North Carolina. Dept. of Public Instruction.

Biennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the scholastic years ... [serial] (Volume 1900/01-1901/02) online

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a^d such other information as he may deem necessary.

Sec. 16. That as soon after the passage of this act as may be prac-
ticable, and the Commission shall deem advisable, the books adopted
as a uniform system of text-books shall be introduced and used as
text-books, to the exclusion of all others in all the public free schools
in the State: Provided, that nothing herein shall be so construed
as to prevent the use of supplementary books, but such supplement-
ary books shall not be used to the exclusion of the books prescribed,
or adopted, under the provisions of this act: And provided further,
that nothing in this act shall prevent the teaching in any school any


branch higher, or more advanced, than is embraced in section 2 of
this act, nor the use of any book upon such higher branch of study:
Provided, that such higher branch shall not be taught to the ex-
clusion of the branches mentioned and set out in section 2 of this act.

Sec. 17. That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent or pro-
hibit the patrons of the public schools throughout the State from pro-
curing books in the usual way, in case no contract shall be made, or
the contractor fails, or refuses, to furnish the books provided for in
this act at the time required for their use in the respective schools.

Sec. 18. That any teacher who shall wilfully use, or permit to be
used, in his or her school, any text-book upon the branches embraced
in this act where the Commission has adopted a book upon that
branch, other than the one so adopted, the County Board of Educa-
tion shall discharge and cancel the certificate of said teacher, or
school superintendent: Provided, that they may use, or permit to be
used, such book, or books, as may now be owned by the pupils of the
school, until such books are worn out, not exceeding one year from
date of adoption.

Sec. 19. That any dealer, clerk, or agent, who shall sell any book
for a greater price than the contract price shall be guilty of a mis-
demeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not ex-
ceeding $50.00.

Sec. 20. That said Text-Book Commission shall serve without com-
pensation, and members of the sub-commission actually serving shall
be paid a per diem of four dollars per day, during the time that they
are actually engaged, not to exceed thirty days, and in addition shall
be repaid all money actually expended by them in the payment of
necessary expenses, to be paid out of the public school fund, and they
shall make out and swear to an itemized statement of such expenses.

Sec. 21. That all laws and clauses of laws in conflict with this act
be and the same are hereby repealed.

Sec. 22. That this act shall be in force from and after its ratifica-

In the General Assembly read three times, and ratified this the 8th
day of February, A. D. 1901.

14 Biennial Report of the


In compliance with the Text-Book Law, Section 3, Gov-
emor Charles B. Aycoek appointed the following teachers
and superintendents to constitute the Sub Text-Book Commis-
sion, to examine and report upon the merits of text-books
submitted to them :

Prof. J. Y. Joyxer. CJitiirnuin , Professor English Liter-
ature, Normal and Industrial College, Greensboro, 1ST. C.

Prof. J. L. Kesler, Secretary, Professor of Chemistry,
Baptist Female University, Raleigh, X. C.

Hox. J. C. Scarborough, Superintendent of Hertford
County, Murfreesboro, X. C.

Prof. J. D. Hodges, Superintendent of Davie County,
Augusta, X. C.

Hox. J. A. Butler, Superintendent of Iredell County,
Statesville, X. C.

Prof. C. C. Wright, Superintendent of Wilkes County,
AVilkesboro, X. C.

W. L. Carmichael, Superintendent of Transylvania Coun-
ty, Brevard, N. C.

Prof. J. I. Foust, Superintendent of City Schools, Golds-
boro, X. C.

Prof R. L. Flowers, Professor of Mathematics, Trinity
( 'ollege, Durham, X. C.

Rev. C. G. Vardell, President of Female Seminary, Red

Springs, X. C.

