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condition of the Association. In connection with this, a tax of seventy-five cents was levied upon each member, to defray the expenses incurred in connection with the present meeting.
The report offered yesterday, on Uniformity of School Reports, was taken up for discu sion. Remarks upon the several sections were made by Messrs. Parker, Shaw, Beck, Purdy, Salisbury, Stewart, Bowen, Graham, Marsh, Schultz, Drury, Chamberlin, Emery, and finally the whole subject was recommitted.
Prof. Chamberlin, of the Committee on Revision of the Constitution, reported the following, which was adopted:
Your committee, appointed to revise the Constitution, beg leave to report that they find the Constitution too voluminous, and would recommend that all the articles of said Constitution be, and they are hereby, declared null and void; this recommendation to take effect at the close of the present session.
T. C. CHAMBERLIN,
Committee. Prof Parker, of the Committee on Compulsory Education, offered the following resolution, which was adopted:
Resolved, That the interests of education do not require a State law, at this time, providing for compulsory attendance of children upon schools.
The question—"What is the Influence of our Schools upon the Industry of the People," was next considered and discussed by Messrs. Emery, North and others. The speakers agreed that our schools at present do not exert that influence which they should, because they allow hàbits of idleness, negligence, etc., to be contracted, which work injuriously upon the industrial pursuits in after life; but that the time will come when farmers and mechanics will be as highly educated as lawyers, doctors or other professional persons. Teachers are not the only ones to be blamed for the existence of the present state of affairs; but there is a power far more responsible: it is the parents. These imbue their children with the idea that it is undignified for educated boys to chop wood, for educated girls to wash dishes. This prevailing idea it is the duty of teachers to combat and do away with.
Adjourned to 7:30 P. M.
R. Grahain, of the committee on School Statistics, offered the following, which was adopted:
The Committee to whom was referred the subject of School Statistics, beg leave to report the following items to be entered by the teachers upon their respective registers:
1. Census of children over 4 and under 20 years of age.
The report previously offered by Superintendent Fallows was adopted.
The subject of County Academies was next taken up; a lengthy discussion arose, participated in by Messrs. Earthman, Marsh, North, Stewart, Kerr, Pradt, Reynolds, Chandler, Fallows, Parker, Wright, Albee, Graham and Allen. · In this connection, Mr. Earthman offered the following, which was adopted:
Resolved, That we most heartily sympathize with any effort that has been made, or that may hereafter be made, looking towards the establishment of county high schools, which shall supply the missing link in the chain of popular education, and also supply the demand for well trained teachers for our common schools.
Resolved, further, That the subject of County High Schools be referred to a committee of three, to report at the annual session of the Wisconsin Teachers' Association,
The chair appointed the following gentlemen as such committee: A. Earthman, J. B. Pradt, W. D. Parker.
J. C. Pickard, of the committee previously appointed, offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That our thanks are due, and they are hereby tendered, to Governor Fairchild for his courtesy in opening the Assembly Chamber for the meeting of this Association.
Resolved, That in His Excellency we recognize an earnest and intelligent friend of education; a Governor who in all his relations to the interests of the State has honored his office; but in no way more than in his constant and consistent devotion to the welfare of our common schools and higher institutions of learning.
Resolved, That as he has had, so, as he retires to private life, he will carry our cordial esteem; we shall ho!d in our hearts the assurance that he has been and will be most heartily the personal friend of each one of us, and of every one engaged in the teacher's work.
G. S. ALBEE,
G. S. ALBEE, President. A. EARTHMAN, Secretary.
CONVENTION OF SUPERINTENDENTS. A meeting of the County and City Superintendents was held at the Capitol in Madison, on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 27, 1871, in pursuance of the call of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Hon. Samuel Fallows was called to the chair, and Alex. F. North, of Waukesha county, was chosen Secretary.
After organization, the meeting adjourned to 7:30 o'clock.
The following Superintendents reported: C.F. Viebahn, Sauk.
George Skewes, Racine. N. H. Holden, Monroe.
S. A. Craig, Jefferson. F. D. Mills, Crawford.
Lyman Earle, Racine. D. A. Morgan, Green.
Wm. L. O'Connor, Fond du Lac-1st dist. S.C. Coolidge, Dane—2d district. F. C. Lau, Milwaukee City. W. H. Chandler, Dane—1st district. B. M. Reynolds, Madison City, J. Q. Emery, Wood.
W.D. Parker, Janesville City H. N. Hobart, Winnebago.
