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Annual report of the Board of Education (Volume 1898-99) online

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PUBLIC DOCUMENT .... .... No. 2.





Secretary of the Board,


jAIiTUARY, 1900.



18 Post Office Square.




I. — Members and Appointees of the Board of Education, ... 5

II. — Report of the Board of Education, 9-21

III.— Reports of Visitors to the State Normal Schools, . . . 23-68

Bridgewater, 35-38

Fitchburg, 50-54

Framingham 25-29

Hyannis 58-63

Lowell, 64-68

North Adams, 55-57

Salem 39-41

State Normal Art School, 42-46

Westfield, 30-34

Worcester, 47-49

IV. — Secretary's Report, 71-243

Summary of statistics, 71-75

Analysis of statistical returns, 76-194

A uniform school year, 76-86

School attendance 87-106

High schools, 106-130

Evening schools, 130-134

Length of time the schools have been kept, 134

Appropriations and expenditures for public schools, . . . 135-145

Teachers and teachers' wages, 146-154

Expenses of text-books and supplies, 154

Expense of conveying children, 155-159

Supervision by superintendents of schools, 159-182

Towns not under supervision, 182-187

Teachers' institutes, 194-206

Normal schools, 207-219

Kindergartens, 219-221

Educational Museum, Paris Exposition, State exhibition of drawing,
and State examination and certification of teachers, . . . 221-223

Massachusetts and the nation, 223-230

Resolutions and reports relating to educational conditions, . . 230-240

Recommendations of the secretary, 240-243

V. — Financial Statements, 247-267

VI. — Report OF John T. Prince, Agent of the Board, . . . 273-286
VII. — Report upon City and Town Supervision of Schools, by

John T. Prince, 289-330

VIII — Report of G. T. Fletcher, Agent of the Board, . . . 333-348
IX. — Report of Henry T. Bailey, Agent of the Board, . . . 351-396
X — Report upon the State Exhibition of Drawing, by Henry

T. Bailey, 399-453


XI. —Report of J. W. Macdonald, Agent of the Board, including
Tables showing Condition, Equipment, Organization,
AND Courses of Study in the Massachusetts High

Schools, 457-540

XII. — Report upon the Compliance of Towns and Cities with
Chapter 332 of the Acts of 1885, commonly known as
the Temperance Law, by the Secretary of the Board, 543-595
XIII. —Report on Special Schools, compiled by the Secretary of

the Board 599-634

XIV. — Report on County Truant Schools, by Frank A. Hill, Secbe-

tary of the Board, 637-674

XV. — Legislation relative to the Employment of Superintend-
ents of Schools, 675

XVI. — Abstract of School Committees' Returns, .... i-exxxvii
XVII. — Index to Volume cxxxix


His Excellency W. MURRAY CRANE, Governor .
His Honor JOHN L. BATES, Lieutenant-Oovernor.


ELIJAH B. STODDARD, . . Worcester,

GEORGE H. CONLEY, . . Brookline,


JOEL D. MILLER, . . . Leominster,.


FRANKLIN CARTER, . . . Williamstown,

GEORGE I. ALDRICH, . . Newtonville,

ELMER H. CAPEN, . . . Somerville, .

May 25, 1900.
May 25, 1901.
May 25, 1902.
May 25, 1903.
May 25, 1904.
May 25, 1905.
May 25, 1906.
May 25, 1907.





C. B. TILLINGHAST, . Boston.


JOHN T. PRINCE, West Newton.

G. T. FLETCHER, Northampton.



HENRY T. BAILEY, North Scituate.

L. WALTER SARGENT, Assistant for Western Counties, . Littleton.

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The Board of Education has the honor to lay before the
Legislature its sixty- third annual report.

In so doing the Board embraces the occasion to congratulate
its fellow servants of the Commonwealth upon the soundness
of our educational structure and the healthy activity of its
manifold functions.

