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faith. To do so could have no other explanation than the purpose to propagate the tenets of a distinctive Christian sect. And what may not be done directly may not be done by indirection; that is, the board may not occupy the apartments of a parochial school and have control of it with an implied or unexpressed understanding that the teachers shall be selected from those of a particular religious body, or that the children of a particular sect shall be sent there. Such an understanding must be regarded as sacredly binding by all honorable persons, and in the eye of the law and its enforcement at the bar of public sentiment would be condemned as a violation of the law, and would the efore work a forfeiture of all rights to any share in the public funds. The board of educa tion must be absolutely free in the exercise of its authority for the organization and conduct of a good public school; and if the results are not satisfactory, the board must not be able to say that they were limited by implied conditions which the public understood and approved.
QUESTIONS OF EXPEDIENCY.
Beyond limitations and duties determined by statute, there are many other questions which must be determined by the judgment of the board consistently with the purposes for which the school is maintained. Some of these have religious elements and others have not. For example:
1. The Bible is a religious book, and as such it has no place in the public schools to promulgate religious doctrines; but, having merit of great historical, moral, and literary value, it may be used for these qualities. If, however, to any class of persons this is obnoxious, the board should require the discontinuance of its use.
2. Sisters of Charity are religious persons, and as such have no place in the public school to propagate religious doctrine; but if they be women of educa tion and teaching ability, it lies wholly within the authority of the board of education to employ them to do the legitimate work of the school. If, however, to any class of patrons their presence is obnoxious or unacceptable by reason of the significance of their religious garb, the board must either retire them or require them to wear the usual garb of teachers in the schoolroom.
3. The same principle requires that in case the color, or nationality, or personal peculiarities of a teacher, otherwise well qualified, make him so unacceptable to patrons as to interfere with the purposes of the school, his employment must be discontinued.
4. While public funds and public property may not be used to propagate religious doctrine, the interest which the state has in all voluntary organization of a benevolent and philanthropic nature, has always disposed to allow such bodies any use of its buildings that would in no wise interfere with their public In country districts it has been customary from time immemorial to allow the use of schoolhouses for religious worship and Sabbath schools as well as other meetings. This practice is one of expediency and propi iety, to be decided by the judgment of the board.
THE FARIBAULT SCHOOLS.
In view of the public importance of the action at Faribault, I have visited the schools there, and by the courtesy of the board of education and the city superintendent, have become acquainted with the plan and purpose of the board in accepting the pupils of the parochial schools under their supervision. I feel warranted in expressing to the public my entire confidence that the board have acted intelligently and in no way comprise their authority as public officers; that they have used their independent and best judgment in the choice of teaches. in grading and promoting pupils, and that they are determined to give the children in these grades advantages equal to others of the city.
This experiment, for such it is, is being conducted in such a spirit of consideration that if at the end of the year the Catholics conclude to resume the education of their own childrren it will be done without disturbing the friendly relations of mutual respect that now prevail.-St. Paul, October 20, 1891.
Relation of the State to public education.-From the message of Governor R. P. Flower to the New York legislature, January 5, 1892: Reports received by the Superintendent of Public Instruction indicate that the number of children in the State of school age (i. e., between 5 and 21 years) in 1891 was 1,821,773.
The number of children attending the common schools in the same year was 1,054,044. More than 767,000 children of school age therefore were either not in school at all or received instruction elsewhere than at the public schools. The proportion of public school children in 1891 consequently was about 57 per cent of the total number between the ages of 5 and 21. The total cost of supplying this education to somewhat more than half the children of school age in the State was $20,269,118.29. The greater part of this amount was raised by State and local taxation.
Considered with other statistics these figures suggest some serious reflections. In 1851, forty years ago, 75 per cent of the entire school population attended the public schools. During these forty years the State has done much to improve and strengthen its common schools, to increase their efficiency and to compel attendance, yet during all that time there has been a steady decrease of attendance in proportion to the school population, and nearly 20 per cent fewer children, proportionately, attend the public schools now than attended them forty years ago. In the same interval the expense has increased from $1,884,826 to $20.269,118. For each pupil who attended the public schools any part of the year in 1851 the average cost was $2.26; in 1891 it was $19.22-the increase being 750 per cent.
