Copyright
California. Legislature.

Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) online

. (page 52 of 83)
Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 52 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


follows :





$236,000

115,000

1,386,500


00
00
00


$1,737,500

238,400




state Capitol Bonds of 1872 — seven per cent.

State Funded Debt Bonds of 1873— six per cent.


00


Humboldt County Bonds— nine per cent.

Mendocino County Bonds — eight per cent.

Napa County Bonds — seven per cent.

Sacramento County Bonds — six per cent.

San Luis Obispo County Bonds — eight per cent


$25,000
10,000
60,000
26,400
50.000
20,000
6,500
9,000
11,500
20,000


00

00 1

00

00

00

00

00

00

00 ,

00 i




Solano County Bonds — seven per cent

Stanislaus County Bonds — eight per cent.

Tehama County Bonds — eight percent.

Tulare County Bonds — ten percent


00










$1,975,900


no











From the State School Land Fund, and from the cashing of certain
bonds which have matured, there w^as to the credit of the School
Fund on the first of August, 1884, the sum of §376,444 78.

The present status of this money, will, I presume, be described in
the report of the Hon. John P. Dunn, State Controller, to the Legis-
lature.

By the summaries preceding, the total current expenses for the
year ending June 30, 1883, was $3,018,375 62, and for the j^ear ending
June 30, 1884, it was $3,072,057 70.

• To this was added for purchase of school sites, buildings, furniture,
etc., the sum of §393,839 66 in 1883.

If it should be thought that the expenses of educating the young
people of the State are large, it may be well to reflect that it is largely
due, in fact altogether due, to the great extent of the State and the
thinness of the population. The permanent interests of the common-
wealth require that all the children shall have the opportunities of
a free education, and that ignoranceand vice shall, as far as may be,
be prevented from the schools. This makes it necessary to spread
the network of the public instruction wherever there are any people.
California has adopted a generous and liberal policy in the matter,
but not more generous and liberal than wise. Wherever there is a
school district containing ten census children, provision is made for a
school. Wherever there are twenty, the same provision is made as
for seventy census children, and the expense will be no more until
there shall be more than seventy, than at present. This will allow
for an immense increase of population without an increase of expense.
Meanwhile, tlie inestimable benefits of education will not have been
denied to any.

INADEQUATE COMPENSATION OF COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS.

Another great defect in the sj^stem of the public schools, is the fact
that in many of the counties the Superintendents of the schools are



17

poorly paid ; so poorU^ indeed, that we can scarcely speak of their
slender stipends as pay at all. The County Superintendent should
be able to give — and should be required to give — the whole of his
time to the duties of his office. The County Superintendent is the
most important officer connected with the system of public educa-
tion. And further, there is no officer of the county of greater conse-
quence to the vital and permanent interests of the county: not the
County Clerk, not the Sheriff, not even the Superior Judge. I am
aware that this will sound like a bold proposition, and it will not be
received with a ready assent; but it is true, nevertiieless.

A little reflection will convince an enlightened mind of its truth.
Those officers who are generally regarded as the important officers
of the county, and most of whom receive liberal, not to say lucra-
tive compensation, are mainly engaged about our property, and the
administration of criminal law; they are concerned with the tem-
porary, evanescent affairs of a single generation; their acts have
rarely conseciuences extending beyond a single generation. But the
County Superintendent is the head of the system of the public edu-
cation of the county. It is for him to supervise, control, and lead
those institutions which are instructing and building the characters of
the people. The pupils of to-day will be the people of to-morrow;
and the well-being of the people and the perpetuity of our liberties
depend upon the character and enlightenment of the people. More
than upon any other factor do these depend upon the schools. And
this officer is the head of the schools. If the head be poor — poor of
himself or poor as an officer by reason of his fetters — it is likely that
the body will be poor. But if the Superintendent be an active, vig-
ilant, enthusiastic officer, and an experienced teacher, no limit may be
placed to the good which his services may bring to the public.

