Address of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of California, Hon. John Swett, Before the State Teachers' Institute, Held in San Francisco, May 7th, 1867

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Towne & Bacon, 1867 - Education - 16 pages
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Page 2 - O THOU great Wrong, that, through the slow-paced years, Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield The scourge that drove the laborer to the field, And turn a stony gaze on human tears, Thy cruel reign is o'er ; Thy bondmen crouch no more In terror at the menace of thine eye ; For He who marks the bounds of guilty power, Long-suffering, hath heard the captive's cry, And touched his shackles at the appointed hour, And lo ! they fall, and he whose limbs...
Page 4 - Then, the average length of the schools was less than six months in the year; now, it is seven and four-tenths months — an average length of schools which is exceeded only by Massachusetts and Nevada, of all the States in the Union. Since then, while the number of census children has increased twenty-six per cent., the average number attending the public schools has increased more than fifty per cent. The stronger hold which the schools have taken on public opinion, the greater skill, earnestness...
Page 4 - Then, we had no State educational journal, and hardly a dozen copies of the school journals of other States entered the Golden Gate ; now, the CALIFORNIA TEACHER has a circulation of 2,700 copies. It reaches every school officer in the State ; it goes into the hands of every teacher, into every school library, and to every newspaper in the State.
Page 2 - And turn a .stony gaze on human tears, Thy cruel reign is o'er ; Thy bondmen crouch no more In terror at the menace of thine eye ; For He who marks the bounds of guilty power, Long-suffering, hath heard the captive's cry, And touched his shackles at the appointed hour, And lo ! they fall, and he whose limbs they galled Stands in his native manhood, disenthralled.
Page 8 - Four years ago there was not a teachers' library in the State, except a few odd volumes in San Francisco. Now, all the large counties have begun a central library, and some of them have quite extensive ones. Four years ago we had public schools, but no organized system of public instruction. Now, we have a Central State Board of Education, with powers more extensive than have ever been given to the State Board of any other State in the Union. But these powers are for systematizing, not for controlling...
Page 15 - I know that the school boys will soon become workers : .that one will command the steamship, and one will become the engineer ; one will be a director of the Central Pacific Railroad, and one will ride over it to take his seat in the Senate of the United States ; one will own the quartz mill ; another will build the machinery, and another still will invent some improved method of working its ores ; one will be the merchant who shall direct the channels of trade ; one will be the president of the...
Page 12 - Hold frequent examinations and exhibitions, for the purpose of bringing the people in direct contact with the school and its influences. Start a subscription to increase the school library. A little money directly from the pockets of the parents will lead to a better appreciation of the value of books. Harass the trustees until they purchase school apparatus, furnish new desks, or build a new school house, if one is needed. If a special tax is necessary, canvass the district for it with the zeal...
Page 9 - ... impracticable teachers and Trustees, suspicious of monopoly, have come to pass. The only losers have been the book publishers and dealers. We have a course of study, established by law, by means of which teachers are enabled to pursue an intelligent system of instruction, in spite of the prejudices of those parents who are too ignorant to comprehend the purpose of a school. We have judicious rules and regulations, established by law, to aid teachers in enforcing discipline and order. In no other...
Page 7 - It was my sanguine hope, for many years, that in this new State teaching might aspire to the dignity of a profession ; that teachers might learn to combine their strength, respect themselves, command the respect of others, and honor their occupation. I have lived already to see the promise of the future. It has been and is my highest ambition to elevate the profession of teaching; for I well know that in no other way can the public schools be made the great educators of the State and the nation....
Page 3 - Since the Institute of 1863, our public schools have been quietly and peacefully revolutionized. In the grand events of national history, in the building of cities, the construction of roads, the settlement of land titles, and the excitement of life incident to a new State, the progress of schools is hardly noticed except by those who are most directly interested in them. Then, we had little to be proud of in our educational...

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