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MEETING OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE STATE
PURSUANT to a call by the Governor, the members of the Board of Regents, appointed to carry out the provisions of “An act for the encouragement of Academies and Normal Schools," met in the Assembly Chamber in the Capitol at dadison, on Wednesday, July 15th, 1857.
The following members of the Board were present, and answered as their Names were called :
Edvard Cooke, J. G. McKindley, A. C. Spicer, Alfred Brunson, Noah H. Virgin, J. J. Enos, S. A. Bean, M. P. Kinney and D. Y. Kilgore.
Hon. A. D. Smith, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, adıninistered the oath of office to the members.
The Board was then divided by lot into three classes, as follows:
Noah H. Virgin, A. C. Spicer and Edward Cooke, whose terms of ostice expire January 1st, A. D. 1358.
A. Brunsun, S. A. Bean and D. Y. Kilgore, whose term of office will expire January 1st, A. D. 1859.
M. P. Kinney, J. J. Enos and J. G. McKindley, whose term of office will expire January 1st, A. D. 1860.
On motion, proceeded to an election of officers, which resulted in the choice of
M. P. Kinney, of Racine, President.
After the transaction of several matters of business, and the adoption of resolutions pertaining to the organization of the Doard, the following following Reports were adopted, which indicate the plan proposed for the establishment of Normal Schools in the State.
Mr. McKindley, chairinan of the committee to prepare a course of study, made a report which was adopted, as follows:
REPORT. The Board of Regents of Normal Schools for the State of Wisconsin, in pursuance of an aoi passed at the last senion of the Legislature, entitled “An Act for the encouragement of Academies an'l Normal Shouls," do hereby ordain t'he following rules and regulations by which they will be governed in the distribution of the said fund.
1st. A Normal School or Nornal department, as contemplated in this Act, is, in the estimation of this Boar 1, one in which students are educated with espocial reference to fitting them for teachers in our Public Schools.
3. Any College or icatlemy that sball institute such a Normal department, and comply with tile legulations which the Board way from time to time mane, as conteinplated by the not above referred to, shall is considerei is coming within its provisions and chicked to its boueris. Such departindot, however, shall be distinct and separate from the original Academic and Collegiate department, and its design and only aim shall be to quality toachers for the business of teaching in our public schools.
3d. Pupils may be admitted to this Norinal Department who shall hare attained the age of 14 years, and shall pass a satisfactory examination by the Principal or Conductor of said Norinal Department, in Elementary Sounds, Reading, Spelling. Intellectual Arithmetic, Written Arithmetic, as far as percentage, Geography and Penmanship.
And it shall be understood that no student shall be allowed to take up any study, till he shall have passed an examination in the manner prescribed by the Board in all studies, previously laid down in the course of study adopied hy this Board.
No institution shall draw pro rata from the income of this fund, for any student in attendance at such Normal School for a less term than three months, nor unless he shall have passed a satisfactory examination in one third of a year's course of study.
The institutions receiving the benefits of this fund, shall make their annual reports to the Secretary of this Board on or before the first day of February in each year; auch report, embracing the calender year terminating in December, shall include the Dames, residence, age and studies of each pupil taught in the Normal Department, Verified as the law directs.
The President or Principal of any institution intending to apply for the benefits of this fund, shall give notice to the Seeretary of thir Board of such intention, and of the time of examination of pupils in the Normal School or department, to take placo at the close of their aendemic term next ensuing, at least six weeks previous to the close of said term.
And it sball be the duty of the President of this Board to appoint a committee to attend the examination of pupils in such Normal School or department, and report to this Board at its dext annual meeting a full statement of the results of such examinetion, and of the condition of said school.
The course of study shall be as follows:
First Sear: Reading, Speiling and Defining, Mental Arithmetic, Geography with map drawing, Written Arithmetic, Elements of Sounds, Englsh Grammar, Theory and Practice of Teaching, Analysis of Words, Principles of English Composition.
Second Year: lligher Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, Ilistory ancient and modern), Llocution, Theory and Practice of Teaching, English Composition, Physiology, Vocal Music.
