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reading circles. Supt. P. M. Smith of Placer spoke on the continuity of institute work, and gave some practical suggestions on how to secure good results.
Supt. J. A. Wagener of Stanislaus then addressed the convention on “Trustees Meetings." Mr. Kirk, in introducing him, spoke of his success, and the success of Mr. Hyatt in this direction. Superintendent Wagener said that the trustees meetings did not meet the needs of today. The trustee who needed advice, instruction, and “working up,” was not the trustee that came out to the meetings. Superintendents should personally visit the trustees and interest them by face to face talks in school affairs.
Superintendents Grove, Donnelly, Chipman, White, Barker, Miss Poore and others spoke on the teachers' institutes, and improvements to be made. The concensus of opinion seemed to be that the present institute had outlived its usefulness; that the summer school and the improvement in the normal school would gradually make a change in the present law necessary. In the meantime, the present law should be made as effective as possible by getting the best possible program for each institute. Some of the discussions were extremely witty, as well as wise. Superintendent Donnelly's reference to “baked atmosphere,” followed by the statement that he spent from one to four days at each school he visited, brought from Mrs. Chope the question: “Was the teacher a lady where you visited four days?” “Yes, an elderly lady,” replied Donnelly. When Superintendent Kirk suggested that superintendent Hyatt's banquet to the trustees was an excellent method of getting them to attend a meeting, Superintendent Chipman replied that he also followed that plan in part; whenever he had a derelict trustee he gave him a roast.
Miss Poore of Shasta ġave an account of a trustee's meeting in the Fall River district of her county. There were forty-eight trustees in the section, and forty of them attended the meeting.
Wednesday morning Superintendent Kirk called the meeting to order promptly at 9:30 o'clock. Superintendent Doub of Kern County preceded the regular program with a talk on the importance of organizing a state federation of teachers.
Supt. J. W. Linscott then took up the discussion of the elementary course of study. He reviewed the work that had been done by the Committee of Education and the various educational bodies of the state. “There was one county in the state, however, that has given a practical solution to the problem. This county has eliminated the overcrowding of the course by establishing four groups: language, geography, history, and mathematics, and simplified the work. I refer to the course of study introduced by Superintendent Doub in Kern County. I have personally examined the work done under this course of study and found it the best I have ever seen during my twenty years as superintendent." This statement was generously applauded. Mr. Linscott closed with a plea for better text-books in our schools.
In the absence of C. J. Walker of Tulare, Superintendent Greeley of Orange discussed the problem of adapting the course of study to the different schools in the county.
Supt. S. D Waterman spoke on the observance of the home study law. Mr. Waterman was of the opinion that it would injure the schools if it were interpreted too literally. Home work should be assigned with particular reference to each pupil's health, age, ability, and home conditions.
Supt. C. L. McLane of Fresno, believed that a common sense view of the law should be taken, and that a course of study should not be too rigidly enforced. Superintendent Graham of Pasadena, and Superintendent Wright of Stockton, also took part in the discussion. The subject of promotion and graduation was taken up in the afternoon. Supt. J. H. Strine was the first speaker. He spoke in favor of the teacher's judgment governing in the promotion of pupils. He outlined the plan that had been followed in Los Angeles County and showed that the method of having county boards promote pupils was not without serious faults.
Superintendent Peart gave a very interesting talk on protecting teachers from unjust criticism from parents in reference to the promotion of pupils. The subject of promotion brought out the liveliest discussion of the session. As many as eight superintendents were on their feet ready to speak at one time.
Superintendent Crookshanks made a motion that it be the sense of the meeting that the promotion of pupils be left entirely to the teachers. This was opposed by Superintendent Linscott, who believed the county board should have entire charge of the promotion of pupils. Superintendents Greeley, Dunn, Coulter, Childress, Sackett, Howard, and Gordon spoke on the subject.
Superintendent Cox amended the motion to give teachers full power of promotion in all grades except the last two grades of the grammar grades. Robert Furlong moved that the entire matter be laid on the table, and it was so ordered.
The convention then adjourned to give the superintendents an opportunity to accept the hospitality of the Chamber of Commerce by enjoying a free ride thru the vineyards and orchards in the vicinity of Fresno. Over sixty superintendents took advantage of a ride thru the rich and prosperous country.
In the evening Superintendent McLane, assisted by Professor Nesbit and others, gave a reception to the visiting superintendents in Armory Hall. Mayor Stephens made the address of welcome, and made special mention of the pride of the people of Fresno in having their fellow townsman, Thomas J. Kirk, as the chief educational officer of the state. Superintendent Kirk responded in a well-worded speech. Then the superintendents were favored by the butterfly drill, by eight little children dressed like butterflies. Chester H. Rowell, editor of the Republican, then gave an eloquent address on the character of the California school system, with special emphasis on the correlation of the primary and secondary schools and the universities.