If these figures are accurate, and they are based upon official statements and reports, they are startingly suggestive. If true, they mean retrograding influences and greatly increasing extravagance in management. Much of the increased cost per capita is undoubtedly explained by the erection of new school buildings, possessing greater facilities, better accommodations, and more attractive surroundings. But the surprising thing is that this sort of expenditure has not increased the proportion of children who avail themselves of these privileges, but has been accompanied by an actual diminution. Should the same ratio of decrease in numbers and the same ratio of increase in expense be maintained, the State in a few years will be actually taxing its citizens many millions of dollars each year-more than is ne ded now for all other purposes of governmentto supply an education to a minority of its children.
This is neither democratic nor right. The State must, for its own protection and interests. see that the opportunities for a common-school education are offered to its children, but it will not be justified in raising large sums of money by taxation for this purpose without accomplishing a corresponding amount of good. If there is waste in the present lavish expenditure it should be discovered and checked. If the present compulsory education law is not effective, and the evidence is clear that it is not, it should be strengthened by wise amendment. Certainly the State can not afford to permit thousands of its children to grow up in ignorance, only to increase that population which crowds our jails, our reformatories, and our poor-houses, and menace the integrity of our public service and our institutions with the weapon of an unintelligent ballot.
No one believes more thoroughly in our common-school system than do I. It is the great hopper into which the untrained juvenile minds of Irish, English, Italian, German, Swedish, Bohemian, or American parentage, with their hereditary ideas and tendencies, are tumbled together and shaken up to form the substantial qualification of the American citizen. It is to the American ideas implanted in our youth in the common schools that our country owes her prosperity in the past and must look for the preservation of her institutions in the future. Every schoolhouse may be made a stronghold of defense against the spread of Socialistic and un-American ideas. No more worthy task therefore can be undertaken by the legislature than to strengthen and bulwark our common schools and make them centers of widening rather than diminishing influence. It will first be necessary, however, to a certain the causes of the present unwelcome tendencies which statistical comparisons demonstrate. It may be found that much of the proportionate falling off in general attendance (aside from that which is explained by the increase of private schools), and certainly the increase in expenditure, arise from the modern tendency to so enlarge the curriculum of the public schools that they attempt too much and involve the State beyond its proper measure of responsibility. Certainly advocates of higher education at State expense can expect little sympathy from lawmakers, when the State, even with liberal appropriations, seems unable to compel merely rudimentary instruction, and thousands of children are growing up without any education whatsoever. Within the past two years the movement known as University Extension" has assumed considerable importance and great popularity in this country. Its nature I understand to be the bringing of means of culture and higher education within the reach of persons who are unable to get a collegiate or university education, or, as it is more authoritatively described by one of its
prominent supporters, "The purpose of the university extension movement is to provide a means of higher education for persons of all classes and of both sexes engaged in the regular occupations of life. Its methods are by lectures, class exercises and examinations, conducted in various "centers" under the supervision of a central head.
The movement has caused great enthusiasm in England and in this country, and seems to have accomplished much good in stimulating intellectual tastes among the people. It has received the cordial support of most leading educators and the generous encouragement of press and pulpit. While those who expect it, when fully developed, to fill the place of actual training in colleges and universities are quite likely to be disappointed, there is every reason for believing that it will raise the intellectual standard of the people and diffuse more broadly the benefits of higher education. With such purposes and aims every good citizen must be in cordial sympathy.
Heretofore, however, university extension efforts have been carried on under the supervision of some established university, or of some association or society organized for the purpose. For instance, in England there have been four great movements-one under the direction of Oxford University, one under that of Cambridge University, one under that of the Victoria University, and the fourth under that of the London Society for the Extension of University Teaching. In the United States successful movements have been associated with the University of Pennsylvania, later with the American Society for Extension of University Teaching, with Brown University, with the New York and Brooklyn Society for School and University Extension, and with other educational bodies or associations.
For the first time in the history of the movement, however, direct government aid and encouragement have been given, in the statute which was enacted by the last legislature of this State, authorizing the regents of the university to act as the central head for the promotion of this work and appropriating $10,000 for their expenses.
Inasmuch as this work is quite likely to be still further brought to your attention and another appropriation asked for, I do not hesitate to express my opinion that the assumption of this duty by the State was not only unwise in principle, but that if the movement is as successful here as it has been elsewhere it will involve the State in unreasonable obligations and be a constantly increasing object of public expense.