Third Year: Iligher Algebra, Geometry, Book-keeping, Vocal Music, Natural Philosophy, Logic, Rhetoric, Elocution, Science of Government, Chemistry, Astronomy. Optioual--Latin or Greek Languages, Classical Geography.
Fourth Your: Trigonometry, Conie Sections, Botany. Geology, Mental and Moral Philosophy, Political Economy, Surreying, Opties, Mechanie's, Hydrostaties, Electricity, Magnetism, Meteorology, Natural llistory. Optional-Lunguages as above, and History of Civilization.
E. Cooke, from the committee to take into consideration the subject of a distinct Normal School, presented the following report, which was adopted :
REPORT Your committee having duly considered the subject referred to them, have arrived at the following conclusions, viz:
1st. However desirable separate Normal Schools, pot connected with any other institutions, may be to the interests of education, in the opinion of your committee the act entitled “ An act for the encouragement of Academies and Normal Schools" does not empower this Board of Regents to take any steps in that direction, other than to reccive proposals from towns, villages and cities, proposing to crect and donate such institutions.
2d. Whenever this Board shall have selected one, from those so offered, to be adopted by and secured to the State, as a Siate Normal School, this Board can, in accordance with said act, apportion to said Normal School a sum not exceeding three thousand dollars per annum for the support of said School. Andabat as soon as the Board shall have made choice of a location, a portion of the Normal School Fund shall be appropriated for that purpose.
Should any towns, villages or cities make an offer for such institute, in acoordance with the provisions of said act, the committoe recomiend that information embracing the following items, be giren in such proposition :
1st. Plat of ground, size, valuation, abstract of title, facilities for reaching it. 2d. Plan of buildings, valuation, and any other information necessary respecting its adaptation to the purpose of a Normal School, as contemplated in this act.
M. P. KINNEY, President. D. Y, KILGORE, Secretary. Madison, July 16, 1867.
WISCONSIN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL.
[The following considerations respecting the character and advantages of a school of the highest grade in a system of public instruction in cities and large villages, were first presented to the public in 1838, when there was not a single institution of the kind out of Massachusetts. They are still widely applicable in every State.]
By a Public or Common High School, is intended a public or common school for the older and more advanced scholars of the community in which the same is located, in a course of instruction adapted to their age, and intellectual and moral wants, and, to some extent, to their future pursuits in life. It is common or public in the same sense in which the district school, or any lower grade of school established and supported under a general law and for the public benefit, is common or public. It is open to all the chil. dren of the community to which the school belongs, under such regulations as to age, attainments, &c., as the good of the institution may require, or the community may adopt. A Public High School is not necessarily a free school. It may be supported by a fund, a public tax, or an assessment or rate of tuition per scholar, or by a combination of all, or any two of these modes. Much less is it a public or common school in the sense of being cheap, inferior, ordinary. To be truly a public school, a High School must embrace in the course of its instruction studies which can be more profitably pursued there than in public schools of a lower grade, or which gather their pupils from a more circumscribed territory, and as profitably as in any private school of the same pretensions. It must make a good education common in the highest and best sense of the word common-common because it is good enough for the best, and cheap enough for the poorest family in the community. It would be a mockery of the idea of such a school, to call it a Public High School, if the course of instruction pursued in it is not higher and better than can be got in public schools of a lower grade, or if it does not meet the wants of the wealthiest and best educated families, or, if the course of instruction is liberal and thorough, and at the same time the worthy and talented child of a poor family is shut out from its privileges by a high rate of tuition. The school, to be common practically, must be VOL. II,
both cheap and good. To be cheap, its support must be provided for wholly or mainly out of a fund, or by public tax. And to justify the imposition of a public tax, the advantages of such a school must accrue to the whole community. It must be shown to be a common benefit, a common interest, which cannot be secured so well, or at all, except through the medium of taxation. What, then, are the advantages which may reasonably be anticipated from the establishment of a Public High School, properly organized, instructed, and supervised ?