In every county the Superintendent of the schools should receive
a decent and comfortable support, so that he may be contented, and
able to give his whole time to his duties. His reasonable traveling
expenses should be reimbursed to him. Certainly they should not
be deducted from his salary, which, as said before, should be decent
and comfortable. He should have certain days fixed for duty in his
office, and the entire residue of his time should be given to contin-
uous visitation of the schools. Then the teachers and Trustees would
know that they were being continually looked after. The teachers
would feel that they had a professional friend to advise and sympa-
thize with them — one capable of instructing and helping them. His
frequent visits and constant supervision would create and preserve
thorough organization; would infuse into the sj'stem all the new
and valuable improvements evolved by experience everywhere, and
would make the system consistent and homogeneous. His efforts
would be those of an equalizer, to raise the lowest school on to a level
with the highest, and to make them everywhere good.

It will be objected that many counties are too poor to pay their

School Superintendent a salary which will engage his whole time in

their service; that they are too sparseh' settled, and that they must

wait till more monej' shall have been invested within their borders.

The ready answer is that to have good schools in the county is the

best invitation to settlement and investment; with population comes

wealth, the enhancement of existing property, and the production of

more. Let it be well understood that any county, even the remotest
25



18

and least developed, has superior schools, and the fact will give an
immediate and great impulse to migration thither. Now, this great
desideratum maybe had by simply paying one officer a decent salary.

The people can impose a local tax on themselves for additional
school facilities, and surely no school facilities can be so valuable as
a good Superintendent. But I prefer to invite the attention of the
Legislature to this important matter, and leave the details of accom-
plishing this great reform to their wisdom.

It is to be regretted that there are counties now amply able to
properly compensate their County Superintendents who, neverthe-
less, neglect to do so.

The County Superintendent of Schools, being the head of the sys-
tem of public education therein, should be ex officio President of the
County Board of Education. He should preside over the meetings
of that Board, and have power to appoint one of the other members
as recorder of its proceedings. All the books, papers, records, and
other archives of the Board, should be kept in his office, in his cus-
tody, and under his control. The same should be true of the City
Superintendent in his relations to the City Board of Education. It
is anomalous and unseemly that the head of the system within the
jurisdiction of the Board should be the Secretary of the Board, or a
member without a vote — as happens sometimes.

TO RETAIN TEACHERS IX THE PROFESSION.

Among many encouraging things connected with the present con-
dition of the public instruction there is one of an entirely different
aspect. I refer to the fact that it is difficult to retain experienced
teachers in the service of the State. Experience in all callings is of
so high importance, and the recognition of that fact so time-honored
and general, that to speak of it with emphasis seems to be a solecism.
Could any Government be found which could rest content under a
condition of things where its soldiers and sailors were in the general
habit of leaving the service just as soon as they became masters of
the duties of their profession? But such is the lamentable fact in
the ranks of public school teachers. And it is not a new proposition
to the reflecting mind that the teachers of the public schools are in
no degree inferior in importance to the army and navy, or to any
other branch of the public service.

Here then is a fact to give rise to grave apprehension. We spend
much time and money at Normal Schools, Teachers' Institutes, and
at Educational Conventions to prepare young teachers for the duties
of their profession, and yet, at the end of a few years, the great
majority of them have abandoned it. It has been true heretotbre,
and doubtless always will be true, that many persons take up the
work of teaching as a temporary resource. But this by no means
will account for the large defection. There are very many persons
who have entered the profession because they were fond of teaching
and they did so with the full intent to make it a life work, and yet,
after some years of earnest endeavor, they find that they have been
buffeting the waves of disappointment unsuccessfully ; the better time
coming has not come; they sink under discouragement and go at
something else.

This is true of both sexes, but notably of the men. The average
salaries of the men teachers are considerably higher than those of the



19

females, and yet it is among men that there is the greatest falling off
after they have entered the profession, and it is among men that
there is a proportional deficiency among the applicants before Boards
of Education and at Normal Schools. The men are not attracted to
nor retained in the profession by the actual or prospective rewards.

