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CHAPTER VIII

The 'revival'

in New Eng

of a general

awakening,

but the effects

of the movement there have been most striking.

LATER DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE

UNITED STATES

Common Schools in New England since the Revival.land was part We may now return to our account of the progress in American public education. The development of common schools that took place in 1835-1860 was not confined to New England. The new ideals of democracy were coming to be felt in American education, and during this period a rapid advance was taking place in the evolution of that unique product, the American common school. The 'revival' in New England has been most emphasized by historians, but the movement was general and did not have its sole source there. The work of Horace Mann and his predecessors and associates was but part of a much wider tendency. A little study reveals the fact that the influence of the awakening was felt in the education of practically every state, and that New England is simply typical of the country at large. It is true, however, that, owing to the decadence which had taken place in the schools of Massachusetts and Connecticut since colonial days, the effects of the awakening have been most profound and striking there. In Massachusetts Horace Mann has been succeeded in the central administration by seven scholarly and experienced educators, who have believed as firmly as he that all stages of education below the college should be open at

chusetts uni

school sup

ings, equipment, high schools, supermal schools, the training of

vision, nor

teachers, and

the organiza

tion of the state system

constantly

and improv

public expense without let or hindrance to the richest and poorest child alike, and that the smallest town should possess as good opportunities as the largest. Since the revival the state has likewise seen a steady growth of sen- In Massatiment for universal education and improved schooling, versal and never again has such an upheaval of the educational education, strata been necessary. The income of the state school port, buildfund and additional appropriations have been steadily increased, their apportionment among the towns has been rendered more equitable from time to time, and an effort has constantly been made to distribute them in such a way as to encourage local effort and cooperation. The school term has been lengthened to ten months and the average attendance of a pupil to seven years. The have been amount of truancy and irregularity has become almost increasing negligible through strictly enforced attendance laws. ing; and the The improvements in school buildings, sanitation, and district sysequipment begun by Mann have steadily advanced. forced out The district system died hard. Mann's official successors all strove tactfully to abolish it, but not until 1882 was it altogether forced out of existence. Most of the academies, which proved such a hindrance to the development of public secondary education, gradually died or were merged in the public system as high schools. By means of state aid, it has been possible since 1903 for the smallest towns to afford a high school training for their children at public expense. Supervision has also become universal during the past quarter century. Springfield first introduced a superintendent of schools in 1841, Gloucester in 1850, Boston in 1851, and the other cities much later, but since 1888, through increasing state aid and the combination of smaller towns into a

tem has been

of existence.

A similar development has taken place in Connecticut, Rhode Is

land, and the other New England states.

district superintendency, expert supervision has become possible everywhere, and during the last decade it has been compulsory. The normal schools, which have now increased to ten, have brought about a striking improvement in teaching. It is practically impossible at present for an untrained teacher to secure a position in the primary, intermediate, or grammar schools of Massachusetts, and, through a system of examinations and investigations, teachers of exceptional ability have, since 1896, been granted an extra weekly allowance by the state. Since the middle of the century, the state board has been permitted to appoint a number of agents, to assist in inspecting and improving the schools, especially in the smaller towns and rural districts.

The course of development since the awakening has been very similar in the other New England states. Barnard was succeeded in the central administration both in Rhode Island and Connecticut by a series of skilled and earnest educators, and, while their reports lacked his literary touch, they were of they were of a rather more practical character. Until 1856, under John D. Philbrick, Barnard's immediate successor, Connecticut made no attempt to return from the parish to the town. organization. Even this, as well as all subsequent legislation on the subject, was 'permissive,' and not until the twentieth century was the 'school society,' or district system, given up in half of the towns. In Rhode Island, even after Barnard's reforms, almost one-third of the districts did not own their school buildings, owing to the survival of the method in use when the schools were private, but this condition has gradually been remedied. Likewise the number of towns levying sufficient local

taxes to secure a share in the state apportionment rapidly grew, and the state appropriation itself doubled and quadrupled within a generation. The odds against the rapid development of public education in the three other New England states were much greater than in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. In Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine the amount of wealth was small, the soil infertile, the population sparse, and large cities few in number. But while effective education could be reached only by slow and cautious steps, it was at last attained. These states have gradually followed the example of the older commonwealths, and centralized their educational administration through the abolition of the district system and the creation at various times of a state superintendent, a state commissioner, or a state board and secretary. This reorganization and renewed educational spirit has resulted in increased state school funds and appropriations, more systematic statistics and reports from the schools, and great advances in universalizing all stages of education at public expense, regularity of attendance, length of school term, material equipment, course and methods, text-books, supervision, and training of teachers.

Influence of the Awakening upon the Middle States.Thus the New England states, responding to the call of Horace Mann, Henry Barnard, and their forerunners, contemporaries, and successors, rose to the enlarged ideals of the time, and therein furnish a typical represen- The enthutation of the democratic process by which the American siasm for pub state moves toward educational reform. But this awakened sentiment for education and progress in the common schools was not peculiar to New England, although the states.

lic education was likewise felt in nearly all the other

New York

had unified

made great

advances in administra

ing, and

effects have been most patent and spectacular there. Nearly all of the other states seem to have exhibited a similar enthusiasm during the period and to have felt the influence of the awakening afterward. In close conjunction with the awakening in New England, the movement appeared in New York, especially the western part, and was more or less evident in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. But because of its cosmopolitanism and the need of fusing so many different political, its people and religious, and industrial traditions, the older parts of New York, where the school system had until the awakening been rather in advance of other states, did not tion and supervision, progress as rapidly in the development of public educanormal train- tion as Massachusetts and Connecticut, with their more school funds; homogeneous population. It had, however, by the time of the Civil War, succeeded in working over its heterogeneous people into a unified civilization and in causing their children to be educated together for a common citizenship. The most distinct advances during this period of final organization were in the administration and supervision of the system, the establishment of state normal schools, in the place of subsidized academies, for training teachers, and in the methods of state support of education. In 1842 county supervision had been provided, but, after a contest of three years, this provision was abolished, and was not restored until 1856, when it took the form of district superintendence. In this latter year school commissioners were established for the supervision of cities and villages. Two years before (1854), the state superintendency had once more been separated from the secretaryship of state, with which it had been combined for thirty-five years. The

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