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SCHOOL HOUSES.

The number of districts in the county of fact that they are not read at all. By referring Broome, which are models of policy for educa. to the statistics it will be seen, that only a small tional purposes, is small; but these prove con proportion of the books circulate at a time.clusively the far-reaching good that can be done The good to be derived from reading a good by, our school system where it is probably ap- book cannot be counted in money, but when preciated.

good books are not read, we can accurately es.

limate how much money is inactive in such pur. As might be expected from such a condition chases. Hundreds of dollars have been spent of the district, it will be impossible to give a fa. for books which have retired from the public vorable account of the school houses. Some of gaze, and they are now reposing in cases, on the poorer ones, made of logs or wood framed, shelves, or in old baskets, disturbing no one and are in those districts which cannot afford to not often disturbed. build good houses; hence they are obliged to Wherever good libraries have been properly take up with apologies for them. Others may appreciated, their effects fully demonstrate the be found in those wealthy, ignoble, apathetic utility of the system. Whole families are found districts, which are equally bad in proportion to in which great improvement has been made by their number of scholars. Fault-finding is no the perusal of the books. Subjects for thought part of the business of this report, and these have been brought out, interest awakened in things are merely stated because they are facts. things around, where before there was no at. The materials of which the house is made, is traction; clearer conceptions of the great and not of so much consequence, provided that the good have been generated, and all through the temperature and light of the room are proper influence of the well selected, and well read disand sufficient. The internal arrangement of trict school library. seats and desks, is the neglected, important Here, we again distinguish the influence of part. A single desk, six or eight inches higher living instructers; for the best of books and than a common table, placed against one of the papers, and facts by the word of mouth, sides, is the only one found in some of the school may be chilled into neglect, or nourished into houses. Others have desks of the same kind notice by their precept and example. Hence, attached to all or three of the walls, and this is of all plans for the education of the country, a very common method. Many of the seats that is the most comprehensive and life giving, cannot be accurately imagined or described.- which brings into action thorough, devoted and They are too high for a Brobdignagian, destitute persevering teachers. of backs and sometimes of legs, and, in the lat. Whatever good has been accomplished during ter case, most probably upheld by á log, or a the past year, is merely sufficient to show the heap of stones.

magnitude of the task of educating the whole In the statistical account, houses were reck. people, and to give great hopes of the ultimate oned in good repair, which were, by no means, success of well directed efforts towards attain. convenient for teacher or scholars. This faulty ing that object. arrangement has proceeded more from sheer

G. T. FRAZIER, carelessness, or from a lack of the requisite in.

Dep. Sup. Broome Co. formation, than from a want of good will in the inhabitants. The attention paid to remodeling CATTARAUGUS COUNTY. benches and desks, and to the construction of The undersigned, Deputy Superintendent of new houses, during the past year, give great Common Schools for the north part of Catta. encouragement that a new and brighter era is raugus county, in obedience to the requirements about to commence in the history of these houses of the Department, submits the following refor the people's education. The location which port: Thai in the division of the county into most of our school houses have, is bad enough. districts, I was to supervise the schools in 118 This, too, is beginning to attract attention. districts (counting two parts equal to one whole

In school houses containing the bad seats and district,) in the north part of the county, and desks before named, it was painful to discern my colleague was to supervise the remaing 112 the tired looks and unensy postures of the little in the south part. I commenced visiting the ones, who were restless and impatient from so schools under my charge on the 2d day of De. palpable a cause. The physician would per- cember, 1841, and completed one entire round haps discover here the incipient causes of dis on the 28th day of February, 1842. ease, needless, and wanting only the forethought of parents to prevent. The commonest obser My attention was soon directed to one very ver may also see in many of our schools, habits, general, and in my judgment, very fatal error in beginning to be formed which will be more or the management of the schools. That error less baneful to the possessors. For instance, was the almost uniform neglect to visit or superirregularity of attendance and a want of punc. vise the school both by the trustees and patrons tuality in being at school at the proper hours, of the school, and in many instances by the in. are likely to insure to such scholars, vacillating, spectors. The result was, that many teachers incorrect habits of action in the business opera. were employed and sent into the school house to tions of after life. Again, it is certain that the unfold the power of the infant mind, who were incommodiousness of school houses and out destitute of the requisite qualifications, and yet buildings for scholars of different sexes, have a from this neglect their imcompetency has passed tendency to produce vitiated tastes, if not direct unobserved, and they have succeeded in obtain. immorality.

