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STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
The figures of the preceding table show a clear and large advance at almost all important points of the State school system, the increase in enrollment in graded public schools going far beyond the increase in the number of children of school age, the whole number enrolled in public schools, notwithstanding a falling off of 3,648 in ungraded oues, being 10,106 beyond that of 1883-84, the increase of enrollment in private and church schools very nearly counterbalancing the decline in the enrollment in ungraded public schools. School districts with school terms of 110 days or more increased. District libraries increased, too, by 48, the volumes in them by 21,277, and thus provision was made for much more intelligent school work in many lines. The number of school houses built within the year was 34 less than in the preceding year; but, notwithstanding this, the whole number reported was 68 greater; the number of public schools, 104 greater; the number graded, 102 more; while private and church schools show an increase of 45. Teachers increased in number in apparently a fair proportion with the increase of schools; those that attended institutes, and thus sought preparation for a higher usefulness, being 4,610 more than in the preceding year. Teachers' pay was somewhat better than it had been, and there was an increase of $570,742 in expenditure for all public school purposes; the State school fund was augmented by $12,566, and the State school property largely incre..sed in value.
For the State there is a superintendent of public instruction, whose duty it is to report biennially to the governor; for each county, a superintendent to visit schools, note the methods of teaching and discipline, and assist in improving them; while in each township a board of 3 trustees has charge of public school property, and under certain restrictions may divide or create districts in which 3 school directors have control. All these officers are elected by the people; the State and county superintendents for 4 years; the others for 3 years, with possible annual change of 1. Women are eligible to school offices.
The common schools are free to all youth 6 to 21 years of age, irrespective of color. The studies and text books are determined by the local school officers; but no sectarian instruction is allowed, and no change of text books oftener than once in 4 years. The minimum school period which will entitle districts to a share of the school fund is 110 days of actual teaching in each year. A compulsory law demands the attendance of all children 8 to 14 years of age upon public or private schools for at least 12 weeks of each year, unless excused for reasonable cause.
An Act of May 3, 1873, made the annual levy for State schools $1,000,000, in lieu of a former 2-mill tax. To this are added 3 per cent. of the proceeds of sales of public lands, less 1-6 part, and the interest on the surplus revenue fund.
Districts, villages, and cities may add to their share of these State funds the proceeds of local taxes, not to exceed 2 per cent. for educational purposes and 3 per cent. for buildings. They may also, after all school expenses have been paid, use any surplus funds remaining from such sources to purchase libraries and school apparatus.
At the legislative session of 1885, county superintendents, in addition to the duty, previously devolved on them, of visiting each school in their several counties at least once a year, were required to spend at least half of their time in visitation of ungraded schools. The condition attached to their former visitation-“if so directed by the county board"-was, at the same session, annulled, making the duty imperative. The previous power of county boards to limit the time spent in these visitations was restricted to counties having not more than 100 schools; and even in such counties the time spent was made to be from 150 to 200 days, according to the number of schools to be visited.
Each superintendent of a county was also authorized, with the approval of his county board, to employ an assistant or assistants; was allowed $1 a day for special expenses of visitation, and was to have a suitable office and proper supplies for it, as in the case of other county officers. .
SCHOOL SYSTEMS OF CITIES WITH 7,500 OR MORE INHABITANTS.
Chicago, under a law for cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, and other incorporated cities with populations from 100,000 down to 2,000 are authorized to elect for their schools boards of education, with power to examine and employ teachers, to prescribe their methods of instruction and course of discipline, and, in the case of Chicago, to determine the studies to be pursued and the school books to be used. These boards generally delegate to superintendents of their own selection the supervisorship of their several school systems.
a These statistics are for school district No. 5, except population, which is that of Aurora city proper.
bIncluding West Belleville village.
e School census of 1882.
d School census of 1881.
e Not including 7,190 enrolled in evening schools, 1,895 in average attendants on them, or 122 teachers in them. These added make a total of 86,466 enrolled, of 59,889 attendants on an average, and of 1,366 teachers in all public schools of the city.
fThese statistics, except population, are for school district No. 2, which does not include the whole of Moline city. Population of this district July 1, 1885, 7.742.
g These statistics, except population, are estimated by the superintendent, from lack of records.
Aurora, school district No. 5, not before reported, presents for 1884-'85, as may be seen, a fair enrollment for the year, and an average monthly enrollment of 1,785. The grades of instruction reached up to a high school, in which were 111 pupils of both No note of other than public schools appears.