The Sub-Commission met in the Capitol Building April
. ., 1901, and, after a careful examination of all the books
submitted to them, made the following report on May 1,
1901 :

Superintendent of Public Instruction. 15


To the State Text-Book Commission:

Having completed the examination of all text-books submitted to
us, using our utmost ability to discover and recommend to you only
the best books, because, in our opinion, an inferior book is dear at
any price, and having considered in detail the merits and demerits of
every book submitted, in accordance with the letter and spirit of the
law and of our oaths "to examine and report upon the merits of the
books, irrespective of the price, taking into consideration the subject-
matter of the books, their printing, their material, and their mechan-
ical qualities and their general suitability and desirability for the
purposes for which they are desired and intended," we beg leave to
submit the following:


1. We recommend as our first choice, Common School Speller, com-
plete, Branson, published by B. F. Johnson Pub. Co. The press work,
type, paper and binding are all good. In this book the words have
been carefully selected and furnish a good vocabulary for. the student
mastering them. The arrangement of these words is good, being
based on sound phonic principles, introducing the short vowel sounds
before the long ones. We commend the arrangement according to
subjects; also, the marking of silent letters and the key to the pro-
nunciation of difficult words.

2. Harrington's Spelling Book, complete, American Book Co., is our
second choice. This is a good book, but neither in its mechanical
make-up, plan or execution of plan is it so satisfactory as our first

3. Word by Word, Stickney, Ginn & Co., is our third choice. This
book is in two volumes. The words of this book are neither so well
graded nor so well arranged as those of the two preceding, and proba-
bly savors a little too much of the primer.

We commend all of the above books, and recommend them in the
above order.

4. The action of the sub-commission being unanimous in regard to
these three books as superior to all others submitted, we include in a
fourth class the following. These contain many excellencies, but are
not so well suited to our schools as the three designated; we there-
fore include in this fourth class:

The Progressive Speller — D. C. Heath & Co.
The Practical Speller— D. C. Heath & Co.
Penniman's New Practical Speller — D. C. Heath & Co.
Normal Course in Spelling — Silver, Burdett & Co.
Reed's Word Lessons — Maynard, Merrill & Co.

16 Biennial Report of the

Practical Speller and Definer—D. C. Heath & Co.

Merrill's Speller — Maynard, Merrill & Co.

Benedict's Primary and Advanced Speller — R. L. Myers & Co.

The Student's Standard Speller — Potter & Putnam.

English Words as Spoken and Written — Globe School Book Co.

C. G. Vardell. C. C. Weight.

Jas. A. Butler. J. I. Foust.

J. Y. Joyner. John C. Scarborough.

J. L. Kesler. W. L. Carmichael.

R. L. Flowers. J. D. Hodges.


Webster's and Worcester's Dictionaries are before the sub-commis-
sion. Both of these are most excellent books. As our first choice we
name Webster.

C. 0- Vardell. C. C. Wright.

Jas. A. Butler. J. I. Foust.

J. Y. Joyner, John C. Scarborough.

J. L. Kesler. W. L. Carmichael.

R. L. Flowers. J. D. Hodges.


Stepping Stones to Literature — Silver, Burdett & Co.

We have examined very carefully all Readers submitted, and un-
hesitatingly pronounce Stepping Stones to Literature our first choice.
Our reasons for this conclusion are set forth below.


In order to decide the relative merits of the different series with
reference to mechanical qualities, we made a thorough investigation
of the following points: (1) Press-work, (2) binding, (3) illustra-
tions, (4) quality of paper, (5) general appearance of the books. As
a result of this investigation we find that we can commend very
highly several of the series submitted, but we are of the opinion that
Stepping Stones to Liteature and Cyr's Readers are superior to all
others and may be ranked in the same class, the former, however,
being considered preferable.


A careful examination of the subject-matter of the series convinced
us that it is almost an ideal one for our schools, and a comparison
with the other series submitted showed that it was, in our judgment,

Superintendent of Public Instruction. 17

much superior to all othors. The reasons for this conclusion are set
forth in the following:

(1) The books are well graded. New and difficult words are intro-
duced in such proportion and manner as to enable the children to
keep pace with the progress of the book.

After examining carefully the words in the First Reader of this
series, we were convinced that they are well chosen, and are such as
the child can very easily comprehend. A comparison of these words
one by one with the words of other First Readers demonstrated, in
our judgment, that the First Reader of Stepping Stones to Litera-
ture was, with possibly one exception, superior to all others.

(2) The selections are well adapted to the understanding, and be-
long to the class which the experience of the world pronounces best
suited to hold the interest of children. (See First Reader, pages
101, 105 and 125.)