First. Every thing which is now done in the several district schools, and schools of lower grade, can be better done, and in a shorter time, because the teachers will be relieved from the necessity of devoting the time and attention now required by few of the older and more advanced pupils, and can bestow all their time and attention upon the preparatory studies and younger children. These studies will be taught in methods suited to the age and attainments of the pupils. A right beginning can thus be made in the lower schools, in giving a thorough practical knowledge of elementary principles, and in the formation of correct mental and moral habits, which are indispensable to all sound education. All this will be done under the additional stimulus of being early and thoroughly fitted for the High School.
Second.. A High School will give completeness to the system of public instruction which may be in operation. It will make suitable provision for the older and more advanced pupils of both sexes, and will admit of the methods of instruction and discipline which cannot be profitably introduced into the schools below. The lower grade of schools—those which are established for young children-require a large use of oral and simultaneous methods, and a frequent change of place and position on the part of the pupils. The higher branches, especially all mathematical subjects, require patient application and habits of abstraction on the part of the older pupils, which can with difficulty, if at all, be attained by many pupils amid a multiplicity of distracting exercises, movements, and sounds. The recitations of this class of pupils, to be profitable aud satisfactory, must be conducted in a manner which requires time, discussion, and explanation, and the undivided attention both of pupils and teacher. The course of instruction provided in the High School will be equal in extent and value to that which may be given in any private school, academy, or female seminary in the place, and which is now virtually denied to the great mass of the children by the burdensome charge of tuition.
As has been already implied, the advantages of a High School should not be confined to the male sex. The great influence of the female sex, as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, companions, and teachers, in determining the manners, morals, and intelligence of the whole community, leaves no room to question the necessity of providing for the girls the best means of intellectual and moral culture. The course of instruction should embrace the first principles of natural and mechanical philosophy, by which inventive genius and practical skill in the useful arts can be fostered; such studies as navigation, book-keeping, surveying, botany, chemistry, and kindred studies, which are directly connected with success in the varied departments of domestic and inland trade, with foreign commerce, with gardening, agriculture, the manufacturing and domestic arts; such studies as astronomy, physiology, the history of our own state and nation, the principles of our state and national constitutions, political economy, and moral science; in fine, such a course of study as is now given in more than fifty towns and cities in New England, and which shall prepare every young man, whose parents may desire it, for business, or for college, and give to every young woman a well disciplined mind, high moral aims, refined tastes, gentle and graceful manners, practical views of her own duties, and those resources of health, thought, conversation, and occupation, which bless alike the highest and lowest station in life. When such a course is provided and carried out, the true idea of the High School will be realized.
Third. It will equalize the opportunities of a good education, and exert a happy, social influence throughout the whole community from which it gathers its scholars. From the want of a public school of this character, the children of such families as rely exclusively on the district school are isolated, and are condemned to an inferior education, both in quality and quantity; they are cut off from the stimulus and sympathy which the mingling of children of the same age from different parts of the same community would impart. The benefits, direct and indirect, which will result to the country districts, or poor families who live in the outskirts of the city, from the establishment of a school of this class, cannot easily be overestimated. The number of young men and young women who will receive a thorough education, qualifying them for business, and to be teachers, will increase from year to year; and the number who will press up to the front ranks of scholarship in the school, bearing away the palm of excellence by the vigor of sound minds in sound bodics, of minds and bodies made vigorous by long walks and muscular labor in the open air, will be greater in proportion to their number than from the city districts. It will do both classes good, the children of the city, and the children of the country districts, to ineasure themselves intellectually in the same fields of study, and to subject the peculiarities of their respective manners, the roughness and awkwardness sometimes characteristic of the one, and the artificiality and flippancy of the other, to the harmonizing influence of reciprocal action and reaction. The isolation and estrangement which now divide and subdivide the community into country and city clans, which, if not hostile, are strangers to each other, will give place to the frequent intercourse and esteem of individual and family friendship, commenced in the school-room, and on the play.ground of the school. The school will thus become a bond of union, a channel of sympathy, a spring-head of healthful influence, and stimulus to the whole community.
Fourth. The privileges of a good school will be brought within the reach of all classes of the community, and will actually be enjoyed by children of the same age from families of the most diverse circumstances as to wealth, education and occupation. Side by side in the same recitations, heart and