Page images
PDF
EPUB

Second. As to the learning of the applicants. It should appear from their examination that they are good spellers, distinct and accurate readers, write good and plain hands, can make pens, and are well versed,

1st. In the definition of words.

2d. In arithmetic, at least as far as the double rule of three:

3d. In geography, as far as contained in any of the works in ordinary use :

4th. In the history of the United States, of England, and of Europe generally:

5th. In the principles of English grammar: and, 6th. In the use of globes.

Third.—The ability of the applicants to teach. Mere learning, without the capacity to impart it, would be of no use. The County Superintendents should satisfy themselves, by general inquiries, and particularly by a thorough examination of the applicants respectively, of their qualifications in this respect, of their tact in dealing with chil. dren, and especially of their possessing the unwearied patience, and invariable good nature, so necessary to constitute useful teachers of youth.

Having satisfied themselves on these several points, the County Superintendents will grant certificates of qualification, in the following form:

Form of certificate of qualification to be granted by County Su

intendents.

That I,

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME : BE IT KNOWN,

County Superintendent of common schools for the county of

having examined A. B. and having ascertained his qualifications in respect to moral character, learning and ability to instruct a common school, DO HEREBY CERTIFY, that he is duly qualified for that service, and accordingly he is hereby LICENSED to ieach common schools, in any town and district of the said county, until this certificate shall be annuiled according to law. [Or, in the towr. of

for one year from the date of this certificate.] Given under my hand, this

day of

in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty

County Superintendent.

2. Annulling certificates of teachers.

1. This can be done in the case of teachers holding a license from the Town Superintendent, only by the County Superintendent, with the consent of the Town Superintendent. But a license granted by him, can be annulled only by him.

By Ø 9, of the act of 1843, the consent of the Town Superintendent shall not be requisite to the annulling of any certificate of qualification granted by any County Superintendent.

2. Previous notice should be given to the teacher of the allegations against him, when it is proposed to annul his certificate, particularly when the alleged ground is deficiency of moral character, and he should have full opportunity afforded him for defence. The County Superintendent may, at any time, examine any person holding a certificate, to ascertain his qualifications with respect to learning and ability: and a refusal to submit to such examination would be, in itself, sufficient evidence of income petency to justify the annulling of his certificate.

3. The form of the instrument annulling the certificate may be as follows:

Form of instrument annulling a certificate. To all to whom these presents may come, Whereas, on or about the day of

184 a certificate of qualification to teach common schools was granted to A. B. by the [Town Superin. tendent of the town of

in the county of

.] And whereas, on due examination and enquiry by the County Superin. tendent of the said county of

and the Town Superintend. ent of the town of

the said A. B. has been found deficient and unqualified to teach common schools ; Know ye therefore, that we, the said County and Town Superintendents do hereby annuland declare void the said cerificate of qualification so given to the said A. B.

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands, this day of 184 .

County Supt.

Town Sup't.

4. A duplicate of this instrument should be served on the person whose certificate is annulled, although it will be valid without such service. It is not necessary to give notice of it to the trustees of the district where he may be

employed, to render it effectual; but such notice should promptly be given, to prevent the loss by the district, of its portion of the public moneys, which would ensue from the employment of a teacher not holding a license.

5. The County Superintendents are required at the expiration of every three months to state in a separate report to the department, the names of all persons whose certificates of qualification have been annulled by them, with the cause of such proceeding. In cases where it may be proper, such reports will be published in the District School Journal.

6. They are also required to keep a register of the names of all persons to whom they grant certificates of qualification, with the date of such certificate, and the town in which it was given; and also of the names of all persons whose certificates are annulled by them, with the date of the act and the general reasons therefor.

Their proceedings in relation to the granting or annulling of certificates are subject to appeal to the Superintendent, by any person deeming himself aggrieved.

