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five lawyers ; seventeen physicians ; thirteen seamstresses ; fifty-nine merchants; fourteen machinists; sixteen teachers; seven stone-cutters; thirty-three grocers, &c. The 112 pupils admitted in July, 1845, came from families representing forty-six different conditions or occupations of life. Of these forty-six, there were eleven widows: fourteen store-keepers ; seven merchants ; six grocers; six cordwainers ; three clerks ; four carpenters; four manufacturers; two physicians; one clergyman; one baker ; one bricklayer; one broker; one cabinet-maker; one cooper; one dentist; one lawyer ; two mariners ; one millwright; two physicians; two stage-drivers ; two tailors; one victualler; three weavers, &c. &c.

The 183 pupils who left the High School for the year ending in July 1845, are now engaged in thirty-seven different occupations. For examples, there are two bakers; three blacksmiths; one bookbinder ; five bricklayers; one brickmaker; fifteen carpenters; fourteen clerks; three cordwainers; two coopers; five druggists; three engineers; three engravers ; three farmers ; four grocers; two hatters ; two ironfounders ; one jeweller; six machinists; four lawyers ; seven mariners; two printers; two sailmakers; fifty-three storekeepers; ten teachers ; two tinmen, &c. This table shows, that this school is not only high in its position at the head of the public schools, and as its elevated and extended course of instruction under the ablest and highest priced professors, would indicate, but that it is public in the best sense of the word, in as much as its advantages are open without any charge for tuition to pupils of merit, from all classes and occupations of society, who are thus well educated for business, and not above it. Prof. Hart, remarks "that the direct advantages of the school are reaped chiefly by those whose circumstances would otherwise prevent their sons from receiving a good education. I would add to the evidence furnished by this table, my own conviction derived from a personal knowledge of the pupils for the last three years, that more than three fourths of all the pupils of the High School, but for its existence, would never have had the means of acquiring more than a very moderate share of the lowest rudiments of knowledge.”

This report of Prof. Hart presents the results of the examination of the applicants for admission into the school, with the name of the Grammar School to which the applicants belonged, the number admitted and rejected, from each school, thus holding up an unexceptionable standard by which the different schools can be compared.

From another table, it appears that the pupils admitted to the High School, have come up regularly through the Primary, Secondary and Grammar Schools, and that not a few of the most successful applicants at the most recent examinations have never entered any school but the Public School.

Professor Hart during the past year has successfully organized and carried out a course of instruction for the female teachers connected with the public schools and the more advanced pupils of the girls' Grammar Schools, under the name of SATURDAY Classes.

The movement in reference to this matter originated in the desire shown by a large number of the female teachers of the public schools to have some means of this sort for promoting their intellectual improvement. The existence of such a desire was manifested by the fact, that a private class of the kind, which, at the request of a few of the teachers I had opened at the High School some six months previous, at the very inconvenient hours from 12 to 2 o'clock of Saturday, was thronged entirely beyond my ability to give them adequate instruction. It was believed therefore that a plan, which would give inore time and more varied instruction to such of the teachers of the public schools as might desire it, would have a beneficial influence upon the general tone of public instruction. This could not be done without dispensing with the attendance of the boys on Saturday morning. It was not supposed that the number of teachers attending would exceed a hundred, or at the utmost a hundred and fifty, and this number would not give the Professors full employment. It was proposed therefore to fill up the classes by admitting a limited number of the more advanced pupils of the Girls' Grammar Schools.

We have frequently recommended something of this kind to female teachers of public schools, and to young ladies, who had left school and wished to continue their studies, and prepare themselves for the office oft eaching; and for the reasons given by Professor Hart in his plan of organization.

"'There can be little doubt too that where the circumstances will permit of their attendance, the course might be of essential service to the female teachers, and through them to the children with whose instruction they are charged. We would not then be presented with the singular anomaly of intelligent and well educated young women, from the date of their appointment as primary teachers, actually retrograding and becoming finally disqualified for promotion, by the time their age and experience entitle them to it. On the contrary, the weekly exercises on Saturday would perpetually brighten the chain of knowledge, besides adding gradually to its links. Moreover, this bringing together, periodi. cally, the teachers from various schools, would give them invaluable opportuni. ties, not now enjoyed, of catching improvements from each other. Experience shows that nothing is more disheartening to the teacher,-nothing serves as a more effectual damper to all her generous impulses towards improvement, than a dreary and unbroken isolation from her fellows.".