Our schools are the outgrowth and index of our civilization.
They embody and express in large measure what we are and
what we aspire to be as a people. They look before and after.
Holding with a firm grasp what is most valuable of the tradi-
tions and usages of the past, they at the same time reach for-
ward in the endeavor to anticipate and provide for that future
towards which our youth are hastening with eager steps.
Especially, as we approach the end of the present century, it
is gratifying to find evidence that our public schools, in which
such treasure of pride and hope is centred, have not failed to
keep equal step with the expansion and development of the
many agencies of human welfare — material, intellectual, social
and spiritual — that have distinguished our age and country.
Our schools have never received, and we believe they have
never deserved, a more confident and cordial support than has
been accorded them by the people of the State during the year
covered by the report herewith submitted.

It is not deemed necessary to review in detail or even to
summarize, in this place, all the various reports hereto ap-
pended, which exhibit, with great fulness and from many
points of view, the educational condition of the State, and set
forth the work done during the past year by the Board and its
agents. Nothing has occurred of such signal importance, and


no need exists of such pressing exigency, as to demand here
any lengthened recital or discussion. A few points, however,
have been selected, which should perhaps be emphasized as
requiring or deserving special attention.

Educational Conditions, as shown by Statistics.

The report of the secretary passes in review, item by item,
the educational condition of the State, so far as that condition
can be gathered from the detailed information furnished by the
various local officers required by law to report to the Board.
In addition to this, the agents of the Board present many facts,
impressions and opinions of value, accumulated in the course
of numerous visitations, conferences, etc., which bring them
into close contact with schools, teachers, parents and the com-
munity generally.

From the statistics at command, to which we refer those who
desire fuller details, it appears that our public schools during
the year have increased in patronage ; that the increase is
probably in a slightly greater proportion than that of the pop-
ulation ; that the private schools have shown a decrease ; that
professionally trained teachers are gaining, both absolutely and
relatively, upon the entire teaching force ; that salaries are
about stationary ; that the consolidation of small schools is still
going on ; that the expense of supervision by school commit-
tees has increased more than that of supervision by super-
intendents ; that the cost of text-books and supplies has
diminished ; that a little less money has been expended on
sundries ; that a little more has been spent on new school
buildings, a little more on ordinary repairs, but much less on
alterations and permanent improvement of old buildings ; and
that a slightly larger percentage of the total valuation of the
State has been expended on the public schools for all purposes
exclusive of buildings, and a slightly less percentage for all
purposes inclusive of buildings. This may all be substantially
summed up in the general statement that the year which the
statistics cover shows a marked increase in the numbers of per-
sons with whom the public schools have been concerned, and
continued steadiness and force in the movement to provide
these schools with excellent accommodations and equipment,

1900.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 2. 11

without increase of burden to the property of the State ; or, if
an increase appears from one point of view, it is very slight,
and is full}^ offset by some decrease from a diiferent point
of view.

For the more purely educational aspects of the school out-
look, reference should be made, as heretofore intimated, to the
various reports accompanying that of the Board.

NoEMAL Schools.

The recently established normal schools are now fairly under
way, and are justifying themselves both by the quantity and
the quality of their work. They have quickly taken step, and
they give promise of keeping it, with the older schools, which
is perhaps enough to say in their praise. This they have been
enabled to do by the generous aid given, wisely, as we think,
by the Legislature in the past two years. This support, it is
perhaps needless to say, must be kept up in the years to come.
It is only by ample pecuniary means that the ten normal schools
which we have undertaken to carry on can be maintained in
such efficiency as to satisfy the reasonable expectations of those
who look to them as the chief agencies for raising the standard
of our public education. The schools have all shown capacity
and readiness for the work demanded of them ; it is for the
Legislature to see to it that their usefulness is not curtailed by
the mistaken economy of insufficient appropriations. The full
numbers of the classes admitted in September, 772 students,
clearly show that no mistake was made in establishing these
schools, and as clearly indicate that none will be made by giving
them generous support.