(3) These books are fashioned after a definite plan. The enthusi-
asm and interest aroused in one lesson will be an aid in teaching the
next. This result can not be obtained unless there is a unity con-
necting the different sub-divisions of the book. The feature men-
tioned is not so noticeably true in any other series. The subject
chosen is consistently worked out before proceeding to another. As
an example of this, see First Reader, pages 38-52, 53-66, 69-86. etc.
The other readers of the series will sustain this point if they are
carefully examined.

(4) Nearly every selection is a recognized literary masterpiece.
By placing these' in the hands of our children we shall furnish them
with a very respectable library of the best productions of our greatest
prose and poetry writers. These selections are not "scrappy," but
there is always a sufficient amount chosen from each writer to make
the production stand out as a whole. In many readers there are so
many writers and subjects introduced that the student becomes con-
fused, and hence can not feel with assurance that he has obtained
anything from his study. We respectfully suggest that your Com-
mission make a comparison from this standpoint of Stepping Stones
to Literature with any or all other readers. As to the excellence of
literary rendering of the same or kindred pieces, compare Stepping
Stones. Second Book, page 18, with Graded Literature Readers.
See book, page 7; Johnson's Second Reader, page 27; Normal Course,
Second Book, page 128, and New Era, page 91. Also, compare Step-
ping Stones. Second Reader, page 37, with Graded Literature Read-
ers, Second Book, page 15; Stepping Stones, Second Book, page
137, with Holmes' Second Book, page 80, etc.

(5) The books will arouse and maintain the interest of the child.
The lessons are correlated to the peculiar nature, to the interests, the
emotions, and the sympathies of children. There is no strained at-

18 Biennial Report of the

tempt at the mechanical correlation of subjects. While this latter
may be important, the child must be recognized as the central object
in this work.

(6) The books can be obtained either as a five (5) book series,
suited to the peculiar conditions of our country schools, or in an
eight-book series.

(7) We also call your attention to the fact that the books are fur-
nished either in cloth or boards, there being no difference in the two
sets except in the binding. This is a decided advantage.

(8) The arrangement of the words for spelling lessons is good.
At the beginning or end of each lesson we find a list containing all
new' words which are used in the reading matter. Besides this there
are lists of words arranged, at intervals, in the lower books, accord-
ing to form and sound, for special drill in spelling.

(9) We consider these books admirably adapted to use in our
country schools where very little real literature is found. They can
have no other effect than that of producing a desire to read the best,
and to know more of the writers who have expressed their thoughts
so beautifully.

In conclusion, we desire to say that it nas never been our privilege
to examine a more admirable set of books. While other good readers
have been submitted to and examined by us, we believe a mistake
would be made if our children are not given the inspiration which
would follow the reading of such books, and hence we earnestly com-
mend them to you as our first choice.


Mechanical Outlines.
As to mechanical qualities, we examined these books in the same
manner as indicated above, and find them first-class in every respect.

This is a good, strong series of readers in almost every point men-
tioned above. In literary finish they will not measure up to "Step-
ping Stones to Literature." We are of the opinion, also, that they
will not prove so interesting to the children. The plan is not so defi-
nite and well wrought o^t. We recommend them as second choice.


In mechanical qualities these rank among the first. Binding,
printing, etc., are all that could be desired. While they are admirable
as to subject-matter, they are not so well adapted to the conditions of
our ordinary school;?. For example, in the Second Reader we find
biographies of Longfellow and Whittier. These are well rendered,
but we doubt whether they could be successfully used where there is
no library. This series is our third choice.

Superintendent of Public Instruction. 10

baldwin's readers by grades.

These are good readers. They will rank in the first class when
paper, binding, etc., are considered. We consider them about equal to
the Graded Literature Readers in subject-matter. The readers are,
however, especially designed for use in our city schools where there
is an abundance of supplementary reading. We place these in the
fourth class.

In the fifth class we put the following readers, with the suggestion
that your Commission do not adopt them for use in our schools. (We
have endeavored to arrange them in order of merit) :

1. The Stickney Readers.

There is no special feature in these books. They are weak, lacking
the vigor found in many of the other readers. The lack of definite
plan is evident.

