« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
UNITED STATES DEPOSIT FUND. - In 1836, the revenue of the United States being in excess of the expenditures, Congress passed an act authorizing the deposit of the surplus with the several States then coinposing the Union, in proportion to their representation in the Senate and House of Representatives; and on condition that the States should pledge their faith to repay the amounts without interest, when demanded. The amount received by New York was $1,014,520.71. This constitutes the capital of the United States Deposit Fund. The Legislature of New York accepted the deposit on the terms prescribed, and made laws as to the care and disposition of the fund and its revenue: 1. That the total revenue be devoted to education and the diffusion of knowledge. 2. That $110,000 of the annual revenue be appropriated to the snpport of cominon schools. 3. That $28,000 be annually transferred to the Literature Fund, to provide dividends to academies under the visitation of the Regents. The statutes directing the mode of distributing the revenue have been frequently modified. By the Constitution of 1846 the Literature Fund was declared to be devoted to education. According to the statutes at present in force, out of the income of the United States Deposit Fund, $25,000 is each year added to the principal of the School Fund; $28,000 is transferred to the revenue of the Literature Fund for dividends to academies; $75,000 is appropriated to the support of common schools ; $30,000 is appropriated for the instruction of teachers' classes, and $10,000 for the maintenance of advanced examinations in the academies, and $3,000 for aid to academies for the purchase of books and apparatus.
ACADEMIC EXAMINATIONS.— The Legislature appropriates annually $10,000, to be divided among the academies under the visitation of the Regents. The distribution is directed to be made in proportion to the number of students in each who are pursuing classical or higher English studies; that is, studies that are properly academic. Previous to 1866 the Regents relied on the returns of the academies to determine the number of qualified scholars. At this time they arranged to hold simultaneous written examinations in all the academies under their care, and to grant money in proportion to the number in attendance of those who could undergo this test. The subjects chosen were arithmetic, English grammar, geography and spelling. It was deemed just that only those who could pass a fair and reasonable examination in these subjects were finted to be classed as academic scholars. The first effect of this test was to reduce the
number of academic scholars from 21,947, claimed in 1865, to less than 6,000. From that point, owing to improved standards of instruction and to the increased attendance in academies, the number has steadily risen until, for the year ending June, 1884, it reached 10,873.
The influence of this practical supervision of the instruction was 80 salutary, and so much prized by the academies themselves, that the Legislature, in 1877, authorized its extension to advanced studies, and in 1880 made the future distribution of the Literature Fund depend, in part, upon the examinations in these studies. The Regents, in carrying out this branch of their work, laid down two courses of academic study, on the subjects of which they proposed to hold stated examinations. The first of these was intended to form a sufficient preparation for entering college, and was fixed after extended correspondence with college authorities. The other was designed as a course of English studies of a grade equal to the college entrance course. A liberal number of optional branches was arranged in order to meet the varying circumstances of schools in different localities. The candidates are allowed to offer the prescribed subjects in any order and any number, and are credited on the record when each is passed.
The examinations are held three times in the year. Printed questions are sent out, and the candidates, under every essential precaution, are required to write out answers. The papers of those who are claimed to have satisfied the requirements are sent to the office of the Regents where they are reviewed and their sufficiency or insufficiency deterinined. Appropriate certificates are issued and records kept. The preliminary examinations were begun in 1866, and the advanced examinations in 1878.
The following is a statement of the certificates issued upon these examinations up to and including the academic year, 1883-4.
As the studies in which the foregoing examinations are held compose the subjects in which instruction is given in the academies, a statement of these subjects is here given:
First. Before pupils are considered as fitted to enter upon studies, which are properly academic, and hence to be counted in the apportionment of the Literature Fund, they must have passed the Preliminary Examination, which includes arithmetic, English grammar, geography, reading and spelling, as requisites for the Regents’ Preliminary Certificate. Pass-cards are issued on passing in one or more of these subjects, and the preliminary certificate when all are passed.
The advanced examinations are arranged for two courses of study - the College Entrance Course, and the Academic Course. In the College Entrance Course, a diploma is granted on the completion of the entire group of subjects given in the fourth column.
