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The number reported as "employed at the same time for twenty-eight weeks or more,” has steadily increased since the passage of the act making twenty-eight weeks the legal school term, as will be seen by the table herewith subuitted : Years. .
No. employed No. employed in
12,068 15,478 1866
12,100 15,666 1867
12,598 16,596 1869.
12,806 17,140 The following table shows the ratio of the number of teachers to the number of scholars in the towns, cities, and in the State at large:
The following statement shows by whom the teachers employed in the schools were licensed :
By normal By supt. pub.
By local officers.
4,351 4,992 Rural districts.
The amount expended for teachers' wages wasYears.
Cities. Rural districts. Total. 1868..
$2,564, 592 90 $3,032, 914 04 $5,597, 506 94 1869.
2,790, 068 90 3, 302, 111 69 6,092, 180 59 Increase
$225, 476 00 $269, 197 65 $494, 673 63
The average annual salary for each teacher, calculated from the foregoing statements, was: In the cities, $642 87; in the rural districts, $257 86; in the State, $355 02.
The State provides for the training of its teachers in three ways: by teachers' classes in private academies; by normal schools; and by the holding of teachers' institutes in various parts of the State, paying the ries of the teachers during their attendance.
Teachers' classes have been maintained in ninety academies designated for that purpose by the board of regents, in conformity with the provisions of the law. There have been in attendance upon these classes 564 males and 1,001 females, making a total of 1,565.
NORMAL SCHOOLS. Six are now in successful operation, two having been opened within the last year. The buildings for two more are so far advanced as to insure their completion before September next. When all these school shall be in operation their maintenance will cost the State annually about $140,000. The only requital that is expected for this outlay is the service of the graduates as teachers in our public schools, for such compensation as their superior qualifications will command. Table showing the prominent facts, with a statement of the receipts and expenditures for the
Albany-State normal 1844 1844 $75,000 00 $3,000 00 $6,000 00 $84, 000 00 671 1,038 1,709
school. Brockport–Normal and 1866 1867 110, 000 004, 300 00 8, 364 00 122, 664 00 8 10
training school. Buffalo-Normaland train. 1867 ing school.
100, 000 00* Cortland-Normal and 1866 1869 89, 500 00 6,500 00 2,000 00 98,000 00
training school. Fredonia-Normal and 1866 1867 97,900 00
training school. Geneseo-Wadsworth nor-1867
70,000 00* mal and training school. Oswego-Normal . and 1863 1863 60, 000 00 5,500 00 9,000 00 74, 500 00 20 294 314
training school. Potsdam-Normal and 1866 1869 84, 818 00 3,998 00 6,033 00 94,849 00
TEACHERS' INSTITUTES. Fifty-six institutes were held in fifty-five counties during the calendar year 1869, with an attendance of 3,009 male, and 6,486 female teachers, making a total of 9,495. The sessions have generally been two weeks in duration,
The average number attending each institute has never been exceeded. The attendance of male teachers was greater than ever before. The aggregate attendance was 78.8 per cent. of the whole number of teachers employed for “twenty-eight weeks or more" in the counties where institutes were held.
The special work of the institute in imparting professional instruction in regard to improved methods of teaching, in stimulating teachers to greater zeal and activity, and in promoting uniformity of plan and management in the schools of each county, is one of leading importance. Unless the schools are supplied with competent teachers, the money expended for their support is wasted, and the valuable time of thousands of youth is worse than squandered. Until other agencies shall have been greatly multiplied, institutes must be relied upon for that work.
Comparative summary for the ten years ending December 31, 1869.
