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two have always been fulfilled. The last has not been, in my opinion, sufficiently used. This body has not touched the highest point of its usefulness when it has merely furnished opportunity for social contact and for able discussions of the problems connected with school supervision. All that is good and useful, but the effects are neither definite nor pervasive enough. Only once within the past few years has the department risen to this highest point. That was at the Cleveland meeting, when the report of the Committee of Fifteen was rendered and discussed.

Superintendent Greenwood suggested that there should be “a clear deliverance" by the department upon "those subjects that are purely informational and those that are culture studies." There should be at intervals a succession of "clear deliverances " upon topics legitimately connected with the work of supervision. Such declarations, clearly defined, put forth as the well-digested conviction of this body, would be authoritative and would have inestimable value.





At the meeting of the National Teachers' Association held in Harrisburg, Pa., in August, 1865, the superintendents present had several conferences looking to the organization of a national association. A preliminary organization was effected, with Hon. B. G. Northrop, of Massachusetts, chairman, and Hon. L. Van Bokkelen, of Maryland, secretary. It was decided to call a meeting of state and city superintendents in Washington, D. C., the following February for the organization of a national superintendents' association and the consideration of subjects related to school administration. The special purpose of holding the meeting in Washington was to interest Congress in the creation of a national bureau of education, and the writer was appointed to prepare a paper on the subject for the Washington meeting.

The proposed meeting for organization was held in Washington, February 6, 7, and 8, 1866, Hon. B. G. Northrop, chairman, and Hon. L. Van Bokkelen, secretary. The constitution adopted named the organization the National Association of School Superintendents; declared its purpose to be the consideration of subjects related to "school organization and management;" and limited membership in the association to “state, city, and county superintendents of schools" (Proceedings, 1868, p. 40), this provision being subsequently so modified as to make ex-superintendents, who were members when in office, eligible to membership. It provided for the annual election of a president, three vice-presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, and an executive committee of five members.

At this meeting papers were read by Superintendent Charles R. Coburn, Pennsylvania, on "School Statistics;" by Superintendent L. Van

* The amended spellings adopted by the Board of Directors do not appear in this address. [See resolution of Board of Directors, Los Angeles meeting, July 13, 1899.]

Bokkelen, Maryland, on "The Practicability of Greater Uniformity in State School Systems;" by Superintendent C. M. Harrison, New Jersey, on "Defects in Our State School Systems;" by Superintendent Newton Bateman, Illinois, on "Leading Features of a Model State School System;" and by Commissioner E. E. White, Ohio, on "A National Bureau of Education." This last paper was adopted by the association, and a committee, consisting of E. E. White, Newton Bateman, and J. K. Adams, Vermont, was appointed to memorialize Congress on the establishment of a national bureau of education.

The committee prepared a memorial and drafted a bill, and the next day the memorial and bill were introduced in the House of Representatives by General James A. Garfield, of Ohio.

The importance of a national bureau of education had been presented to the National Teachers' Association on several occasions, first in 1859, . and at the Harrisburg meeting it elicited very general interest, the establishment of such a bureau being advocated by President Greene in his inaugural address; by J. P. Wickersham, Pennsylvania, in a paper on "Education and Reconstruction ;" and by Andrew J. Rickoff, of Ohio, in a paper wholly devoted to the subject. Resolutions strongly favoring the movement were passed.

A second meeting of the association was held in Indianapolis, Ind., August 12 and 13, 1866, in connection with the annual meeting of the National Teachers' Association, Hon. B. G. Northrop, president, and Superintendent L. Van Bokkelen, secretary. A paper was presented by Superintendent J. W. Bulkley, Brooklyn, N. Y., on "The Cost of Education per capita in the Different States;" a report by Superintendent Charles R. Coburn, on "State School Statistics," which was referred to a committee of three to report back the next day, when the subject was thoroughly discussed by the most competent experts in the body; and a report by the committee appointed at Washington on the national bureau of education, stating that an approved bill establishing a national department of education had passed the House of Representatives and was pending in the Senate. A committee, consisting of E. E. White, O. Hosford, Michigan, D. Stevenson, Kentucky, J. W. Bulkley, and L. Van Bokkelen, was appointed to bring the House bill to the attention of the Senate and urge its passage. Committees were appointed on state school statistics, city school statistics, and on the relation of education to crime and pauperism.

The third meeting of the association (second annual) was held in Nashville, Tenn., August 17, 1868, in connection with the meeting of the National Teachers' Association, no meeting of the national association being held in 1867. E. E. White was president and L. Van Bokkelen. secretary. The subjects considered at this meeting were: (1) “School Funds How Best Raised, by State or Local Taxation, How Apportioned,

How Disbursed," the subject being introduced by a paper by General John Eaton, state school superintendent of Tennessee; (2) "School Supervision," introduced by Superintendent J. W. Bulkley, Brooklyn, N. Y.; and (3) "School Organization in Townships," introduced by Superintendent D. B. Hagar, Salem, Mass. At the evening session the president delivered an address on "The Family, the Community, and the State in Education." The sessions were attended by members of the legislature of Tennessee and other citizens interested in the organization of school systems.


