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common consent. Every man, if he will, may litically, has its symbols in those mighty agents think, beliere, speak and act for himself; re-that concern themselves with the welfare, ensponsible for the legitimate use of this right, to lightenment and moral elevation of humanity. no class, sect or party, but to God only. We of the great West inay take just priile in
One of the agents-and a principal one-our physical advantages and blessings, multiby which is developed this increased and in-plied and rich beyond those of almost any other creasing thought, is the Common SCHOOL.— people. Perhaps no other portiou of our highly Planted amid the rugked and rocky hills of tavored courtry possesses so varied and abundNew England, or the sunny vales of the South, ant natural resources as the mighty Valley of or upon the broad, green prairies of the West, the Mississippi, of which our State forms a part. it untolds the germ of intellect, “rears the ten- Consider our inexhaustable mines of mineral der thought," “ forms the common mind,” and wealth, our “openings” and prairies, with the fts and qualifies in no small degree for the ac- richest and most productive soil in the world; tive duties of life, and the responsibilities of our vast inlard seas dotted with the white sails citizenship. Humble and obscure it may be. of a busy commerce; our broad rivers running communicating to the children of lowly birth to the ocean, bearing upon their bosom the only ihe simplest rudiments of knowledge, yet wealth which industry has extracted from the it is one of the strong defences of the land- carth ; our green hills and cheerful valleys, and the NURSERY OF FREENES! Many a bare- fruitful plains; ail furnishing employment, footed boy, with ragged jucket and tanned face, highways and liomes for honest labor in every has gone out from it with great thoughts stir- legitimate calling and pursuit; consider all ring within his soul because of it. ministrations; these, and tell me if the lines have not fallen to his ambition aroused and his enthusiasm en- us in pleasant places, and if ours not indeed kindled, to achiere a noble destiny in some de- a goodly heritage ! partment of intellectual or moral effort, and Let us look again. Only a few years ago, make bright some page of his country's history. this broad territory was a wild and savage wil. "Patieni thought" has been born of its humble derness. From the rugged shores and the ministry--thought that moves, guides, and will mountains and valleys of New England, from redeem and save the world. To the extent that the proud old Empire State, from the sunny the Common School widens the sphere of intel- South, from the British Islands across the sea, lectual action and effort, aids in the diffusion of and from far-off - Fatherland,” we came and intelligence, and tends to elevate individuals peopled the solitudes beyond the Great Lakes. and communities in the scale of moral being, it The forests have been swept away, the rich may justly be regarded as one of the symbols mould of the prairies turned by the busy plow, of a great and prosperous State. It is an in-towns and cities builılcıl, railroads constructed, strument of achievement, and an agent “of ac- a large and prosperous commerce established, tual power and of living performance." and the foundation of wealth and material
There are other signs and representatives of greatnes laid deep and strong. In a commonnational greatness. “However insignificant it wealth thus abounding in natural resources, really is," says Chapin, “min spreads an ideal thus settled and improved, full of enterprise glory over the land of his birth. Perhaps its and prosperity, full of busy industry and inhistorical importance compensates for its geo- creasing wealth, pressing continually onward graphical narrowness, or its material poverty in its upward and prosperous wuy, and conis hidden by its intellectual wealth. From its cerning itrelf with all great means and measstock of mighty men-its heroes and bards, and ures of public improvement, we might think sages—who have brightened the roll of fame: that little or nothing more was wanting to conor from its memorable battle-fields, on wild stitute it truly great and powerful. But there heath and in mountain detile; or from its are other and essential elements of greatness achievements, which have swelled the tide of and power, elements intellectual and moral in human enterprise, and made the world its debt-their nature, and which conduce to the true and or; he draws the inspiration, he carries away harmonious development of man. The broad the conviction of greatness--so that wherever expansion of mind, the liberal view, the refined its emblems come before his eyes, they touch taste, the sound judgment which learning sethe deep springs of reverence and pride." cures; the independence and integrity of char
But there is something necessary beside what acter, the upward aim, the serene dignity, the is here enumerated, to constitute a country truly lofty purpose, the spirit of humanity and brothgreat. The signs of its enduring prosperity and erhood which moral principle imparts; these giory are not to be found in more dead, inert, are what give to a State, as well as to individor ideal things, but in those that possess vital uals, true elevation, sublimity, prosperity and force and energy, and that take in pieces and greatness. To furnish the most liberal and efreconstruct, purify, exalt, enlighten and make ficient means of mental and moral cultivation deseri places green and beautiful. A people to the entire population, is therefore, the busimay be great, and have great power, because of ness and duty of the State. Not so much in its political importance, vast possessions and broad geographical limits, the fertility of its strong institutions; but that nation is the great- soil, its mineral resources, and its facilities for est, which far less favored physically and po- trade and commerce, as in its thousands of im
mortal souls, ts mines of intellectual riches, H. A. Wright, I sought by visitation and corand its bountifully furnished agencies for aug. respondence to ascertain more fully than I had menting the aggregate of its intelligence and been able previously to learn, what were the moral virtue, lies its real wealth, power and practical workings of our present sehool system safety.
