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It was urged that these ballots were not marked as required by the statute, but Judge Henshaw remarked that “the statute contemplates, at least inferentially, the making of a square, and that the square is the proper place for the marking of the cross; but it has not made the doing of this a pre-requisite to the casting of a legal ballot." No error in the Superior Court decision in regard to this point was found, but the judgment was reversed because of the conduct of the election.
A ballot from Sawyer's Bar was thrown out because it bore the letter “J” written in pencil in the blank space left for the insertion of the name of the justice of the peace; for though the voter may have intended to write a name and changed his mind, the letter was held to be a distinguishing mark. The voter should have called for a new ticket.
But the defeat of Tebbe turned upon the returns of Lake precinct, where he received twenty votes to Smith's thirteen. The polls here should have been opened at 6:30, but were not until ten o'clock. When the election board went to dinner the ballot-box was taken along and placed upon the hotel table. For this “lack of appreciation of the responsibilities of their position, and looking to the purity of electious, and the integrity of the ballot-box,” the court holding that such conduct amounted in itself to such a failure to observe the sub. stantial requirements of the law as must invalidate the election.
It will be well for school officers and the public generally to bear the points of this decision in mind.
The San Francisco Examiner, in an editorial on the N. E. A. meeting at Denver, finds that but one refreshing and hopeful thing was done. The convention brought to the notice of thousands who would not otherwise have heard it, that in and after 1897 New York State will require from every candidate for a teacher's certificate at least one year's special training in a State Normal School. It observes that this is a ridiculously small requirement compared with the three years' specialization the same State requires of would-be doctors and lawyers, but it is such an advance upon present methods that it deserves to be received with thanksgiving and oblations. It remarks: “In our slow and toilsome national progress to a higher plane of culture, we have almost suppressed the alleged patriot and the Knowltonesque schoolmaster who used to proclaim to unsympathetic foreigners that in our public school system, as in everything else, we led
the nations of the earth. True, we spend more money per head than any other nation, but it is well known now to all experts in education that in results obtained we are far behind Prussia, Saxony and Sweden. The causes for this are two: I. The extraordinarily heterogeneous masses of children with whom our teachers have to deal. Our fatuous persistency in applying to our schools that pernicious spoils system that has done so much to debauch our politics. * * *
* Unlimited immigration and the spoils system, these are the two chief clogs on our public schools. In vain we search the papers read at Denver for a fearless discussion of these evils. The brave pedagogue who shall arise and gird at them next year will deserve well of his fellow-teachers and his country." This is encouraging language. Now if the Examiner will only continue in this strain, pointing out flagrant specific cases when they appear, sparing not, it will do a wholesome and imperative work. Teachers groaning under the stress of the mixed material in hand and suffering under the spoils system, cannot complain to good purpose. In the one case they are readily charged with lack of patriotism and of a sort of cosmopolitan sympathy; in the other, they are sore and soured. The press can help mightily, if instead of encouraging reporters to try their poor wit upon teachers and their conventions, it will address itself to the healthful task of remedying evils under which the whole system suffers.
The business of the celebrated Lick Trust is about to be finally settled. Mr. Lick was the pioneer miller of California, coming here from Pennsylvania. He executed the original deed of trust in 1875, dying in 1876. The original value of the estate was $3.000,000, but the receipts of the trust during the nineteen years have aggregated $5,000,000. The old pioneer fixed his name securely upon California's educational history and in other lines of public benefaction, in the disposition of his fortune. The Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, the free public baths in San Francisco, the Old Ladies' Home, and the California School of Mechanical Arts, described in the leading article in the July number of the JOURNAL, are monuments that speak for him. The Academy of Sciences and the Society of Pioneers, the residuary legatees, will receive about $600,000 each. Thus this great wealth accumulated by a life of toil and economy, and the "unearned increment" accruing, are deliberately turned to public benefit.