Much chivalrous sentimentalism has been exercised in annuncia-
ting and sustaining the proposition that a woman should receive the
same compensation as a man for the same work. But neither senti-
ment nor yet positive statutes (unless in consonance with the funda-
mental principles at work in society) can control the inevitable laws
of trade. The salaries for the men are now, all over the Union, too
low to retain the services of experienced teachers, except the few who
are indispensable as principals of large schools.

The women come in and underbid the men and drive them off,
and the numbers pressing into the ranks are so great, and the com-
petition of woman against woman is growing so sharp, that soon only
the inferior ones will be found in service.

This disastrous state of affairs must be provided against. It will
not do to allow that profession which is of the most value to the peo-
ple to be so organized and conducted that its control will inevitably
fall into the hands of the least competent. We must have the ines-
timable advantage of experienced teachers ; we must have men and
women about in the proportion in which nature has introduced them
into the world, t.e., in about equal numbers, and we must have them
contented.

A system of instruction given entirely by one sex will be one-sided,
narrow, distorted, and inefficient. The characteristics peculiar to
each sex must have opportunity to be observed, and the ideas peculiar
to each sex must have play in a system of education, if it is to be
sound, healthy, and homogeneous.

PENSIONS TO VETERAN TEACHERS.

But how shall we secure these necessary results? How shall we
keep the men in due proportion? How shall we invite and retain
the best of both sexes? How shall we secure the inestimable bene-
fits of experience? By saying to the teachers, "Here is a great and
noble calling, which it has always been, but which henceforth will
provide against destitution in old age." The teacher has at present
no cheerful outlook to the future. He fears the approach of old age,
hand in hand with poverty, and betimes he leaves and looks out for
something else. Suppose that some reasonable pension after thirty
years of faithful and successful service were granted to the teachers;
say twenty-five dollars per month during the residue of his or her
life. I mention a verj^ low sum indeed to render this proposition,
not merely to do justice, but to make a wise and economical invest-
ment for the State, less startling. It might be that the liberality of
the people, as expressed by the Legislature, would prescribe a larger
sum. But let us think of $300 per annum. What a revolution that
would create in the personnel of the profession.

The intending teacher, man or woman, would saj'' to himself or
herself: "Here is a noble calling in which for thirty years I can find
a respectable living, and then when old age comes on, and possibly
failing health, even at the worst I shall not starve !"

They will be able to enter upon their life-work without fear and mis-



20

giving; they will be able to give themselves up to it unreservedly; to
devote their whole energies to it, and to become year by year more
and more valuable to the State. Could the State make wiser invest-
ment of its money ?

AN INCONSIDERABLE TAX.

When we come to consider what would be the cost of so great a
boon, we are surprised that it is so small. I have not the means of
knowing exactly the number of teachers now on the rolls who have
had thirty years of successful experience. But I think we may come
pretty near it. The honor and advantages of a life diploma are so
great that we may assume that as soon as a teacher is entitled to one
he obtains it. Of the 1,656 life diplomas on the rolls at this time
there are but twenty which will be twenty years old at the expiring
of this year, showing but twenty who have had thirty years expe-
rience, even assuming them all to have continued teaching, which is
by no means true. Then to start this beneficial measure into opera-
tion would cost but six thousand dollars j^er aQinumf A sum so small
that it could not be felt in the taxes of the State. No taxpayer in
the State could discover from his own tax dues whether the appro-
priation had been made or not, and yet not since the opening of the
first public school has there been a measure so fraught with good to
the public.

Hereby the State could have secured thirty years of service, each
of which was more valuable than its predecessor; and it is probable
that the teacher after coming into the receipt of his or her pension
would continue to teach for an average of fifteen years more.

