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amid the scenes which once knew only the toils and perils of the Indian fighter.
Thus was evolved in our American history the era of mind.
To you, ladies and gentlemen of the National Educational Association, whose noble profession imposes the duty of cultivating the minds of the future men and women who will labor, instruct, and adorn in the fields of American art, letters, and government- to you, earnest and devoted disciples of learning, and worthy successors of the American pioneers of knowledge, the people of California look with confidence for the advancement of the splendid educational work of your predecessors.
On behalf, therefore, of the people of this state, I, as the executive, am afforded the high honor of greeting you each and all, and bidding a sincere and hearty welcome to our coast; and, trusting in your matured intelligence, wisdom, and scholarship, I fervently hope that our own schools, as well as the schools of other states, will reap the fruits of your timely visit and your wise deliberations.
THOMAS J. KIRK, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION,
CALIFORNIA Educators of America :
Greeting from the teachers of California. All the gates of the golden West are flung wide open to you. Our mountains part to admit you, the valleys smile at your approach, the evening breezes whisper their approval, all nature sings together for joy, and all our people join in the chorus of welcome. Even old Sol beams upon you with a warmth of affection which he rarely bestows upon those native here and to the manor born. If you are weary from travel, here find refreshment and repose. If the heat and sands of the desert have made you thirsty and covered you with dust, our streams and fountains sparkle with the water of life, and our surf removes all stains but those of conscience. Tarry with us as long as ye may, visit every portion of our state a vast empire on the Pacific coast. The grandeur of our mountains and the quiet beauty of our valleys will delight your eyes; the murmur of our pines and the music of our ocean will charm your ears. The world has heard the big guns of our “Oregon," “Monterey," and “Olympia :" it will be your privilege during this meeting to hear other big guns of California - our Jordan, Brown, Foshay, and others.
Our climate will rejuvenate your entire being. Los Angeles, realestate dealers will sell you this climate at $10 per square foot. You have seen small specimens of our fruits in the East; here you
will find the real article, such as we ourselves use or keep for distinguished guests. All things grow to great size here, even our prices and our stories. Those are not pumpkins hanging on yonder trees; they are the golden
fruit of Hesperides, the far-famed oranges of California. No dragon guards them; the dog is chained; the barbed wire is down; approach and help yourselves. Take a siesta under our fig tree, pluck the fruit of our vine. Sip our vintage, if you wish — just a taste, that you may know whereof you speak. Visit our raisin vineyards, our orchards of prune, pear, peach, almond, apricot, walnut, olive. Soil and sunshine have been
, . generous beyond measure to our people; they wish to be equally generous to you.
Our broad acres of grain, stretching beyond the reach of eye, feed the hungry multitudes of the Old World; our bean fields furnish brains for Boston ; our forests are housing the dwellers on all the boarders of the vast Pacific; our mines of gold and silver still fill with strength and vigor the veins and arteries of your commerce; our copper mines are supplying the commercial and intellectual world the nerves along which flashes the electric spark, binding forty-five states into one great nation, uniting the peoples of earth into one universal brotherhood; and, most valued of all, our educational system, crowned by two great universities, is training the brains which shall give mental and moral guidance to the entire body politic.
On this western shore, separated in large measure by the mountains and desert from the influences of the East, cut off from the traditions of the past, education has taken on some new phases of development and has had phenomenal growth. Our system of raising revenue for school maintenance is unique. It is what we believe to be a happy blending of the state, the county, and the district system. We maintain school in all the districts of the state an average of 8.7 months. We pay to teachers of all grades an average annual salary of $659. Twenty-seven in every hundred of our teachers are professionally trained, twentythree of these being graduates of our own universities and normal schools.
During the last ten years secondary and higher education have had an unprecedented growth. By the beneficence of Senator Stanford and the continued generosity of his wife, the great university bearing the name of their lamented son has been established, and now enrolls 1,100 students. Its endowment is over twenty millions of dollars. Within the same period our colleges at Berkeley have increased their enrollment from 350 to 1,700. Including the affiliated colleges located in San Francisco, our state university now has a total enrollment of 2,438. But numbers do not tell the whole story. There has been an enlarged curriculum to meet the growing demands of modern life. The university at Berkeley, looking out from her hills thru the Golden Gate and beholding beyond the Pacific new fields for peaceful conquest, has established a school of mechanical arts and a college of commerce. We are among the first of the universities of the world to recognize and act upon the fact that business pursuits as well as the learned professions demand special preparation and broad culture.
In 1889 there were but sixty-two high schools in the state. Today there are 125
With increase in numbers the standard of the work has been raised. The majority of our high schools are changing, or have changed, from a three- to a four-year course. Our elementary schools, the people's colleges, have advanced pari passu with our high schools. They are rightfully recognized as the basis upon which the whole superstructure of our educational edifice is erected. Our rural schools are the special pride of California.
For the preparation of teachers pedagogical departments have been established in both our universities, and our normal schools have been increased from two to five.