Belleville reports 5 different school buildings with 2,400 sittings for study, an average daily attendance of 43 pupils to each teacher, and no change of teachers during the year; monthly teachers' institutes fairly attended, a majority of the teachers attending also the meetings of the county teachers' association and the Teachers' Summer Institute, with obviously beneficial results. Six teachers of German, of whom the superintendent appears to have been one, held special monthly meetings. Resides the 2,489 different children in the public schools, there was an estimated enrollment of 650 in private and parochial schools, an increase of 217 in the former, and of 90 in the latter. Public school property was estimated at $109,000, including the 5 buildings above noticed.
Bloomington, with 10 school buildings, had 2,900 sittings, somewhat more than enough for the average daily attendance of 2,303, and valued public school property at $245,200. No schools other than public are reported. These covered the usual primary, gramınar, and high school grades.
Chicago, steadily advancing, presents an increase of 3,232 in enrollment in the public schools over 1883-'84, of 2,436 in average attendance in them, and of 73 in teachers employed, all exclusive of the city evening schools, the statistics of which have been sepa
rately given. These evening schools were opened October 6, 1884, and continued till March 13, 1885, employing 97 male and 25 female teachers, and having a total enrollment of 7,190, with an average attendance of 1,895, about one-fourth of them being females. One of the schools was an evening high school, with an enrollment of 264 in the first week of its session and of 517 in the last week but one, in which the average attendance was 82.6; another was at the Newsboys' Home, where the enrollment for the week was 63 and the average attendance 28.8.
Music, drawing, and German entered into the courses of the city schools; but Greek, which had been dropped from the high school course, does not appear to have been restored, though a petition for partial restoration of it was made at the opening of the year.
Danville increased its public school population by 86, enrollment in its public schools by 80, average attendance in them by 27, teachers by 2, expenditure for city schools by $1,717. The average per cent. of attendance in 1883-'84, based on average belonging,. was 91.47, an excellent showing. No statement of it for 1884-'85 has been received. The schools were taught in this latter year 190 days out of the 195 in the school year, and included primary, grammar, and high departments, with 2,500 sittings in 6 buildings, rated, with furniture and apparatus, at $115,800. No special teacher of music, drawing, or penmanship appears. Enrollment in other than public schools, 613.
Decatur, with 285 additional school youth, presents comparatively little increase of enrollment or average attendance, and 5 fewer teachers, but added $13,352 to its previous expenditure for public schools. Days in its school year 180, of which 178 were utilized in the 6 different school buildings with 1,844 sittings. Departments, primary, grammar, and high. Enrollment in other than public schools was 350, an apparent increase of 50. No note of a special teacher in music, drawing, or penmanship.
Elgin, from some cause unexplained, indicates a decline of 1,520 in school youth, and of $787 in expenditure for public schools, though there was an increase of 34 in enrolled pupils, of 63 in average daily attendance, of 6 in teachers, and of 93 in attendance upon private and parish schools, of which there were 3, with 21 teachers and 757 pupils, making, with 1,965 in public schools, a total of 2,722 enrolled out of 3,695 of school age. The public schools included a high school.
Freeport, with 1,233 additional school youth, and no report of other schools than public, shows only 47 more enrolled and 19 more in average daily attendance, with 2 more teachers; yet $3,885 more expenditure for schools appears, and a total of $8,326 for sites, buildings, furniture, and apparatus. The buildings reported were 5, with 1,860 sittings for study in primary, grammar, and high grades. German was taught by a special teacher, and there was also a teacher of a training school or class, respecting which no other information comes.
From Galesburg there is no report of anything beyond that of 1883-'84, when, with 4,678 school youth, there were 2,096 enrolled, 1,536 in average attendance, under 37 teachers; expenditure for public schools, the only ones reported, reaching $23,304.
Jacksonville, not having presented its statistics for the 3 past years, has to stand for the present uncompared with its former self, unless we go back to 1880-'81, when its school youth numbered 82 less than those now reported, its enrollment 282 more, its average attendance 60 less, and its expenditure for school purposes $8,174 greater than the present return shows. Per contra, there are now 8 school buildings presented, instead of 7, and school property is rated at $300,000 instead of the former $160,000. The grades of schools reach from primary to high, there being 39 rooms for both study and recitation, while in the grammar and high each there was one for recitation only. Within the year $551 was spent on the buildings. No special teacher or teaching reported.
Jolict makes no report for 1884-'85, and therefore holds by its record of the preceding year, when, out of 5,783 school youth, 2,938 were enrolled in public schools, with an average daily attendance of 1,995 under 51 teachers, the expenditure for all school purposes reaching $69,297.
