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WISCONSIN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
CHICAGO HIGI School.-- The new High We foel no hesitation in unqualifiedly recomSchool House in the city of Chicago, is probably mending this work as the result of careful rethe best free school building in the West. flection upon, and intimate acquaintance with Candidates for admission into the Normal De the subject discussed. Few men have done partment are required to be fifteen years of more to advance the cause of public education age, and to pass a satisfactory examination in than Superintendent MAYHEW, and few feel & reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, deeper interest or possess a more intelligent arithmetic as far as the “cubic root," and the comprehension of this-to an American--deepIlistory of the United States.
ly interesting subject.
The Library, of which this is a part, is of great STATE PHONETIC CONVENTION.-The friends of Phonetic Reform, in the State of Illinois, value to the Teacher, and when contents, typowill hold a Conyention in the city of Chicago, graphy and prico are taken into account, we on the 25th and 26th days of December, 1856, think Teachers can do no better than obtain it
. for the purpose of organizing a State Phonetic Published by A. S. Barnes & Co., New York. Association.
THE PRINCE OF THE HOUSE OF DATID-OR
THREE YEARS IN THE HOLY CITY: BEING A FOND DU LAC.-A communication from the
SERIES OF LETTERS WRITTEN BY ADINA TO School Superintendent of the city of Fond du Lac, informs us the schools in that city are in a
DER FATHER, A JEW or ALEXANDRIA.--By
Rev. J. 11. Ingraham, prosperous condition. There are two public school houses in the city, cach 40 by 60 feet, two
The object of the author geems to be to arrest
the attention of the reader, and fix it upon tho stories high.
eyonts recorded in the New Testament concernMINERAL Point.-We learn, with pleasure, ing the Life of Christ, and he has been most that the citizens of Mineral Point, have deter- successful in the effort. Some of the narramined to erect a public school edifice, adapted tives and descriptions are touchingly beautiful to the educational wants of their thiriying city. The “homo gcones," as we would call them, in
The inhabitants of Ripon, comprising that the life of Jesus are described with remarkable part of tho village known as Ceresco, have yot- skill
. As a faithful delineation of “a man of ed the sum of $2,000, to build a new school sorrow and acquainted with grief,” we can house.
commend it to all. Toe Janesville Free Press says two public A Second Class RgADER: COXSISTING OF EXschool edifices have been erected the present
TRACTS IN PROSE AND VERSE, FOR THE USE gcar in that city, at a cost of $13,000 cach. OF THE SECOND CLASSES IN PUBLIC AND Our friends may attribute the late appoer
PRIVATE ScuooLS, WITH AN INTRODUCTORY ance of the present number to the difficulty of
TREATISE ON READING AND THE TRAINING OP obtaining paper. The manufacturers have been TUR Vocal Organs.-- By G. S. Hillard, unable to supply us in season.
Hickling, Swan & Brown, Boston, 1857.
This is the second of a series, in course of BOOK TABLE.
proparation by Geo. 8. HILLARD. Of the first
we have already spoken. This is just the book Tar Means and Exps of Universal Forca- for our Distriot Schools, containing as it does a
CATION.—By Ira Bayhew, A. 31., Superin- class of exercises, admirably adapted to the tendent of Public Instruction of the State of development and training of the yoice, with Michigan.
such selections of prose and poetry as are inThis work was formerly issued under the structive and of such a character as will arrest title of "Popular Education,” but lutely has tho attention. The good taste of the author is been added to the "Teachers' Library," pub- not less conspicuous in this than in the First lished by A. S. Babnes & Co., and the title Reader. Among the many books claiming the bas been changed to better correspond with the attention of Teachers and District Boards, we contonts of the work.
hope this serios may not be overlooked.
TO THE SEXATE AND ASSEMBLY OF WISCONSIN IN LEGISLATURE CONTENED:-
I have the honor herewith to submit to you, as required by law, the Annual report of this Department.
I remain, Gentlemen, Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant,
A. CONSTANTINE BARRY. REPORT.
As the traveler, who has climbed to some commanding eminence, turns and with the eye retraces the road over which he has passed, and notes its asperities and windings; so we have reached a point in the journey of life, from which, as from a superior elevation, we may survey in thought our travelled pathway, and mark especially our course for a twelvemonth gone.
