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Council of Cincinnati, for the year ending June 30, 1844,” it appears that there were 8,248 different pupils connected with the schools during the year, with an average attendance of about 4,000. The annual expenses for instruction and contingencies amount to about $34,000. Of this sum, $25,000 were raised by tax. In addition to the day schools of different grades, there are German schools, in which 753 children of German parentage receive instruction in both English and German ; and Evening schools, for the instruction of those young persons over twelve years of age, who are prevented from attending the day common schools of the city. The following extract is from a Report of a Committee of the City Council.
The common branches of an English education are thoroughly taught in all the departments, and in each of the schools classes of the more advanced schol. ars are taught in the higher branches of a liberal English education. The German English Schools are increasing in usefulness, and fully realize all that was expected from them by the most sanguine friends of the system. It will be seen by reference to the report that gratuitous instruction has been furnished to a numher of the more advanced pupils in the science of Book Keeping, and also in the French language, by competent instructors. Music has also been successfully taught by Professor Colburn, in most of the schools.
Your Committee are fully of the opinion that by the zeal and energy manifested by both Trustees and Teachers, the Schools will become, and are in fact now, the Pride of the City, and emphatically the People's Colleges.
We have also received the “ Sixth Annual Report of the Trustees and Visiters of the Common Schools,” in Portsmouth, presented November 20, 1845; from which it appears that the public schools are divided into different grades, and are in a prosperous and improving condition.
SMITHSONIAN BEQUEST. NATIONAL NORMAL SCHOOL AND
NATIONAL LIBRARY. By the last will and testament of James Smithson, of London, in the kingdom of Great Britain, the Government of the United States was made the trustee of the whole of his property, for founding at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, of an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men. Of this property, there was paid into the treasury of the United States, on the first of September, 1838, the sum of five hundred and fifteen thousand one hundred and sixty-nine dollars, ($515,169) upon which there will have accrued in interest the sum of two hundred and forty-two thousand one hundred and twenty-nine dollars, $242,129) on the 1st of July, 1846. Various plans have been proposed by committees of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, for the action of Congress, with regard to this noble bequest; but amid the jarring conflicts of party, and the absorbing and exacting claims of other interests, the peaceful and unobtrusive cause of universal education has been thrust aside, and the government thus far has done nothing beyond accepting the trust and receiving the money. Our attention has been recently called to this subject, by a document from the Hon. Robert Dale Owen, chairman of a “ select committee of the House of Representatives, on the Smithsonian Bequest,” to establish an institution which shall carry out the design of the large minded testator. We have not had time to examine the details of the bill before us, or to compare its provisions with those which have been before submitted. We perceive that it appropriates the interest which has accrued up to the 1st of July, 1846, to the erection of suitable buildings for the reception of objects of natural history, of a library, a gallery of art, lecture rooms, &c.; and the enclosing and preparing suitable grounds; and that the six per cent. interest on the amount of said trust fund be hereafter appropriated to the perpetual maintenance and support of the institution. The institution is to be conducted by a board of managers, to consist of the Vice President, and Chief Justice of the United States, the Mayor of the city of Washington, three members of the Senate, and three members of the House of Representatives, together with six other persons, other than members of Congress, two of whom shall be members of the National Institute, resident in Washington. There is to be a professor of agriculture, horticulture and rural economy, who shall have charge of a botanical garden, aud institute experiments to determine the utility and advantage of new modes and instruments of culture, and the introduction of new fruits, plants and vegetables, into the United States. Our attention was particularly attracted to the following sections.
Sec. 7. And whereas the most effectual mode of promoting the general diffusion of knowledge is by judiciously conducted common schools, to the establishment of which throughout the Union, much aid will be afforded by improving and perfecting the common school system of the country, and by elevating the standard of qualification for common school teachers : and whereas knowledge may be essentially increased among men by instituting scientific researches, and, generally, by spreading among the people a taste for science and the arts
Be it further enacted, That the board of managers shall establish a normal branch of the institution, by appointing some suitable person as professor of common school instruction, with such other professors, chiefly of the more useful sciences and arts, as may be necessary for such a thorough, scientific, and liberal course of instruction as may be adapted to qualify young persons as teachers of common schools, and to give to others a knowledge of an improved common school system; and also, when desired, to qualify students as teachers or professors of the more important branches of natural science. And the board of managers may authorize the professors of the institution to grant to such of its students as may desire it, after suitable examination, certificates of qualification as common school teachers, and also as teachers or professors in various branches of science; they may also employ able men to lecture upon useful subjects, and shall fix the compensation of such lecturers and professors : Provided, however, That there shall not be established, in connection with the institution, any school of law, or medicine, or divinity, nor any professorship of ancient languages. And the said managers shall make, from the interest of said fund, an appropriation, not exceeding an average of ten thousand dollars annually, for the gradual formation of a library, composed of valuable works pertaining to all departments of human knowledge.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That it shall be competent for the board of managers to cause to be printed and published periodically or occasionally essays, pamphlets, magazines, or other brief works or productions for the dissemination of information among the people, especially works in popular form on agriculture and its latest improvements, on the sciences and the aid they bring to labor, manuals explanatory of the best systems of common school instruction, and generally tracts illustrative of objects of elementary science, and treatises on history, natural and civil, chemistry, astronomy, or any other department of useful knowledge ; also, they may prepare sets of illustrations, specimens, apparatus, and school books, suited for primary schools.