Some of the visitors of the schools that offer neither board-
ing accommodations nor dormitories for their students express
themselves as convinced that there is an unmistakable public
demand for such accommodations, and that this demand will
have to be met before long in the interests of certain normal
schools not now provided with them.


Normal Art School.
The Normal Art School, which is kept under the close super-
vision of the Board on account of its special character and
aims, has had a prosperous and useful year. It not only holds
its own m every essential respect, but shows healthy growth
and expansion from year to year. This is particularly marked
this year by the completion and occupation of the annex, which,
with its new furniture and equipment, renders the building
admirably suited to all its purposes ; while the arrangement,
in the lower hall, of the exhibition cases that are to serve as
the nucleus of a museum of various classified examples of
applied art will prove of benefit to superintendents and teachers
of drawing throughout the State as well as to pupils of the

Drawing in the Public Schools.

The introduction of drawing as a branch of study in the
public schools was first authorized in 1858. It was first re-
quired in 1870. In 1869, the Legislature, in response to a
petition of several eminent citizens of Boston, requested the
Board of Education to consider the expediency of making pro-
vision by law for " giving free instruction to men, women and
children in mechanical drawing, either in existing schools or
those to be established for that purpose, in all towns in the
Commonwealth having more than five thousand inhabitants."
The Board, after extensive investigations, made recommenda-
tions to the Legislature, which were at once adopted. Draw-
ing was made a required subject in all the public schools. All
cities and towns were authorized, and those with ten thousand
inhabitants or more were required, to provide day or evening
schools, under the direction of the school committee, for free
instruction in " industrial or mechanical drawing," for persons
over fifteen years of age. The Board also published a report
upon the relation of drawing to the public welfare. Several
papers of rare value were contributed to this report by leading
authorities. These papers struck a higher note than the formal
recommendations of the Board and the subsequent action of
the Legislature, for they placed stress on the culture as well as
the industrial value of drawing ; while both the Board and the

1900.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 2. 13

Legislature, so far as they defined their views, limited them-
selves to the industrial aspects of the subject only. Fortu-
nately, they did not define the character of the drawing to be
taught in the public schools. It was simply drawing, and so
could be drawing in as high and comprehensive a sense as the
intelligence of a community might direct, Walter Smith, head
master of the. Leeds School of Art in England, was invited in
1871 by the city of Boston to direct the organization of its
instruction in drawing. The same year, in accordance with an
arrangement with the city, Mr. Smith was appointed an agent
of the Board to promote art education in the State. The
Normal Art School was opened in 1873.

State exhibits of drawing were held annually from 1872 to
1881, and proved valuable incentives to improving work.
These exhibits placed stress on freehand, object, memory,
geometrical and perspective drawing. Mere picture-making
was discouraged. Drawing was regarded as " a thing of work,
ha vino- industrial aims and means."

The art side of drawing, however, was not ignored. On the
contrary, it was uniformly kept before the public that the value
of a useful thing was largely enhanced by making it a beautiful
thing. What Walter Smith said in 1871 is worthy of being
reproduced : —

Within the last five and twenty years we have seen a wonderful
change take place in the money value of the manufactures of Eng-
land. Whilst the cost of producing most of the loroducts of industrial
art has decreased by about one half through the invention of various
machines and the discovery of labor-saving processes, the actual value
of the manufactured article, taking one branch of manufacture with
another, is nearly doubled; and this difference is not to be accounted
for by any alteration in the value of money. How, then, is it
to be explained ? Simply thus : A manufactured article, whether a
garment, a piece of porcelain, an article of furniture, or even a
golden chalice, may be said to possess three elements of value :
first, the raw material; second, the labor of production; third,
the art character. The two first, in some cases, are a large pro-
portion of the value of the whole ; and, w^here no art whatever is
displayed, it forms the whole value. But in a vast majority of the
manufactured products of every country the elements of cost of
material and cost of labor are insignificant in comparison with the