These books are not attractive. The illustrations are poorly exe-
cuted, many of the pictures being blurred. The choice of selections
is good, but they are in many cases awkwardly rendered and loosely
graded. The series as a whole shows much haste in preparation.
There are some commendable features. The suggestions and aids for
language work, arrangement of words, phonetically, are endorsed by
us. We do not believe the binding would prove durable. The body
of the book breaks away easily from the back.

2. Normal course in Reading.

The mechanical construction of this series is all that could be

The most serious defect is in the selection of material, not interest-
ing, and will not lay so sure a foundation for literary culture as
many other books submitted. In working out the subjects chosen,
this series is not the equal of many others.

- 3. Holmes' Readers.
There is no objection to mechanical construction. The selections
in the first books are not such as will appeal to the children. The
rendering of these selections is far inferior to that found in many of
the readers submitted. We respectfully suggest that your Commis-
sion compare these readers with those contained in our first list in
order to convince yourselves on this point. We do not find any unity
of purpose connecting the different lessons nor the different books of
tne series. Compare lessons LIX, LV, LVI, etc., of the First Reader.
There are so many different subjects and different authors introduced
as to render the books "scrappy." The grading of the First Reader,
so far as the words are concerned, is excellent, but in thought it is
very poor.

20 Biennial Report of the

3. McGuffey's Readers.
New Era Readers.
Brumbough's Readers.
These we place in the last division of those readers which we class
as undesirable. The selections are not of the best. They lack defi-
nite plan in thought development. From the literary standpoint
they rank very low.


It is the unanimous recommendation of the sub-commission that a
Primer be adopted to be used in schools where one is desired.

Moses' First Reader, by B. F. Johnson & Co., is recommended as
our first choice.

The other Primers substituted are not recommended, and are ar-
ranged in order of merit:

1. Beginner's Reader — D. C. Heath & Co.

2. Wheeler's Primer — W. H. Wheeler & Co.

3. Johnson's Primer — B. F. Johnson Company.

4. Werner Primer — Werner School Book Company.

5. Vertical Script Primer — Potter, Putnam & Co.

C. G. Vaedell. J. D. Hodges.

Jas. A. Butler. J- Y. Joyner.

J. L. Kesler. R- L- Flowers.
J. I. Foust.


We, the undersigned members of the Sub-Commission on Text-
Books, find ourselves differing in judgment as to the best readers for
use in our public schools, from the majority of our associates. We
submit this as our minority report on readers.

We are clearly of the opinion that Holmes' Series of Readers is the
best offered for our consideration. We consider that we need not
multiply words in very great numbers in expressing our views on this

There is much said by many people about modern education and
modern methods in education, and the word modern is dwelt upon
with great emphasis, as if to be modern was to be necessarily the
best; and modern, by some, is used as an exact synonym of excellent.

As a matter of fact, the only new idea in the last decade or more
accepted with reference to reading taught the first and second years,
is that reading should be closely correlated with the other studies of
the children, or other subjects related to reading should be taught at
the same time and along with the reading. This modern idea, if in-

Superintendent of Public Instruction. 21

deed it is modern (the writer of this was taught sentence-making and
writing of sentences years ago along with First and Second Reader
work, by a Yankee from Connecticut, who lived in the South for
many years, and died in Johnston County, North Carolina, a few
years ago), is well brought out and provided for in Holmes' Series of
Readers. They have been kept abreast of the times by careful re-
vision by practical educators, as far as this and other methods, that
are accepted by first-rate, conservative educators, are concerned. This
tendency to "correlation" in all proper ways and to the comprehen-
sion of children, reading in First Reader work, has been well looked
after and provided for in Holmes' Series of Readers for primary

Another modern maxim, so-called, was heard by the writer twenty-
five years (.a quarter of a century) ago — "Children learn to do by do-
ing." To this careful attention has been given in Holmes' First
Reader. We refer to the book and ask a careful examination of it
in proof of what we say.

