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and records for many years, much of it in volumes now beyond the reach of most of the people. It is now for the first time, collected into convenient space and form. Much credit is due to Mr. STEBBINS for the valuable services he has, with such marked ability and faithfulness, rendered the Educational Interests of the State.
The article on the Asylum for the Insane, was prepared by Dr. E. H. VAN DEUSEN, the able and efficient Medical Superintendent of that noble State Charity.
The articles on School Architecture, School Furniture, and School Apparatus, are from the pen of Hon. IRA MAYHEW, late Superintendent of Public Instruction. An article on Warming and Ventilation, embracing a description of certain heating furnaces, and a chimney cap, has been left out, as of too little public interest or utility to merit a place in a State publication, and because the progress of invention in this department promises speedily to supersede the too expensive and easily disordered furnaces now in use. Indeed, one or two of the furnaces recommended in this article, have already been seriously condemned by those who have used them.
The interruptions in the paging of the volume arise from the fact that the omissions are of greater extent than the new matter supplied. It was believed to be a matter of public economy to make these changes in the volume, rather than to issue a new edition of the School Law, which the several important amendments made in the Law, would have required. The volume, if sent out as at first printed, would have tended greatly to mislead, and must have occasioned serious confusion among the Districts by promulgating among them an obsolete law.
The School Laws of the State are published in this separate form in accordance with the provisions of the Statutes, [see sections 3 and 4, pp. 160, 161, of this volume,] and expressly for the use of the several County, Township, and District Officers, who have to do with the management of the Schools themselves, or their Funds.
These Officers comprise the following classes, viz:
1. County Clerks;
2. County Treasurers;
4. Township Treasurers;
5. Township Clerks;
6. School Inspectors;
7. District School Officers.
A copy of the volume will be furnished to each one of these various Officers, to be used by him during his term of office, and at the expiration thereof to be delivered to his successor.
The attention of the various classes of officers above named, is especially invited to the contents of the volume. Much of the matter embraced in it will be found of general interest. Its thorough study will lead to a better
understanding of our system of Public Schools by those to whose official care the Schools are entrusted. Not only does the successful operation of the system depend upon the intelligent comprehension and discharge of their respective duties, by the different officers, but its wise and continued improvement must come from their clear-sighted criticisms of its defects. It is a work of no slight magnitude to keep the public agencies by which the entire body of the children of the commonwealth are to be educated, in successful and harmonious operation. The State has therefore wisely provided for the publication of the School Laws.
The various amendments of the Law, made the last winter, have been introduced in their proper places. School Officers should give heed especially to those found in Sections 5, 39, 48, 49, 66, 75, 85 and 107. Attention is called also to the repeal of Sections 92 and 93, and to the new Law for Graded Schools, found in Sections 147 to 151.
The new District Library Law will also require attention.
STATE REFORM SCHOOL-An amendment, which could not be introduced in its proper place without reprinting an entire form, in Section 1, of the duties of Superintendent of Public Instruction, requires him to embrace the report of the Board of Control of the House of Correction-now named STATE REFORM SCHOOL-in his Annual Report. This rightfully recognizes Reformatory Education as an essential part of the full system of Public Instruction.
In closing these introductory statements, the Superintendent would remind the School Officers of the State that it is not by the mere administration of the letter of the law that the best interests of the Schools are to be efficiently promoted. There is a wide field of usefulness outside of the limit of merely official duties, in which every School Officer may do much to advance Education and improve the character of the Schools. Educational Societies, Teachers' Associations in Townships and Counties, Teachers' Institutes, School Examinations, and Celebrations, are most efficient means to cultivate the public sentiment, to improve the Teachers, and to infuse a spirit of active zeal and enterprise into the School System.
With proper care and attention, and with but little effort, our Schools, without becoming at all more expensive, might be made doubly efficient. With the same outlay of time and money as now, the children of the State might be twice as well educated as they are under the present methods. With an awakened public interest, and with an aroused and active body of Teachers, the dull and dreary months through which many of our Schools now drag heavily along, with scarcely a sign of advancement, would become periods of life and progress; and their fruits would be seen in the quickened intelligence and enlarged acquisitions of all the pupils.
Especially would I ask the attention of School Officers of the State, to the State Teachers' Institutes, held by the Superintendent under the authority of the law. Often has the remark burst from the Teachers instructed in these Institutes, "We shall teach differently from what we ever taught before;” and
they have gone to their Schools with a new zeal, and new ability for their important work. It is the testimony of citizens in all parts of the State where these Institutes have been held, that their Schools have been made much more useful by them. School Officers should see that their Teachers more generally avail themselves of these public provisions for improvement in their vocation. JOHN M. GREGORY, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
LAWS concerning the University of Michigan,.