Another year with its vicissitudes, its improved and unimproved opportunities, its finished and unfinished work, its labors, sacrifices and triumphs has come to an end. How swiftly its hours and moments have flown, never to return again! If we have misimproved them, we must suffer for our folly. If we have wasted them, there is no recall, and we must endure the loss.
As the old year comes to a close, it awakens our sleeping recollections, and brings up the story of our lives. Its last hours interrogate us with more than common solemnity. What account can you give of the past? We are summoned, then, to inspect our lives, the works we have wrought--to examine the posture of our affairs with regard to the great objects of our existence on the earth. The sun may be rises as brightly, the face of nature is the same, the provisions for our life as sure and regular as ever; and yet a voice seems to come from the closing portals of the year, “Give an account of thy stewardship !"
As we look back from this day over the past year, what do we see ?-as citizens, whatever stations we may fill, whatever functions discharge--what do we see ?Do we find that we have wrought faithfully for Humanity ?-that we have aided to the extent of our ability in the work of enlightening the ignorant, restoring sight to the blind, bursting fetters in sunder, and wiping away the tears of suffering and sorrow?
We know that we are bound to watch over the interests of our fellow men-to take as deep an interest in their wellire as we take in our own-to war against that which is opposed to their happiness-against every thing the tendency of which shall be to deface the image of God in the human soul, and involve men in bondage and wo.
We know, too, that we owe many and important duties to the State in which we live; that its truest prosperity should lie near our hearts and command our ablest exertions.
Let us now ask ourselves whether we have discharged our whole duty faithfully and fearlessly; or whether we have seen ignorance and moral evil deepen and retire around us, without sounding an alarm, or lifting a hand to stay the dark and deadly tide. Let us look abroad over our beautiful State, and say whether, as a result of our influence and labors, its moral aspect has been improved; whether there is generally an advancing state of good morals, a steady improvement of all classes ?
To combine all these questions in one ;-What have we done for the cause of education during the past year? Have better school-houses been provided ? better teachers employed? a better supervision exercised ? Ilas there been a united determination to make the public schools the best schools, and to this end have Superintendents, District Boards, Teachers and Parents zealously co-operated ? Neglect of duty in this respect is perilous in the extreme. It is to jeopardize not only individual interests, but the great and essential interests of the State. It is to place a low and degrading estimate on those distinguisheri agencies, which, beyond any mere human instrumextality, conduce most powerfully to the peace, prosperity and happiness of individuals and of a people.
We are not concerned alone in the development of our rich agricultural and mineral resources--in the creation of banks and banking capital in the building of Railroads, and the improvement of rivers and harbors. We have interests beyond thosc connected with land speculation, the founding of cities and villages, and the promotion of commercial enterprizes. Seeking mere temporal prosperity and outward, carthly advantages, we shall be miserably poor in all that constitutes real wealth and perinanent good.
While, then, we have been employed in promoting other objects, and our minds have been more or less engrossed in other pursuits, “have we, during the last year, been faithful servants in carrying forward the greatest of all instrumentalities for the advancement of mankind--the education of the young? Have the errors and the abuses which still infest our noble system of Common Schools, been, as far as possible, rectified or extirpated ? Ilave the great improvements which modern experience has brought to light, in regard to the modes of instructing and training the young, been introduced, and has the widest practicable diffusion been given to them? Have all the school officers and all teachers in their respective sphere, labored with all dilligence and devotedness, and with a single eye to the welfare of the rising generation? Have the minds of the children been so enlightened and
purified by the instructions they have received, and so strengthened by the exercise they have performed, that they will be better prepared than their fathers hay been, to meet the great questions of social relationship and of national policy, soon to be submitted to their decision ?” In a word, has that fostering care bee extended by our State to her Public Schools, which an enlightened sense of the vital importance demands; and while prosecuting other and great enterprizes, ar imparting to them all the aid which legislative and executive power can confer, she still carrying forward the noble work of Popular Education, and carefully si perintending those processes which shall develop and refine the intellectual an moral wealth within her borders ?
We may be allowed to say so much as this in answer, that some slight progre: has been made in the right direction--an increased and increasing interest manifes ed on the behalf of our common schools--new and vigorous agencies employed i the work of education--while at the close of the year there are fresh indication that a new condition of things, a better tiine coming, educationally speaking, soon to be inaugurated in Wisconsin.