It is also careful about the explanation of new words, in meaning,
etc.. before using them. And careful effort has been made not to
present long sentences, or sentences of unusual construction as
wholes to children, but to so present them in parts as to relieve the
child from difficulty and halting in repeating such sentences as
wholes. Advantage has been taken of the fact that a large per-
centage of English words falls under phonic laws. Special effort is
made through this fact to teach the child proper pronunciation and
to give the child the ability to work out for himself the proper
"voice" of a word, and the correct spelling of words. This sub-com-
mission has unanimously recommended Moses' First Reader as a
Primer, because of its phonic emphasis as much as anything else
about it. It has also recommended Branson's Speller, because of its
closely following Webster's Spelling Book in its phonic methods.
Holmes' Readers are based on the same principles of our language.
But we can not enumerate all the features of excellence accepted by
wise, modern, conservative educators. The First Reader, in brief,
embodies the wisest devices in method and the permanent results of
experience. It is neither a fossil nor an experiment.. We urge it on
its merits. It is, in our judgment, the best book on the subject, and
should be kept on our list. It is admitted that it is the best graded
of all the First Readers submitted to us; that it has fewer words not
easily got by the child; that it. has more words easily got by the
child, as compared with "Stepping Stones to Literature;" and is
placed in first rank as to binding, and that it contains no words not
found in the vocabulary of the child.

The Second Reader follows the First in its excellence, and the first
principles of composition are taught. The use of script in the lower

22 Biennial Report of the

readers is an excellent feature. The selections are interesting and at
the same time instructive. All through the series the hand of a wise
master is apparent, and the safe, wise and progressive mind of a
first-class education shines out all through from beginning to end of
the entire series.

The selections for the higher readers, Fifth, specially, are well
chosen, of wide range of subjects and authors, and from all sections.
The South is not ignored, but is placed alongside of all other sec-

The books are broad and national and patriotic. We ask a com-
parison of these with other readers fairly made on merit and not on
powers, ruffles and frills. We believe we are right. We have decided
convictions about the whole subject, which we can not surrender.
We have had long and varied experience in public school work. We
know our people of all classes, and think we know something of their
needs and necessities. We ask a fair, calm and impartial considera-
tion of the books, and of our position about this matter. On their
merit they are entitled, in our judgment, to be placed on our list,
where they have had their growth. They have been in the schools of
North Carolina for twenty years or more. They have been kept up
to date in their make-up, plans and methods. Our schools are already
uniformed with them. Our people have them in their homes. We
think, on their merits, in subject-matter, printing, material, binding
and mechanical qualities, that they are eminently suitable and de-
sirable for use in our schools.

We recommend Johnson's Series of Readers as our second choice
for our schools.

Respectfully submitted,

John C. Scarborough,
W. L. Carmichael.
C. C. Wright.


There are two systems of writing — the Vertical and the Slant —
submitted to us for examination. It is our opinion that both sys-
tems should be adopted, giving to teachers the opportunity to use the
system which they prefer. We make two recommendations, and
make our report on both systems.


1. Spencerian Penmanship — American Book Company.
In our opinion this is an excellent series. It is somewhat of a
combination of a Vertical and the Slant systems. It avoids the angu-

Superintendent 'of Public Instruction. 23

larity of one and the roundness of the other. The letters are easily
made, and are very legible. Children having used one system may
readily become proficient in the other. This combination makes a
system well adapted to business purposes.

2. Natural System of Vertical Writing — D. C. Heath & Co.

3. Normal Revised System — Silver, Burdett & Co.

4. Merrill s Vertical Penmanship — Maynard, Merrill & Co.

5. Merrill's Modern Penmanship — Maynard, Merrill & Co.

6. Johnson's Progressive Vertical Writing — B. F. Johnson Co.

7. New Era System of Vertical Writing^ — Eaton & Co.

8. Rapid Business System of Vertical Writing — B. F. Johnson Co.

9. Standard Vertical Writing — Christopher Sower Co.

10. Barnes's National Vertical Penmanship — American Book Co.

11. New Ideal Copy Books — R. L. Myers & Co.

12. Bowen's Practical System of Vertical Writing — Globe School

Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Dept. of Public InstructionBiennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the scholastic years ... [serial] (Volume 1900/01-1901/02) → online text (page 8 of 46)