ing a series of certificates and schools. One LIBRARIES.

teacher informed me that she had taught (or The books, in most of the libraries, are well rather as she expressed it, had teached) seven kept. This,'in some instances, is not owing to terms—had had five certir cates from the town the care taken in reading them, but from the inspectors; and yet this teacher in pronouncing

NEGLECT TO VISIT SCHOOLS.

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words to her first class, from a table in the ele. towns and districts. Where opposition existed mentary Spelling Book, where the verbs in the to the law in relation to schools, it has been present tense are given, followed by the suffixes found necessary to do away that opposition if ed to form the perfect participle, ing to form the possible, in order to be useful to their schools; present participle, and er, or or, to denote the and I am happy to be able to say, that preju. agent, pronouoced the whole as a single word, dice has lost much or its force in this county. thus:

In those towns and districts where the people PP

р agent. were disposed to render their efforts to give the sign ed ing

law a fair trial_the results have exceeded my pror ounced signedinger, and so on throughout expectations. Teachers have become more cri. the whole table.

tically acquainted with the sciences, have adoptAnother teacher, who had still more experied better methods of teaching and governing, ence in teaching orthography, told her scholars and are beginning to see the importance of cul. several times in the same recitation, that figure tivating the morals as well as the intellects of 9 represented the long sound of a made by e as their scholars—a duty hitherto too much neg. in tete-teet ; giving the e its long sound instead lected. Parents have taken a more enlightened of the long sound of a. In several instances, view of their duties in visiting their schools, alter hearing a class recite the table of abbrevi: and in encouraging their children to greater di. ations with admirable recollection, I have put a ligence. Inspectors of schools have felt it their practical question to one of the class, thus:- duty to be more exact in their examinations of

Suppose you should read in a book or news. both teachers and schools. And as a matter of paper a name, say John Jones, A. M., what course, the scholars have received a new im. would you understand the A. M. to mean?" pulse, and the beauties and excellencies of mo. Ans. “Master of Arts,'

" Before Noon,”!

1986. In rarls and science are exhibited to their eager the Year of the World.” “What! all of that ?” minds, they resolve, with a glorious enthusiasm, “Yes, sir:" and frequently the whole class to pursue the paths of knowledge with steady would concur in that answer.

and undeviating steps. In one school, the teacher defined lines of lon. All which is respectfully submitted. gitude on the maps, as lines passing from pole

E. A. RICE, to pole, crossing the equator at right angles. I

Dep. Sup. Cattaraugus Co. inquired of the class,“ do you know what is meant by one line crossing another at right an

CAYUGA COUNTY. gles ?" "No sir.” And the teacher was una SIR:-There are in this county twenty-two ble to illustrate the matter so as to be under towns and two hundred and sixty-six organized stood by his scholars. I have mentioned these school districts, the school houses of which are instances, among many others that might be wholly or partly situated in the county. mentioned, not as general errors, but as speci. There were no schools in thirty-four of the mens of numerous errors growing out of the al districts at the time I visited the schools in the most universal neglect of those whose duty it different towns; consequentls, leaving two hun. was to make a thorough and minute examina dred and thirty-two visited during the year. tion of our schools. Had these schools been vi. Sixty-three of the number were visited during sited by competent persons, and the various er. the winter and spring, and one hundred and six. rors pointed out, such teachers would have long ty-nine during the summer and fall. since been dismissed from the service, or have been better qualified for cultivating the mental The aggregate number of months taught by and moral faculties of youth. I submit this all the teachers was 4,575, and the aggregate proposition with confidence, for during the past number taught in one district, 1,819; showing year many teachers have discovered their de- an average of about two-fifths of the whole lects, and are making noble efforts to become time taught in each of the respective districts. more useful in their profession.

