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Public kindergarten statistics were given for the first time in the report of last year. The following statement compares the returns of the present report with those of the last :
EDUCATIONAL MUSEUM, Paris EXHIBITION, STATE EXHIBIT OF
DRAWING, AND STATE EXAMINATION AND CERTIFICATION
OF TEACHERS. Educational Museum. - In accordance with authority granted by the Legislature of 1899, the school material sent to the Columbian Exposition in 1893, and subsequently stored to the extent of about one hundred boxes in the Latin school building of Boston, to await its display in the museum or such other disposition of it as might be ordered, has been returned to the towns that sent it, or distributed among the normal schools. The apparatus, maps and other teaching material that had begun to accumulate in the museum have been divided among the normal schools. The bound volumes of the Chicago exhibit, as well as such material in general as can be conveniently displayed on shelves, like books in a library, are retained in the museum room, and make a collection whose value cannot but increase as the years go by, — the nucleus, it may prove to be, of that educational collection of the future which Massachusetts will make when there is a deeper and more general interest in such things.
Paris Exposition. — As the educational exhibit of the United States at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 is to be a unit for the nation, with contributions thereto by such portions of the country as can best or most conveniently make them, there is neither need nor room for separate State exhibits, though credit will be given to States and cities represented in the national exhibit. The Board of Education has contributed a complete set of its annual reports from the beginning, numbering 62 volumes; also a complete set of school reports for 1898 from the 353 towns and cities of the State, bound in 23 volumes; with a few additional volumes of catalogues, special reports and so on. Selections of drawings from the State exhibit, photographs of school buildings from various parts of the State, various sorts of material from the city of Boston, — all this, with other matter, will insure, it is thought, a fair representation of Massachusetts in the comparatively small exhibit to which the country is restricted.
State E.chibit of Drawing. — For a full account of the State exhibit of drawing, reference should be made to a special report thereon, by Henry T. Bailey, printed in the Appendix. To do justice to what the State is doing, the next exhibit should be held in some generous place, like the Mechanics' building, where more material can be shown than it was possible to display in Copley and Allston halls. Only a part of the State was represented there, and, of the material contributed by this part, but little more than half could be shown. The original pruning of material by the supervisors of drawing before they sent it in, and the still further pruning of that material after it had been sent in, injured the continuity of the several lines of work which it was important to show, and so obscured, to some extent, both the aims and the success of the supervisors in their instruction. Nevertheless, the exhibition showed admirable work enough to delight the friends of art instruction in the schools, and fair work enough to justify the instruction that yielded it. The teachers of drawing, throughout the State, with few exceptions, visited the exhibit and made a careful study of its lessons. The enlightenment that comes both to teachers and the public from an occasional exhibit of the work of the schools is exceedingly valuable; the uplift it gives both to the teacher's instruction and the public's appreciation of it is beyond estimate. The appropriation for the exhibit at Copley and Allston halls was $1,500. To organize a State exhibit on the larger scale needed and for a longer time than a single week would require a much larger sum.
State Certification and Examination of Teachers. — The situation continues as fully explained in previous reports,
the work of the office annually increasing, the secretary already taxed to the limit of physical endurance, the spirit of the law forbidding the prolonged or permanent withdrawal of any agent from his field to take charge of the contemplated examination, and the law, therefore, still inoperative. The appropriation for the purpose should be much larger than the meagre sum of $500, and adequate provision should be made for a competent person or persons to do, under the general direction of the office, the high order of work which the law practically requires. There are fine possibilities for toning up the preparation of teachers under the voluntary system, which the law aims to establish but unfortunately fails to make adequate provision for.
MASSACHUSETTS AND THE NATION. Data from the Report of the United States Commissioner of Education. — From the report of Dr. W. T. Harris, United States commissioner of education, the following comparative statement of educational data for the State and the nation has been prepared :
XXXVI. Table comparing Massachusetts School Data with United
States School Data.
1. General Statistics. Total population, Number of persons five to eighteen years of
age, Number of different pupils enrolled on the
school registers, . Per cent. of total population enrolled, Per cent. of persons five to eighteen years of
teen years of age,
Whole number of teachers,
All other sources,
Total expenditures, .
Total expenditure per pupil,
Sites, buildings, etc.,
All other purposes,
(in cents): –
Massachusetts in the General Statistics of the Country. — The number of children in Massachusetts between five and eighteen years of age is taken from the census of 1890, and the number of such children enrolled in Massachusetts is estimated, since the Massachusetts count of pupils within specific age limits stops with the number between five and fifteen.
The per cent. of the total population enrolled in the public schools is less for Massachusetts than for the United States (being a little over 18 per cent. for the former and a little less than 21 per cent. for the latter). This is because (1) Massachusetts has a smaller number of children to every 100 persons of the population than any other State in the Union east of the Rocky Mountains, New Hampshire excepted (23 per hundred, very nearly, in Massachusetts, as opposed to 30 per hundred, very nearly, in the United States); and (2) because Massachusetts has more private school pupils relatively than any other State, Rhode Island and Connecticut excepted (nearly 14 per cent. of the total public and private school enrolment for Massachusetts, as opposed to about 8 per cent. for the United States).
The proportion of the children between five and eighteen who are enrolled in the public schools is greater for Massachusetts than for the country at large. So also the ratio of the daily attendance to the entire enrolment is higher for Massachusetts than for any other State, Illinois excepted.
The average length of the school year is higher for Massachusetts than for any other State, Rhode Island and Connecticut excepted; and the average number of days attended by each pupil in the total enrolment of Massachusetts is the highest, without exception, in the United States.
With the exception of New Hampshire, no other State employs so small a proportion of male teachers as Massachusetts (only 9 per cent., as opposed to 32 per cent. for the country). Indeed, it is a serious question whether the State has not gone altogether too far in this disproportion. Is it not, however, an indication of increased power in the women teachers of Massachusetts, on the one hand, and of increased docility and refinement in the boys and girls of Massachusetts, on the other, that the schools of Massachusetts are, on the whole, so efficiently managed, in spite of this disproportion? The proportion of male teachers in Arkansas is nearly 64 per cent.,
the highest in the Union ; in Alabama, 63 per cent. ; in West