in its various details---how administered-how It consults its true interests and its essential supervised in its operations—and with what glory, therefore, only when it scatters the seeds results; what its defects, if any it had, and what of knowledge broadcast over its entire surface changes or improvements were required, if any, -only when, through its wisely appointed me to betier adapt it to particular localities ; what diums, it pours out light freely through all its the condition, character, and wants of our borders and into its remotest corners, as God schools, and what was essential to the greater pours out sunshine and rain from heaven. vitality and efficiency of both system and
It is a thought in which we may well take schools. From what I have learned with pride, that in our own State the means for ob- respect to the various points on which informtaining knowledge have been largely supplied. ation was sought, I am satisfied that under Indeed, as a general thing, they have been present circumstances and the existing condibrought to every man's door. Recently settled tion of things, our system of common schools, as is Wisconsin, if we look around for the ig- in the main, is admirably adapted to the need norant, we shall find them without trouble ;-of most portions of the State. Any radical but if we look for those who are condemned, by change in its leading outlines or principles, I disadvantages of situation, or other cause, to am confident, would take from its general adapunavoidable ignorance, we shall generally station, and consequently render it less capable search in vain. A munificent fund has been of answering the enil for which it was designed. created, the free school established, and the At the same time there is an apparent want of school-master sent abroad. When the entire harmony in the details of the system----many income from the fund shall become available defects--nany omissions--and these render it and our free school system perfected and made less productive of good results than it otherharmonious in all its parts, and the school-wise would be. Here changes, modifications, master enabled to give full proof of his exalted new features can be advantageously introministry, we may well question whether any duced, and will add to the completness, efficiState in the Union, with respect to educational ency and success of the whole. The full and advantages and facilities, shall surpass our effectuul operation of the system is hindered,
and its good effects proportionably lessened by But while saying this, I would not forget that many and great errors and defects in adminbefore we can attain to this position, very much istration. There is quite too frequently a lack remains to be done--that there is much for the of appreciation or of fidelity on the part of State to do--much for the people in their every officers charged with administrative duty.capacity. Not only have we to jealously guard District boards are not always wisely chosen. our school fund from peculation and fraud, but Or if the best men, the fittest by qualification we have to adapt our public school system to are elected, they are quite too apt to overlook our changing circumstances, and any new con- the importance of their official duties, and to dition growing out of them, to elevate the stand- discharge them hastily and imperfectly, as the ard of public instruction, to supply defects and calls of private business press upon their attenremedy errors of administration, to give to our tion. As though anything could be estimated free schools an enlarged sphere of usefulness as of more consequence to the individual, to society mediums of practical knowledge, by introduc- and the State, than proper training of the iming new and interesting branches of study in mortal minds of a rising generation ! addition to those now pursued, thus directing Incompetent and inetiicient supervision must fund, and system, and administrative and su- also be named as a hindrance to the harmonpervisory power, and free school to the accom-ious and effective operation of our educational plishment of one great object kept in view system, thus preventing an enjoyment of the The development of a free, true, harmonious full measure of benefit it is calculated to imhuman soul.
part. Upon an enlightened, faithful, and judiYes, to this end should we labor as legislator, cious supervision of our schools, will materially executive, superintendent, district board, teach-depend their character, condition and useful. er, parent, citizen, that each child within our ness. Great and important as the proper trainbroad territory shall be trained and disciplined ing of the intellects of our children, the right into an intelligent and self governed individual, cultivation of the moral powers, the harmoni. capable of acting well his part in all the duties ous development of the whole being, are the of life. Not only the happiness of our children, interests to be supervised. What watchful and but also the highest good of the state, require patient supervision do they demand? How this at our hands.