I am aware that it has been the policy of the State to encourage higher education, and that public moneys have been appropriated for that purpose, but I respectfully submit that before the State should enlarge its field of usefulness in that direction, whatever views we may have as to the propriety of that enlargement, it should first perfect its system of common-school education. The already excessive taxation of the people for this latter purpose and the lamentably inadequate results I have pointed out above.
Reform is necessary before extension.
My fears that the State will eventually find the control and supervision of university extension an enormously expensive undertaking, wrong in principle because it taxes the majority for the benefit of the few, and indefensible as State policy except under the broadest view of public welfare, are based chiefly upon the testimony of those who have been most closely identified with the new movement and upon the tendency of the movement where it has been longest tried. Thus far our State has committed itself merely to the obligation of meeting the expense incurred by the regents under their granted authority "to cooperate with localities, organizations, and associations in this State, where such education shall be desired, and to aid therein by recommending methods therefor, designating suitable persons as instructors, conducting examinations, granting certificates thereupon, and otherwise rendering assistance in such educational work." The statute, moreover, expressly provides that no part of the appropri ation shall be used in paying for the services or expenses of persons designated or appointed as lecturers or instructors, it being the intent of the act that such expenses shall be borne by the localities benefited.
Yet if the State were to stop there the annual expense must be largely in excess of the present appropriation if the movement is to be successful, the tendency of every State commission or bureau being towards an increased expenditure. But will the State stop there? Experience and testimony in England do not give much encouragement of an affirmative answer to this question. Prof. R. G. Moulton, who is a Cambridge University extension lecturer, and who has been explaining the movement to audiences in this country, says in a published address:
"We in England have tried, have ransacked every form of contrivance in order to make the movement pay itself-I mean pay itself out of the fees and tickets of the students who attend the lectures-and we have failed." So general has been this failure in England that dependence has been largely had upon private benevolence and endowment, and now the promoters of the movement are turning to the Government for financial assistance. In 1889 a national committee was appointed "for obtaining a grant in aid of university extension." In 1890 the local taxation act gave permission to English county councils to apply a certain part of the proceeds of a tax on spirits to technical education under university extension courses, and one county alone has this year appropriated £1,500 for this purpose. Even this indirect government assistance has not satisfied the friends of the movement, however, and in June last, at a meeting attended by many prominent educators and others, it was resolved to petition for a government grant to properly organized local bodies for the conduct of university extension teaching. This direct grant is desired not merely to pay supervisory expenses, but to meet part of the cost of teaching. There seems every possibility that the government in England will soon be bearing the greater part of the expense of this movement.
Is the prospect any better for abstention from seeking a larger share of government aid in this State, especially when the entering wedge has already been inserted?
Clearly it is not the intention of the promoters of university extension in this country to make it "pay itself." The American Society for the Extension of University Teaching says: "No great work in education along higher lines has ever been self-sustaining, in the ordinary sense of that term, and the society will be obliged to rely on the public spirit of all citizens, rich and poor, for funds to carry on the work." A writer in the Popular Science Monthly for November last, after discussing the cost of the movement, says: "The possibility of enlisting Goverment aid opens a larger question. University extension is a national movement which is intended to reach all classes and to promote the most vital interests of the nation. It has, then, as large a claim upon the national pocketbook as any interest which the Government can recognize." Even the regents of the university, in their extension bulletin, invite contributions to the movement, saying: "While the feeling seems to have generally prevailed that the funds of the State, raised by taxation, should not be used for the expenses of local work, however beneficent, and in that spirit the legislative appropriation in behalf of university extension was limited to general supervisory uses, still the cause of public education could be greatly advanced if it were possible to supplement and aid the work with judicious appropriations of money in the poorer and sparsely populated localities."
With such conditions prevailing further recourse to State assistance would not be unnatural, and I submit the question to your practical judgment whether it is wise for the State to continue to bear this questionable and in the future perhaps awkward responsibility.
The limit of public free education.-W. T. Harris: In America we explain our public-school system by saying that a nation of voters must be an educated nation. Where ignorance prevails, either an absolute monarchy is necessary to restrain the people, or else in case of a democratic form of government the demagogue will have the political control. We say that in a democracy each person is interested in the enlightenment of all his fellow-citizens. In a monarchy all the people are interested in the education of the monarch; their welfare depends on his goodness and wisdom. In a republic, where each is governed by all, it is the interest of each that all shall be wise and good.
Without education in literature, in science, and in history, the individual will be prone to superstition and intolerance. The selfishness of sectionalism and the selfishness of individuals will triumph over patriotism and personal integrity. It is a necessity for us to see to it that our rulers, the voters, are enlightened by schools and other civilizing influences.
This idea determines also the limit of public free education. Where the people are to obey laws made for them by an hereditary ruling class it may be necessary that the people shall be taught in the schools so much as will enable them to read and understand those laws. But where the people are to make the laws as well as obey them, what limit can there be to the school education required except the full preparation of the individual citizen to carry on his education for himself?
No person completes his education at school. For the nature of spiritual life is to be a perpetual education unfolding eternally. Man's ideal is the divine
human Exemplar-all-knowing, all-powerful to do, and all-benevolent. The most the school can do, therefore, is to teach the individual how to carry on his education by the aid of the printed page and the proper use of his social opportunities.
Extent to which the authority of the State should be cxercised.-State Superintendent A. S. Draper, of New York: The legislative power in our several States has been content to exercise very little general or decisive control over the schools. Provision has been made for schools, but little or nothing has been done by the lawmaking power to determine the character or direct the work of the schools. If you will examine the statute books of all the States of the Union with this matter in mind, you will stand amazed at the almost entire lack of enactments, directing what shall be taught in the schools, or insuring instruction by persons of sound character and established competency, and you will wonder, as I have, that voluntary associated effort, unauthorized and practically unsustained by law, should have been able to accomplish what it has in the way of systematic organization and intelligent advancement.
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Now, suppose we take our system of public instruction as we find it, and inquire what needs to be done to qualify it for the thorough and complete work which the developing circumstances of the country seem to require. I appre hend we shall not differ widely in our conclusions.
BUILDINGS AND APPLIANCES.
In the first place, the whole subject of school buildings and grounds, furnish ings and appliances, needs attention. The people fail to appreciate the moral and educational influence which a good house has upon the school. A comforta ble, wholesome, attractive building is certainly a condition precedent to the best school work. Yet our educational plan, the country over, leaves this matter wholly to the intelligence, the wealth, the generosity, the business thrift, or the poverty, the ignorance, the parsimony, the whims and caprices of local settlements. Does experience show that it may be safely left there? In some cases, yes. In more, no. In our largest and weathiest cities there is frequently lack of suitable school accommodations. Even at the popular centers buildings are found to to be out of date, badly worn and defaced, imperfectly warmed and ventilated, poorly lighted, deficient in furnishing, wanting in appliances to do with. And how is it in the country? How many towns and districts have schoolhouses and outbuildings unfit for any use, houses which are a constant menace to health and morals, because of indifference, or because to build new ones will increase the tax rate? How many lack proper seats and desks and blackboards, and globes and maps, and all the things which contribute to the efficiency of a school? Of course, this is not so in all places, but that it is so in some places is enough and too much. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. Will any of us admit that anywhere in America a public schoolhouse should by any less comfortable and complete than the average American home? But there is another consideration. This matter does not rest upon sentiment alone. There is responsibility somewhere. When the public takes the children of the people into its keeping during six hours of each day for forty weeks of the year, it is bound to give them the best possible care. It is bound to make the environment such as will promote the normal and healthful development of their bodies, while it cultivates their minds and hearts. Again, when the public maintains any building, it is bound to make it a model-one which will attract attention and cultivate aesthetic tastes, one which will stimulate a desire for improvement and lead out in the way of progress.
Who of us does not know that the schoolhouses of the land do not in general come up to these standards? So long as they are wholly left to ward aldermen, village boards, or district school meetings, they never will. What reason exists, in law or in fact why the buildings of a public and common school system should not be subject to public and general inspection and supervision? Why should not competent general authority inspect all the schoolhouses of the commonwealth, and require that in size, manner of construction, condition and equipment, all shall conform to such regulations as modern experience and scientific knowledge have shown to be necessary to the fullest accomplishment of the purposes of the State in providing by law for a public school system?
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