I do most earnestly commend this important matter to the serious
and favorable consideration of the incoming Legislature. If that
Legislature shall establish a system of proper pensions for the veteran
teachers in the public schools, they will have inaugurated a new
departure in public instruction, destined, I confidently expect, to
be followed speedily all over the Union, and to be productive of im-
measurable good to the people.

teachers' institutes.

I have diligently attended upon every Teachers' Institute which
has been held since I came into office whenever it has been prac-
ticable. Sometimes it has happened that they were held in different
counties at the same date, or so nearly at the same date as to render
it impossible to attend more than one. Seeing the teachers assem-
bled in council, hearing their views of education as to principles as
well as to details, their interchanges of experience, their descriptions
of the condition of their schools, their complaints-of infelicities and
friction in the working of the educational machinery, their claims
of success and approbation of matters as they existed, have gone far
towards giving me a good idea of the condition of the public instruc-
tion in the different counties. This has been supplemented by per-
sonal visitation to schools actually at work wherever it has been
practicable.

There has been some dissatisfaction expressed with Teachers'
Institutes, and this even proceeded so far as the introduction of a
bill at the last session of the Legislature to repeal that provision of
the Political Code Avliich establishes them. In my judgment this



21

dissatisfaction is not well grounded. I am willing, however, to admit
that all the good^ has not been derived from them which might
reasonably have been expected. This was largely owing to defective
organization. The entire time, nearly, has been generally given to
essays, theoretical exposition of the theory of instruction, and listen-
ing to the didactic utterances of conductors. All these things are val-
uable in themselves, but should not be permitted to engross the
whole time; otherwise they exclude from participation nine tenths
of the teachers. At least half the time should be given to model
teaching on different subjects by the best teachers in the particular
subjects present. Then the teachers will see the machinery of edu-
cation in actual operation, and they will learn more thoroughly and
rapidly than in any other way. Many institutes have been organ-
ized and conducted after this manner during the past year, and with
signal success.

Such institutes are temporary Normal Schools, and cannot fail to
result in the very great professional improvement of the teachers;
and wliatever improves the teachers immediately inures to the ben-
efit of the children and of the State.

To abandon Teachers' Institutes would be a step backward and a
long step downward. It is precisely in those States which have most
cherished and most profited by their public schools that Teachers'
Institutes are regarded as indispensable to the system of public edu-
cation.

So far from crippling this valuable feature of the common schools,
I trust that the Legislature will amend the law so that no institute
shall be held for a time shorter than five days, and permitting the
County Superintendents of schools, in their discretion, to hold them
for ten days.

This extension of time, accompanied by a good organization,
wherein more shall be done and less said, more of practice and less
of theory, more seen and less merely listened to, cannot fail to re-
dound to the great advantage of the State. The Teachers' Institutes
should not afford merely a theater for the display of the accomplish-
ments of one or a small number of individuals ; on the contrary,
they should enable every teacher, and compel every teacher, to take
an active part, and thus result in the mutual and decided improve-
ment of all the members.

The attendance of teachers is generally satisfactory,- but a few are
wanting in professional spirit and zeal, and do not attend. The
County Superintendent should be required to witlihold the pay of
those teachers who absent themselves from the institutes, not less
than one week's nor more than four weeks' salar}'-.

CHANGES IN THE SCHOOL LAW.

A number of changes in sections of the Political Code have been
shown, by experience, to be necessary. Accordingly, at the last reg-
ular session of the Legislature, bills were introduced, one in each
House, embodying most of these changes. It is earnestly to be hoped
that the subject Mill receive the needed attention from the incoming
Legislature.

Section 1549 provides that any County Superintendent may appoint
a deputy ; but the deputy is to receive no salary. In the large coun-
ties it is not practicable for the Superintendent to discharge all the



22

duties devolved upon him by law. He must have clerical assistance^
to be secured only by a reasonable salarj' ; and the clerk should be
clothed with the power of a deputy.