By referring to the abstract of the several dis. SMALL DISTRICTS.

tricts, it will be seen that the teachers who have The practice of dividing school districts every kept ihe greatest length of time in one district, time some unpleasant circumstance occurs, or as a general rule, are the best qualified and somebody wants the school house a little nearer teach the best schools. The practice of chang. his door, has produced great evils. Take one ing teachers every term, although very preva. town for instance, containing 48 square miles; | lent, in my opinion is a great hindrance to the every pers n« an see that 12 schools would very advancement of the schools; I mean the prac. well accommodate the town; yet that town has tice of changing, when the employers are satis. 17 schools, some of them having 6, 10 or 13 fied that their teacher is well qualified to in. scholars. It will be readily seen that as the struct their children, when the school is flour. teacher's wages, board and other incidental ex. ishing and the scholars are progressing in their pen-es, will amount to at least an average of studies, for another, perhaps a stranger, with $10 per month, $50 per month of public and out knowing any thing of his qualifications, and private funds are lost, and as their schools ave. committing their children to his charge. Any rage eight months in a year, the loss amounts one who has taught school, well knows that annually to $400. I am truly gratified at being some considerable portion of a term elapses be. able to say that more correct views are begin- fore there is that acquaintance formed and con. ning to prevail upon this subject; and that seve. fidence gained, between teacher and pupils, be. ral small districts have been dissolved and form fore all the necessary preliminaries are under. ed into larger ones.

stood and the manner of instruction familiariz. The improvement of the schools during the ed, to insure the improvement of the school.last year has been in a direct ratio to the amount This accomplished, it must be apparent, that a of interest existing or excited in the respective continuance of the same teacher would increase

CONDITION OF THE SCHOOLS.

1

LIBRARIES.

the profitableness of the school much more than have ability to govern his school, and a tact to to change every term, even if the teachers teach or impart knowledge to his pupils. Chil. should be alike qualified, and vastly more if oc- dren are the creatures of imitation. They be. casionally one should be but poorly qualified. gin to learn at a very early age-the impressions Yet the practice of nine-tenths of the districts then made are often retained through life. How is to have a new teacher every term, As alrea- important, then, that they be rightly instructed, dy shown, 130 of the 235 teachers whose schools that a right direction be given to their youthful were visited, have taught less than six months minds. Again, a license never should be grant. in one district, 53 less than 12 months; while on ed to an unqualified teacher, because the school ly ten have taught over 24 and under 36, and 4 he is to have charge of is backward; for here is over 36 months !

the very place he is capable of doing the great

est injury. He will not only keep the school There were seven districts in the county that backward, but may instruct his scholars wrong. had no libraries; two where the number of vo- ly from the beginning to the end of the term, lumes was not ascertained, and six where the and all will be thought to be right. But in a number of volumes was taken from commis. school where the scholars are advanced, his ersioners' reports.

rors a' e detected and his ignoronce exposed. He The whole number of volumes in all the libra- soon finds that he is in the wrong place and must ries was 19,276. The average number kept out leave; for the scholars have the power, and they or in circulation, 2,544. Average number of they are not slow to use it. I have never knowu volumes in a library 75; average number kept a teacher stay in a school long, where his pupils out or in circulation, about ten.

had received the idea that he was not qualified The number of missing or lost books 53; 41 to instruct them. No matter from what source of which were destroyed by fire.

they learn the fact, whether from their parents, The condition of the books was generally or from their own knowledge of his ignorance; good, being soiled or damaged no more than his life with them is short. could be expected from the natural wear and

JOHN B. BOWEN, usage. Tbere were but two libraries among the

Dep. Sup. Com. Schools of Cayuga Co. number examined, where the books to any ex. tent were damaged. In a majority of the dis

