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The Board of District School Trustees consists of three persons annually appointed by the County School Commissioners. They appoint and remove teachers for their respective districts, decide within certain limits what 'branches shall be taught, and attend to all repairs, and charge the cost among the incidental expenses of the school.
The County Examiner is required to visit the various schools in his jurisdiction at least twice every year, and make quarterly reports of his observations to the County Board.
Schools, free to all whites between six and twenty-one years of age, are required to be kept open in every school-house district for ten months during every year. The school year is divided into four terms.
Teachers cannot be employed unless holding a certificate of qualification from the County Examiner, or from the State Board of Education, or a graduate's diploma from the State Normal School.
Teachers' salaries are fixed by the Board of County School Commissioners, who also decide upon the text-books to be used. The latter must contain nothing of a sectarian or partisan character.
The State Normal School is under the control of the State Board of Education, who appoint a principal at a salary of $2,500 per annum. The Normal School is required by law to be located at Baltimore, and is free as regards tuition and textbooks for those preparing to teach.
The annual sum of $10,500 is appropriated for the support of the Normal School, and the principal is allowed his traveling expenses in attending meetings of Teachers' Institutes and superintending the schools throughout the State.
A Teachers' Institute is held once a year in each county. Time is always given, and generally traveling expenses allowed in part.
County Associations, District Associations, and the State Teachers' Association, are recognized and encouraged by law.
A small appropriation ($10 a year) is allowed for a Library in each School District.
The School Fund consists of an accumulated Free School Fund made up from a variety of sources, and of a State tax of twelve cents (not ten, as printed in the law) on the $100, for the support of the Free Schools (white and colored) and the State Normal School. A county school tax can be levied at the discretion of the county officers, varying in practice from ten cents to twenty-five cents on the $100.
There are no rate-bills, and no local taxation. In a few instances teachers' salaries are supplemented by a voluntary subscription.
The County School Commissioners are required to establish one or more Free Schools in each election district for colored youth between six and twenty years of age; these schools to be under the direction of a special Board of Trustees, appointed by the Board of County School Commissioners, subject to the same laws, and furnishing instruction in the same branches as the schools for the white children. Colored schools have been established in every county in the State, and it is thought that the number of scholars in attendance this year will amount to twenty thousand. At the last annual meeting of the School Commissioners of the State, a resolution was adopted calling for a larger appropriation of money for the support of Public Schools, which the late Legislature endorsed by raising the appropriation from $50,000 to $100,000.
EIGHT YEARS' PROGRESS. The following tables show the educational progress made in Maryland since 1865, when the first State School System went into operation. The figures for 1865 do not include Baltimore city.
1865-66. 1873-'74. Average number attending school...... 43, 750.... 60, 817 Total number of different pupils...... 64,793.... 130,324 Number of teachers.................. 1,533....
2,555 Whole number of schools........
1,742 Amount paid for teachers' salaries..... $356,680 50.... $889,486 47 Amount paid for building, repairing,
and furnishing school-houses... $20,078 41.... $197,387 10 State school tax....................$256,930 78.... $268, 804 71 Free school fund........... ......... $95,762 56.... $48,735 18 State donations for public schools..... $16,500 oo.... $13,000 00 Total receipts of school revenues......$514,154 94 ....$1,354,066 71 Total disbursements ..... ........$477,425 63.... $1,354,066 71 Cash on hand..
.... $44,541 20
Hon. JOSEPH WHITE, LL.D., Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, was born at Charlemont, Franklin County, Mass., November 18, 1811, where he resided till the beginning of his eighteenth year, when he commenced the double task of teaching school and fitting for College, pursuing his preparatory studies at Bennington, Vermont. He entered Williams College in 1832, and graduated in 1836, with one of the highest honors of his class. After teaching nearly a year, he commenced the study of law in Troy, New York. He was a tutor in Williams College in the years 1839-40. He practiced law in Troy, from May, 1841, to December, 1848, when he removed to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he had charge of a large manufacturing corporation. He represented the county of Middlesex in the Senate during the session of 1857, and was Chairman of the Joint Committee on Education. He was Bank Commissioner nearly three years, from April, 1858. He was chosen a Trustee of Williams College in 1848, and Treasurer in 1859, and removed to Williamstown in 1860, where he still resides. January, 1861, he entered upon the duties of the office of Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, which office he still holds. He has ever been the earnest advocate of the most ample provisions, at the public expense, for the most thorough education of all the children of the Commonwealth, as their indefeasible right, and as the only sure basis of the stability of free institutions -one of the results of which has been the increase of the number of High Schools in the State—from 108 in 1861, to over 190 at the present time.
