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1. A statement of the condition of the University, and its branches, of all the incorporate Literary Institutions, and of the Primary Schools;
2. Estimates and amounts of expenditures of the School money ;
3. Plans for the improvement and management of all educa. tional funds, and for the better organization of the educational system, if in his opinion the same be required ;
4. The condition of the Normal School ;
5. The annual report of the Board of Control of the House of Correction, (now the Reform School.]
5. All such other matters relating to his office, and the subject of Education generally, as he shall deem expedient to com. municate.
THE UNIVERSITY, The condition of the University is fully exhibited in the Annual Report of the Regents, which will be found in the Appendix. The prosperity of this institution as shown by this report of its constituted trustees, cannot fail to gratify every citizen of our State and every lover of liberal learning. In the Medical Department “the means of illustration in all the departments have been greatly increased." The number of students of medicine the past year, was two hundred and forty-two, of whom forty-three received, in course, the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The Regents say that “the Law Department which was opened for the reception of students but two years ago, may now be regarded as one of the best schools of the kind on the continent." "A very valuable law library has been purchased and arranged for the benefit of the students.” The law students numbered the past year one hundred and fifty-nine, of whom forty-three were graduated as Bachelors of Law.
The Department of Arts and Sciences has moved steadily forward in the course of prosperity and development. Another liberal donation to its Museum has been received from the Smithsonian Institution, and the Trowbtidge collection heretofore deposited in the Museum, has been made over unconditionally to the University. The Observatory, it will be seen, has been put in connection with the general line of telegraph through the country, and a series of interesting and important experiments are in progress to determine the differences in longitude between Ann Arbor and Clinton, New York, and so on to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Greenwich, England.
The Chemical Laboratory building is being enlarged, and the Regents make an earnest appeal to the Legislature, for aid to build a much needed chapel, with additional accommodations for the General Library. It is certainly to be hoped that the time is near at hand, when this State, surmounting its present pecuniary embarrassments and the troubles of the times, will prove true to the liberal ideas it is cherishing, and to the noble fame it is winning by its educational enterprise and progress ; and when, extending its fostering care to its higher as well as its primary educational interests, it will yield to this great institution of learning which is growing to such a massive grandeur in our midst, all needed aid to develop its powers and fulfill its mission. The number of students reported in this Department was two hundred and seventy-three, and the number graduated at the last annual commencement was fifty-seven, of whom thirty-seven took the degree of Bachelor of Arts, sixteen that of Bachelor of Science, and four that of Civil Engineer.
It has been feared that the University, in common with other literary institutions of the country, would suffer a serious diminution in its numbers on account of the war now raging. Bat it is gratifying to know that these fears are false. The number of students now enrolled and in attendance for the current aca. demic year is nearly as large as heretofore, and in some classes even larger, giving color to the belief that but for the war it would have witnessed, this year, an overwhelming increase of numbers.
INCORPORATED INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING. Up to the time of writing this report, and after the date limited in the law, no reports have been received for the past academic year from any of the colleges or other incorporated Institutions of learning. Much difficulty and delay have always been experienced in securing the reports positively and peremptorily required by the statutes from the Trustees of these Institutions. The neglect arises, it is probable, from an oversight on the part of the proper reporting officer, rather than from any wilful determination to violate the law under which they hold their corporate powers. Regular and full returns from this class of schools are absolutely essential to any correct exhibit of the educational forces and work of the State ; and the Superintendent would here take occasion to suggest to the several Boards of Trustees that the best interests of the institutions under their charge, as well as those of the whole system of Public Instruction, will be promoted by a full annual report such as the law requires of the "conditions and operations" of such institutions.
As far as the other duties of my office have permitted, I have visited, officially, as directed by law, several of the colleges and academies the past year, and have been gratified to note the evidences of faithful work and prosperity which they have exhibited. Laboring as many of them are, under heavy pecu. niary difficulties, they are yet accomplishing a task of immense value to society and the State, and one cannot but venerate the high-hearted and generous work of the men who, with a scholar's enthusiasm for truth and a christian's zeal for souls, are sustaining these schools and affording a christian education to so large a number of youth.
In accordance with the provisions of law, I appointed Visitors to these several Institutions, and appended will be found the reports that have been received from such Visitors.
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL.
Reference is made to the Annual Report of the State Board of Education, in the appendix of this Report, for a full statement of the condition and affairs of this school. The Superin. dent being, ex officio, a member and Secretary of that Board, needs not repeat here his views of its progress and wants.
Under this general term are embraced all the district schools of the State, whether common or graded. When our school system was organized the general classes of schools existing in this country, were colleges, academies and common schools. The last alone were of a strictly public character, the others being partly or wholly under private control. In our original plan, the primary schools were designed to be purely common schools, to provide for all the people instruction, especially in those elementary branches known as “common school studies." The intermediate or academic, and the collegiate grades of education, it was thought, were sufficiently provided for in the State University and its branches. At a later period in the history of the country, arose the so-called union schools-schools which combined the high school or academic grade of instruction with the common school. The superiority of this plan of supplying the higher grades of instruction over that of academies independent of, and widely separated from the common schools, was quickly perceived, and the union schools came rapidly into favor. Changes have from time to time been introduced into our school laws providing for the more efficient organization and management of these schools, until now we have come to have two distinct classes of primary or public schools, viz: the common primary and the union or graded schools. I notice first,
UNION OR GRADED SCHOOLS.
During thc past year I visited a considerable number of these schools and examined carefully into their condition and operations. Their increasing number and importance, and the anxiety felt in the villages and more populous districts to adopt the graded plan, demanded that an effort be made to diffuse a more accurate knowledge of their true character and proper organization.
The number of graded or union schools reported by the township inspectors for 1861, was 103 ; an increase of nine during the year. By an amendment of the law for graded and high schools, approved March 16th, 1861, any district having one hundred children between the ages of 5 and 20 years, is empowered to organize, on a vote of the annual school meeting, as a graded school district. The number of districts having this requisite number of pupils or over, as shown by the reports for the last school year, is 235. If the graded school plan possesses the advantages claimed for it, then a true policy would require that the schools in these 235 districts should be organized and taught as graded schools. In all cases, at least, in which the number of pupils in attendance demands the employment of more than one teacher, the school should be graded.
But the question of the introduction of graded schools into these districts is so important, and this introduction is often, to inexperienced school boards, so difficult, that it will not be deemed out of place for me to state here at some length the chief advantages of these schools and the true principles for their organization.
It should be here remarked that the terins “union school” and "graded school,” are synonymous. The former term is the popular, the latter the true genuine name for this class of schools. The union school is always a graded school, though the grading is often imperfect and inefficient. The name union school is simply the common appellation for any public school separated into two or more departments, taught by different teachers, and in separate rooms, either in the same building or in several buildings. The union schools are generally organ. ized under the law for graded and high schools, with a district board of six trustees; but there are several union schools in districts having only the common district officers.
It should also be understood that the question of establishing a graded school in any district does not necessarily involve that of building an expensive school house, or that of establishing a high school. Provision must, it is true, be made to supply the different grades with separate rooms, and the higher grades need be added only when the wants of the pupils and the