« PreviousContinue »
to our number, and about 1,400 pupils. We have in the employ of the Board thirty-four teachers, whose salaries are as follows:
Male Principals, per annum, . . . . $1,000 Do. Assistants, "
450 Female Principals, "
400 and 450 on Assistants, "
300 Besides this, the Board employ a general Superintendent, at a salary of $1,500.
The houses we have built during the past season, will cost when completed, about $13,500 each, and are the most commodious in the city. A house and lot generally cost us about $2,500. Our income last year was $17,500; consisting of rents about $15,000, taxes $27,000, sundries $5,500.
The Board also employ a music teacher to give two lessons a week in each of the Grammar Schools, at $500 per annum. The public teachers have an Association, which meets every fortnight, and they have established a library for the use of the Association, out of their own funds. The Board, this year, bave appointed $100 to aid them, and have ordered an annual appropriation of like amount. It is the intention of the Association to give a course of lectures this winter, and appropriate the proceeds to the library, a philosophical, chemical, and astronomical apparatus.
Our text books have, in a few years, been entirely changed. Webster is our standard, and a copy of his quarto Unabridged Dictionary is placed by the Board in every school. Mitchell's Geographies are used, together with Pelton's Outline Maps and Keys. A. Smith's Astronomy, and Holbrook's School Apparatus, are used in our Grammar Schools. Greene's Grammar and Analysis were substituted for Bul. lions's Grammar about three years ago, and are giving general satisfaction. Stoddard's American Intellectual Arithmetic was substituted about the same time for Colburn's. The improvement in Arithmetic has since then been astonishing and unprecedented. I doubt whether there are any schools anywhere, which surpass ours in this branch of study. Mandeville's series of Readers has just been adopted by the Board, with the expectation that it will do for schools in reading, what Stoddard has in Arithmetic. His method, or system, developed in his Elements of Reading and Oratory, is sentential classification and analysis, and is well worthy the attention of educators. We use Greenleaf's Common School and National Arithmetics, and Greenleaf's Algebra. Johnston's Philosophy is the text-book prescribed for that branch. The following books are also used : Town's Analysis, Worcester's, Willard's, Goodrich's, and Frost's Histories, Cutter's Physiology, Davies's Bourdon and Legendre, Playfair's Euclid, and Fowle's Speller.
I bave thus hastily sketched such items as I thought might be of interest to you, which occurred to me at the time. Your indulgence is asked for the crude and basty manner in which they are presented, as I have not even had time to revise it. Very respectfully,
John H. Tice, Secretary Board of Public Schools, St Louis, Mo.
REPORT. The president from a Select Committee, made a report, which was accepted, and after certain amendments, was adopted in the following form and ordered to be published:
The Committee to whom was referred the last quarterly report of the Superintendent of the Public Schools, would respectfully report that they have examined the saine, and find three suggestions presented for their consideration :
In reference to the first, namely, the establishment of a High School, the Board, as early as June, 1843, adopted a system which it was intended should ultimately embrace a High School; but the state of your finances, and the demand for Primary and Grammar Schools have, as yet, prevented the completion of the system then adopted.
Your Committee believe that the time has now arrived when the income of the Public Schools and their wants and increased efficiency absolutely demand the establishment of a High School. The Board hare authorized the teaching of algebra, geometry and natural philosophy ; and in each of the Grammar Schools there are some few who are well qualified to enter upon the study of these branches, but all of whom, for the want of time on the part of teachers in some of the schools, have not been enabled to do so. In the otber schools in which these subjeets are taught the classes are small, and still to instruct them thoroughly, the tax upon the time of the teacher is disproportionate to the small number of scholars engaged in the prosecution of these branches of knowledge.
Your Committee believe that, were the studies pursued in the Grammar Schools restricted to spelling, reading, writing, mental and written arithmetic, geography, grammar and composition; and that, were those pupils whose attainments and mental training qualified them to enter upon the study of other and bigher branches of knowledge, collected together in one building with the same corps of teachers, a far greater number of pupils could be better and more thoroughly taught. Thus would be brought together pupils possessing less diversity of attainments, and thus could be introduced a better classification, and consequently more time be given to the instruetion of each class. Thus, moreover, would your teachers become more efficient, for their attention and energies being concentrated upon fewer branches of knowledge, they would thus be enabled to become more expert and skilful in teaching them.
The increased facilities afforded by the city improvements, and the many lines of omnibuses running in every direction through the city, render the present highly propitious for the establishment of a High School. Boys and girls who would be qualified to enter it, can now come from the extreme limits of the city with greater ease and less inconvenience than ten years ago they could go six squares. To come from the remotest boundaries of the city will now require no greater exercise than is absolutely demanded for health, of all who are actively and energetically engaged in the study of the higher branches of knowledge.
Your Committee are satisfied that annually numbers have left the
public schools, and gone forth into the world simply for the want of means and facilities to pursue other and higher branches of knowledge, than those authorized by the Board. They have left them at the most interesting and critical periods of their lives. They have left them when their tastes were beginning to be formed; when their thirst for knowledge had been but excited ; when their mental and moral characters were but half developed ; when they were best prepared to study, and just beginning to realize the profits, the pleasures, and the advantages of knowledge. They have been cast out simply because the longings of their minds could not be satisfied in the public schools.
Your Committee, moreover, believe that a large class in the community have neglected to patronize the public schools from a conviction that the instruction imparted by them was too limited in its range. Had they been satisfied that their children could have acquired in them that sole legacy which their parental hearts desired to leave them, viz., a good education, gladly would they have patronized them: but supposing that the instruction given in them was as indifferent in quality as it was limited in quantity, they have sent their children, at great expense, to other schools. The establisbment of a High School would then tend to disabuse the public mind of the false estimate now placed upon the schools already organized, and thus secure for them what is most desirable, the abiding interest, sympathy and patronage of greater numbers of our citizens.