V. APPEALS TO COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS. No stronger or more gratifying evidence can be afforded of the approbation with which the legislature regarded the system of county supervision as at present established, than is comprised in the fact of devolving upon the officers charged or to be charged with these functions, the duty and responsibility of deciding in the first instance, upon all appeals heretofore authorized to be preferred to the department. Under this provision, they are not only vested with most important powers in reference to the settlement of the numerous controversies which spring up in the several districts, but enabled to exert a pervading influence of permanent utility as peace-makers, in that extensive class of cases where the paramount interests of education are now too frequently sacrificed to the attainment of a temporary triumph, or the gratification of a domineering, avaricious or selfish spirit. There can be no doubt that the presence and explanations and friendly counsels of one in whom all parties can confide—whose integrity is above suspicion-who comes to them, not with the dictatorial assumption of power, but as one deeply

interested in their welfare and that of their children, and anxious only to restore harmony and peace where har. mony and peace are indispensable to the common wel. fare, will, within the compass of a very short period, materially reduce the number of vexatious, protracted and unprofitable school district controversies and dissensions. There will still, however, be left a wide field for the exercise of sound judgment, nice discrimination and untiring patience and equanimity.

To qualify themselves for the judicious and enlightened discharge of the duties and responsibilities thus devolved upon them, the County Superintendents must first render themselves familiar with the various laws relating to common schools and with the published decisions of the department under those laws. In order to secure as far as may be possible, perfect uniformity of deci-ion throughout the state, it is recommended to the several County Superintendents to refer at once to the head of the department, every question respecting the proper interpretation of any given statute or principle, not clear. ly apparent or specifically settled by the published decisions. It is of the utmost importance that the administration of the system should be uniform in every section of the state. Discordant principles and clashing decisions in reference to the same point, must, it is obvious, fatally weaken the influence of that admirable organization which now prevails, and introduce anarchy and confusion in the place of order and justice.

In the settlement and disposition of the various questions which will come up before them, the County Superintendents can preserve and extend their influence and promote their usefulness, only by a strict impartiality between the contending parties, and a calm, temperate, dispassionate, but at the same time, firm and dignified examination and decision of the points at issue. If they err, either in reference to the facts or the law, a prompt remedy is afforded by an appeal to the department; but if they have imprudently made ihemselves, either by an overweening confidence in their construction of the law in reference to the particular facts of any given case, or otherwise, parties to the controversy, they will find it exceedingly difficult to regain that influence over the minds and feelings

[ocr errors]

of the disappointed, or even of the finally successful party, which is so indispensable to the efficient performance of their supervisory duties.

Any inhabitant of a school district conceiving himself aggrieved, in consequence of any proceeding or decision of any school district meeting, or of the Town Superintendent, either separately or in conjunction with the supervisor and town clerk, relative to the formation or alteration of any school district, or of the trustees or librarian, in the discharge of any of the duties devolving upon them, or concerning any other matter arising under the shool law of whatever description, is now required to bring his appeal, in the manner and within the time now prescribed by the regulations of the department, to the County Superintendent, whose decision thereon is final, unless appealed from to the department within fifteen days after service of a copy thereof.

CASES IN WHICH APPEALS MAY BE MADE.

Under the 110th Section of the Common School Act. (No. 160.)

I. Where any decision has been made by any school district meeting."

This includes the whole class of cases, in which district meetings have the power to decide on any proposition or motion that may legally be made to them, under any section of the school act.

II. Where any decision has been made by the Town Superinten. dent of common schools, or by him and the supervisor and town clerk, in the forming or altering, or in refusing to form or alter any school district, or in refusing to pay any school moneys to any district; and under the general provision, “ concerning any other matter under the present title," appeals will also lie from the proceed. ings of such Town Superintendent in any erroneous distribution of public money, in paying it to any district not entitled, or more than it is authorized to receive ; and in fact from any official decision, act, or proceeding, and from a refusal to discharge any duty imposed by law, or the regulations of the Superintendent, or incident to the duties of his office.

III. Where any decision has been made by trustees of school districts in paying any teacher, or refusing to pay him, or in refusing to admit any scholar gratuitously into the school. And under the same general provision referred to, in improperly admitting any scholar gratuitously, in making out any tax list, or rate-bill, or in any act or proceeling whatever, which they undertake to perform officially ; and also for a refusal to discharge any duty enjoined by law, or any regulation of the Superintendent, or incident to the du. ties of their office.

IV. Where Town Superintendents have improperly granted or

« PreviousContinue »