Moline presents a printed report, its 12th annual one, which, compared with that of 1883-'84, shows an increase of 102 in school youth, of 32 in enrolled pupils, and of 2 in teachers, but a decline of 58 in average daily attendance and of $8,312 in expenditure for its city schools. The night schools reported in 1883-'84 appear to have been dropped, but the industrial exhibit, meant to develop in useful and ornamental lines the faculties of pupils in the day schools, was renewed and proved highly successful. The articles presented by the pupils consisted of a plow model, a sailing vessel, a circular saw and table, a well sweep and bucket, a sled, articles of furniture and clothing, miscellaneous household articles, bread, cakes, pastry, examples of wood carving, practical carpenter work, hand sewing, crayon work, drawing, painting, and decoration. Receipts at the door of the exhibition rooms, in addition to some remaining funds from the preceding year and a small subscription from manufacturers, met all expenses, and enabled those in charge of the exhibition to give successful competitors various prizes to stimu
late to future work. The amount of cash prizes awarded was $159.50. The superintendent says that the low average age of the successful competitors indicates that hand training may and should be begun at a very early age.
Ottawa makes return of 3,218 school youth in 1884-'85, of 1,648 enrolled in public schools, and of 1,258 held in average daily attendance; this indicates a decline of 62 in youth, of 9 in enrolled pupils, of 13 in average daily attendance, and an increase of $1,523 in expenditure for public schools. Drawing was taught by the regular class teachers, and music by a special teacher. The grades in the 7 different school buildings reported were only primary and grammar, but there was a township high school within reach for such as desired that grade of instruction. In 3 private and church schools were about 300 sittings additional to the 1,415 of the city system.
Peoria, not having responded to requests for report or return, can only be presented through its statistics of 1883-'84, which indicated 10,972 school youth, 6,241 enrolled in city schools, 4,111 in average attendance, and 108 teachers. Expenditure for school purposes, $124,040.
Quincy, besides the statistics in the foregoing table, reports 2,100 in private and parish schools, and indicates in other figures an increase since 1882-'83 of only 43 in public school enrollment, but of 205 in average daily attendance, with $155 less expenditure for school purposes. One additional school room was furnished in 1884-'85, but indebtedness on account of past expenses made progress in such work slow. The teachers continued their semi-monthly meetings required by a rule of the board of education, and in the last half of the year met also once a week for lessons in reading and elocution. Music and drawing enter into the school studies throughout the course.
Rockford presents only approximate statements as to school statistics. These indicate a considerable decline at all points, which subsequent information may perhaps alter. Its school buildings numbered 11, with 2,000 sittings. Grades, primary to high.
Rock Island does not state the number of its children of school age, but, as indicated in the table, shows an apparently fair proportion of its youth enrolled and in average attendance, under 42 teachers. The schools were graded as primary, grammar, and high. Music and drawing were taught by special teachers. In 15 private and parish schools were about 800 sittings.
Springfield indicates an enrollment of 186 more pupils in its public schools than in the preceding year, and an increase of 124 in average daily attendance. The reported expenditure of $60,422 for these schools-primary, grammar, high, and training schools-was $1,720 more than that of the preceding year. The city has a regular course of study for its teachers, including-besides a careful review of common branchesdrawing, penmanship, language, literature, history of art, history of education, mental science, and pedagogy. At first it was meant that this course should extend through several years and lead to permanent certificates for such as successfully completed the several departments of it, as well as bring increase of salaries proportioned to the advance made by each teacher. A decision of the supreme court that legal examinations must be made by the county superintendent has somewhat hindered this, but it is kept in mind and acted on as far as may be.
A training school to prepare teachers for the city schools, with a course occupying one hour daily in methods of teaching, mental science, and pedagogy, was instituted in 1882 and has been since continued. After graduation from this school the pupil teachers become principals' assistants, and serve also as substitutes in the absence of regular teachers, for another year, when the full responsibilities of a class teacher may be assumed with fair hope of success.
COUNTRY SCHOOL SYSTEMS.
For a graduating system in country and county schools, see the report of the Commissioner preceding.