CHEMUNG COUNTY. tricts the selection of books was good, and There are in this county one hundred and evinced a taste for sound and useful informa. eight entire districts. There are twelve joint tion. There were others where a portion of the districts attached to other counties, viz: ? books was of a light and frivolous character, attached to Steuben county, 3 to Tompkins and yet not strictly objectionable. The number of 2 to Tioga. Ten of the school houses in the improper books was considerable, (some libra- above named parts of districts are situated in ries having as many as 15 or 20 volumes, as the county of Chemung, 1 in the town of Readmay be seen by referring to the appendix,) ing, Steuben county, the other in the town of mostly novels and romances, and works of a fe. Barton, Tioga county. Two districts have no rocious, sanguinary and terriffic character, cal school 'house ; of the others, 72 are of wood culated to harden the affections and inculcate framed, 40 are of logs and four are mere shansentiments diametrically the opposite of mora- tees. There are 4 school housesrin the county lity and virtue. It is to be hoped that these that have two rooms. books will, in the course of the present fall and A large portion of the territory of the county winter, be exchanged for those suitable or pro- of Chemung is thinly inhabited and has been per. This I am confident will be the case in a but recently settled; consequently there is not that majority of the districts, as the trustees express- ability to support good schools as in older settled ed a willingness to dispose of them, being con- sections of the country. But in the most newly vinced that they were improper. There were settled sections of the county, the inhabitants some districts, however, that expressed a deter. realize the necessity and importance of sustain. mination to keep such books at all hazards. But, ing a school ; and in every part of the county, notwithstanding, I trust that after due reflec- however remote it may be, districts are orga. tion, they will become satisfied that such books nized and schools in operation, But as a gene. are improper, and that the requisitions of the ral thing, the efforts of the inhabitants cease law and the department should be complied with the organization; and when a teacher has with, and will act accordingly.

been procured, and the school commenced, they TEACHERS' QUALIFICATIONS.

seem to think there is no further need of their From the foregoing, this most important fact care and influence concerning it. They sive up is deduced : that the standard of teachers' quali. the whole management of the school to the tea. fications is much too low. There are reasons cher, aud appear to rest satisfied that they have for this, one of which I will give a passing no. a school organized and in operation, and think tice. It has been the practice in some of the as a matter of course that their children will towns to give a license for a school; one for in. become learned, as so much has been done for stance, where the scholars were small and back their improvement. It has been one of my ward, when it was well known that the indivi. greatest efforts to enlist the attention of parents dual was not qualified “to teach a common and guardians more to the management of their school.” The reason assigned, is, that the pu- schools, and to pay more particular attention to pils are backward or not sufficiently advanced the character and qualifications of their teachto study the harder rules of Grammar, Arith- ers; to visit the schools frequently, confer free. metic, &c. This practice is much to be depre- ly with the teachers, and in all respects cheer. cated. The teacher should be well qualified in fully cooperate with and aid them by advice and every respect; not only as regards learning, but admonitions, in the discharge of their important his moral character should be good; he should and responsible duties. And I think my efforts

le

have been partially successful, as there is much in duration and secondary in importance; and so more feeling and interest taken in our district long as they relain such a character and are held schools. The inhabitants of school districts are in such estimation, the cbject for which they beginning to see the importance of procuring were established, will of necessity, be only teachers qualified for the business; they see partially accomplished. But by reducing the that it is not economy to employ teachers whose number of departments to four, and increasing only recommendation is that they will keep the the annual appropriation to each from $300 to school cheap. The situation of their schools is $1200, their relation to the academies in which more frequently the topic of conversation, and they are established, will be reversed, as they they appear to realize the necessity of bestow will then, instead of being as now secondary, being upon them a greater amount of their per. come primary objects of attention and regard; sonal care and attention, in order to raise the the principals of such academies, in consideration character and elevate the standard of their com of such endowment, will, it is reasonable to premon schools.

sume, be selected with special reference to their NATHAN TIDD, qualifications to conduct such departments, and Dep. Sup. of Chemung Co. the students who attend them without being 811b

ject to any additional charges, will have greatly REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY-NORMAL increased advantages for improvement.