Moreover, the time is now favorable for the commencement of a High School, inasmuch as in a few weeks the La Fayette and Webster schools will be opened, and will then furnish accommodations for at least 600 additional grammar pupils.
Thus will be afforded ample accommodations for all scholars who may be displaced by the temporary appropriation of a part or the whole of any of the more central buildings for a High School : while the facility of access renders them convenient to all who may desire to attend. Moreover, citizens are daily removing from the business and the more closely built portions of the city, to find in less densely built parts their dwellings ; so that these schools will, in a short time, be nearest to family residences, and the most convenient for attendance.
The Benton School House being the most central seems the most suitable for the temporary location of a High School. By vacating the female grammar department, and appropriating it temporarily for a mixed High School, accommodations would be obtained for 164 scholars. The 133 girls belonging, at the close of the last quarter, to the Benton Female Grammar School, could doubtless find seats in the Clark, Laclede, Jefferson and Mound Female Grammar Schools ; in all of which, taken together, were at the above time 104 vacant seats.
But your Committee are satisfied, independent of all considerations connected with the establishment of a High School, that the character of the Eliot should be changed. As now organized it is an intermediate school, consisting of two departments, male and female, in both of which are taught branches that belong in part to the primary, and in part to the grammar school. By establishing in the lower part of the building a mixed primary school, and in the upper a female grammar department, your Committee believe that the condition of this school would be greatly improved, and at the same time additional and more than sufficient accommodations would be provided for all pupils who may be displaced by the proposed change in the female grammar department of the Benton School.
Satisfied that the establishment of a High School cannot be longer deferred without great detriment to your Primary and Grammar Schools ; that its partial organization is now feasible ; that it is demanded to give completeness to the system already in operation ; that it will be useful by the ever active stimulus which it will exercise upou your lower Schools ; that it is required for equalizing the facilities for acquiring a good and thorough education, and that it is absolutely essential to enable your Schools to perform their true mission, and to become what they should be, the Educational Institutions of the City, your Committee would propose and recommend the adoption of the following resolutions :
Resolved, That a High School be established ; the course of instruction in which shall occupy four years, and comprise the following studies : Higher Arithmetic, English Analysis and Composition, History of the United States, Algebra, Geometry, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Surveying, including Navigation, Analytical Geometry, Natural Pbilosophy, Natural History, Mineralogy, Geology, Civil Engineering, Rhetoric, Mental Philosophy, Constitution of the United States, and the German, French, and Latin Languages.
Resolved, That after the close of the present quarter, one of the Grammar departments of the Benton School be changed into a Male and Female High School, to be under the charge of a Male Principal, with one Male Assistant for the present, and as many more as shall be found requisite.
Resolved, That to be admitted to the High School, the applicant shall be twelve years of age, shall have attended at least one scholastic year in one or more of the Public Grammar Schools, and shall have passed a satisfactory examination on spelling, reading, writing, mental and written arithmetic, geography and grammar.
Resolved, That written applications be received by the Superintendent, until the first of February next, for the situation of Principal of the High School, and persons applying be required to show that they have received a thorough, liberal and classical education, are professional teachers, and to furnish the necessary testimonials and evidence that they are qualified for the office.
Resolved, That the salary of the Principal of the High School be twelve hundred dollars per annum.
Resolved, That after the close of the present quarter, the studies in the Grammar School be restricted to spelling, reading, writing, mental and written arithmetic, geography, grammar, and English composition, history and algebra, in the schools of the First and Sixth Wards.
Resolved, That at the close of the present quarter, the Eliot Female Primary be changed into a Female Grammar department, and that the Male Primary of the same be changed into a Mixed Primary; and that the Superintendent be authorized to have the alterations in the building and furniture, necessary for this change, made.
Resolved, That a Special Committee be appointed to ascertain the
best site that can be obtained for a High School, and report on what terms the purchase can be made.
Resolved, with reference to the other two suggestions of the Superintendent, your Committee would recommend their adoption, and propose the following resolution.
Resolved, That the Principal of each school be required to send to parents or guardians, a monthly report of the attendance, absence, tardiness, general conduct, and character of visitations of each child, to be returned to the teacher, countersigned by the parents or guardian. All of which is respectfully submitted.
also bure had never be of Transactionsand, on looking 213, for
MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION. [The following letter from Mr. Tenney, of Pittsfield, deserves a place in this number of the “Teacher," as it will correct a wrong impression which has gone abroad in regard to the Charter of the Massachusetts Teachers' Association. The error had its origin in the fact that neither the records nor the files of the Association show that an Act of Incorporation was ever obtained, although from the proceedings at a meeting of the Board of Directors, held at the Phillips School, Boston, January 14th, 1846, it appears that a Committee was appointed for the purpose :-)
ACT OF INCORPORATION. At the late meeting of the State Association at New Bedford, on my motion, the Board of Directors were instructed to apply to the State Legislature for an act incorporating the Association. This I did because I was told by one of the Board, and also by another member, older than myself, that this important measure had never been taken. Since then, I find, on looking over our first volume of Transactions, page 24, that similar instructions had been given before ; and, on looking into the “ Special Laws" of the State, vol. 8, p. 643, chap. 213, for the year 1846, it appears that the business was promptly and properly attended to.
It may be well to have the act published in the “ Teacher," for information, and more convenient reference to the teachers of the State. For this purpose, I forward the following copy :
“An Act to Incorporate the Massachusetts Teachers' Association.
“ Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :
“ Sect. 1. Oliver Carlton, Samuel Swan, their associates and successors, are hereby made a Corporation, by the name of the Massachusetts Teachers' Association, with all the powers