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children. On the number and character of these schools, whether public, private, or denominational, more than on any other grade of schools, no matter how organized or conducted, depends the successful solution of the problem of universal education. Its solution has been attempted in past times, as well as in the present—and never so strenuously and so universally in all countries, as at this very time—and in a variety of ways: (1) by the State ; (2) by the Church; (3) by the State and Church; (4) by the State, Church, and parents ; (5) by parents, with or without the aid of legal association, and governmental grants, and with and without the powerful coöperation of religious bodies; and (6) by the State as a whole, acting with the people in their municipal organizations, by which the school is brought near to parents, and maintained in sympathy with their wishes, yet subjected to State inspection, and sustained out of the common property of the whole community. In no country, by any of these systems or modes, has education, even in its lowest elementary form, been made universal ; in no country has this State interest and parental duty, this civil and religious obligation, been fully met. How far, and by what systems and agencies, the several States are engaged, or have succeeded, in the solution of this great and difficult problem, the Commissioner is gathering the material to show, as well as to aid, so far as making known the experience of the most advanced communities, and the suggestions of the most eminent educators at home and abroad, can do so. There is much of encouragement in the liberality and popular favor with which the public school system, which is distinctively Americanthat in which State and municipal authority are both recognized, and the wishes of parents, so far as is consistent with a general system, respected—is sustained. There is ground of congratulation, that religious societies which withhold their sympathy from the public system, and in some cases denounce it, succeed so well in enlisting parental contributions to support denominational schools. But the statistics of school attendance, in all the great centres of population in every State—and no where more clearly than in this District, as is shown in the Special Report from this Department, prove that the problem of universal elementary education is not yet satisfactorily solved in this country, under the combined operation of public, denominational, incorporated, and private schools. In sereral States, the work is yet to be begun by imperative constitutional ordinance; in others by the adoption of an efficient school system; and in all, by 'securing a better attendance of children of the proper school age, the more permanent employment of qualified teachers, and the thorough inspection and fullest publicity of the
working of the system of public schools and other means of popular education.
2. Secondary Schools. Under the heading of secondary schools, the Commissioner desires to obtain information respecting that class of institutions generally known as Academies, Seminaries, and High Schools, in which the work of formal instruction is taken up at the point where it is left by the elementary school, and carried on with a double purpose, riz: (1) a general educational discipline, with special attention to stadies which are preparatory to the next highest grade of our American system, the College in some of its forms; or (2) the same discipline with special attention to certain studies, considered of practical importance to the ordinary business into which a large majority of the pupils of these institutions enter on graduation. Although, historically, the first established, and found in every State under some name, and of the highest importance in reference to the schools below and above them, there is less system (except in the Public High School) in the establishment, management, and instruction of institutions of this class than in any other. Left now to the proselyting zeal and rivalry of each denomination, or to the real or fancied wants of a few families, they are started in too near proximity, without endowments, and without a definite educational purpose; frequently in antagonism and to the injury of the public school, and without sufficient reference either to the schools above, or to the pursuits of the community. The whole subject of secondary education, its institutions, studies and methods, needs investigation and discussion; and to the material already gathered or which may be contributed, the Commissioner is prepared to show how the problems of organization, management, studies, teachers, and inspection are solved in other countries, where the subject has received more attention than either elementary or superior instruction.
3. Colleges, or Superior Schools. Under the head of Colleges, the Commissioner includes all institutions of a superior grade, which have been empowered by the State to confer the usual academic degrees of bachelor and master in the liberal arts or studies, and whose course of general mental discipline and instruction, though superior to the Secondary schools, does not include special professional teaching and training. The needs of society bave called this class of institutions into existence
every country and in every age, but with us, their real or supposed connection with religious and local interests have multiplied them beyond any demand for higher scholarship, and it is feared, not only to the injury of each other, but to the great detriment of
the very bighest culture, which is only possible under the concentration, in a few centres of a large extent of country, of a numerous body of learned and eloquent men, representing all the great departments of literature, science and art, aided by cabinets, libraries, laboratories, and other means of original and exhaustive investigation and demonstration. But whatever the facts may be, be is engaged in ascertaining their number in each State; the circumstances of their origin, the conditions of adipission, courses of study, equipment of libraries and material aids of instruction, their students, professorships, graduates, and endowments—what they profess and what they really accomplish-as well as their relation to the schools below, and to the professional and special schools of the country. To this knowledge of the condition of superior education in the different States, contributions will be made of information respecting similar institutions in other countries, which have done so much for the advancement of literature, science, and civilization generally. Although most of them are the growth of ages, under conditions quite different in many respects from ours, a knowledge of the constitution, endowments, curriculum, and lectures of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London, of Edinburgh and Dublin, of Germany, France and Holland, and of changes proposed and advocated in them, can not but aid the intelligent discussion of the whole subject of College and University education among ourselves.
