say, that it was this gentleman who gave form and comeliness' to the whole system; and up to this time, no ma. terial alteration has been found necessary in the system, as arranged and put in operation by Mr. Hawley.

A new apportionment of school money, graduated by the census recently taken, will soon be made out, in conformity to law.

The representatives of a free state, will always feel the importance of fostering primary schools, in a government which is peculiarly based upon the virtue and intelligence of the great body of the people. The common school system embraces in its organisation about 425,000 children, being more than one-fourth of the whole population of the state. There are nearly eight thousand organised school districts, each of which it is necessary should be supplied with an able teacher, in order to give full effect to the system. Some provision which should have a tendency to increase the number of qualified instructers, would do much towards elevating the character, and extending the usefulness of common schools. It might be beneficial to offer facilities for the special education of common school teachers; and as the districts progress in wealth, and the donation of the state is increased, inducements will be furnished for a greater number of persons of competent talents, to engage in the business of teaching, as a profession.

The following papers accompany this report:

Abstract from the returns of common schools in the several towns and counties, for 1825. Summary of this abstract. School report from the city of New-York. A comparative view of the re, turns of common schools since 1816 inclusive. Common school

[ocr errors]

fund. Amount of local school fund. Lands belonging to the school fund.*

All which is respectfully submitted,
A. C. FLAGG, Superintendent of Common Schools.

CAPT. PARTRIDGe's LECTURE, [That our ideas of the general value of military science are not so high as those of Capt. Partridge, we freely admit. Many of that gentleman's thoughts, however, on the subject of practical education, are both original and valuable; and that his persevering and successful efforts for the improvement of instruction deserve to be recorded in a work such as ours, there can, we think, be no question.]

The following paragraphs are. extracted from Capt. Partridge's preliminary statements in his ‘Lecture on Education.'

I shall define elementary education, in its most perfect state, to be the preparing of a youth in the best possible manner for the correct discharge of the duties of any station in which he may be placed, and consequently, shall consider as most perfect that system which shall be found best calculated to accomplish the object in view. The system of education adopted in the United States, appears to me to be defective in many respects; and

1st. It is not sufficiently practical, nor properly adapted to the various duties an American citizen may be called upon to discharge. Those of our youth who are destined for a liberal education, as it is called, are usually put, at an early age, to the study of the Latin and Greek lang lages, combining therewith a very slight attention to their own language, the elements of arithmetic, &c.; and after having devoted several years in this way, they are prepared to be come members of a college or university.

Here they spend four years for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the higher branches of learning; after which, they receive their diplomas, and are supposed to be prepared to enter on the duties of active life. But, I would ask, is this actually the case? Are they prepared in the best possible manner to discharge correctly, the duties of any station in which fortune or inclination may place them? Have they been instructed in the science of government generally, and more especially in the principles of our excel

These documents form a series of tabular details which would occupy too much space in our pages : the extracts given in the above article contain the amounts of the more important columns. For further particulars, we refer such of our readers as have leisure for its perusal to the Report itself, which is well worth their attention.--Ed.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »