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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF EDUCATION,
Washington, D. C., June 30, 1884. SIR: I have the honor to present my fourteenth annual report.
It is iinpossible to review the experience of the last fourteen years without being impressed with the increase in the amount of information collected by the Office, in the sources of information that have been brought under contribution, and the improved character of the information supplied. This improvement is noticeable in rospect to accuracy, completeness, and arrangement, and it is a legitimate question how far it is attributable to the scheme adopted by me, with the coöperation of educators, for collecting, classifying, sifting, and reproducing in systematic order the information sought. The form is indeed not perfect, and there has been hope of revising it, but the time and opportunity for the labor which this would require have not yet come.
The past year has furnished abundant evidence of the gratifying growth of the Office in efficiency and usefulness in spite of the fact of its inadequate appropriations. Much additional labor has arisen from the increased number of school officers and teachers visiting here to consult the pedagogical library and museum. The number of volumes in the library has increased to 16,500 and the number of pamphlets to 42,100. The library meets a want universally acknowledged among intelligent educators, containing as it does sources of information nowhere else accessible in the United States. It has been a cause of personal gratification that I have been able to build up this library, so unique and valuable and so necessary to the progress of education, with the appropriation of only $1,000 a year for books; but at this point in this faithful economic service in behalf of the intelligence and virtue of the country, upon which it is claimed by all statesmen that our institutions rest for their perpetuity, I am met by the remarkable fact that $500 of this sum are cut of in the appropriations of Congress for the ensuing year.
It should be observed, moreover, that no specific provision has ever been made by Congress for a librarian for this valuable collection. It has been necessary, therefore, to draw upon the clerical force of the Office for the cataloguing and caring for the books. The card catalogue, so necessary in the work of answering inquiries for information, has been delayed by the necessity of employing the assistants in other departments of office labor. I regret that it has been impossible to answer the many demands for the printing of this catalogue.
Considerable additions have been made to the pedagogical museum, although only the small sum of $2,000 is appropriated for this purpose. The resources of the museum are entirely unequal to the demands made upon it. It is already clear that a carefully devised system of loans should be instituted. In answer to urgent requests a small exhibit of educational appliances and conditions was furnished gratis to the Louisville Exposition. Most emphatic evidence has been afforded that many school officers and teachers gained from this exbibit valuable ideas of improved methods of instruction. In all countries where education is progressive the exbibition of appliances has been found a most effective means of promoting their adoptiou aud improvement. Our schools generally suffer from the lack of these material Alda, and it is important that this Office should be supported in the endomvor to creato among school authorities an intelligent appreciation of their use and value. The clerical force of the Office has been inadequate to the cataloguing of this collection.
The work on the report of 1881 was completed during the first part of the fiscal year of 1883, and by a most strenuous effort the report of 1882-'83 was substantially finished before the close of the same year. This concentration of the force of the Office upon the preparation of the report curtailed the efforts of the Office in other directions so much that the communications sent out show a falling off of nearly 9,000. In this and many other ways it is made most clear that it is utterly impossible to do the work required by law without an increase in the clerical force. The documents sent out numbered 258, 340. These covered a variety of important topics and to a considerable extent were placed in the hands of teachers and attendants upon normal institutes.
Communications addressed to the Office, personal visits of teachers and school officers, the Commissioner's travels, and the requests for criticism and suggestion sent to every one receiving documents have promoted the closest sympathy between the Office and' those actively engaged in advancing the intelligence of the people and dealing with questions of instruction, whether public or private. It is a fact worthy of note that there has been no considerable improvement in methods or progress of education in any quarter of the country during the year with respect to which the aid of the Office has not been invoked.
The efforts of the Office to collect all available data bearing upon education, in which the teachers and school officers of the country have so widely coöperated, are manifestly beginning to result in safer generalizations touching the various phases of instruction. Clearer views and more intelligent counsels are observable with respect to the most critical problems that have been under consideration. The forces that control education are better organized than formerly, the discussions in the meetings of teachers are characterized by greater breadth, the teachers in different parts of the country are brought into closer sympathy, and greater demonstrations of educational forces are rendered possible.
The following publications have been issued since those named in the last report:
Circular No. 3, 1884. Illiteracy in the United States in 1870 and 1860, with an appendix on national aid to education.
Circular No. 4, 1884. Proceedings of the Department of Superintendence of the
Preliminary circular respecting the exhibition of education at the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition.
Description of articles sent to Southern Exposition at Louisville, Ky.
These circulars of information are intended always for some particular class of workers in the field of education, the last persons in the world to be affected by abstract theories of their vocation or directions that have not stood the test of practice. . On the other hand, these persons are desirous of knowing what is done in other schools similar to their own and by teachers and officers who have the best opportunities for development. Their desire is met by circulars which bring together in convenient form and classified order the best thought and the best practices that have been developed in the particular branch of the service considered. The correspondence of the Office abundantly proves that these publications have helped greatly to raise the standard of education throughout the country. AMERICAN OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENTS OF THE OFFICE WHO FURNISH STATISTICS.
The following summary gives the number of correspondents of the Office at the head of systems and institutions of education in our country who furnish the official information contained in these reports : Statement of educational systems and institutions in correspondence with the Bureau of Edu
cation in the years named.
States and Territories
48 48 48 48 48 48 48 48 48 48 Cities...... 239 241 258 333 351 351 312
306 306 Normal schools
140 152 166 179 242 252 273 278 278 304 Business colleges
144 150 157 163 191 197 280 305 279 293 Kindergärten....
95 149 177 217 322 385 456 535 539 563 Academies ....
1, 467 1, 550 1,650 1,665 1, 848 1, 869 2, 113 2,363 2, 3142, 146 Preparatory schools
105 114 123 125 138 146 158 178 174 190 Colleges for women..
249 252 264 277 294 297 290 290 278 284 Colleges and universities 385 381 385 389 402
396 Schools of science..
76 76 77 80 86 88 91 91 88 94 Schools of theology ...
123 125 127 129 146 156 158 166 162 166 Schools of law....
42 42 45 50 53 53 51 53 49 54 Schools of medicine
104 102 106 112 125 126 137 143 137 156 Public libraries.....
2,200 2,275 2,440 2, 578 2,078 2, 874 3, 031 4,067 4, 936 5, 384 Museums of natural history
53 54 55 55 57 67 57 Museums of art........
37 37 37 37 37 37 Art schools......
37 38 38 38 37 37 Training schools for nurses...
11 15 17 28 24 36 Institutions for the deaf and dumb.. 42
57 62 63 63 59 67 Institutions for the blind...
29 29 30 31 31 31 31 31 31 32 Schools for the feeble-minded.
9 11 11 11 13 13 15 15 14 17 Orphan asylums, &c ....
408 533 540 638 641 651 604 616 621 685 Reform schools
67 63 63 78 79 83 79 77 76 77 Total ....
6, 085 6, 449 6, 750 7, 135 7, 869 8,231 8, 774 10, 128 10, 863 11, 663
The only direct return made by the Office to this very large number of voluntary contributors to its statistical information is the annual report and other publications of the Office. It is impossible to estimate the amount of gratuitous labor bestowed in aid of the office work; for not only are the reports and statements from which this annual report is prepared made in the main without compensation, but there are constantly going out from the Office to the same contributors here and there over the country a large number of special inquiries. This free and full communication of information is a constant stimulus to good effort in the Office.
The endeavor to close the last report with the fiscal year was so heartily seconded by so many officers of education that I was encouraged to undertake to bring this report up to the end of the fiscal year also, that is, to June 30, 1884, and I hope for the future that it may be possible to end these reports with the fiscal instead of the calendar year. In certain particulars in which the last report could not be brought up to June 30, 1883, but ended with June, 1882, the figures for 1883 are inserted in this to port with those for 1884, great care being taken to make clear in each case just what dates are intended.
Statistical summary of institutions, instructors, and students, as collected by the United States
Bureau of Education, from 1874 to 1884 (1883 omitted).
29, 105 26, 109
2, 809 108, 235 12, 954 23,795 58, 894 7, 157 5, 234 2, 677 9, 971
a 127 cities, each containing 10,000 inhabitants or more, were included in 1874; their aggregate population was 6,037,905.
0 177 cities, each containing 7,500 inhabitants or more, reported in 1875; their aggregate population was 8,804,654.
c 192 cities, of 7,500 inhabitants or more, reported in 1876; their aggregate population was 9,128,955. d 105 cities, of 7,600 inhabitants or more, reported in 1877; their aggregate population was 8,099, 025.