The committee therelore propose that an ordi. SCHOOLS,

nance be adopted to carry out the plau proposed

in the communication above referred to, and they The following ordinance of the Regents is one

have accordingly prepared the draft of an ordiof the most important measures yet adopted for the nance, whien is here with submitted : improvement of our common schools. We confi

ORDINANCE, &c. dently anticipate from it, the establishment of in

Be it ordained by the Regents of the University of the stitutions for the education of teachers, which shall state of New.York, that the Departments for the educa.

tion of Teachers of Common Schools heretofore estabaccomplish the object of their creation and merit the lished by this Board, be reduced to four; to be establishgenerous patronage of the state; and we hope one in the Northern, and one in the Western section of from their influence a rapid and general diffu- the state. That the following named academies be and sion of those thorough methods of culture, which they are hereby designated for the establishment of said

departments, that is to say: shall give new dignity to the profession of teach. For the southern section of the state, Academy. ing, and greater usefulness and popularity to our

For the northern section of the state,

Academy.

For the eastern section of the state, district schools.

Academy.

For the western section of the state, Academy. We trust that the plan now adopted will be care. But inasmuch as such departments when established fully matured and immediately carried out; and that der the direction of the Secretary of State as Superinten.

by the Regents of the University, are by law placed unno academy will be deemed worthy of holding this dent of Common Schools, the designation of the acadesacred trust for the people, that will not make the made on condition that the trustees of the said acade

mies above named, for the purposes above stated, is education of teachers for common schools, its mies, so designated, on receiving notice thereof, shall,

in consideration of the appropriation to be made to them prominent and leading object.

as hereinafter stated, and so long as such appropriation We shall return to this important subject in a shall continue to be made to them, consent and agree by future number.-ED.

resolution under their corporate seal, to establish and

conduct said departments, on such a foundation, and in April 11, 1843.

such manner as shall be prescribed and required by the

said Superintendent of Common Schools, to whom it is The following report and or linance were una- hereby referred, to correspond with auid academies, in

relation to such consent and agreement, and to report nimously allopteil, and ordered to be published: thereon to this Board at some future meeting. The commitlee to whom was referred the tions of that part of the income of the literature fund,

And be it further ordained, that all future appropriacommunication from the Secretary of State, as intended for the support of departments for the educa. Superintendent of Common Schools, recommend. tion of common school teachers, shall be made exclu. inz a reduction in the number of academies in sively to such academies as are or shall be designated which deparıments for the education of Common whole amount authorized to be so appropriated, shall be

under the preccding section of this ordinance, and the School teachers are established, respectfully re- either equally divided among such academies, or in pro. port:

portion to the number of teachers instructed by them, as That they concur with the Superintendent, in shall be hereafter determined. Nothing in this ordinance the opinion expressed in his communication, that shall be deemed to extend to, or in any manner affect,

any department for the education of teachers of common the appropriation of that part of the income or schools, which the Regents of the University are requir. the Literature Fund intended for the support of cd by law to have established in every academy which departments for the education of teachers, ought receives a share of $700 in the general distribution of to be limited to four academies, to be designated $40,000, annually made among academies subject to their by the Regents of the University, in the manner The Regents reserve to themselves the right of alter. proposed by the Superintendent. The number of ing, modifying or rescinding the preceding ordinance, or academies in which such departments are now es

any part thereof.

(A copy,) T. ROMETN Beck, Sec'y. tablished being sixteen, and the aniount of public money annually appropriated to them being only the above academies at an early period in the en

It is expected that the Regents will designale $1800, the money allotted to each ($300) is so ina lequate lo accomplish the object of the appro

suing aylumn. priation, that the departments, under their present organization, are generally considered anıt

The parent that visits the school most, is sure trcaled by the several aca lemies in which they to get the most cf the teacher's services. are established, as mere appendages, temporary Advise your teacher, but do not slander him.

