Imágenes de páginas

2, The security against diminution or diversion of all educational funds and benefactions.

3, The certainty of a minimum rate of taxation, increasing with the population, sufficient every year to secure the elementary instruction of all children within the State who shall apply, by teachers professionally trained, and in schools legally inspected and approved.

4, The distribution of all State appropriations derived from taxation or funds, on such conditions and in modes as will secure local taxation or individual contributions for the same purpose, a lively municipal or public interest in the expenditure of both sums, the constant cooperation of parents at home in realizing the work of the school, and the regular attendance of pupils.

5, A State Board of Education, having supervision of all educational institutions incorporated or aided by the State, and constituted in such way as to secure literary, scientific, and professional attainment and experience, freedom from denominational or party preponderance, sympathy with the wants of different sections and occupations, and independence of local or special influence.

6, A system of inspection, administered by the State Board, intelligent, professional, frequent, and independent of local or institutional control, with the widest and fullest publicity of results.

7, State Scholarships, securing free instruction in any higher institution incorporated or aided by the State, conditioned on fitness to enter and profit by the same, ascertained by open competitive examination.

8, A Retiring Fund, for teachers of public schools, made up of an annual allowance by the State, and an equal payment by those who register to secure its benefits, conditioned on prolonged service in the business of teaching.

9, An obligation ou parents and guardians not to allow children to grow up in barbarism, ignorance and vagrancy; and the exercise of the elective franchise, or of any public office, conditioned on the ability of the applicant to read understandingly the Constitution and the laws, and forfeited by any parent or guardian of children who neglects to secure the formal instruction of such children between the ages of 6 and 14 years, for at least eight months in the year, or to pay for their maintenance, if sent to a prison or reformatory, while minors.

4. Legislation respecting Systems of Elementary Instruction. In answer to inquiries from abroad respecting the legal organization of our public schools, and from States in our own country engaged in framing new laws or revising old ones on the subject, a

collection of the school codes of the several States has been prepared, embracing the earliest law of each State, and a brief notice of all subsequent modifications, and the last revision. This document, so far as relates to its historical portion, was prepared without any expense to the Department and mainly before its establishment, but will be placed at its disposal in case the publication of it is desired and authorized by Congress.

5. European Systems of Public Instruction. Although not to serve as models or guides, as a whole, for our country, yet advantage may be derived from a knowledge of the manner in which attempts have been made to solve the problem of public instruction in other countries. In some features—the extent to which teaching is regarded as an art, whose methods are to be studied and practiced, the legal recognition of the professional character and public services of the teacher, the importance attached to frequent, intelligent, and independent inspection, the enforcement of parental obligation in the matter of the regular attendance of children at school, the extension of opportunities of thorough general culture by public institutions of secondary and superior education—we have much to learn from the experience of several of the European States. From most of these States the Commissioner is in possession of the fullest and latest information, gathered during a series of years; and for all, the material can readily be completed to the present time, if its publication is anthorized and provided for. In connection with a series of articles on the relations of the State to Education, an account of the school system of the little republic of Zurich was published in the Journal of Education, and in Official Circular, No. VII, to illustrate the manner in which this question of the authority and duty of the State in popular education, has been met by leading statesmen and educators in different countries, as well as practically solved by a republican government of the old world.

6. Female Education.

In no department of American Education has greater advancement been made within a quarter of a century, or is there now greater activity, than in the education of girls and young women; and to the discussion of the problems yet unsolved in many States and cities, and yet undetermined in the minds of many parents, of the coeducation of the sexes in public or private schools of every grade, and the limitations and modifications of courses of instruction required by the peculiarities of constitution and occupation of women, the Commissioner proposes to bring the experience of systems, institutions, and individuals in different States and countries. Sources of information on the subject now in the Department, and the experience of one leading institution, are given in Circular, No. VIII.

7. Academic or Secondary Education. On the important subject of institutions for Secondary Education -including Public High Schools and Academies for either or both sexes-although the means for exhibiting their present condition in every State are not sufficiently collected, yet to aid in the further collection of materials and in the discussion of the subject, the Commissioner has already published a general view of the system as it exists in New England, (Circular IX,) as well as a full account of the system of several of the principal countries of Europe, one of which (Prussia) is printed in Official Circular, No. X.

8. School Houses. Having received numerous inquiries in personal calls and in correspondence, respecting school-houses, and having given for many years his attention to the subject, and being also in possession of a large number of plans, and receiving valuable accessions to his collection of designs, the Commissioner, as an expeditious and economical mode of answering these inquiries, has commenced the preparation of a document, a portion of which is now ready for the press, containing plans of buildings recently erected for graded schools. A selection from these will be found in the official Circular, No. XI.

