« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The annual report for 1869 estimates the number of children in the State between four and fourteen years of age as about 78,830. The number attending schools was 74,913; decrease for the year, 2,225. The number not attending school (imperfectly reported) is 3,917; increase for the year, 689.
There were 2,480 public schools in the State, with 3,799 teachers, 521 of whom are male and 2,432 female. There has been an increase in the number of male teachers during the year of 44, and a decrease of 33 in the number of female teachers. The average wages of male teachers per month is $36 09, and of female teachers $20 71. The number who have taught the same school two or more successive terms is 965, being an increase for the year of 342.
The estimated value of school property was $1,411,650 50, being an increase of $264,438 34. The amount raised by tax for the support of schools was $315,738 86, being an increase for the year of $33,132 28, and $66,331 82 beyond the sum required by law The total amount expended for schools, exclusive of school-committees' compensation, was $372,218 77, an increase for the year of $38,753 15, making the average amount for each scholar $4 96. Compensation of school committee, $11,270 33. Number of visits made by them, 13,805.
The average school term is reported as increasing in length, and is now (1869) eighteen and one-fourth weeks, the average for 1868 being a week and a half longer than that for 1867. The number of school-houses reported unfit for use is 422, or not quite 19 per cent.. being a decrease for the year of 5. The average attendance of registered pupils is improving, and is now about 70 per cent. But 30 per cent. is too much to throw away upon irregular attendance. It is thought that the true remedy for the trouble is in having professionally educated teachers, who will know how to make the schools attractive to the children. The truant law is "pretty nearly a dead letter," since the several towns are merely permitted to execute its provisions by enacting by-laws. It is thought that, by trained and skillful teachers, it would be possible "so to teach and manage a school that attendance upon it shall be felt by the child to be a delight as well as a duty;" and it is hoped that the State will not much longer be without a normal school. For some years, until recently, the teachers of New Hampshire have been nearly devoid of means of professional culture, but now this want is partially supplied by a regular system of voluntary associated effort and by institutes.
There are reported eleven county educational associations, each of which meets two. or three times a year in the county. Teachers' institutes have been held in the several counties since the act passed by the legislature appropriating money to defray expenses. Four were held in the fall and two in the spring, 1869, with generally a good attendance, and having accomplished much good. The best talent that could be found, "either in the State or out of it," was secured for the instruction of the institutes in the best modes of common-school instruction and management. The reëstablishment of teachers' institutes in this State "is the retrieval of a backward and downward step-a step that it is to be hoped will never be taken again."
REPORT OF JUNE, 1870.
The annual report to the June session of the legislature, 1870, Hon. A. C. Hardy, superintendent, is just received, and gives the following:
Number of schools in the State
Aggregate number of children attending public schools
Number between 4 and 14 years of age not attending any school.
Number of teachers employed.
Wages per month of gentlemen teachers, including board.
Institutes have been held in seven different counties during the year, which were. quite as successful as any ever held in the State. Working in a field where the veryname "institute" aroused prejudice in many minds, they have won their way to re-. ceive the commendation of all classes who have been brought in contact with them.. Their design was twofold-to improve the teachers professionally and to arouse a. general interest in the cause of education.
Special efforts have been made during the year to awaken an interest among the people by gratuitous lectures given by the friends of education throughout the State..
This plan originated at an institute meeting, when it was resolved that the superintendent should issue circulars appealing to every influential friend of education in the State to aid in organizing lectures in every town upon educational subjects, by contributing funds or lecturing gratuitously. The result was that between forty and fifty lectures were given during the year. It is the intention to perfect the arrangement for the coming year, so that a lecture shall be given in each town in the State.
DECREASE IN CHILDREN, TEACHERS, AND SCHOOL FUNDS.
The number of school districts shows a slow decrease in the right direction. One of the great evils in our schools is the excessive number of districts, thereby creating many very small schools with very little money, which makes it necessary to employ cheap (?) teachers and hold short terms of school. Probably one-half the schools in the State will not average 12 pupils; as, including the city and village schools, the average is but about 18.
The statistics also show quite a decrease in the number of scholars attending school during the past year. We can account for this in only one way-a gradual decrease of children in the State. This fact is an argument in favor of the reduction of school districts.
The "average attendance" shows that only about two-thirds of the pupils are present throughout the term. This is a great evil, and indicates that something is wrong
There has been a decrease of 310 "different persons" employed as teachers. This is a cheering indication, and it is "a consummation devoutly hoped for" that the time will come when the number of teachers employed and the number of schools shall be the same. Changing teachers, save for good and sufficient reason, is usually a positive loss to the school. There has been a slight advance in wages. When we pay more we shall require more, and our schools will consequently be worth more. It is simply a question whether an investment in brains "pays."
There has also been a slight decrease of "teachers teaching for the first time,” and also an increase of the number "teaching two or more terms in the same school." We find, as we might justly expect, a very perceptible increase of teachers who have attended teachers' institutes. With the opportunities the State now provides, it is criminal on the part of teachers to neglect the advantages of institute instruction.
There has been a very perceptible decrease in the "amount of money expended for schools," and also in the "length of schools in weeks," which arises, in a great measure, doubtless, from the fact that this is the year when the "dog tax" is not available. What a pity that we should not have more dogs, or be able to tax them higher, so that we might be able to educate our children better!