The Chicago Free Kindergarten Association was established in 1880, with two prime aims: first, that of founding and maintaining a free normal and training class of kindergartners; second, that of extending as far as practicable through the city and elsewhere a system of free kindergärten. Its fifth annual report shows that in February, 1885, 6 young ladies completed their certificate course in the normal class. The directors had decided to discontinue this February class and made no effort to secure new members in place of these 6. But so many applied for admission that a class was finally formed in March, numbering 19 members, of whom 2 had to abandon the work because of illhealth and 2 others left the city, reducing the number to 15. At the closing exercises of the June graduating class, 27 certificates and 18 diplomas were awarded to as many young ladies, of whom 21 are reported as in active service, making a total of 55 out of 80 graduates of the normal classes engaged in either public or private kindergarten work. Later on 12 free kindergärten are reported as belonging to the system conducted under
the auspices of the association in Chicago and its immediate vicinity up to July, 1885, when another was established for the summer, free to the children of all sojourners at the "Old Hotel," Lake Bluff, where the average daily attendance of such children was 40. Total number in all the kindergärten of the association for the year, 1,771, of whom 997 were girls, and 774 boys.
PREPARATION AND QUALIFICATIONS OF TEACHERS.
GENERAL STATE REQUIREMENTS.
Illinois requires of those who wish to teach in its free schools, (1) a fairly proven moral character, and (2) a certificate of literary qualifications from one of the following sources: from an examining board of education in the village or city in which they desire to find employment; from a county or State normal school; from a county superintendent; or from the State superintendent. Those from the county superintendents are of 2 grades, both valid only in the county where they are given: a first grade for two years, a second grade for one year. Those from the State superintendent are granted only on public examination, in such branches, on such terms, and by such examiners, as the superintendent and the principals of the State normal universities may prescribe. given, they are valid throughout the State during good behavior of their holders.
STATE, COUNTY, AND CITY SCHOOLS FOR NORMAL TRAINING.
To qualify teachers for effective work in its free schools the State sustains 2 normal universities-the Illinois State Normal University, at Normal, and the Southern Illinois Normal University, at Carbondale. Both impart instruction in the science and art of teaching and in all the studies pertaining to a good school education, from primary to high, with ample mathematical and scientific training, and with Latin and Greek optional at both, German and French optional at Carbondale. Each school has a 3-year regular course, the Southern offering also a fourth and a 1-year graduate course. Each has a model department. No note appears of the former summer normal institutes held for teachers already in the field. To enter the regular courses applicants must prove their intellectual and moral fitness for admission, and must pledge themselves to spend 3 years in teaching in the State public schools, or be liable to the payment of fees for tuition. Cook County Normal and Training School, Normal Park, established in 1867 to furnish competent teachers for the schools of that important county, comes under a law of 1869 authorizing such county schools, and aims to prepare its pupils for especially thorough work. Under the lead of 2 excellent successive principals, the present one, Colonel Parker, of Quincy fame, it has obtained high reputation for success in such preparation. Like the 2 State schools, it admits both sexes to its faculty and teachings. Course, 4 years, including practice in a training department each year. The highest class is now a professional training-class, given wholly to normal work.1
For statistics of these 3 teachers' seminaries, see Part 1, Table III, of the Appendix. The city of Springfield improved in 1883-'84 its course of study for teachers, making it embrace the branches usually prescribed for State certificates, and also mental and moral science, pedagogy, and history of education. It further prescribes that every year 2 branches taught in the public schools shall be thoroughly reviewed, and that not only the subject-matter, but also the principles and methods of teaching each branch, shall be an essential part of the course. A bi-monthly institute is held during the school session, for discussion and review of all the important elements of good teaching. The city training school, before reported, was continued in 1884-'85, with apparently 5 candidates for teachership and a principal. These candidates come from the high school and have a 2-year course of work and instruction.
OTHER NORMAL TRAINING.
The kindergarten normal class of the Chicago Free Kindergarten Association was continned in 1881-'85, under a new principal, with a total attendance of 36, of whom 31 remuned at the date of the annual meeting. The course for a certificate is of 10 month, in Froebel's Philosophy of Education, and practice with the kindergarten gifts and ocenpations: for a diploma, 5 months more of practice work in the schools of the association, attendance on an advanced course of lectures on the history and philosophy of educatio 1. and a proven ability to successfully organize and conduct a kindergarten. For this lost there are opportunities to practice in 13 kindergärten of the association.
Teachers' courses of a year each are reported at Jennings Seminary and Aurora Normal College, Aurora; at Western Normal College, Bushnell; and at Morris Normal and Sci1The president of the Chicago board of education strongly recommends the establishment in that city of a training school for persons desiring to teach in the primary schools, and would require a certificate of qualification from such training school before appointing any new applicants for positions as teachers in these primary schools. His recommendation was put on record for consider ation, but does not appear to have been decisively acted on.