I have thus given somewhat fully the proceedings of the first three meetings of the association as evidencing concretely its aims as originally organized. The minutes of the subsequent meetings to 1880, and later, show that the time of each meeting was largely devoted to the consideration of practical questions related to school organization and manageLittle effort was made to draw or entertain promiscuous audiences. The very few exceptions were due to a failure of the officers to recognize the main purpose of the association or duly to appreciate the vital problems in school organization and management needing solution. The superintendents met to widen their knowledge and increase their efficiency in school administration. The subjects were not discussed in a series of formal papers, but in a free interchange of views, often in the so-called "round table" manner.

The first seven meetings were held in the reconstruction period, in which nearly half of the states and many cities reorganized their school systems.

In the first twenty years nearly half of the meetings were held in Washington in February or March, the special purpose being first the organization and subsequently the defense and strengthening of the Bureau of Education, and also the securing of national aid to education in the South.

At the Cleveland meeting, in 1870, the National Teachers' Association was reorganized with the title of the National Educational Association. The revised constitution provided for four departments, viz.: School Superintendence, Normal Schools, Elementary Schools, and Higher Instruction, with the provision (Art. III, sec. 2):

Each department may prescribe its own conditions of membership, provided that no person shall be admitted to such membership who is not a member of the general association.

This section was a part of the constitution for twenty-five years.

The National Association of School Superintendents was organized as the Department of School Superintendence, and the only changes in its constitution were in the title (as above) and the condition of membership, only members of the general association being eligible.

The minutes of the meetings from the organization in 1866 to 1890 show that the election of officers took place at the meeting held in

connection with the annual meeting of the general association, and only superintendents and ex-superintendents were elected to office. At the Nashville meeting, in 1889, Professor Woodward, of St. Louis, was nominated for president pro tem., but he properly declined, and Mr. Rickoff was elected; and, if the writer's memory is trustworthy, only those who were eligible to membership, as prescribed in 1866, voted in the election of officers. Since 1890 the department has held its annual meetings in February or March (no meeting being held in 1893), and the officers have been chosen at these meetings.

Since 1890 the meetings of the department have assumed more and more the character of mid-year meetings of the general association, and their programs have increasingly attracted the attendance of persons not directly connected with school administration. Meanwhile important and even vital problems in school management are waiting for solution. It is true that superintendents are interested in nearly all departments of school work, but it is also true that school supervision has its special functions and duties. If the several departments of the National Educational Association are to justify their existence, there must be a closer differentiation of function, and the special problems in each should receive the attention of experts of ability and experience.

In the revision of the constitution of the general association in 1895 the provision relating to membership in the departments (Art. III, sec. 2) was omitted, and under the constitution, as amended, each department has been free to prescribe its own conditions of membership, but only members of the general association have been eligible to office (Art. IV, sec. 4). The amendment adopted by the active members at the Charleston meeting, 1900, provides that only active members shall have the right to vote in the association or its departments.

The Department of Superintendence has full authority under the constitution of the association to limit its membership to superintendents, supervising principals, and other officers directly connected with school administration, and by regulation it may restore the aim and purpose prescribed at the organization of the body. The way is clear for such action if the members of the department deem it advisable. The only limitation is that all members entitled to vote must be active members of the general association.




Medical inspection in the Chicago public schools had local epidemic of diphtheria in the Alcott School.

1 The author of this paper failed to furnish a copy for publication.

its origin in a The principal

reported five cases from that school in two days. I was appealed to for advice, but could do nothing. That condition indicated a necessity for some plan of relief. Just four weeks from that day a system of medical inspection was started in the Chicago schools.

The plan of medical inspection in Chicago is different from that employed in New York or Boston; the teachers there being the channels. by means of which attention of inspectors is called to suspicious cases. In Chicago the teacher is the instrument too, but we have advantage of the rule that when the pupils are out four consecutive days they are excluded until they have been inspected by the proper authorities. Such regulation is necessary, because scarlet fever in a mild form is not easily detected. It becomes extremely desirable to detect milder forms of contagious diseases, because children so infected become bearers of the disease in its more serious forms. We are not accustomed, in Chicago, to admit children upon certificate of the attending physician, because such certificates are utterly valueless.

I do not blame the physicians for giving certificates when one is demanded by the patient, because their livelihood is at stake in many cases. That being the case, they cannot be independent, and will often give a certificate without proper warrant, upon the demand of the patient. In the case of the medical inspector, he can be independent, because he has nothing at stake whether he issues the certificate or not.

I deem it a very great advantage to have the medical inspector directly under the control of the board of education, and not under the control of the board of health. I believe it is much more efficacious when administered by inspectors who are directly responsible to the board of education, since only about one-seventh of the cases of contagious diseases in the public schools are reported by the health department.

One of the difficulties that we meet is in disposing of the pupils who have been absent four days upon their return to school; formerly they were required to report at the principal's office upon their return, and there wait until the arrival of the medical inspector. It often happens that the inspector cannot reach the office until 11 or 12 o'clock. Parents object, and not without reason, to having their children herded together in this way. We meet this objection by sending the pupils to the rooms to which they belong, there to await the arrival of the medical inspector, pupils awaiting inspection to report to him at once.

Another objection which we have to overcome, and which still exists, arises from the opposition of parents to having their children examined by medical inspectors. Most parents fail to understand the object in view; a few, however, appreciate the benefits of the plan and heartily support it. Recently one of the patrons of the schools refused to have his child subjected to the examination of the medical inspector, claiming that the certificate of the family physician, which the child presented,

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