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GRADED AND CITY SCHOOLS.
The legislature of 1859 enacted a law that any school district having one hundred or more pupils of school age might organize as a graded district, elect a board of education of five members and establish high schools. Prior to this enactment there were a number of so-called union schools and private academies in the State, this idea having been brought to Michigan from New York. The enactment of the graded school law, however, provided for free education in the advanced subjects, through the establishment of high schools, and the system grew rapidly. The private schools and academies were replaced by the public high school. At the present
time there are 578 graded school districts in the State, and of Number of this number 100 may be classed as city districts. Of the entire graded
number of graded school districts about 450 maintain twelveschools.
grade courses of study, and all of the cities maintain such courses. The balance of the graded school districts have courses varying from nine to eleven grades.
Under the Michigan system it has been the aim of all these high schools to secure recognition by the University, and the courses of study have been to a large degree shaped and controlled by University authorities. Until recent years the courses in high schools have been purely academic, and the training which the children were required to receive was controlled by the idea of higher education.
The result of this has not been all that could be desired. Within High school the last few years a demand has come that our courses of study
be made more practical, and three years ago a committee of study.
the State Teachers' Association reported to the State Superintendent a uniform course of study for high schools. This course of study represents the minimum amount of work required for recognition by the University. It provides for several elective subjects, also for the introduction of music, drawing, manual training, domestie science, and commercial branches. In many of the city schools some or all of these special subjects had been introduced before this general course of study was prepared. The course of study here mentioned has been adopted by a large number of the city and village schools, and thus the work of these schools is becoming more nearly uniform. At the present time, however, there is great diversity in the work done in the graded school districts, and there seems to be a necessity for some radical reforms along the line of public education in high schools.
The number of students who after completing a high school
course enter the colleges and University has been variously estipoints. mated from two to ten per cent of the graduating classes. The
records of the past show that we have been compelling the ninety per cent of our students to conform to the special courses that meet the needs of the ten per cent. As a result of this, large numbers of students have found public school work irksome and the necessities of the bread and hutter problem have caused them to drop out of school. The unfortunate part of this condition is the fact that the young people who do not complete the high school courses leave the public school with little more than a smattering of the common branches. Nothing has been done in the graded
and city schools by way of giving them special instruction for particular lines of work. Thus they are prevented from entering immediately into the activities of life upon leaving school.
It is my opinion that within the scope of public education we may properly include such lines of special instruction as will in a measure fit young people to take up particular vocations upon leaving school. While it may not be possible to attach to our public school system such departments or trade schools as will turn out skilled workmen, yet we can give to our young men the rudiments at least of vocational training. It appears to me that the problem of the next ten years in the public schools of our State is the revolutionizing of our courses of study along these lines.
Special reports to this Department give the following results as to the introduction of special courses: I. Cities. Number of cities reporting...
97 Number having kindergarten departments..
45 Number teaching music..
68 Number teaching drawing.
66 Number teaching manual training.
35 Number teaching domestic science..
20 Number teaching special commercial branches..
57 II. Graded or Village Schools. Number of schools reporting...
292 Number reporting kindergarten departments
77 Number reporting music courses
51 Number teaching drawing..
40 Number teaching manual training..
3 Number teaching domestic science...
1 Number teaching commercial branches...
70 From this statement of fact it will appear that a considerable start has been made along the line of special instruction, and the attention of our superintendents and boards of education is earnestly directed to this particular phase of education.
The normal school system consists of four institutions, the State Normal College at Ypsilanti, the Central Michigan Normal School at Mt. Pleasant, the Northern State Normal School at Marquette, and the Western State Normal School at Kalamazoo. The actual head of each of these institutions is as follows:
President L. H. Jones of the State Normal College.
These gentlemen constitute the Normal Executive Council, and the function of this Council is to recommend to the State Executive Board of Education courses of study, instructors for each of Council. the schools, recommendations as to buildings, and needed appropriations. These gentlemen act in harmony in all these matters and thus produce uniformity in the work of the normal schools and simplify the labors of the State Board of Education.
The State Board of Education under the statute is the controlling body of the normal school system and has full power under the constitution to regulate the work and decide upon the conditions of graduation, also the character of the certificates that shall be granted. The following is a summary of the attendance during the current year:
(a) Total number of different students enrolled during the entire year, July 1, 1906, to July 1, 1907: State Normal College....
2472 Central Michigan Normal School...
908 Northern State Normal School..
441 Western State Normal School..
1387 618 296 557
2858 (c) The number of graduates from each of the institutions for the year, July 1, 1906, to July 1, 1907, in the several courses as follows:
certificate. Graded. Rural. State Normal College...