J. W. Harris, Rock-1st district, A. O. Wright, Juneau.
L. J. Burlingame, Columbia. A. F. North, Waukesha.
The Chairman, after welcoming the Superintendents and suggesting the subjects which, in his opinion should come before them, and calling Mr. Chandler to the
chair, moved that the subject of Institute work for 1872, should receive their consideration. Professor C. H. Allen recommended Institutes of four wecks or longer duration, as doing a very valuable and much needed work. Professor Graham concurred in these views, but thought that probably a two week's Institute would in most cases be preferable. Mr. Emery spoke highly of the work done by the one week Institutes of former times, of the inspiration received there by teachers, and the impetus given to the cause of education, but was desirous that one or more of the longer Institutes of the utmost attainable excellence be held during the next year, as being likely to accomplish still more valuable results. Mr. Viebahn had held Institutes during the past year occupying in all eighty-six days. Mr. Wright would have Superintendents hold town Institutes every week. Messrs. Chandler, Shaw and Pradt urged the adoption of such a class of Institutes, and Dr. Coolidge testified to the good results of a four weeks' Institute in his county, during the past year. Many other members expressed their concurrence in these views. The Chairman then appointed committees to report on certain matters, and the Convention adjourned.
THURSDAY, 2 P. M. The reports of committees were called for, in order, when the following reports were submitted:
Your committee, to whom was referred the subject of “Compensation of District Clerks," having had the same under careful consideration, beg leave to report as follows:
That, inasmuch as the work required by law of the District Clerk is of consider. able importance and takes up much of his time, districts be empowered to grant a compensation, at the rate of $10 for every hundred children of school age, to be paid by the district, and that before such an account is allowed, the Clerk be required to produce, at the annual meeting, a certificate from the Town Clerk, stating that said District Clerk has complied with the requirements of the law, and that his annual report was correct and presented in due form. Respectfully submitted,
F. C. LAU,
ALEX. F. NORTH.
Your committee, to whom was referred the subject of “Power of District Clerks ” in reference to the employment of teachers, would make the following report:
Resolved, That the power now placed by law in the hands of School District Clerks, so far as it relates to the employment of teachers, be, by modification of the law, so changed as to make it the duty of the Clerk to engage the teacher subject to the action of the Board.
S. A. CRAIG, Adopted unanimously. The Committee on Joint School District Reports presented the following report: WHEREAS, The present requirement of law making it the duty of clerks of joint school districts to report to the town clerks of each and all the towns, parts of which are embraced in the district, results in great inaccuracy of the statistics gathered, and additional and useless labor and trouble of other district officers, as well as in difficulty for the county superintendents in detecting and correcting. errors; therefore,
Resolved, That it would be a valuable amendment of our School Code to have it so changed as to require school district clerks to report fully and only to the Town Clerk of the town in which the school house is located, and all money apportioned or raised per capita to be paid to the Town Treasurer of the town wherein the school house is located, for the use of such joint school district. W. H. CHANDLER,
A. F. NORTH,
J. Q. EMERY. Adopted unanimously.
The following, after much discussion, was substituted for the report of Messrs. Reynolds, Wright and Holden, on “Grades of Certificates:"
Resolved, That there be established three grades of certificates, embracing the studies now required by law; the third grade good for one year in the county, the second grade good for two years in the county, and the first for five years in the State, and that the details of the plan be left to a committee consisting of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Assistant Superintendent, Professor Allen and W. H. Chandler.
Your Committee upon Uniformity of Examinations would respectfully report as follows:
The State Constitution provides (art. 10, sec. 3) that the district schools "shall be as nearly uniform as practicable.'
The school law provides (section 10) that the County Superintendent of each county shall, under the advice and direction of the State Superintendent, establish for his county the standard of attainment in each branch of study which must be reached by each applicant before receiving a certificate of either grade; and the standard so established shall be uniform for the county.
In actual practice the responsibility for establishing and for enforcing any standard whatever rests with the County Superintendents. No reform in the present practice can be effected as the law now stands, except through and by the County Superintendent, and if the law were changed by taking out of the hands of the County Superintendent the power of fixing the questions to be answered, or the per cent. of correct answers required for a certificate or by any similar change, yet, even then the County Superintendents must necessarily be entrusted with the chief responsibility of carrying into practical execution the changes wished. Another committee will report upon certain changes in this direction, and recommend certain changes in the laws regulating the scope and grade of certificates. We cordially endorse the recommendations of that committee, and shall ourselves recommend some reforms.