We intended to have submitted some remarks on the importance of a National Normal School at Washington, and on the practicability of enlarging the plan recommended by the Committee of the House, so as to embrace more of the plan of a National Library, so eloquently advocated by Hon. Rufus Choate, in the Senate, in 1845. But we must defer our remarks to another opportunity.
ORGANIZATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS. We would remind the School Committees of the several Towns, that the Annual Meeting of School Districts for the choice of Trustees and other officers must take place in May, and that notice of the time, place and object of holding the first meeting of any district, must be given by the Committee of the Town to which such district belongs. The requirement of the law as to the manner of giving notice, will be found in Section xii of the “ Act relating to Public Schools,” passed June 27, 1845, which is printed in the Journal of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction, No. 9. At the request of many committee-men, we shall issue in the course of the month, a Circular, in which we shall aim to set forth in detail, the mode of proceeding in the organization of school districts.
RECEIPTS FOR THE JOURNAL. Anna Inman, Slatersville, $3 001 Rev. Mr. Tilley, Providence, 50 A. Vaughan, Providence,
50 A, B. Russell, Petersville, Md. 1 00 Amos Perry, 21 00 F. A. Boomer, Natick,
9 60 B. D. Slocum, East Greenwich, 50 A. D. Lord, Kirtland, Ohio, 1 00 Providence, April 1, 1846.
T. C. HARTSHORN. Packages of the regular numbers of the Journal from No. 2 to No. 8, inclusive, containing the Report of the Commissioner of Public Schools, and the accompa. nying documents as far as Appendix No. viii, will be forwarded to subscribers in the course of the present month. Number 9, for April 1, containing the “ Act relating to Public Schools,” will be sent with this number (No. X) of the Extra Journal.
RHODEISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.
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 provements in education generally; and one of a serie 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 constitute 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 cate 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. POVIDENCE, Nov. 6, 1845.
PROGRESS OF EDUCATION IN OTHER STATES.
We shall close our notice of the progress of education in other states, by extracts from the Annual Report of the Superintendent of Common Schools of Con
necticut for 1846. This document makes a pamphlet of two hundred pages, and besides the Report of the Superintendent (Hon. Seth P. Beers, who is also Commissioner of the School Fund,) contains an abstract of the statistical information returned by the school visitors, and extracts from the reports of the same committees on the condition and improvement of the common schools in their respective towns. pendix there is printed the Essay, by Rev. Noah Porter, jr., which received the premium of $100, offered by James M. Bunce, Esq., of Hartford, “ for the best Essay on the improvement of the Common Schools of Connecticut.” We hope to be able to send a copy of this Essay to the subscribers of the Journal.
From the extracts which follow, it will be seen, that the common schools of Connecticut labor under the same class of evils, which are known to exist in Rhode Island, and that the same remedies for them
In the ap
are suggessed in Connecticut, which are already in operation in this State. We have no hesitation in saying, that Rhode Island, by continuing in steady and vigorous operation the measures which have been prosecuted thus far, will have, in five years, a better system of public instruction in every town, than Connecticut ever had, or ever will have, unless great changes in the present organization and administration of her system are made.
EXTRACTS FROM REPORT OF SUPERINTENDENT.
According to the enumeration taken in August 1845, as returned to the office of the Comptroller by the committees of the several school societies, there are in the State 85,275 children between the ages of 4 and 16 years, the ordinary but not exclusive subjects of Common School instruction. These children are distributed through 144 towns, which are divided into 215 school societies, and these are again subdivided into 1644 school districts.
Although made the depositories of the United States surplus fund, one-half of the annual income of which fund is by law appropriated to the support of Common Schools, the towns as such have not been recognized in the organization of our school system since 1796. Since that date, and particularly since 1800, the general supervision of the schools has been exercised by school societies, whose territorial limits are sometimes co-extensive with the limits of the towns whose name they bear, but more frequently embrace only portions of a town, and sometimes parts of iwo or more towns. The local management of the schools, by the act of 1839, passed into the immediate care of the inhabitants of school districts, which were by that act clothed with new powers for this purpose.
The 1644 school districts differ from each other in respect to territorial extent, population, wealth, and particularly in the number of children between the ages of 4 and 16 years, which decides practically, in most cases, the ability of the district to maintain a school, as the number of children between the above ages constitutes the basis on which the income of the School Fund is apportioned among the school districts. By reference to the appendix, (document B.) it will be seen that while there is an average of 51 children to each of the 1644 districts, there are 41 districts with an aggregate of only 189 children, or an average less than 5 children to each district, and 96 districts with an aggregate of over 23,000 children, or an average of more than 240 children to each district.
The following is a condensed view of the condition of the Common Schools in 175 school societies, including 1351 districts, as presented in the reports of the school visitors.
The average attendance of children of all ages in the Common