third element, viz., art character. It is that which makes the object
atti'active and pleasing, or repulsive or uninteresting, to the purchaser,
and is, consequently, of commercial value. In many objects, where
the material is of little or no intrinsic worth, the taste displayed in their
design forms the sole value, or the principal value ; and it has been
the general elevation of that element which has nearly doubled the
commercial value of English manufactures. I am not aware of any
great improvement of material or of demand, but have seen, with my
own eyes, an advance in the artistic element in many branches of
British industry from a condition closely bordering upon the barbarism
of savage races to the refinement of the greatest art epochs. And it
has not been an exceptional case, or a development in one direction
owing to peculiar circumstances. If we take pottery, glass, porce-
lain, terra cotta, metal work in wrought iron, brass, bronze, silver-
plate, goldsmith's work, jewelry, paper hanging, carpets, parquetry,
encaustic tiles, furniture, cabinet making, upholstery, stained glass,
mural decoration, wood and stone carving, chasing, enamelling, lace
makiug, embroidery, all show that infusion of taste which has in all
cases increased, and in many cases doubled, their value in the market
in five and twenty years. Now, just as drawing is the only universal
language, so art is an almost universal currency, and, amongst civ-
ilized races, is universal ; with this remarkable characteristic, that,
let the art in a thing be good art, based upon natural laws and
treated with consistency and purity of feeling, and it shall consecrate
the material which it ennobles, so that lapse of time will add to its
value, until antiquity enshrines it.

No State exhibit of drawing was held after 1881 until the
present year. Whether drawing in the public schools is now
in a satisfactory condition has recently been questioned by
persons entitled to respectful consideration. Indeed, the
Board has been formally requested by them to cause an inquiry
to be made into that condition. In the absence of specific sug-
gestions as to the points to which such inquiry should be
directed, the Board has not deemed it advisable to depart from
its customary method of informing the public through its
annual reports and accompanying documents. Its agent, Mr.
Henry T. Bailey, after visiting public schools in Eome, Berlin,
Paris and London, and making a personal study of the drawing
instruction therein, is confident that they have more to learn
from us than we from them. This opinion is restricted ta

1900.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 2. 15

public school work, of course. Mr. Bailey says: "Nowhere,
except in the United States, has the ideal of an art education
of the entire people for the sake of a larger life taken posses-
sion of the leaders."

All this does not mean that drawing is necessarily in a satis-
factory condition throughout the State, or that, where it is at
its best, it is not susceptible of improvement. It indicates,
however, a higher conception of drawing than that which was
common thirty years ago. It is legitimate to-day, as in the
past, to advocate drawing for the sake of material production.
It should not be overlooked, however, that drawing may also
strengthen the appreciation of artistic manufacture, and in
this way increase the demand for it. Thus the culture value
of drawing has after all an industrial value.

To furnish a basis for intelligent consideration of the drawing
situation, the secretary of the Board, in his last report, recom-
mended a State exhibition of drawing. The Legislature appro-
priated $1,500 for the purpose. The exhibition was held from
September 26 to October 3, at Copley and Allston halls in
Boston. For a detailed account of the exhibition, reference
should be made to the special report upon it that accompanies
the report of the Board. It was an exhibition whose conditions
need to be understood before judgment can be pronounced on
its merits. There was much in it entitled to praise. It also
indicated the directions in which improvement should be made.
The only exhibits immediately controlled by the Board of Edu-
cation were those of the Normal Art and the other State normal
schools. Some of these were frequently mentioned by excel-
lent judges as exceedingly promising.

The efi'ect of the movement to make drawing a culture sub-
ject as well as an industrial one was obvious throughout the
exhibit. In a field where it is so difficult to find authorities
agreeing, interesting questions will doubtless arise as to the
respective values of the culture trend and the industrial, and
the sort of balance that should be maintained between them.