ought we to plan, and labor, and appropriate Immediately on receiving the appointment abundant means, that in our schools, and to the office of Superintendent of Public In- through the influences that shall go out from struction, made vacant by the death of its late them, these may be subserved and promotedworthy and highly esteemed incumbent, Hon. the body-the intellect-the heart, be trained,
disciplined, and fully equipped for the service of graded schools. The following is presented of life. And yet, in far too numerous instances, as the outlines of such a system: men wholy unqualified are chosen for the dis- 1st. The consolidation of the several districts charge of this important duty. The people, in within a city, village, or part of a town, for the part, are to be blamed for this; but only in part, purposes of a better organization, management as we shall see by and by.
and supervision of schools. There is much else that stands in the way of
2d. The organization of so many Primary the effectual working of our school system, and Schools of a city, village or part of a town as prevents it from giving full proof of its adapt- may be required, and of a Central High School. ation and power. I will only barely allude to (Where the number of pupils is no more than these adverse causes in this place. They are: four or five hundred, a single school, with Primiserable school houses miserably located, di- mary, Intermediate and High School Departvisions and subdivisions of districts, want of ment will be sufficient.] uniformity in text books, and worse than all 3d. The organization, superintendence and else, indifference and neglect on the part of management of such schools, or school, to deparents. I may be allowed to remark in this volve on a Board of Education consisting of connection, that in many places visited, I have three or more Commissioners and a Superinbeen gratified to meet with decisive evidences tendent, which said Board shall be vested with of substantial interest and mutual co-operation all the powers of present District Boards. on the behalf of popular education, from par
4th. The Common Council of a city, or the ents, district boards, superintendents, teachers Trustees of a village, to raise by tax such sums and citizens generally; evidences beheld in the as may be determined and certified hy said united determination to make the common Board of Education to be necessary or proper school the best school, by combinining numbers for the purposes of purchasing School Houses, and wealth, by furnishing larger means and paying teachers wages, &c., &c. better facilities for the better instruction of the
These, in brief, are the general outlines of young. Thus we begin to realize the idea of the system which, through its practical workthe People's College in the district school.ings, under a wise and careful administration, May it be more and more realized, until the has given to the city of Racine its model schools. common schools of the State, in all essential re- None there dream of going back to the old quisites, shall become colleges indeed!
district system. We do not propose, therefore an
untried experiment, when we submit this system I come now to the question- What do we of graded schools for adoption in all cities and need by way of perfecting practically our sys- villages in our State. In all favorable localities, tem of public instruction, elevating and im- if properly administered, it will make the pubproving the character and condition of our com-lic schools the best schools—more than any inon schools, and securing to individuals and mere private or select sehools possibly can be the State the full measure of benefit they are --and thus do away with the necessity of the designed to impart? The answer, to some ex- burdensomo maintenance of the latter. tent, has already been indicated in the preceding
We need for an increase of interest and subremarks ; but the question demands a more de- stantial paofit in our public schools, an addition finite and specific answer, involving in some of of studies to those usually pursued. In other its particulars considerable discussion.
words we need for the attainment of the highThere is needed such a modification of our est object of the District School, that the course general system of Public Instruction, by means of instruction therein should be more thorougly of a supplementary act, as shall adapt it to ex- practical in its character-fitting those who go isting wants in our large towns and villages, out from such school, so far as may be, for the and the more thickly populated rural districts. callings and employments of active life. To Only with much difficulty can the provisions of this end I would be pleased to see added to the the present law be made available in effecting list of studies which the law specifies as esssenthe required change. The full benefits of a tial to be tanght in our Common Schools--that more thorough and efficient system of organiz- of Natural History, embracing at least the eleation and discipline are now secured only by ments of Botany, Zoology and Geology. special act. Only the common district school If the study of Natural History were introis recognized distinctly by our present system duced into our schools, it could not fail. I think, and law. Something above and beyond this is of becoming “one of the most grateful and imperiously demanded by the educational needs efficient of the formative powers in education." of hundreds of localities in our State. Union It affords an excellent discipline for the intelSchools can, indeed, be organized under the lectual, and leads “the human mind to adorapresent law,--but only, as I said, with great tion, trust and love." It is of great practical difficulty. We need, then, such special provis- utility, and is of essential advantage to the ions as that while the general system shall re- farmer, dairyman and gardener in particular. main operative as'now where it best adapts it- It promotes health and cheerfulness-frees self to the existing condition of things, the lo- the mind from the dread and apprehension of calities referred to, may, if they shall so elect, supernatural power — brings the moral afenjoy the advantages of a well devised system fections into communion with the harmonies
of nature aud opens new sources of the purest results of the improved system of supervision, happiness.