Section 1552 should be so amended as to refund to the County Su-
perintendent his reasonable traveling expenses while on duty. As a
rule, these invaluable officers are most inadequately paid ; and to
expect them to defra}^ their expenses while on duty, would be not
only unreasonable, but would be putting a premium on the non-
discharge of duty.

AVhen arrangements are made by Trustees of different districts for
the attendance of children at schools not in their own districts, the
effect should never be to cause a lapse of any district. Moreover, the
census money attached to all children should go to the district where
they belong, whether they attend in their own district or not; and
when children are permitted to attend school out of their own dis-
trict their daily average attendance should be counted to the credit
of the district where' tliey belong. There are several other amend-
ments to be seen in copies of the bills which were favorably reported
to the last Legislature, but which failed to become laws by reason of
the great pressure of business.

Sections 1612 and 1613, Political Code, should be amended by strik-
ing out the words " Saturday in," and substituting the words " day of.""

Contracts with teachers expire on the thirtieth day of June, and
in the few days generally intervening between the thirtieth of June
and the first Saturday in July the old Board of Trustees have the
power to engage teachers for the ensuing j' ear. This discretion should
belong to the new Board.

NORMAL SCHOOL AT SAX JOSE AND ITS BRANCH AT LOS ANGELES.

It has been a question often mooted in the minds of educators-
whether Normal Schools justified their establishment and mainte-
nance by the amount of practical good which they accomplished. I
think that it may be justly claimed that they do. But it is certain
that they might have been much more useful than they have been
to the public instruction of the State. This fact has arisen from a
misdirection of energy and abilit3^

It is a tendency of the teacher, and especially when there is a sub-
division of labor and he is in charge of a special line of instruction,
to magnif}^ that specialty, and to throw into it all of his zeal and
enthusiasm. In this way, while in the hot pursuit of mathematics,
science, literature, and what not, there has been danger in Normal
Schools, that the fact would be forgotten that "they were Normal
Schools, and that they would drift into the substantial condition of
high schools or colleges. In this way the pupils might become admi-
rably versed in the elements of the various subjects indicated and
yet receive a very small amount of training as teachers.

The phrase "normal school" has now acquired in the educational
world a well-settled meaning; i. e., an institution for training pupils
to become teachers; an idea which may be expressed, if not elegantly
at least cogently, as a factory of teachers. This, the technical feature^
should always be kept as the salient feature. And, heretofore, this
has not been sufficiently the case, from the tendency adverted to
above. "When I came into office, I was under this apprehension, and
my inspections of the Normal School and its branch at Los Angeles



23

served but to strengthen it. I spent a portion of two daj'S at the
Branch Normal School at Los Angeles, and two days at the parent
school at San Jose. Subsequently I spent a whole week in close daily
attendance at San Jose, visiting the class-rooms, spending as much
time with each teacher as possible, conversing with students, etc.
I also conferred with County Superintendents and teachers in various
parts of the State, and found that they thought that the normal ele-
ment was not sufficiently emphasized in the Normal School.

Finally, I found with much pleasure that, after examining into
and reflecting on the subject, the whole Faculty at San Jose were
ready to concede that more might be, and ought to be, done in this
direction. Accordingly, with the most commendable liberalitj^ and
zeal, the}' set about arranging and adjusting the curriculum and
schedules of work to carry out the proposed reform. And while it
may be justly claimed that the State Normal School has heretofore
been in the front rank of such institutions, we may expect that
henceforth the normal feature will be much developed, and the use-
fulness of these teacher factories much enhanced.

CHANGES IN THE FACULTY.

Among the changes in the Faculty during the past year, have been
the resignation of Vice-Principal J. H. Braly, and the promotion to
his place of Assistant Henry B. Norton ; the election as assistant of Pro-
fessor Randall; the promotion of Assistant Ira More to be Principal
of the Branch Normal School at Los Angeles, and the selection as
temporary Assistant at Los Angeles of Professor Melville Dozier,
heretofore Principal of the High School at Santa Rosa. The title of



Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 52 of 83)