The condition of the school district libraries is notorious. To describe it wonld be simply to rehearse, with little variation, the oft-repeated story of neglect and waste, that may be found in every annual report from this department for the last fifteen years. Popular indifference is much to blame for this deplorable condition; but the lax policy of the State, which has permitted the library money to be used for other purposes, is still more culpable. Except in the comparatively few cases of villages and populous districts where the amount of money received has been considerable, and has been faithfully applied, the system (if such it can properly be called, as now regulated by law) is little better than a bungling device to fritter away $55,000 annually, under the pretense of increasing, but with the practical effect, as the statistics show, of reducing the number of books from year to year. A plan, originally framed to befriend libraries, has been vitiated by later enactments, so that it has operated to rob them, destroy respect for them, and well nigh ruin them.
But in 1858 a provision was adopted allowing the districts, upon certain conditions, which have been sometimes complied with, but more frequently disregarded, to use the money for apparatus and teachers' wages. The decline was thereby accelerated, and bas continued without interruption, so that, in 1858, the whole number
of volumes was 1,402,253; in 1863, 1,172,404; in 1868, 1,064,830 ; in 1869, 1,026,130. Thus it appears that sinco 1853 there has been a decrease of more than half a million in the number of books reported, notwithstanding there has been apportioned to the districts $880,000 of library money,
The returns show that the instances are rare in which even the ceremony of asking consent to divert the funds has been complied with.
According to the returns, the total numoer of Indian children, between the ages of five and twenty-one years, residing upon reservations in this State on the 30th day of September, 1869, was 372 less than the number at the corresponding date in the preceding year,
Neither the aggregate nor the average daily attendance upon these schools has been so large as during the preceding year. The cost of their maintenance was $1,000 less than in 1868, chiefly because there has been less building and repairing of schoolhouses.
It is now about fourteen years since the State assumed the charge of providing for the education of the Indian children living within her borders. The results of the policy, although not discouraging, are not strongly marked. The Indians are a pecufiar race of people, and any attempt to jndge them by the standard of merit set up for ourselves will produce impressions of Indian character altogether unfavorable. They are decidedly averse to work and study. Nevertheless, as it is evident they must work, or die
out altogether, it seems proper that the effort to teach them how to work advantageously should be continued.
The number of schools in operation during the past year was 26; and the average length of time in session about thirty-three weeks. The number of teachers employed was 39, of whom 17 were Indians. The number of pupils registered as having attended school some portion of the year is 1,002; and the average daily attendance amounted to 482. The total expenditures for these schools amounted to $6,834 44.
INSTITUTION FOR DEAF-MUTES.
The State of New York has not neglected the education of those who are in charitable institutions. Prominent among these is the institution for deaf-mutes. Established nearly fifty-three years ago, it has developed into the largest and, perhaps, the most complete and thorough institution of its kind in existence. It constantly employs a corps of 28 skilled teachers, 16 of whom are educated deaf-mutes. The course of instruction, which has been tested by fifty years successful experience, remains unchanged except in details. The language of signs has, in this institution, always been the great instrument of instruction, and has been so improved that a distinctive sign may now be used for every word in the English language. Instruction in articulation has not been neglected, although it is confined mostly” to those pupils who retain a remnant of speech or hearing.". Experiments are, however, being made to test the possibility of conferring material benefit by this kind of instruction upon those entirely deaf and dumb.
The number of pupils remaining in the institution December 31, 1869, was 535, an increase of 45 over the number reported last year. Of these, 337 are State pupils, 142 are supported by counties, 33 by the State of New Jersey, and the remaining 23 by their own friends or by the institution. The appropriation of $105,000 for the support of State pupils during the current fiscal year will prove amplo.
NEW YORK INSTITUTION FOR THE BLIND. Under existing provisions of law no pupils are supported in this institution at the expense of the State, except those from the counties of New York and Kings. The number of pupils in the institution is, however, quite as large as at any time heretofore. The total number under instruction during the year was 157. Of these, 21 have been discharged in consequence of expiration of terms, leaving in the institution, at the close of the calendar year, 136, of whom 64 are males and 72 are females.