Miss Cinna Balthis rendered a whistling solo, Mrs. A. E. Kirke recited, Fred Moore, principal of one of the Fresno schools, gave two baritone solos, and delighted all present with the strength and charm of his powerful voice. Miss Kate Balthis sang in her most charming manner. There was a Japanese fan drill and selections by the high school orchestra. By the request of Superintendent Kirk, Mr. Foshay sang a beautiful baritone solo with virile magnetism of tone and voice. Foshay's singing is a feature of educational gatherings. Then followed dancing, in which Superintendent Strine of Los Angeles, Waters of Calaveras, Webster of San Francisco, and President Dailey of San Jose were exceedingly popular, being the bachelors of the convention.
Thursday morning, May 8, the convention was called to order at 9:30 a. m. Mrs. B. F. Howard favored the convention with two charming solos. They were heartily enjoyed and applauded. J. W. McClymonds of Oakland was the first speaker. His subject was “Compulsory School Attendance." Mr. McClymonds gave a direct, earnest talk upon the subject, outlined the necessity for the law, and advocated that a proper law should be framed and introduced in the next legislature. Supt. L. A. Jordan also spoke in favor of it. Superintendent Erlewine of Sacramento addressed the convention on the work being done with a truant officer at the present time. Superintendent Russell opposed the idea of a truant or parental school, and spoke touchingly in behalf of the boy who is placed among vicious companions. Miss Williams also spoke on the subject.
Supt. C. C. Hughes then presented a paper on Department Work, Its Advantages and Disadvantages.” This paper was well received and it was ordered printed in the official JOURNAL. Superintendent Davidson of San Diego spoke of the failure of the system in San Diego. Superintendent Cox said the failure of the system was due to poor teachers. Superintendent Barr thought it was the children rather than the subjects that should be of first importance. Miss Bahr also spoke upon the subject.
Superintendent Foshay quoted: “Five educational specialists would kill any child."
The next on the program for Thursday afternoon was a review of the national convention of superintendents, by Supt. James A. Foshay. This paper was ordered printed in the official JOURNAL.
Supt. Hugh J. Baldwin presented the following: “Is Consolidation of School Districts and Transportation of Pupils to a Central School practical in California at the present time? Is it the remedy for small attendance in the sparsely settled portions of the state?” He presented many documents in favor of the affirmative of each one of the subjects.
Superintendent Freman opposed the measure as impracticable for Fresno. Supt.
Miss Coulter of Sonoma, advocated it as offering a possible solution to improving and making more permanent the homes in the country. Superintendent Edwards of Santa Barbara also spoke.
On motion, Superintendent Kirk was instructed to appoint a committee of three to promote suitable legislation on the subject.
The committees were now ready to report. Supt. Robert Furlong of the committee on school law submitted the following report :
“We have considered many suggested changes in school law, several of which were recommended at former sessions of this body. Many, if not all, of these have merit, but a large number of the suggested changes are not of vital importance to the schools. We believe it to be advisable at this time to recommend a few important measures only, leaving with the state superintendent the introduction to the legislature, if he deem it expedient, of measures recommended in the educational omnibus bill approved by the superintendents at their last session. We recommend the passage of the following resolutions:
"That this convention reaffirm its belief in a compulsory educational law that can be enforced; that we urge upon the legislature the importance to the schools of this state of some legislation on the subject.
“That we express the belief that the bill on the subject as passed by the two houses of the last legislature, but failed to become a law, contains much of value.
"That the state superintendent of schools be and is hereby authorized to appoint a committee of seven to consider the aforesaid proposed law and make such changes in it as said committee may deem advisable before the bill be again presented to the legislature.
"Resolved, That the superintendents of schools of California in convention assembled, do hereby urge the legislature at its next session to enact such legislation as will authorize the State Board of Education to secure better text-books for the schools of this state and also to make an appropriation sufficient to enable the state board to carry out the purpose stated. Submitted by
J. W. McCLYMONDS,
L. J. CHIPMAN." Dept. Supt. L. A. Jordan of San Francisco then introduced a resolution proposing legislation to make definite the power of the superintendent of schools in case of overcrowding, grading, etc. The proposed legislation as outlined by Mr. Jordan met with strenuous opposition from Superintendent McClymonds. After considerable discussion Superintendent Jordan withdrew the resolution.
Superintendent Kirk then appointed the following committee on compulsory education, etc.
Superintennents J. W. McClymonds of Oakland, R. H. Webster of San Francisco, J. H. Strine of Los Angeles, A. C. Barker of Humboldt, 0. W. Erlewine of Sacramento, P. W. Smith of Placer, and G. N. Freman of Fresno. On the resolution to submit a bill providing for the consolidation of districts and the transportation of pupils to a central school, Minnie Coulter of - onoma, Hugh J. Baldwin of San Diego, and Professor Ellwood P. Cubberley of the educational department of Stanford University.
Report of committee on resolutions was as follows:
The county and city superintendents of the state of California in Biennial convention assembled, resolve as follows:
WHEREAS, We believe that the organization of the California State Teachers' Association will become a strong factor in advancing the educational interests of the state; therefore, be it
Resolved, That we strongly endorse the same and pledge our assistance to bring about its complete organization. We recommend that the first meeting of the state council be held in July, 1903, so as to enable the sub-federation to be organized at a time when the county or city institutes are in session.