The result has been, on the whole, satisfactory, though somewhat different from that anticipated. There has been less anxiety to attend than was expected from the pupils of the Girls' Grammar Schools, and a larger attendance than was expected on the part of teachers. Some, it is true, who first entered the classes, under the mistaken notion of receiving very extraordinary advantages, or without sufficiently counting the labor and self-denial necessarily connected with their deriving any advantage, soon discontinued their attendance. Yet there are many on the other hand who, against all discouragements, and through all weathers, have attended regularly throughout the year, with a degree of labor, self-denial, and spirit, worthy of all commendation.




The JOURNAL OF THE RHODE-ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION will be published on the 1st and 15th of every month, until a volume is completed by the publication of twelve numbers.

Each number will contain at least sixteen pages in octavo form: and in addition, from time to time, an Extra will be published, containing official circulars, notices of school meetings, and communications respecting individual schools, and improvements in education generally; and one of a series of “ Educational Tracts," devoted to the discussion of important topics, in some one department of popular education.

The volume, including the Extras and “ Educational Tracts," will consti. tute at least three hundred pages, and will be furnished for fifty cents for a single copy; or for three dollars for ten copies sent in a single package; and at the same rate for any larger number sent in the same way. The subscription must be paid on the reception of the first number.

HENRY BARNARD, Commissioner of Public Schools, Editor.

THOMAS C. HARTSHORN, Business Agent. PROVIDENCE, April 1, 1846.




Submitted December, 1845. In this document we recognize the views of an experienced school officer. Mr. Mayhew, the author of this Report, was for two years, one of the County Superintendents of Common Schools in New York, and entered upon his duties in his new and wider field of labor with a valuable fund of practical knowledge, acquired in the administration of one of the most efficient school systems in the world.


Our system of education possesses many admirable features. Any child residing within an organized district is entitled to attend the common school, whether his parents are able to pay his tuition or not. The law also provides for supplying The children of indigent parents with such books as they may need.

Our system of township libraries is an admirable one, and is particularly adapted to the wants of townships with a sparse population. It is superior to the district system in as much as it enables the township to purchase a greater number of more valuable books, to which, also, each individual of the township is enabled in due time to have access. The principal impediment to the usefulness of these libraries lies in the circumstance that directors are frequently remiss in the discharge of their duties.

Statutory provision is also made for the establishment of union schools in cities, villages and densely settled townships. In this manner the advantages of the common school, and the highest order of select schools may be happily combined, without any of the mischievous consequences resulting from an invidious distincion.

Our University system, with branches in different parts of the state is justly entitled to the commendation which it has so generally received wherever it is known.

Our common schools, the branches of the University, and the Parent Institution, are intimately connected. If properly conducted, the success of each will exert a healthful influence upon both of the others. Each should hold its own appropriate place in our system of public instruction, and neither should attempt to do the legitimate work of another. Our system will thus be prosperous and efficient. Otherwise, it will suffer in all its departments. For example, if a branch attempts to do the appropriate work of the common school, and opens wide its doors for the reception of scholars in the common English branches, the common schools in the vicinity will manifestly be weakened, and sustain sensible loss. The branch itself will be injured as such, and become a semi-common school. It will hence prepare a less number of students for the University than it would otherwise be likely to do. There seems to be a deficiency in the supervision exercised over our schools particularly our common schools.

It is believed our system of school inspectors might be rendered more efficient, and at the same time less expensive. At present, a meeting of the board is necessary to examine teachers, and indeed, to transact any business. It takes time 10 assemble the board, and is also attended with expense.

When met for the examination of teachers, generally the person who is regarded as the literary member of the board, conducts the examination chiefly. The certificate is made oui and signed by all the members of the board. If their action proves to be unwise, each member being a minority, the responsibility is thrown upon the other iwo. Thus one man labors, three men are paid for it, and nobody is responsible for what they do.

It is respectfully suggested that it would be better to elect one inspector in each town, pay him for what he does, and hold him responsible for it.


Whole number of school districts reported,

2,095 Number of scholars of all ages,

75,770 Number of scholars under four years, 2,289; over eighteen years

, 4,259, 6,578 Number of children in districts reporied between four and eighteen years, 90,006 Number of children in districts who cannot read, write and cipher,

4,578 The reports represent that 90,006 children, between the ages of four and eighteen years, reside in districts in which schools have been taught three months or longer, by qualified teachers. A greater number of schools have been opened, and more scholars have been taught, than in any former year. This view of the subject is encouraging to the friends of popular education. In many portions of the state, according to reports received from School Inspectors, our common schools are progressing in improvement, and increasing in usefulness. It should not be disguised, however, that our schools are not adequate to the wants of a free people. To enjoy civil and religious liberty, a people must be educated; not a few of them merely, but the whole people. If we would know, and enjoy our privileges as citizens of an independent and confederate state, we must develop our own intellectual resources. If we would perpetuate the blessings of a free government, we must educate our country's youth. Every child in the state, on arriving at the period of his majority, should be enabled to read our common language understandingly, write legibly, and compute accounts. Nay, more: he should understand the genius of our govern. meni, be an independent thinker, and be thoroughly established in virtue.