All this advance and interest in education is in response to the demands of the spirit of progress that pervades the people of California. And yet we have fallen short of our ideals. According to Commissioner Harris, 82 per cent. of the attendance in the public schools of the United States is in the first three years. Our records show a great advance over this average; still, we realize that we are giving the masses of children inadequate preparation for the best citizenship. This presents us with two problems - how to increase the number of years of attendance at school, and how to continue education after school.
Why is the schooling of so large a majority limited to three or four years ? For this there are several reasons. The first is poverty, real or imagined, which demands the labor of the child for the support of the family. The remedy for this is compulsory education. The child is the ward of the state, and the state, for its own preservation, must insist upon intelligent citizenship. The state, therefore, must furnish all that is necessary to the education of the child, even tho that should be its entire support. The second cause is failure on the part of the parent and the community generally to appreciate the value and importance of education. Frequent parents' and teachers' meetings, discussions of educational questions thru the public press, will create an enlightened criticism of school work. A good school is the product of the community, not the sole work of the teacher. A third reason for children leaving school at so early an age is failure of the school to take hold of the vital interests of the child. We need a better knowledge of children. The difference between the adult and the child mind is not one of quantity, but rather of quality. We have too long considered the child the miniature man, whereas he is a different being. We must know the child as he is, that we may educate him from what he is to what he should become. The child soon wearies of that subject which does not arouse his present interest. School is not merely a preparation for life, it is actual living. Life properly begun in school will continue beyond its door.
A free press
The present century has been called the age of public schools; the next may be the age of public education. The nations of antiquity had their great scholars and profound learning, while the masses were left in dense ignorance. The Middle Ages established great universities, but all preparation for them was at private expense. Only the favored son of wealth or the special beneficiary of charity could become an educated man. Today all grades of schools are open alike to the prince and the pauper. The democracy planted in America has diffused its spirit even into the monarchies of the Old World, and their governments are being popularized in everything but name. Free public schools and popular government must ever go hand in hand. The system of free public schools had its origin and growth in America; it is fast establishing itself in every country of Europe. But education is never completed in schools - not even in the halls of the college.
Life is constantly presenting new problems, both for the individual and for the nation. The correct solution of these demands continued study. The public as well as the children need educating is a powerful educator to him who has been trained to discriminate and to think as he reads. Public parks, museums, libraries, art galleries are great educational agents. It is for us, the teachers, so to connect school work with these institutions that the intellectual growth begun in school may continue thru life. We shall thus make the twentieth century the age of public education.
Among other problems which confront us in California are the relations of the various parts of our educational system to one another of the high school to the university, of the high school and university to the normal schools; the scope and place of manual training; the value of kindergartens and how to secure it; continuous sessions in our higher institutions and vacation schools in our lower ; improvement of the teachers while in service; employment of teachers and their continuance in positions solely upon merit; the education of the masses to a higher and fuller appreciation of what is truest and best in education.
We appeal to you for aid in the solution of these problems. You bring to us the experience of the older states, joined to your own wisdom and ripe scholarship.
We welcome you, members of the National Educational Association, to all the bounty and hospitality for which California has long been noted. Take from us all that you can bear away.
We will ever be your debtors for the good counsel and lofty inspiration which you will
In the name and on behalf of ten thousand teachers and a million and a half of people interested in education I bid you thrice welcome. Aloha! Aloha!! Aloha!!!
ELMER E. BROWN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, STATE DIRECTOR Fellow-members of the National Educational Association, Ladies and
Gentlemen : I am sure that all Californians who look upon this company feel like saying, with Miranda :
That has such people in 't ! The city of Los Angeles has long been trying to live up to its name - Los Angeles, “City of the Angels."
” Its efforts in that direction reached their climax when it invited the National Educational Association to meet here; and it has never before been so well worthy of the name as it is today. We of California are all of us Angeleños today; and we all unite in saying: Welcome to you, angels, messengers of education !
And yet I must say that we have already somewhat against you. You are all too prone to encourage us in telling big stories. Any one of us, the poorest story-teller among us, can stand around the hotel lobbies telling even the smallest truths about California, and you listen so attentively that you tempt us to tell more ; and so we go on, and I don't know where we shall stop. I beg leave to call a halt in this matter right here at the beginning. We don't want to tell you about California. There is a great deal here to tell you about, to be sure, but we will not tell it. We teachers think that there is a great deal to tell about the educational system of California. We have here, for instance, perhaps the finest provision for country schools to be found outside of Massachusetts; but we are not going to tell you
that. We shall restrain ourselves from speaking about our magnificent system of county school supervision, one of the best -- but never mind; we will not tell you that. We have some normal schools here that have been growing magnificently. And we have some universities, with tremendous endowments, that have been showing their enterprise by keeping poor in spite of their endowments. But we won't tell you about these things. We have important supplementary institutions here. We are proud of our institutions for the defective classes; of the beginnings that we have made in education of an industrial character. But we are not going to tell you about these things. We want to give you a chance. So please don't listen so patiently when we start on these topics. Don't encourage us.
You are messengers of the wisdom of this great country. You come to us in our isolation. You thought we were isolated after you got over that desert, did you not ? You have come to us away off here to correct us of our provincialism. You come to us from the great world. You come from educational communities where teachers are appointed only for merit, and we are glad to know it. You come from those parts of the