EDUCATION IN THE PAST.
THE first educational ordinance in Massachusetts bears date of 1642. It enjoined the Selectmen of every town “to keep a vigilant eye over their brethren and neighbors, seeing to it that they teach their children and apprentices, by themselves or others, so much learning as may enable them to read the English tongue, and the capital laws, upon penalty of twenty shillings for each neglect therein." The Constitution of 1780 contained a section from the pen of John Adams, to the effect that wisdom and knowledge were necessary for the preservation of the people's rights and liberties, and that these depended on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people. In 1789, towns were required by a general act to sustain schools wherein children could be taught to read and write, “and instructed in the English language, arithmetic, orthography, and decent behavior.” In 1825, a Commission was appointed by the Legislature to prepare a system for liberally educating persons unable to obtain a collegiate education. In 1826 Town School Committees were provided for by legislative enactment. In
1827, the Legislature thoroughly revised the school laws. All towns were authorized to raise as much money as they might deem necessary for school purposes. In 1834, children under fifteen years of age were prohibited from working in factories unless they had attended school during three months of the preceding year. In 1836 and 1837 the school laws again underwent revision. A Board of Education was instituted; school districts were authorized to expend $50 for the first year and $10 for each succeeding year, in establishing and maintaining libraries. In 1842, the Normal Schools were for the first time designated as State Normal Schools, and $6,000 annually for three years were appropriated to continue them. In 1846 the Legislature for the first time made an appropriation for the support of Teachers' Institutes. In 1850, the Board of Education was authorized to supply every school district with a copy of Worcester's or Webster's large dictionary. In 1853, the Legislature established free State Scholarships in the various colleges in the State, but the act creating them was repealed in 1866. In 1857, the following amendment to the State Constitution was ratified : “No person shall have the right to vote or be eligible to office under the Constitution of this Commonwealth who shall not be able to read the Constitution in the English language, and write his name, unless prevented by physical disability from complying with the requirement, and unless he already enjoys the right to vote. All moneys raised by taxation in towns and cities for the support of public schools, and all moneys appropriated by the State for the support of common schools shall never be appropriated to any religious sect for the maintenance exclusively of its own schools." In 1857, towns were authorized to establish evening as well as day schools. '. In 1871, the Legislature appropriated $10,000 from the School Fund for the maintenance of Special Agents of the Board of Education, whose duties conform to a certain extent to those of County Superintendents in other States.
PRESENT SCHOOL SYSTEM. The State Board of Education (established in 1837) comprises the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and eight persons appointed by the Governor, holding their positions eight years, and one retiring each year in the order of appointment. The following are the names of the present Board, of which the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor are ex officio members: Phillips Brooks, Henry Chapin, Alonzo A. Miner, Gardiner G. Hubbard, William Rice, Constantine C. Esty, Edward B. Gillett, C. C. Hussey: The act organizing this Board virtually entrusts the school interests of the State to the charge of the members, and requires them to submit annually to the Legislature a detailed report of all their doings, with such observations for perfecting the school system as their observation and experience may suggest.
The Secretary of the Board is the executive officer, his functions being similar to those of State Superintendents. The law requires him among other things to collect and disseminate as widely as possible, through every part of the Commonwealth, “ all valuable educational information." Horace Mann was the first secretary.
There is also a General Agent, whose time is devoted to visiting schools, conferring with school committees and teachers, lecturing on educational topics, and, in general, “ doing as the Secretary would do, if he were present.” Abner J. Phipps, Ph.D., has filled this position since 1867.
Samuel C. Jackson, D.D., is Clerk of the Board, and Acting Librarian of the State Library, the Secretary being nominally the Librarian.
A School Committee of three persons, or a number which is a multiple of three, is elected in each town, to examine teachers, visit schools, and to have a general oversight of the schools of the town. In the cities, and some of the larger towns, the school committee appoints a Superintendent, who has the immediate charge of the schools. The School Committee select the school books for their respective towns, and no change can be made except by unanimous vote, unless the committee consists of more than nine persons.
Prudential Committees are elected in some of the towns, and perform some of the duties of the School Committees.
Every town having five hundred or more families is required to maintain a public High School. Provision for the special education of teachers is made in five State Normal Schools, three of which are for both sexes, and two for female teachers only.
A Girls' High and Normal School and a Training School are