The general average for the state is five months. The average length of time scholars between the ages of four and eighteen years have attended school, is a fraction less than four months. Very much is lost by short terms in school. Itis unquestionably true, that scholars will advance twice as much in three months, with a good teacher, as they will in two months. Two terms of four months each will enable a school to make double che progress in a year, that they would do in two terms of three months each. I would add greatly to the efficiency of our schools, if the services of good teachers could be secured eight months during the year. Where schools are iaught one, or even two short terms, about half of the time is required to recover what ihe scholars have lost during the preceding long vacation. Where schools are kept open eight months or more during the year, with a little allention on the part of parents during the interval between them, scholarsmay progress uninterruptedly in their studies during the entire year. They would thus be enabled to obtain a better education at the age of fourteen years, than under existing circumstances at the age of lwen:y. Six years of the most valuable portion of a child's minority would ihus be secured to his parents unbroken. Still more: It is far beiter for childr n to progress uninterruptedly in their studies, and complete their scholastic instruction at the age of fourteen, (if their parents are unable to send them longer,) than to attend school a shorter term each year for a greater number of years. Habil exerts a greater influence upon our success in life than most persons are conscious of. Hence the vast importance of early forming correct habits of thought and investigation. In the former case, children having been accustomed to accomplish what they have undertaken, will, from the force of custom, continue 10 adapi means to the end in view. In the latter case, children having been accustomed 10 advance slowly, when at all, and to retrograde half of the time, will be more apt to fail than succeed in any important undertaking in after life.


In a majority of cases they (private or select schools,) are inferior to our common schools, ing iaught by persons who sbriok from the ordeal of an examination before the constituted authorities, or who have been rejected by a board of school inspectors for mental incapacity or moral obliquity. Even when select schools are what the term indicates, they cannot safely be relied upon for the education of republican youth. In consequence of the expense, many persons will be unable to send their children. But it may be asked, cannot such parents send their children to the common schools? I answer no. Select schools are the deadliest foes to common schools. Many teachers of private schools would gladly engage in public schools provided they were suitably encouraged. They are at heart public school men. But the tendency of their schools, not withstanding, is adverse to the interests of common schools. The condition of the common schools in cities, villages, or neighborhoods where private schools are numerous, verifies these remarks. Take Monroe for example. In this city we have a population of 3,000. Our schools consist of a brunch of the University, seven select schools, and one common school. There are four unorganized districts in this city: Children residing in either of them are not entitled to attend the common school. Any whose parents are unable 10 pay their luition in the select schools are shut out from the means of intellectual culture. The condition of the schools and the means of instruction in Monroe, with slight modifications, will represent the condition of many towns and villages in this state. A child knocks at the door of a select school; if his parents are able to furnish him with books and pay $10 or $15 a year for his tuition, (and there is nothing particularly objectionable in either the child or his parents,) he is allowed to enter; otherwise ne is turned away and suffered to famish for the bread of intellectual life. Not so with the common school. It is open to all. The child of poverty and want, knocking at the door of the common school house, finds there an asylum. Provision is made not only for his instruction, but for the necessary supply of books. This is an admirable feature in our common school system, and is alike creditable to the head and heart of him with whom it originated. Select schools, then, however good they may be, cannot safely be relied upon, because they are not accessible to all. Nothing short of the universal spread of well conducied common schools can adequately supply our educational wants.

Again, while select schools are aristocratic in their character and tendency, common schools are truly democratic institutions. In a government like ours, the children of the rich and pour should mingle together from their childhood. In the common school they meet on terms of equality, where both alike depend upon personal application and virtuous habits for distinction and elevat on. Such an association would be mutually advantageous to the children of the rich and the poor. All men are created equal, says the immortal declaration of independence. This is the fundamental doctrine of our state and confederate institutions. It should be laught practically in the family and the school, as it must be practiced in after life.

If, however, the sons of the rich have access to the select school, while the sons of the poor are taught in the common school, a baneful distinction is created. The former look down upon the latter as their inferiors. They see not the necessity of 80 much study, and gradually contract habits of indolence and effeminacy. The intellectual and moral, as well as the physical man sustains loss. At the same

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