As the law now stands, children under twelve years of age cannot be appointed State pupils. It is claimed by the managers of the institution, and generally concurred in by all who have knowledge of such matters, that this restriction is injurious, as it operates to deprive pupils of the means of acquiring an education until a time in life so late that there has been opportunity for the contraction of bad habits, which the patient labor of months, perhaps of years, hardly suffices to eradicate. The State institution for the blind, at Batavia, is hampered by no such conditions; but is permitted to receive all blind persons residing within the State, excepting those from tho counties of New York and Kings, who, in the opinion of the board of managers, may be “ of suitable age and capacity for instruction."
NEW YORK CITY.
From the annual report of the board of education for the year ending December 31, 1869, including the report of the president of the board, Hon. R. L. Larremore, and that of the city superintendent, Hon. S. S. Randall, with those of three assistant superintendents, the following brief extracts have been made: Total population of the city, (census, June 1870,).....
926, 341 Number of youth in the city of school age, (five to twenty-one,)...
Not given. Number enrolled in public schools.
235, 032 Average attendance..
102, 892 Number of schools.
268 Number of teachers.
2,411 Receipts for the year
$3, 164,983 62 Expenditures for the year....
$2,961, 361 20 Value of school property.
Not given. The following detailed statement of the various classes of schools and number of pupils taught in them, is from the report of the president of the board.
WHOLE NUMBER OF SCHOOLS.*
Grammar schools and primary departments
68,813 150, 316 Colored schools.
17, 182 43, 477 Evening schools
795 2, 000 Normal schools
8,706 19, 537 496
216, 280 *A committee appointed by resolution of the board of education to examino "into the whole public school system," reports that there are 117 schools in the department of public instruction in the city of New York," and that “the whole number of schools and departments is 239,"-Report of 1869, p. 30.
The College of the City of New York is connected with, and forms a part of, our system of public instruction; it is under the management of the twelve school commissioners who constitute the board of trustees of the college.
The college has, besides the president, eleven professors, fifteen tutors and instructors, and eight other officers, including librarians and janitors; the aggregate annual salaries of all being $90,223 50.
The only building devoted to the use of this college contains twenty recitation-rooms, two lecture-rooms, two drawing-rooms, one chapel, one library, one laboratory, two offices for the president, apartments for the janitor, and several store-rooms. The valuo of the building and grounds is estimated at $150,000.
SATURDAY NORMAL SCHOOL.
"This institution, under the immediate charge of Assistant Superintendent Kiddle,* as principal, aided by Assistant Superintendents Harrison and Caikins, and several of our most experienced teachers, continues to exert a highly beneficial influence upon our system of public instruction."
The first two weeks of the term are always characterized by a very large attendance, especially in the male schools, where boys assemble to have what they term “a good time,” which consists in annoying inexperienced teachers.
Nearly one-third of the pupils enrolled in the evening schools left in less than one month, and about 42 per cent. continued to the close of the term. Of this number there was an evident want of regularity in attendance, as the certificates were awarded to 4,677 pupils, or about 27 per cent. of the registered number. There were many persons who caused there names to be registered, but as they came only for two or three nights they were stricken off the roll and not counted. The greatest irregularity in the attendance is seen to be in the male schools. In view of this fact, as well as others, I recommended in my report of last year the expediency of opening separate schools for adults, where they could come together without being associated with the younger class of children. Thousands would now attend, but their pride of feeling forbids them to go to a school where small boys, knowing more than they, are members, but who would joyfully attend were all adults. A few schools of this class might be opened as an experiment, and if successful others might be added. Those above sixteen years of age, and especially those over twenty-one, come to learn, and unless detained away by political excitement, which occurs at every annual election, they generally are found in their class-rooms eagerly acquiring knowledge. No one can enter them and not have the most pleasureable emotions excited in beholding their earnest endeavors to improve their minds. An evening school was opened about the middle of November, in the penitentiary on Blackwell's Island. Out of 360 prisoners, over 200 voluntarily bave had their names enrolled as members of the five classes into which the school is divided.
* Now city superintendent.