In the Academic Course a diploma is granted for algebra (through quadratics), American history, physical geography, physiology, rhetoric and plane geometry, together with eight additional subjects, four to be chosen from group I, and four from group II. In each course a certificate of progress, termed an Intermediate Certificate, is granted, viz.: in the College Entrance Course for algebra (throngh quadratics), American îistory and Caesar's Commentaries, and in the Academic Course for algebra (through quadratics), American history, physical geography, physiology and rhetoric. The substitution of language studies for others in the Academic Course is allowed as follows, viz.: Cæsar's Commentaries and Xenophon's Anabasis for three subjects, Virgil's Æneid, French translation, or German translation, for two subjects, and Sallust's Catiline, Virgil's Eclogues, Cicero's Orations or Homer's Iliad, for one subject; except that for at least two subjects in group I, and two in group II, and for algebra (through quadratics), geometry and American history, no substitution will be allowed. Pass cards are issued to the candidate on passing in one or more of the subjects, and when they show a sufficient number of subjects passed, a claim, including the date of preliminary certificate, must be sent to the Regents' office by the principal, and the certificate or diploma, to which the holder is entitled, will be issued.
SUBJECTS OF THE ACADEMIC COURSE.
COLLEGE ENTRANCE COURSE.
Algebra (through quad- Book-keeping. Algebra (higher). Algebra (th. quad.) ratics). Civil Government. Astronomy.
American History. American History. English Literature. Botany.
Plane Geometry. Physical Geography. History of England. Chemistry.
Cæsar's Com., bks. Physiology. History of Greece. Drawing.
1-4. Rhetoric History of Rome. Geology.
Sallust's Catiline. Mental Philosophy. Physics.
Virgil's Æneid, Moral Philosophy. Plane Trigonomet'y.
books 1-6. SUBSTITUTES IN ACADEMIC Political Economy. Solid Geometry.
Virgil's Eclogues. COCRSE.
Cicero, six oratio's.
Latin Compositi'n. Latin and Greek, col. 4.
Xen. Anab., bs. 1-3. French translat'n at sight. Plane Geometry required for either Homer's Iliad, bks. Geripan translat'n at sight.
The magnitude of these examinations will appear from the following statement for the academic year 1883–84, showing the number of subjects to be thirty-nine, and the number of answer papers sent in and examined at the Regents’ office to be 66,028.
STATE GRANTS FOR BOOKS AND APPARATUS.- From the origin of the academic system the Board of Regents found it a valuable aid to academies to make special grants for the purchase of books, maps and globes, and philosophical apparatus. What had long been practiced was put in the form of a law in 1834, when the Regents were authorized to grant, for this purpose, sums not to exceed $250 in one year to any academy, on condition that the Trustees should raise an equal amount. This law was re-enacted in 1851, and the amount of the appropriation fixed at $3,000. This appropriation was increased to $6,000 by the Legislature in 1884. The Regents have established regulations in regard to the mode of making application for grants from this appropriation, and in regard to the
character of the articles to be purchased. In order to keep the plications within the limit of the appropriation, they have fixed the maximum grant at $150, and do not allow the same academy to apply for two successive years.
INSTRUCTION OF COMMON SCHOOL TEACHERS.— The plan of employing the academies of the State for the education of common school teachers was discussed as early as 1823. Among the laws of 1827 is one entitled “An act to
increase the Literature Fund and to promote the education of teachers.” Even before this date certain academies had established classes for educating teachers. In the Report of the Regents for 1832, prepared by General Dix, then a Regent, St. Lawrence Academy is commended as having established a course of study for teachers, and sent out eighty during the preceding year. And in the report of the next year the Canandaigua Academy is reported as having, during the past two years, educated not less than fifty teachers. The Regents in their reports express regret that by law they could not make any discrimination in favor of academies which should inaintain such classes. Their establishment was at this time purely voluntary. But in 1834 the Legislature passed an act authorizing the Regents to distribute the surplus of the revenue of the Literature Fund, which should remain over $12,000, among the academies which should maintain classes for educating common school teachers. The Regents in carrying out this law in 1835, selected eight academies, one in each Senatorial district, to give this instruction; and appropriated $4,000 for the first organization of these departments of instruction, and $400 per annum to each for its support. When the United States Deposit Fund was received by the State the appropriations for this purpose were augmented. The number of academies was increased to sixteen, viz.: Two in each district. Aid was extended in the purchase of books and apparatus. Subsequent changes were made, both by legislation and by ordinance of the Regents, in the management of this service. Great difficulties were experienced in selecting the institutions to give the instruction. The payment made by the State for instructing a class was eagerly sought after, and it became an ungracious task to decide between applicants. Besides this, as the number of classes was increased it became impossible to give them the requisite supervision.
The present system, which has been reached after many trials, and which was embodied in chapter 318 of the Laws of 1882, is, to appoint each year a varying number of academies to instruct teachers'