We are glad to record a large increase in the value of "school-houses and lots," and a corresponding decrease of houses unfit for their purpose. It is hoped, from the questions in the new registers, to obtain hereafter more accurate returns in this respect. The "amount expended on each scholar" the last year was only $4 87. This sum is altogether too small. It should be double what it now is, in justice to the children who are so soon to become the men and women of our State. No interest demands so imperatively the generous nurture of the State as the education of its future citizens.
HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING.
In response to circulars of inquiry sent by the superintendent to all persons in charge of educational institutions in the State whose address he could obtain, information was furnished him respecting twenty-four different institutions of learning. In addition to these it is believed there are many still unrepresented, and it is hoped that all will be reported next year.
Located at Hanover; incorporated December 13, 1769; president, Rev. Asa Dodge Smith, D.D., LL.D. The institution embraces an academical, a medical, a scientific, an agricultural, and an engineering department. The academical or classical department is the oldest. The medical department was established in 1798, and the scientific department, known as the Chandler Scientific School, in July, 1852; the agricultural department, or the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, in 1868; and the department of engineering, called the Thayer School of Engineering, though endowed, has not yet been put into operation. The endowment of all the departments, excluding buildings, libraries, apparatus, &c., is not far from $300,000. The number of alumni is as follows:
The number of students by the last catalogue, in the different departments, is as follows:
CHANDLER SCIENTIFIC DEPARTMENT, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE.
This department was established by a resolution of the trustees, in acceptance of the sum of $50,000, bequeathed to them in trust by Abiel Chandler, late of Walpole, and formerly of Boston, Massachusetts. The object and scope of this department, in the language of the will of Mr. Chandler, is to afford instruction "in the practical and useful arts of life, comprised chiefly in the branches of mechanics and civil engineering, the invention and manufacture of machinery, carpentry, masonry, architecture, and drawing, the investigation of the properties and uses of the materials employed in the arts, the modern languages and English literature, together with book-keeping, and such other branches of knowledge as may best qualify young persons for the duties and employments of active life."
NEW HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND THE MECHANIC ARTS.
This institution was organized to meet the requirements of Congress in the grant appropriating certain lands for industrial schools, and was incorporated by a legislative act of the State in 1866. New Hampshire was entitled to 150,000 acres of landscrip, which was sold in 1867 for the sum of $80,000 and the proceeds invested in six per cent. State bonds.
The general government of the college is vested in nine trustees, five of whom are appointed (one from each councilor district) and commissioned by the Governor, ant four by the trustees of Dartmouth College. The trustees were authorized by the act of incorporation to locate the institution at Hanover in connection with Dartmouth College.
In the schools of Manchester, during 1869, 78 different teachers were employed-10 males and 68 females. Sixty-three only are required at the same time, but the changes which took place required the employment of the larger number.
There were forty-six different day schools, one high, six grammar, ten middle, twenty primary, one intermediate, and eight ungraded suburban schools. The whole number of scholars was 3,500. The average attendance, 2,100. The high school graduated last year 22 pupils.
The salaries of the male teachers have varied from $800 to $1,800, the principal of the high school only receiving $1,800, and two principals of grammar schools receiving $1,500 each, while the others received $1,100, $1,200, and $1,300, respectively. The salaries of the females were from $350 to $800, one only receiving the latter sum. In addition to these, two music teachers were employed.
There were three evening schools, which 200 children attended, some of whom being unable to read or speak a word of the English language, the employment of a French teacher was necessary.
The expense of all the schools, aside from repairs of school-houses, was $39,201 86. The committee say: "We are constantly having our best teachers picked away by those who are willing to pay more than we do."
To supply the want resulting from the calling away of teachers a training school was established, not a distinct locality or school-house for that purpose, but a plan which should secure the object. They have provided for the selection of young ladies who propose to devote themselves to teaching, and who are willing thus to be employed, and bave placed them, without compensation, in some of the schools with old and experienced teachers, to acquire experience. Several excellent teachers have been secured in this way.
The school year now consists of three terms, two of twelve and one of sixteen weeks, forty weeks in all.
In regard to the attendance of teachers at the State and county meetings, the superintendent, Hon. J. G. Edgerly, says: "If a teacher cannot spend time to discuss educational questions, to attend educational meetings, to make careful preparation out of
school for the labors of the school-room, another should be found who is not so much occupied, and who is not content to teach as well to-day as he taught yesterday." Lessons in music, by instructors employed for the purpose, have been given in every school for the past three years, and it is now a regular exercise, the same as arithmetic and geography. The committee are satisfied that it is a branch of instruction which ought not to be neglected.
The superintendent complains of the course of study pursued, with reference to grammar. He says: "How vague and unsatisfactory the ideas which our pupils gain from such terms as auxiliary, antecedent, correlative, coördinate, proposition, passive, impersonal, infinitive, logical, synopsis, &c." He says that more oral instruction should be given and time devoted to practical exercises in composition and conversation, in learning to "speak and write the language correctly." "Our pupils must be taught that it is important to acquire a good use of language, and that success in business does not depend entirely upon mathematical knowledge, as oftentimes young men fail of desirable positions on account of the misuse of their mother tongue." 17
The practical exercises in learning the correct use of language should commence in the lower grades, and no pupil should be led to suppose he has mastered the subject because he can repeat rules like the following: "A noun or pronoun used for explanation or emphasis, by being predicated of another, or put in opposition with another, must be in the same case." The system is wrong and should be corrected.