WHEREAS, We believe there is urgent need for better text-books than are at present in use in the elementary schools of California; therefore, be it
Resolred, That we recommend that the legislature of the state of California give to the State Board of Education the power and means to provide a better series of textbooks.
WHEREAS, It is the sense of this convention that the plan of the present meeting is a great improvement upon that of previous sessions of the Biennial convention, and that we furthermore believe that much good will come of the free discussion of school problems by the city and county superintendents; therefore, be it
Resolved, That we congratulate State Superintendent Kirk upon the success of the present meeting and the change of program, and we recommend that future Biennial, conventions be conducted along somewhat the same lines.
WHEREAS, The law makes it our duty to attend and take part in the Biennial conventions; therefore, be it
Resolred, That we, the county and city superintendents, owe the same allegiance and hearty coöperation to the state superintendent as the teachers owe to us in institute work.
In view of the vital importance to the educational interests of the state of Constitutional Amendment No. 4, permitting state aid to secondary schools, be it
Resolved, That we re-endorse said proposed amendment and pledge our aid and support to secure its adoption.
Inasmuch as it is of vital importance for the increased efficiency of our high schools, the colleges of the masses, that the amendment granting recognition and state aid to the high school should be ratified by the people, and
WHEREAS, A definite understanding as to the resolutions existing between the secondary schools and the university is necessary, in order that the proposed amendment may receive the support of the people, be it
Resolved, That if the system of accrediting high schools be continued, we are in favor of such changes as will permit of a greater individuality in the development of the high schools of the state.
Resolred, That this resolution be communicated to the university.
WHEREAS, Mr. F. F. Atkinson of the state superintendent's office has acted as our efficient assistant secretary during the sessions of this convention; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the thanks of the convention be tendered Mr. Atkinson.
WHEREAS, The press of the city of Fresno and the state of California has given full and accurate reports of our proceedings, and as we believe it to be a valuable ally of the cause of education, be it
Resolved, That the thanks of the conventiou be extended to it.
WHEREAS, In view of the cordial reception accorded by the people of Fresno, and the splendid entertainment provided during our stay here, be it
Resolved, That our hearty thank's be extended to City Superintendent McLane, County Superintendent Freman, the mayor, chamber of commerce, and citizens of Fresno.
JOHN A. IMRIE, Chairman.
Committee. Superintendent Kirk then brought down the gavel with a bang, thanked the members of the convention for courtesies extended, and declared the convention adjourned.
This closed the most successful biennial convention, in point of interest, ever held in this state. The discussions were all intensely interesting and profitable. The superintendents had an opportunity to be together, not only in the meeting, but at all times, whether in the hotel, lobby, parlor, or drawing room. A finer body of men and women seldom meet together. The convention was representative of the great state of California.
THE WESTERN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION succeeds to the subscription lists, advertising, partonage, and good will of the Golden Era, established in San Francisco in 1852.
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matter. The Official Organ of the Department of Public Instruction of the State of California.
The inauguration of Nicholas Murray Butler as president of Columbia University was a notable event. Dr. Butler's statement that “the University will be the chief servant of the city's higher life” was but a keynote to President Roosevelt's remarkable address at the Alumni dinner. Every teacher should read this extract of the address to the pupils of the school.
“Now, when it comes to rendering public service, that which counts chiefly in the college graduate, as in every American citizen, is not intellect so much as what stands above the mere power of body or the mere power of mind, what stands above them, but must in a sense include them, and that is character.
"It is a good thing to have a sound body and a better thing to have a sane mind, but it is better still to have that aggregate of virile and decent qualities which we group together under the name of character.
“'I said both decent and virile qualities. It is not enough to have either one or the other alone. If a man is strong in mind and body and misuses his strength, then he becomes simply a foe to the body politic, to be hunted down by all decent men, and, if on the other hand, he has only the decent attributes, he's a nice man, but doesn't count; you can do little with him.
It is in the battle of life as it was in the great Civil War. It was absolutely a necessary thing in the Civil War that a soldier should have patriotism, devotion to his country, but I don't care how devoted he was to the country, if he had a slight tendency to run away his usefulness was impaired
And so in the unending strife for civic betterment small is the use of those people who mean well, but who mean well feebly. The man that counts is the man who is decent, and who makes himself felt as a force for decency, a force for cleanliness, for clean living, for civic righteousness. That is the man that counts. To do that he must have several qualities.
First and foremost he must have the root of right thinking. In the next place he has got to have courage. The timid good man will avail but little in the rough work trying to do well the world's work; and, finally, in addition to being brave, he has got to have common sense and if he does not have it, no matter whatever other qualities he may have, he will find himself at the mercy of those who, without possessing his desire to do right, know only too well how to make wrong effective.”
*** Supt. James A. Foshay received hearty applause at the Biennial Convention when he announced that he had inaugurated over a half dozen ungraded schools in the city of Los Angeles. In these ungraded schools the misfits are sent and as soon as the deficiency is made up the pupil is put in the proper grade. This is the right trend. It is individual work with practical possibility.
The June number of the JOURNAL will contain the regular Official Departmant, in. cluding an account of Superintendent Kirk's visit to Nevada, and Tuolumne County nstitutes, and other places.