17 Central Michigan Normal School.
66 Northern State Normal School..
25 Western State Normal School..
This summary shows that the product of our normal schools for the current year is 800 graduates who are at once added to the available teaching force of the State. As will be seen, a large majority of these graduates are prepared for the work in the graded and city schools.
It should always be remembered that the excellence in quality of work done should be the real merit of an educational institution as of any other institution, and Michigan may take pride in the announcement that our normal schools rank high when compared with similar institutions in other states.
In addition to the work of our normal schools and the number of 'graduates therefrom it is proper to report that the State Board of Education has granted 91 four-year certificates to graduates of denominational colleges and the Agricultural College during the year. Also, 33 college life certificates were issued to those who had previously received the regular college certificate and had complied with the statute in regard to experience in teaching.
Under the law authorizing the State Board of Education to conduct teachers' examinations, the State Board has held two State examinations, the first during the last week of March, the second during the second week of August. From these examinations five State life certificates were granted, The State board has also recognized and indorsed seventeen normal school diplomas or State certificates granted in other states and brought into Michigan by persons who desire to teach here.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.
The founders of the State of Michigan were wise enough to look into the future and see the necessity for an institution which should provide special training for the various professions, and our State University has grown to be one of the largest in the United States. The land grants set apart for the founding of a University were wise provisions for a permanent fund, and the legislature from time to time has made large appropriations for its support. At the present time a tax of three-eighths of a mill upon the valuation of the State is set apart for the support of the University and to this is added special legislative appropriations from time to time, and even these resources are not sufficient to provide buildings and equipment suitable for such a great institution. At the present time the attendance is in round numbers five thousand students, coming from all parts of the world. The reputation of this great University is not confined to our own State, but it is known the world
Under the wise administration of President Angell it has moved steadily forward, doing its great work.
The library consists of about 225,000 volumes, and has special departments as follows: Law, medical, dental, homeopathic, engineering, and architectural.
The income from the three-eighths of a mill tax produces something over $300,000; the interest on land grants $38,524; Income. legislative appropriations and special sources increase the receipts to $916,542.70. The expenditures during the past year have been about $350,000.
For the year ending September, 1907, the number of degrees conferred is as follows: Bachelor's degrees..
794 Master's degrees..
33 Doctor's degrees..
8 Honorary degrees..
Of these the degree of bachelor of arts was conferred upon 297; bachelor of laws upon 206; bachelor of science, including all engineering courses, 149; medical degrees, 68.
Thus it will be seen that from this great institution a large number of men and women who are fitted for special work and special professions are annually being added to the intellectual wealth of the country.
The purpose of a great educational institution is to add to the productive power of the country by increasing the number Purpose of those who through special training are fitted to become leaders of higher
education. in business, art, literature, and science, as well as to furnish a stimulus to the great body of people who cannot secure University training.
One of the prominent ideas presented in our common schools is the fact
that the University doors are open wide to all who may desire to enter them and who are willing to prepare themselves by taking a thorough course in the public schools. The general educational system of the State is indebted greatly to the work of the University, and the institution stands at the head of our educational system.
The law authorizing the board of regents to issue teachers' certificates to certain graduates of the literary department has been the means of providing specially trained teachers for the larger high schools of the State, and in this way we are continually strengthening the general teaching force. The State has always taken a great pride in its University and our citizens should stand ready to provide the necessary money to enable the L'niversity to retain its present proud position.
THE RURAL HIGH SCHOOL.
The legislature of 1901 authorized the establishment and maintenance of rural high schools in townships where no graded schools were already established. This law has been practically a dead letter until the year 1907. During this year the township of Excelsior in Kalkaska county voted for and established a rural high school. For the current year the pupils of the township from the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grades are admitted, and as these pass on through the grades, the higher grades will be organized and established. Three townships in Genesee county have voted to establish rural high schools, and these will be organized for the next school year. In many townships of the State there are no graded school districts and therefore no high schools. If the plan suggested under the previous head of reorganizing the schools of a township were followed out the high school would be provided under general statute, and the rural high school law by itself would become useless, but the law is valuable and will meet those cases where the people do not deem it advisable to disorganize and consolidate their school districts. It is unnecessary in this day to argue that all school children should have high school privileges. This is an accepted fact by everybody, and therefore I will enter into no discussion of the subject.
I give herewith the contents of a bulletin published this year containing the general plan of organization, the course of study and the suggested reference library for the use of rural high schools. It will be seen that the course of study does not follow the course usually provided for graded school districts, but seeks to introduce those things that are vital in the life of our boys and girls. For instance, the subjects of the common branches together with careful work in business correspondence, arithmetic, bookkeeping, and commercial geography, a careful course in literature which should be a mine of wealth intellectually for all our children, and added to this is a carefully prepared course in agriculture, domestic science and manual training.
I most earnestly urge that every township shall take up the consideration of the question of the establishment of a high school for the especial benefit of our rural people.