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Ohio remained a portion of the territory northwest of the River Ohio, in which the old Congress of the Confederation began in 1787, its beneficent policy of incorporating schools and the means of education among the organic elements of civil society, and laid the foundation of numerous States of imperial dimensions and industrial resources, in impartial freedom, morality, and knowledge, until 1799, when it was organized as a distinct territory, and admitted into the United States in 1802, with an area of 39,964 square miles, and a population in 1800 of 45,365, which had increased in 1870 to 2,665,260, with a taxable property returned to the value of $1,167,731, 097.
In the plan of settlement in 1785, the public lands were surveyed into townships of six miles square, containing 36 sections of one mile square of 640 acres each, one of which was reserved for public schools. The act of Congress passed April 30, 1802, 'to enable the people of the eastern division of the Territory northwest of the river Ohio, to form a constitution and State government, and for the admission of such State into the union, provides that section numbered 16 in every township, and where such section has been sold, granted, or disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto and most contignous to the same, shall be granted to the inhabitants of such townships, for the use of schools. Other special tracts were granted to the State, or reserved from ordinary purchases, were vested in the legislature in trust for schools. The entire land surface of Ohio was 25,576,969 acres, the land grants and reservations for schools amounted to 710,500, exclusive of two townships reserved for a university: In spite of these beneficent provisions, and of the school habits of many of the families among the original settlers, the institution of public schools in a new country, in sparsely populated townships, with scanty resources, where roads and dwellings were of immediate physical necessity, was slow.
The constitution of 1802 enjoins that religion, morality, and knowledge being essentially necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of instruction shall forever be encouraged by legislative provision, not inconsistent with the right of conscience.' Notwithstanding repeated and urgent recommendations by successive governors in their annual messages, the visible benefits of such schools as the first settlers from New England established by voluntary subscription for their children, and the labor of a few men like Ephraim Cutter, Caleb Atwater and Nathan Guilford, it was not till 1825 that a general
school law was passed. In this, the principles of taxation are recognized, but no efficient plan of supervision and providing good teachers was adopted.
In 1831 the teachers and active friends of schools organized an association called the college of teachers, which began in their annual gatherings the work of school agitation.
In 1835, the legislature required school returns from the county auditors, and Prof. Calvin E. Stowe, of tlie Lane Theological Seminary at Cincinnati, who was about to visit Europe, was appointed to report on the clementary school systems of Prussia and other European States, which was made, and printed in 1837, and produced a profound impression, not only in Ohio, but in other States.
In 1836, Samuel L.wis, of Cincinnati (a native of Massachusetts) was appointed State Superintendent with a salary of $500. With experience as a public speaker, with much study of the schools of Cincinnati, and a participant in the discussions of the College of Teachers, Mr. Lewis made great pecuniary and personal sacrifices, and entered on the work of official exploration of schools and agitation of educational topics among the people, in the spring of 1837. He found, out of Cincinnati there were no public schools worthy of the name, practically open to rich and poor, and nearly half of the organized school districts were without school-houses, and that not one-third of the whole number would be appraised at $50 each.'
Mr. Lewis's report on the deficiencies of public schools in Ohio, and Prof. Stowe's glowing picture of elementary instruction in Prussia, carried triumphantly through the legislature, in spite of bitter opposition, an act, which made the office of superintendent permanent, created a State School Fund, imposed a county tax of two mills for the support of schools, and authorized district taxation for school-houses, required reports from school teachers, and town and county officers, gave incorporated towns and cities a board of education, with power to establish a public school of a higher grade, and provided county examinations for candidates for the office of teacher. This was the beginning of a State system with some elements of vitality and efficiency in its organization. Mr. Lewis entered on its adıninistration in May, 1838, by issuing the Common School Director, and announcing his intention to visit every county, and inviting school officers, teachers, and friends of education to meet him, and as editor and lecturer, 'with his office and head-quarters in the saddle,' he did a work for 1838, for practical results, second to that of no other laborer in the educational field, before or since. In 1839, after making a third report, and a special
report on a State university for teachers, Mr. Lewis resigned, with health impaired, without a dollar of compensation for three years hard work, his entire salary having been exhausted in travel and other expenses of his office, but with the consciousness that he had increased the number of schools reported from 4,336 to 7,225, and the value of school-louses from $61,890 to $206,415, and bad laid the foundations of a system, which in 1872 reported 11,565 school-houses erected at a cost of $17,168,196, which accommodated 694,348 pupils in enrolled attendance, who employed 22,061 teachers, and required the expenditure for the year of $7,150,856.
The system has been wrought up to its present degree of efficiency mainly through the teachers of the State acting through the State Teachers' Association. In no other State bave the teachers engineered their own work so successfully as in Ohio ; and yet the census of 1870 shows an amount of illiteracy in the population over 10 years old sufficiently alarming, viz., 92,720 who can not read, and 173,172 who can not write.