conduces powerfully to the welfare and prosA most interesting communicatin from Prof. perity of the schools, as evidenced by trial in II. S. Baird of the Smithsonian Institution, on the state of New York. (see comunication of the Importance and method of introducing the II»n. Il. S. Randall on this subject, accompany-, study of Natural llistory into public schools, ing this resport.) will be found under the head of correspondence The number of able professional Teachers to which attention is respectfully called. need- to be largely augmented. I name this
We neod a more thorough and efficient su- for the purpose of calling the attention of the pervision of the public schools, than in general Legislature to the importance of making procan be had under the present system. I am vision for the proper education of teachers in not prepared to say, that at present, it would the theory and practice of their calling. The be best to abolish the office of town superinten- want in this direction has in part been met by dent, and substitute therefor that of county su- i thoughtful and wire proviion of the board of perintendent, or tnat a town board of exum- recents of the State University. I allude to the iners should be charged with the duty of super-establishment of a Normal Department and the vision. Still it is apparent, that generally, appointment of an able professor therein. For with only here and there an exception, either further information you are respectfully referbecause of incompetency, or want of sufficient red to the accompanying communication faom pecuniary compensation or lack of interest, the Chancellor Lathrop, whose views meet with my duties of superintendent are unfaithfully per- cordial approbation. formed, and the office comes far short of an- Much can be accomplished in aid of the suitswering the end for which it wig designed. --- able preparation and discipline of teachers, by In very many towns it is next to an impossibil- county institutes, properly organized and conity to find an individual who is in any suitable ducted. In order that we may derive the degree qualified for the successful discharge of greatest benefit from these institutes it is es. the duties of this office. In others, where there sential that some pecuniary aid and encourageis perhaps, no lack of qualified men, the result ment should be granted by the legislature, is the same because of the meagre, stinted com- small sum, say three hundred dollars a year, pensation fixel by law. And where one, who, would enable the Superintendent to employ by clucation and ta-te, is fitted for an intelli- such able assistants as are required to conluct gent and successful performance of the work of with interest and profit the courses of instrucsupervision, is induced to accept the office, he tion in the Institute. Many, no doubt, would is either too poor to make the sacrifice of time cheerfully give both time and labor, assured and money require l of him; or being a prosper- that their expenses would be paid. I would ous business man, and furnished with profitable therefore recommend the passage of a law simiemployment, be gives time only to a hasty and lar to that of Michigan, appropriating annually imperfect discharge of his official duties. A the above sun for the purposes specified. few interested, devoted men, work on without It is an almost universal expression, that the regard to carthly reward, and bear in from the provision of the school law with respect to the scene of their suctive and patient labors, the collection ofdlistriet taxes, is unwise, and ought yellow sheaves with rejoicing.
to be abolished. A return to the former system With the town superintendent alone, we of assessinent and collection is earnestly asked might have a far more effective supervision for, and is hereby recommended. than at present, were we disposed to pay a well The Wisconsin Educational Journal having qualities officer as liberaliy as we pay the man been transferred by its former proprieter to the who saws our wood, or who takes care of our State Teuchers' Association, and as, the Wiscattle. But if we would have this supervision consin Journal of Eluation become the acmost effective, and such as the condition of our credited organ of this department, it is desired schools demand, we must unite, in my opinion, that the Legislature provide for having a copy county or assembly district with the town super- placed in each ami every School District Library intendency. By doing this we shall bring to in the State. Such or similar provision has the important work of supervision, a class of in- been male in New York on behalf of its School telligent, carnest, faithful men. Teachers will Journal with excellent results. In this case the be subjected to a more rigid and practical ex- success of the enterprise greatly depends upon amination, and their ambition powerfuly stimu- the legislative aid, to which reference has been lated to excel in their profession. We would made. I trust the subject will receive, as it furnish, too, a competent lecturer in the person merits, your serious and careful consideration. of each county superintendent, who could talk In obedience to the requirements of an "act familiarly to the people of their educational to provide for the purchase of a certain number wants, and point out how they best may be met of copies of Webster's Unabririged Dictionary, and satisfiei. Controversies that are now set- and for their distribution to the several public
appeal to the state superintendent schools of the State," approved March 21, 1855, would be arranged to the mutual satisfaction I contracted in July last with the publishers of of the parties, and neighborhood contentions said dictionary for three thousand copies thereallayed. Such would be some of the practical of, to be delivered in the city of Milwaukee on
the first Monday of Octoher last, at the price of Payson & Dunton's System of Penmanship. four dollars per copy. The books were receiv. Parker's Juvenile Philosophy. ed accordin: to contract, and so far as mean
1st Lessons in of transportation could be provided, have been
Compendium of “ distributed. (p to this date distribution has been Wright's Analytical Orthography, made as follows:
Northenil's Dictation Exercises. County. No.Copies. County. No. Copies.