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DISTRICT SCHOOL JOURNAL. $50,000, and creates in their stead eight hundred

and thirty-two town superintendents, possessing FRANCIS DWIGHT, EDITOR.

the same powers, but under increased responsibili

ties to the people for the right application of the OFFICIAL-TO SCHOOL OFFICERS.

public money. The next No. of the Journal will be issued by

It provides for the faithful discharge of duty by the 15th inst., and will contain the official exposi- county superintendents;—by giving the state supertion of the new school act, and the form of the intendent power in certain cases, to with hold the bond to be given by Town Superintendents, togeth- state's moiety of their salary; and also to remove er with such explanations as may be necessary.

from office, should neglect or violation of duty The county superintendents, are directed to call

make it necessary. the attention of the proper town officers, to the

It gives the right of appeal, in the first instance, provision requiring the appointment of a town su

to the county superintendent;—that district difficulperintendent on the first day of June. It is an im-ties may be settled at home, where they are best portant office, and its incumbent should be selected umlerstood, and the expense and delay prewith much care.

S. YOUNG,

vented of carrying up every petty question to the Sup't of Com. Schools, state superintendent for adjudication.

It establishes three grades of certificates for THE NEW COMMON SCHOOL ACT. teachers;-that a generous emulation may be awa

kened among the educators of our youth, to secure By the strong vote in the Assembly of 79 ayes the highest evidence of qualification from the to 24 noes, and the UNANIMOUS assent of the Sen- hands of the state superintendent. ate, this most important bill of the session has be It prolongs the term of office of trustees to three come a law; thus making many beneficent reforms years, one trustee going out each year;-to secure a in the administration of the schools, and recogni- more systematic administration of the affairs of the zing and sustaining as the settled policy of the districts, and prevent thos numerous difficulties state the admirable system of supervision by coun- arising from the ignorance of the trustees of the ty superintendents.

arrangements of their predecessors. We congratulate our fellow citizens on this tri It directs that the teacher's money shall remain umph of the great cause of education. Though in the hands of the town superintendents, until the uncalled for and unheeded by those who are lost in written order of a majority of the trustees of any the hurly burly of party politics, still there are district is presented, when it shall be paid to the many, who looking indifferently on the scramble teacher entitled to receive the same. This provifor office, will rejoice at the success of these sion was called for by many trustees, who found the great measures of educational reform, in which custom of drawing the public money and dividing alone lies the hope of our country. For they feel it among themselves, a cause of frequent embarthat the heart of the people must be reinforced by a rassment. It was called or by public policy, as in higher and sterner morality; that the common mind many cases the school money has been lost by must be enlightened by a wiser anul better culture; passing into the hands of insolvents. It was that our schools must teach virtue as well as know- called for by justice to the teacher, who ledge, must develop and cherish principles to con- has often been compelled to wait month after trol and habits to protect the life, or universal cor month for his hard earneil pay, and sometimes ruption and dishonesty will make the name of forced to compound by taking anything but the American a scorn throughout all coming time. money so justly his own. This provision was not And it is in view of these considerations that we objected to by any member of the legislature. rejoice in this new and great measure of social It perpetuates ourailiuirable library system; auamelioration. It is a giant stride forward in the thorizing, however, the districts in certain cases, path of true civilization.

to purchase maps, globes, and other school appaThe Act, which will be found on the first page

ratus. of this Journal, embodies the principal amend IT DOES NOT ADD to the powers of the county ments recommended and vindicated by the Slate superintendent except in the matter of appeals, Superintendent in his annual report; and is not leaving that officer as now, to accomplish the great only a great measure of educational, but also of objects of his mission by an earnest and zealous economical reform. Its leading provisions are devotion to the cause of the schools; his powers powerfully advocated in the extract from Mr. being advisory, and appeals lying from all his acts Hulburd's Report, which we give in this number, to the department. and which makes any general remarks of our own It authorizes the continuance of the subscription unnecessary. We shall therefore merely indi- to a School Journal on grounds of economy and utilcate its prominent features.

ity ;-inasmuch as through its columns those laws, It abolishes forty-one hundred and sixty petty offi- decisions, and regulations of the common schools ces, whose annual charge on the people exceeded I are sent to every district, which would otherwise

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