One conclusion seems to commend itself to all who made
themselves familiar with the exhibit, and that is, the importance
of planning the next State exhibit, whenever it shall be held,
on a scale so a'enerous as to oive the towns and cities laroer


spaces in which to show what they are doing, and to bring out
what it was impossible to show within the scant limits of the
recent exhibit, — the extensive and valuable correlation that
exists between the various branches of drawing on the one
hand and the various constructive, industrial and artistic proc-
esses to which they relate on the other.

The mere pecuniary worth of drawing to the industrial wel-
fare of the State in the value it directly adds to manufactured
products by making them more pleasing, as well as in the value
it indirectly adds b^'' increasing the demand for them, is so
great that the sum now expended on the Normal Art School,
on the teaching of drawing in the other normal schools, on
agents for the promotion of drawing throughout the State, and
on occasional State exhibits of drawing, is, when compared
with that pecuniary worth, preposterously small.

Manual Training.
Under a law passed in 1894 every city and town of twenty
thousand inhabitants or more was required to maintain manual
training as a part of its high school system. The majority of
the municipalities affected by this legislation have now complied
with its provisions. The law of 1894 was so changed in 1898
as to require manual training also in the elementary schools of
these communities. While the State in its legislation makes no
distinction between boys and girls, the earlier measures to com-
ply with it dealt chiefly with the boys . The later measures are
wisely giving attention to the girls as well. There is cause
for gratification with the evident increase of popular interest
in the arts that pertain to the household and the sciences that
underlie them. The sanitary ordering of our domestic life is a
concern only second in importance — if, indeed, it is second —
to the proper schooling of our girls. The new Mary Hemen-
way Department of Household Arts at the Framingham Normal
School is a promising recognition of this important interest.

The New Bedford Textile School.
A notable addition to the educational facilities that enrich our
State appears to have been made during the past year by the
establishment of the New Bedford Textile School, with an

1900.] PUBLIC DOCUMENT — No. 2. 17

ample plant and an able staff, which already offers six distinct
courses of study and training, embracing "the theory as well
as the practice of cotton manufacture in all its details from the
raw cotton to the finished fabric, and also including instruction
in the scientific principles which underlie the construction of
the machinery and its operation, and the artistic principles
which are involved in the production of desirable and orna-
mental fabrics." The Lowell Textile School has been noticed
in a previous report of the Board.

There can be no doubt of the wide field of usefulness open
to such schools in a community like ours, where textile manu-
factures form so important an element of the general prosperity,
and where the aspiration for excellence is so marked a charac-
teristic of all classes.

These schools have evidently been organized on broad lines,
with an ambitious though not impracticable aim, and they hold
out to young men who desire at the close of their public school
education to enter upon any branch of cotton manufacture, in
any capacity whatever, as Avell as to mill workers in any depart-
ment who wish to earn promotion through l^etter knowledge
and skill, the best means and the most helpful aid and en-
couragement towards so praiseworthy an end.

Teachers' Institutes.
The attention of the Legislature is called to the need of re-
moving the restriction which limits to $350 the cost of any
single teachers' institute. Such restriction ought not to apply
to the long summer institutes, which were not in existence
when the law was passed, and which obviously cannot be carried
on with efficiency for so small a sum. The Board believes that
these longer institutes are a source of great benefit to teachers,
who attend them at a time when other duties are not pressing,
and when, therefore, their minds are free to profit by the in-
struction given. From the best information that the Board is
able to command, it seems clear that an appropriation of at least
$3,000 would be wdsely and economically used in support of
these most useful adjuncts of our normal and training schools.
It should be understood that the summer institutes do not dis-
place or supersede the one-day institutes, but, occupying a


somewhat cliiFerent field, attract another and perhaps younger
class of students, although we believe it is found that many
aspiring teachers attend both.

Assistant to the Secretary.
There is urgent need, as was strongly stated in the report of
last year, of some measure of relief for the secretary of the

Online LibraryMassachusetts. Board of EducationAnnual report of the Board of Education (Volume 1898-99) → online text (page 1 of 70)