Brookfiekis' Composition. Brown, 26 Kenosha,
Word Builder, Columbia, 118 Manitowoc,
Willard's Small IIistory of United States. Dane, 192 Outagamie,
Large Dalze, 195 Racine,
Universal History. Foud da Lac, 137 Sheboygan,
Historical Guide. Jefferson, 135 Wankesha, 127
Davies' Elements of Algebra. Books have been sent as follows, for which no
Geometry. receipts have been received.
Legendres Geometry Winnebago, 95 Layfayette,
Bourdon's Algebra. Walworth, 137 Chippewa,
Surveying. Oeunto 2 Richland,
Descriptive Geometry. Ozaukee, 50 Crawford,
Calculus. Milwaukee, 85 Marquette,
Dictionary of Mathematics. Rock, 134 Waupacca,
Youman's Class Book of Chemistry. Washington, 102 Jackson,
Chart It is proper to state, that, at the date of the | contract, the returns-which were not all in- Hitchcock's Geology. called for a less number than were purchased.
Coe's Drawing Cards, 10 parts. Delays were consequent upon the non-reception
Otis' Drawing Book of Animals, 5 parts.
5 of blank reports, and it was supposed that when
66 Easy Lessons in Lanscapes, 6 parts. full returns were received, the demand would
Warings' Elements of Agricuiture. I fully equal the supply. The annual reports
Green's Primary Botany. from the several counties, give 3,58 t as the num
Class Book of Botany. ber of whole and joint districts in the State,
Fulton & Eastman's Double Entry Book while the act give the number as 2,712. It Keeping: would be well to provide for the distribution of
F. & E.'s Blanks for Double Entry Book books to the balance of the districts, to the ex- Keeping: tent of the supply. Indeed, it is desirable that
Cutter's Anatomy, Physiology and Hygiene.
1st Book of every school in the State, now that the good work has been prosecuted so far, should be pro
Mrs. Cutter's Anatomy Physiology & Hygiene | vided with a copy of the Dictionary.
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. The following Text-Books are rocommended
High School to be used in the Public Schools of the State:
Mitchel's Outline Maps.
The increased and increasing business in this
office renders it necessary that legislative pro2nd
vision be made for furnishing such additional 3rd
assistance as may be required. Attention to 4th
the extensive correspondence of this Department 5th
alone nearly occupies the time of one person.Young Ladies' Reader.
Add to this the duty of deciding numerous cases Elocutionary Chart.
on Appeal, and the recording of decisionsThompson's Table Book.
visitation and inspection on the part of the Mental Arithmetic.
State Superintendent, occupying four or five Slate and Black-board Exercises months of the year-the preparation and disArithmetical Analysis.
tribution of black reports and the recording of Revised Practical Arithmetic. annual returns, together with the preparation Higher Arithmetic.
of the Annual Reports of this department, and Cornell's Primary Geography.
the apportionment of school moneys; and it will Intermediate
be seen, that the esrvices of a clerk for porHigh School Geography and Atlas tions of the year are absolutely demanded.-Ricord's Primary Grammar.
Myself and assistant are now required to labor Clark's New English Grammar.
from fourteen to sixteen hours each day for Welch's Analysis of the English Senterce. the dispatch of the business of the office, and McElligott's Young Analyzer.
will be required so to laboruntil after the apAnalytical Manual.
portionment is made. Quackenboss' 1st Lesson in Composition. I bring this Report to a close, by commend
Advanced Course of Composi- ing the common Schools of the State to the tion and Rhetoric.
fostering care of the Legislature. Whatever is