In January 18, 1813, in Columbus, a plan of school improvement was presented by Ienry Barnard of Connecticut, to the Western College of Teachers, and to members of the Legislature-afterwards at Cincinnati and Sandusky-which resulted in the passage of an Act to facilitate the consolidation of school districts, and the organization of Union Schools; the holding of a Teachers' institute at Sandusky; the bringing of Dr. A. D. Lord from Kirtland to become the principal of the High School and Superintendent of Public Schools of Columbus; to the publication of a school journal at the Capital, and a series of measures which led finally to the employment of Lorin P. Andrews, as the agent of the Olrio Teachers' Association. The first Teachers' Institute was held at Sandusky, under the auspices of Chief Justice Lane, at the suggestion of Mr. Barnard, by Ilon. Salem Town.
The following items, taken from official documents for 1872, show the magnitude of the educational expenditures of Ohio; State Commissioner, clerks, &c., $5,169 ; local management and county superintendents, $129,615; school sites, buildings, and -equipment, $1,428,964 ; teachers' wages-primary schools, $3,898,156; teachers wages-high schools, $321,406; total $4,219,503 ; contingent expenses, $639,214; total for common school purposes, $7,383,856; institution for deaf and dumb, $63,405; institution for blind, $111,816; institution for idiots and feeble-minded, $52,722; State home for soldiers' orphans, $114,009; reform farin school for boys, $45,000 ; industrial school for girls, $26,553.
A complete codification of all the school laws in force, general and special, with sundry additious and modifications, was passed May 1, 1873. A most important distinction is made in the organization of the system by the classification of districts for local management according to population. In the large city districts, the boar is of education are independent of the city councils, and can proriile schools for all persons of the school age; can appoint a special board to examine the schools, and all applicants for a teacher's certificate; and hold, annually, a Teachers' Iustitute of not less than four days. With some limitations similar powers are given to city and village districts of the second class. Institutes are a recognized agency for improving the qualifications of teachers in every county, and teachers are authorized to dismiss their schools for the week in which a regularly appointed session is held.
OREGON, Oregon was organized a Territory in 1948, and admitted a State in 1859 with an area of 95,274 square miles, and a population in 1860 of 52,405, which had increased in 1870 to 90,923, with $31,798,510 of taxable property.
Dy the constitution of 1857, the governor is made superintendent of public instruction for the term of five years, after which the legislative assembly may provide by law for his successor. The proceeds of all lands granted to the State for educational purposes, except the university land, all money which may accrue to the State by escheat or forfeiture, exemptions from military duty, from the sale of the 500,000 acres reserved by act of 1841, and of the five per centuin of net proceeds of the sales of the public lands on the admission of the State into the Union, shall constitute an irreducible fund for the support of common schools in each school district, and the purchase of suitable libraries and apparatus therefor. The school lands anjount to 4,475,966 acres.
In the act of 1862, provision is made for the election of a school superintendent for each county, and of three directors for each district.
According to the census of 1870 there were 18,096 persons, ont of a school population of 29,400 attending school, and 1,047 persons over 10 years of age who could not read, and 2,064 who could not write. The same census returns 637 schools of all kinds, of which 4 were public high with 502 pupils, 590 common schools with 27,000 pupils, 16 academies with 1,600 pupils, 2 colleges with 298 pupils, 1 school of medicine, 1 agricultural college and 2 commercial schools.
Pennsylvania was first settled in 1638, and by the first national census of 1790, on an area of 46,000 square miles, had a population of 434,373, which in 1870 had increased to 3,521,790, with taxable property to the value of $1,243,367,852.
The first constitution adopted in 1776 had no provision respecting schools, and that of 1798 enjoined the legislature as soon as conveniently may be, to provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the State, in such manner that the poor shall be taught, gratis.' In 1838, an attempt in the convention which framed the constitution of that year, to amend this provision so as to provide by law for the establishment of common schools throughout the State, in such a manner that all persons residing therein may enjoy the benefits of education,' failed, leaving the provision as in 1798.
The first general school law was passed in 1819, expressly 'to provide for the poor, gratis,' in which with minute definition of such as are entitled to the benefit of this act, viz., .of children between the ages of five and twelve years, whose parents are unable to pay for their schooling, and excluding all children whose education is otherwise provided. A list of these children, made out by the assessors of each township, corrected by the commissioners of the county, is sent to teachers of schools within the township, with instructions to enter against the names of such children on this list as apply for tuition, the number of days they may attend or be taught, and send in their bill for the same to the county commissioner.
The first act, under which any demonstration of what public schools could become, was special for the city and county of Philadelphia, by which a broad and beneficent system of public instruction has been developed, was adopted in 1818. By this act, in 1871, 414 schools (viz., 1 Boy's Central High School or College, 1 High and Normal School for Girls, 58 Grammar schools, 142 Intermediate schools, 186 primary schools and 26 night schools), with 87,428 scholars, 1,668 teachers (79 male and 1,589 female teachers, supported at a cost of $1,370,705. The valuation of school property in 1872 exceeded $3,000,000.
The first provision for general education for the State was made in 1831, which the supplementary acts of 1834, 1835, 1836 and 1837 has developed into an efficient system of pablic schools, for which much is due to the wise organization and administration, and the judicious publications of Thomas H. Burrowes of Lancas