4. Professional and Special Schools. The obvious needs of society have led to the establishment of various institutions for professional and special education, such as schools of theology, law, medicine, teaching; of agriculture, manufactures, engineering, mining, and the like ;-also for certain classes of persons whose instruction can not be as well provided for in a general system, such as the deaf, the blind, juvenile offenders, orphans, etc. All the statistics and facts going to show the number, condition, and efficiency of this class of schools, have been called for; and those which relate to schools for teachers, and colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts, have been collected, edited, and made ready for publication in such way as Congress may authorize.
5. Supplementary Schools and Agencies. Besides the formal instruction given by institutions for Elementary, Secondary, Collegiate, Professional, and Special Schools, there are other institutions and agencies which in the aggregate influence very largely the education of the national mind and character. These have been grouped under the head of Supplementary Educationsuch as Sunday schools, mission schools, and other special religious
schools under the control of particular denominations; evening schools for the adult as well as the young, associations for lectures, debates, etc.; libraries of reference and circulation, gymnasiums and clubs for athletic exercises and sports, galleries of art and science, pablic grounds for popular health and recreation. On all these topies inquiries have been instituted. 6. Sovities for the Advancement of Education, Science, Literature, and the Arts.
Passing beyond the institutions already mentioned for the development and discipline of the mind by the communication of existing knowledge, the Department has extended its inquiries to those whose special aim is the enlargement of knowledge by new contribations, and new discoveries in science, art, &c.
7. The Press. The object here had in view is not only to ascertain the number, particular objects and circulation of special educational journals and periodicals, but also the number and circulation of all the period. icals published in every State throughout the country. This is done on the ground that the press of the country is one of the most powerful among the educational agencies by which the character of the nation is acted upon, and on which this Department must rely for the dissemination of information as to the actual condition of schools, and the discussion of questions affecting their improvement.
8. School Funds and Educational Endowments. With the extension of the population of the country into its vast Western domain, the National government has not only provided for the territorial development of the new States, but more muniticently, and with more of a parental providence than any government has ever done, for the growing educational and social needs of the people. Many States have likewise established funds for school purposes, besides making, from time to time, liberal grants to particular institutions, which have funded the same for the benefit of successive generations. To individual beneficence does the country owe the foundation and development of nearly all its higher institutions; and the aggregate amount of such donations and bequests, it is estimated, exceeds a hundred millions of dollars. To ascertain the amount and object of all these funds and endowments, the manner in which the capital is secured, and the annual income is applied, and draw practical lessons for future guidance, the Department has instituted the most comprehensive inquiries.
9. Legislation with respect to Schools. From the mode in which the attempt to solve the problem of popular education in this country has been made, namely, by National and State, by municipal and associated action, a vast amount of legislation has been rendered necessary, a history and digest of which constitutes an important part of the investigations now in progress, with a view of making the experience of each available to the benefit of all. To ascertain and note the changes in this legislation will of course constitute an important feature in the annual work and reports of the Department.
10. School Architecture. The immense amount expended in the construction and equipment of buildings for educational purposes, amounting to fifty millions within the last ten years, and the great importance of a wise expenditure of the still larger sum that will be necessary in the coming ten years, with reference to the health and successful labor of both pupils and teachers, (numbering each year probably not less than four millions of persons,) makes a comprehensive investigation into the condition and needs of this department of architecture a matter of the first importance.
11. Charitable, Reformatory, and Penal Institutions. Independent of the regular system of education, and growing to a considerable extent out of the neglect, defect or perversion of a good early training, is a class of institutions whose establishment and support devolves a heavy expense upon the community, and renders an inquiry into their statistics and working very important, in a pecuniary, educational, or moral point of view.
With all our State, municipal, and voluntary efforts for education, both secular and religious, there is an immense amount of absolute illiteracy, and of corrupting influences growing out of parental neglect and vice. The diminution of this illiteracy, vice, and crime, has not kept pace with our increased means of education, and the many undoubted improvements in the systems of instruction. In this connection properly comes the inquiry how far any thing has been done by public authority for the enforcement of the duty of parents to send their children to some schools, public or private, and how far the right of suffrage is denied to persons thus uneducated, or forfeited by the parents or guardians who neglect their duty in this regard.
12. Churches and other means of Religious Instruction. With a view to meeting the objection made in some quarters against our systems of public education, viz., that they contain no sufficient provision for imparting religious instruction, it has been thought fit to institute inquiries into the means of religious instruction existing in our country, additional to the general religious instruction and moral influences of the public schools, and it is