Let it not be inferred from this, however, that there are few or no obstacles r maining in the way of substantial prosperity--that our common school system well-nigh perfected--that the watchful guardianship of the State, the interest an co-operation of parents, the superior qualifications of teachers, the excellence school houses, and the abundance of all requisite facilities leave little to be desire or labored for beyond. We have as yet made scarcely a beginning. Only a pai of a small portion of our work has been accomplished. We have everything to di We are now equipping ourselves for the important service. The grandest achieve ment will be, the mustering of the entire body of our people on the field of labo all alive with animation and interest, and impelled by one big determination t place our State in the van of Educational Progress and Reform.
What is the condition of our schools, and what the measure of educational pro gress throughout the State, the following facts and comparisons will pretty clear show.
In July last the following Circular, addressed to the several Town Superinter dents in the State, was issued from this office:
* OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF PueliC INSTRUCTION, I
Madison, July 1st, 1850. To Towy SUPERINTENDENT OF
DEAR Sue:-Will you have the kindness to communicate to this office, betwee this date and the first of November next, a detailed statement of the condition Schools and the progress of Education within your jurisdiction. State what degre of interest is felt and manifested on the part of parents and others--what is th standard of qualification of Teachers—what are the branches taught in the severa Schools--what obstacles and embarrassments, if any, in the way of education: prosperity-what is needed to render the Schools more efficient and useful -Wha change, if any, in your opinion, of our School Laws, or modification of our Schoo System, are required for their better adaptation to meet the educational wants your town—whether you have a uniformity of Text Books in the Schools unde your supervision, and if so, what kind of Text Books are used. Any additiona acts, suggestions, recommendations, etc. will be gladly received.
I trust you will not fail to communicate to this department as above desired The information sought cannot be obtained from the Amual Reports; and withou
it we are unable to determine, with any degree of accuracy, what is the condition of our Schools, and what the measure of educational prosperity in our State. Yours truly,
A. CONSTANTINE BARRY,
Supil of Public Instruction. Answers have been received from a large number upon whom the above call was made, furnishing various information. Several of the communications have been deemed of sufficient importance to be given a place entire, in this Report.
PARENTAL INTEREST AND CO-OPERATION. While in a few instances, the Reports inform us, there is a zeal manifested in the cause of Popular Education, promotive of a good degree of educational prosperity; at the same time there is an almost unanimous expression by the Superintendents with regard to the lukewarmness and indifference of parents as exhibited toward the Common Schools. They rarely or never enter the school room to acquaint themselves with what is going on there—whether the teacher is prosecuting his great work aright, and giving full proof of his alınost divine ministry by his wise culture of human souls, and his training of the mortal for inmortality. They offer no encouraging word, they lend no helping hand. This is not said or meant of all parents in all places. Mention is made of honorable exceptions. But generally, it is complained and generally it is true-that there is a lack of sympathy and of substantial interest on the part of parents, with reference to the labors and the results of the school room and of school exercises. Every where is it the case that a few warmhearted, devoted individuals must bear the burden of interest and of duty, while the great mass of the people will not know or care whether their children are tardy and irregular at school, whether proper books and a sufficient number of them are provided, whether the teacher needs more and better tools to work with, and a better place to work in; but on the contrary, perhaps, will keep their children at home for trivial causes-many times withdraw them entirely from school because of some fancied or reported offense committed by the teacher, or because they have conceived a dislike for him; never seeking an explanation, never offering a word of counsel nor a word of encouragement. No wonder, that, under such circumstances, the schools are poor, miserable affairs; and that the public monies in aid of them, are, to a very great extent thrown away; while the evils that are thus brought upon children are numerous and appaling.
I subjoin the following extracts:
“In relation to the condition of Schools and progress of education in this Town, (Hubbard) I have to say that they are, in my opinion, at a rather low ebb. The interest manifested on the part of parents and others, is far from what it should be, though there are some noble exceptions. In our village (Horicon) there is in progress of erection a School House, 41 by 61 feet, 2 stories above the basement, to be completed the first of June next. The house is to cost about $9,000, when finished and furnished.
The standard of qualification of Teachers is designed to be such as the wants of the Schools demand. The branches taught are Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar and Geography. The greatest obstacle in the way of educational prosperity is a want of interest and effort on the part of parents and others.
Town SUPERINTENDENT OF HUBBARD." “A very considerable interest is manifested by parents on behalf of the School, but I do not think they are willing to pay enough to command the services of well qualified teachers.
Town SUPERINTENDENT OF VINLAND."