But we are not of the opinion that any law can give County Superintendents brains, or honesty, or backbone, or even decent morality, unless they have these indispensable qualities already. And your committee are not therefore, of the opinion that any change of the law will do any particular good except in the counties or districts
in which the Superintendents are competent and honest in their administration. But some changes, we think, would be of advantage in the counties where this is the case.
1. A great evil connected with our examinations is that many teachers fail to attend the public examinations, in hopes of getting through easier on a private examination. Your committee would therefore recommend that the school law be so amended that such person who applies for a private examination pay a fine of five dollars, to go into the school fund, and that the county superintendent have power to remit the fine when the applicant shall present a certificate of sickness. from some practicing physician, or an affidavit that he resided out of the county and had not engaged to teach in the county at the time of the last public examination.
2. Your committee also believe that an examination ought to show not only the applicant's knowledge of the particulars embraced in each subject, but also his general grasp of the whole subject, and his breadth of thinking and power of arranging clearly and logically and expressing accurately any subject he may study. They would therefore recommend to the county superintendents that their written examinations should be, so far as possible, by topics. And they would further recommend that the last question upon each subject relate to the applicant’s method of teaching that subject.
3. Your committee are not of the opinion that any attempt should be made to secure by law any further uniformity of examinations for third grade certificates. Some counties are much further advanced than others, and an attempt to average the grade would either reduce the standard of the more advanced counties, or or would raise too much the standard of more backward ones. But we cordially endorse the recommendations of the committee on Grades of Certifiates, in favor of uniformity of examinations and certificates in the second and first grades, and hope that they may be embodied in the form of a bill and presented to the legislature this winter, as the sense of this body. All which is respectfully submitted.
A. O. WRIGHT,
The above report, after being amended by the omission of all that portion relating to the payment of a fine, was adopted.
The Committee to whom was referred the subject of Institute Work for 1872, reported as follows:
Resolved, That we recognize in the Normal Schools of the State, a means for thorough preparation of teachers for the work of their profession, and an element in our educational system worthy of the heartiest support and encouragement of every friend of popular education, and one which gives promise in the near future of a large corps of professional teachers.
Resolved, that the action of the Board of Regents of Normal Schools, and the State Legislature, in making provision for Normal and other Institutes, meets with our most hearty approval—the wisdom of those measures being fully demonstrated by the great interest manifested in the Institutes held the present year, and the results accomplished by them; and we most earnestly hope that both the Board of Regents and the Legislature will continue the present, or make still further provisions for this important part of the educational work in our State.
Resolved, That the arrangement by which in the opening term of each year in the several Normal Schools an Institute is held open to all, also commends itself to our favorable judgment, and that we pledge ourselves to use our best endeavors to have the opportunities thus afforded, improved by all teachers within the reach of our influence.
S. A. CRAIG,
J. Q. EMERY.
The Committee to whom was referred the matter of County High Schools, have had the same under consideration and beg leave to report:
That we have an abiding conviction of the necessity of such Ins.itutions in order to coinplete our educational system and to accomplish the most decirable results.
W. D. PARKER,
W. H. HOLDEN. The report was unanimously adopted, after an elaborate discussion, participated in by almost every member of the Convention.
The Committee to whom was referred the subject,“ Township System and Town Superintendency,” reported as follows:
Inasmuch as the present law on this subject is permissory and not obligatory, and as the tendency of the people is to move slowly in making changes from present customs, it is recommended that the State Superintendent, by all possible means, the County Superintendents in their official visits, by public addresses, and through the press, and the friends of the system generally, call attention to the advantages of the Township System, and urge its adoption in such townships as would give it a fair trial. The Township System provides for town superintendents.
J. Q. EMERY,
H. A. HOBART.
FRIDAY, 9 o'clock, A. M. The Committee to whom the “Classification of Ungraded Schools” was submit ted, reported as follows:
That the classification of ungraded schools is about as difficult as would be the classification of a geological cabinet in which each specimen was a combination of four or more different systems. Your committee would, however, emphatically recommend a reduction of the number of classes usually found in such schools and that, except in peculiar cases, the study of the higher branches, such as algebra and natural philosophy be remitted to one higher grade of school in each town, open to all fitted to enter, or to a county high school supported by the State, ex cepting also in so far as Algebra can be combined with arithmetic, and natural philosophy with their reading lessons or studies. That a uniformity of text books be secured, even if this can be accomplished only by the district purchasing the books and charging the pupils for the use of them; that the teaching be more and more of a topical character and that oral instruction, especially in the primary grades, take the place in a great measure of text-bookism, and that the unnatural di