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Three grades of county certificates are granted, as follows: First grades are granted from the examinations of March

and August and are valid for four years. The examination is in algebra, botany, geometry,

general history, physics, arithmetic, grammar. United States history, civil government, geography, reading, penmanship, orthography, school law, theory and art of teaching, physiology and hygiene with reference to the effects on the human system of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics.

All county certificates must be signed by the commissioner and at least one examiner (1812).

Without the indorsement of the superintendent of public instruction, first grade certificates are valid only in counties where granted. To secure this indorsement the papers written by success

ful applicants must be forwarded by commission ers within ten days to said superintendent for

examination and approval. If he approves and signs the certificate, it becomes valid throughout the state. Second grades are granted from the four regular examina

tions and are valid throughout the county where granted for three years. Candidates may select

any two of the four studies-algebra, botany, general history, and physics-and are required to write on all the other branches excepting geometry. Third grades are granted from any public examination

and are valid throughout the county where THIRD GRADE granted for one year. The branches required

in an examination for a third grade certificate are all those, excepting the first five mentioned, in the first grade list. For the purpose of limiting the number of third grade

certificates which may be granted to a person in the public schools, third grade certificates are divided into two classes known as A and B.






Certificates of class A are granted to teachers of three years experience in primary department (first four grades) of graded schools. Certificates of this class license the holder to teach only in primary departments. The number which may be granted to a person is not limited. Certificates of class B are the regular third grade certificates and license the holder to teach in any school of the county; but no more than three certificates of this class can legally be granted to the same person (4813). The purpose of this law is to require teachers to progress and secure higher grades of certificate. The questions for these two classes of third grade certificates vary somewhat to correspond with the kind of work required of the teachers. All questions for county examinations are prepared by the

superintendent of public instruction and EXAMINATION furnished to the commissioner under seal, to be

opened in the presence of the candidates for certificates. The standard of examinations to be followed is left entirely

to the discretion of the examining board, so that STANDARD OF the success or failure of applicants depends more

on the closeness or liberality of the marking than upon the character of the questions furnished. Besides the certificates mentioned, the county commissioners

has power, upon personal examination satifactory to himself or herself, to grant certificates

which shall license the holder thereof to teach in a specified district for which it is granted ; but such certificate does not continue in force beyond the time of the next public examination, and in no case can a second special certificate be granted to the same person, and it does not in any way exempt the teacher from a full examination (4813). The object of a special certificate is to bridge over the time between the commencement of a school term and the next meeting of the examining board (71 Mich. 361). (94 Mich. 170.)





Educational qualifications are not the only qualification of

teachers. No board of examiners can legally grant a certificate to any person who, ing

arrived at the age of twenty-one years, is not a citizen of the United States. The law also directs the examining board to grant certificates to successful applicants who have attained the age of seventeen years (4812). The moral character of the applicant is another question

which examining boards must carefully consider. Certificates may be withheld from persons who,

though possessing all the educational qualifications, are unfit to teach in the public schools. The supreme court, in the case of Sturdevant vs. The Board of Examiners, refused to interfere with the decision of the examiners, and decided that the board was better able to determine the qualifications of applicants than the court. From another decision we quote: “A man who habitually violated his duty by profanity and Sabbath breaking was of bad moral character" (45 Mich. 484).


The only Michigan law in existence authorizing boards of examiners to renew cert icates the provision found in section 4813 of the Compiled Laws. It reads: “The board of examiners shall have the right, however, to renew without examination the certificates of persons who shall have previously obtained an average standing of at least 85 per cent in all studies covered in two or more previous examinations, and who shall have been since that examination continuously and successfully teaching in the same county.” This seems so plain as to require no explanation, but numerous inquiries addressed to the department of public instruction suggest that it is not interpreted alike by teachers and examiners. We, therefore, in the absence of any court decisions, venture the following interpretation : 1st. The standings on each certificate must average 85 per cent. 2d. The board does not have the right under this provision to renew the certificate of an applicant who has not been teaching continuously and successfully during the two years just preceding. 3d. The law is simply permissive and not mandatory on the examiners.


The board of examiners may suspend or revoke any teacher's certificate issued by them for any reason which would have justified said board in withholding the same when given--for neglect of duty, for incompetency to instruct or govern a school, or for immorality—and the said board may, within their jurisdiction, for immorality or incompetency to instruct and govern a school, suspend the effect of any teacher's certificate that may have been granted by other lawful authority : Provided, That no certificates shall be suspended or revoked without a personal hearing, unless the holder thereof shall, after a reasonable notice, neglect or refuse to appear before the said board for that purpose (4814).

CITY CERTIFICATES. The officers of every school district which is or shall hereafter be organized in whole or in part in any incorporated city in this state where special enactments shall exist in regard to the licensing of teachers, shall employ only such teachers as are legally qualified under the provisions of this act: Provided, That in cities employing a superintendent, the examination of teachers shall be conducted by such superintendent or by a committee of the board of education of such school district, and certificates issued at such time and in such a manner as the superintendent of public instruction and board of education in such city shall

prescribe. Cities having a special and thoroughly equipped normal training department under control of a special training teacher, such school having a course of not less than one year, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section as to the examination of teachers.


COLLEGE CERTIFICATES. * The state board of education is empowered to grant

teachers' certificates without examination to any person who has received a bachelor's, master's,

or doctor's degree from any college in this State having a course of study of not less than four years, actually taught in such college, in addition to the preparatory work necessary for admission to the University of Michigan, upon a recommendation from the faculty of such college, stating that in their judgment the applicant is entitled to receive such certificate. Such college must also have a course in the science and art of teaching of at least one college year of five and a half hours per week, which shall have been taken by said applicant and shall include a thorough examination by the college granting such diploma, as to qualification and fitness for teaching (4805 to 4807). Provided, that if said person furnishes to said board satis

factory proof of having successfully taught for three years in the schools of this State, said cer

tificate shall be a life certificate. If such proof is not furnished said board, then such certificate shall be for four years only, and a life certificate may at any time thereafter be issued by said board upon the filing of such proof. Such certificate shall entitle the holder to teach in any of the schools in this State without examination, provided a copy of the same is filed or recorded in the office of the legal examining officer, or officers of the county, city, township, or

* NOTE.-In June, 1899, the colleges having approved courses were Adrian, Alma, Albion, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo and Olivet.


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