9. Professional Training and Improvement of Teachers. It is obvious that neither constitutional provisions, legislative enactments, nor the existence of the most perfect school-houses, will secure the right education of the children of the nation, without a body of teachers devoted to the work of public instruction, possessing in a sufficient degree, the requisite qualifications of character, attainments, and skill. To help teachers in their work, and to contribute to the highest improvement of special institutions for this object, as well as to advance in every possible way, the public appreciation of their services, a document has been prepared showing what has been done, or is now doing in the different States in this direction -portions of which will be found in Official Circular, No. XII.


In closing this statement of the preliminary operations of this Department, the Commissioner avails himself of the provisions of the law requiring this Report to be made, to recommend

1. The continued prosecution of the investigations already begun to their earliest practicable conclusion; and to this end, that authority to employ temporarily the assistance of persons specially qualified, be granted, and that some appropriation for the expense of such personal visits as may be deemed needful to complete and verify the work in hand, be made.

2. That authority be given to publish, with such limitations as to expense and copies as Congress may impose, such documents as may be called for in aid of the establishment of public schools in States where they do not now exist, and to visit such States by himself, or others whom he may specially commission, and such cducational conventions in other States, as he may think will subserve the purpose for which the Department is established.

3. With the strongest desire to keep the expenses of the Department within the narrowest limits consistent with its efficiency, the Commissioner feels compelled, in consideration of the increasing correspondence, the regular publication of the Monthly Circular, the prompt dispatch of documents, the proper collating and editing of the information and returns received, the use of the books and documents in the library, to ask for authority to employ one additional

clerk of each class now allowed. The want of such help has delayed the preparation of the special reports required to be made, and

thrown on the Commissioner, in addition to correspondence and studies which he cannot delegate, an amount of clerical work inconsistent with his highest usefulness, besides seriously impairing his health.

4. Thus far, the entire expense of obtaining information from abroad; all additions to the library of books and pamphlets, except the official documents of State and City Superintendents; all cngraving of designs and plans for school structures; a large item in obtaining the educational statistics of the District of Columbia, and

making the same ready for Congress; all the printing, and much of V ,

the editorial work on the Monthly Circulars, cxcept Numbers III, IV, and V, besides no inconsiderable sums for the necessary incidental expenses of the Department, has been borne by the Commissioner, and for only a portion of which, an appropriation was asked in a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury submitting an estimate of expenses for the current year. Whatever action Congress may deem just in reference to the past, the Commissioner would respectfully ask, that in any future appropriation some allowance be made for the class of expenses above named, including a messenger and the necessary care of the rooms, which, not being specified in the appropriation for 1867, have been disallowed in the settlement of the accounts of this Department.

Respectfully submitted,


Commissioner of Education.


Appended to a few copies of this Report, and not to the entire
edition, are the Official Circulars referred to, together with a portion
of the accompanying matter which was distributed with each, in
some cases as specimens of the information desired in the Circular;
and in others, to enforce the importance of the subject on which dis-
cussion was invited; and in their present form, to embody a portion
of the returns received.




Monthly Circular of the Department of Education,...


GENERAL PLAN, March, 1867,..........


Second Edition,.....




Appointment of Commissioner,..




Memorial of National Association of School Superintendents,


Circular of Commissioner of Education, No. 1,.


Schedule of Information sought,



Circular of Commissioner of Education, No. 2,...




1. Monthly Official Circular,...


2. Quarterly Journal of Education,...


3. Educational Documents and Tracts.....


4. Annual Review of the Progress of Education,.....




Central Agency,.....


American Library of Education,




Original Announcement and Plan in 1855 and 1856,

New Series in 1862,



List of Subjects already investigated and discussed,..


1. General Principles and History of Education,.....


2. Individual Views and Special Systems of Education,....


3. Studies and Methods of Teaching; School Organization and Government,


4. Tenchers and their Training; Normal and Model Schools ; Teachers' Institutes, 30

5. State and National Systems of Instruction,....


6. Secondary, Intermediate, Academical, and High Schools,


7. University and Collegiate Education,....


8. Special Schools and Departments of Science, Arts, Agriculture, Museums, &c.,.. 34

9. Military and Naval Education.....


10. Preventive and Reformatory Education.....


11. Education of the Deaf and Dumb, Blind, Idiots, &c.,..


12. Moral and Religious Education ; Sectorian Schools and Instruction,


13. Female Education,


14. Physical Education......


15. Supplementary, Se'f, and Home Edurntion; Libraries,


16. Educational Societies and Teachers' Associations,...


« AnteriorContinuar »