CALIFORNIA had reason to be proud of her representation at the Denver meeting. State Superintendent S. T. Black; the professors of Pedagogy in our two Universities, Elmer E. Brown and Earl Barnes, were there, and made their mark in the deliberations; the venerable Le Conte was greeted with affectionate enthusiasm and delivered a strong address; Prof. William Carey Jones, of the State University; Principal E. T. Pierce, of the Los Augeles Normal; VicePrincipal Kleeberger, of San Jose; and Misses Payne and Felker, of the same; Prof. John Dickenson, F. M. McCauley, J. M. Hanna, Mrs. M. E. Gordon, of Los Angeles; Mrs. B. C. Hagerman, San Diego; C. H. Keyes, Pasadena; Carrie B. Palmer, Oakland; C. C. Marshall, Eureka; Mr., Mrs. and Miss Keniston, Stockton; Miss Kate Ball, San Francisco; Minerva Stout, Santa Cruz; W. F. Hall, Vacaville; A. C. Barker, Salinas; Supt. T. J. Kirk, Fresno; Ula Kincaid, Stanford; Ida C. Henry, Hattie N. Kitchell, Miss S. H. Royce, T. Lindlay; and Laura Everett, of Sutter City, representing the JOURNAL. Los Angeles inay not secure the next meeting, but will surely succeed a little later.
Can you read ? This question of the enumerators of the last pational census, addressed to the inbabitants ten years of age and over, is answered in the accompanying diagram. The native-born represent seventy per cent., the foreign-born nineteen per cent., and the colored eleven per cept. The shaded portion represents the proportion of each class who cannot read. The percentage is six for the native-born whites, thirteen for the
foreign-born, and fifty-seven for the colored. When the schoolmaster takes his walk abroad, he knows just where to go to do the most good.
To CLERKS OF School Districts.—The JOURNAL is the official organ of the State Board of Education; and must, according to law, be placed on file in the school library. It is sent to those who stand upon our books as clerks of districts. In case of a change, the person receiving the JOURNAL will please deliver the same to the new clerk, that he may file it in the library.
To COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS.—It is of the utmost importance that we have a correct list of the clerks of school districts, that the JOURNAL may reach its proper destination. Superintendents will please send correct lists as early as possible. Mistakes sometimes occur because we have not been notified of change.
In preparing their institute programs, County Superintendents would do well to bear in mind that there is no more fascinating lecturer on science in the State than Prof. John Dickinson, of University P. O., Los Angeles. We would also call the attention of Superintendents and members of County Boards to the report of the Committee on Course of Study for Elementary Schools, published in the June number of the JOURNAL. The subject-matter should receive special attention at the institute.
In the election of George R. Kleeberger to the principalship of the State Normal School at St. Cloud, Minn., the San Jose Normal loses a strong teacher of extensive acquaintance, and California an institute lecturer of power. The new field will test bis administrative ability.
S. T. BLACK,
Superintendent of Public Instruction Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Important to School Clerks.
It is to be hoped that County Superintendents will see that correct lists of district clerks (including high school district clerks) are furnished at once to the editor of the Official Journal. It not infrequently happens that for a month or two at the beginning of the fiscal year, school libraries do not receive the JOURNAL. This is probably nobody's fault, as it is the busy season with both clerks and Superintendents,-the former with their harvests, and the latter with their annual reports. Again, many new clerks are elected, who are not supplied with copies of the School Law, and they are therefore ignorant of the law in the premo ises. For the benefit of clerks, I herewith quote Sections 1649, 1650, and 1651 of the Political Code, relative to their duties :
"1649. Boards of Trustees must annually, on the first Saturday of July, meet and elect one of their number Clerk of the district; and if a Clerk is not elected at this date, the Superintendent shall appoint.
1650. It is the duty of the Clerk :
First—To call meetings of the Board at the request of two members, and to act as Clerk of the Board, and keep a record of its proceedings, and an accurate account of the receipts and expenditures of school moneys.
Second—To keep his records and accounts open to the inspection of the electors of the district, in suitable books provided by the Board of School Trustees for that purpose.
IV Third-To place the monthly journal designated as the official organ of the Department of Public Instruction in the school district library each month; and if he fails to receive it regularly, to immediately notify the publishers of such fact.
Fourth— To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board.
1651. The Clerk of each district must, under the direction of the Board of Trustees, provide all school supplies authorized by this chapter, keep the school. house in repair during the time school is taught therein, and exercise a general care and supervision over the school premises and school property during the vacations of the school."
When school opens in the fall of the year, all back numbers ought to be sent to the teacher, to be placed in the library. If the new clerk has not received the journal, he may be reasonably sure that his predecessor has it, and can get it by sending for the same.
The present school year promises to be one of more than usual educational activity, and we must all be on the alert to take advantage of the flood-tide of educational prosperity, by relegating quibbles to the background, that we may have the more time to those factors that will bring about progress and greater efficiency.
The Board of Directors of the National Educational Association, by a handsome plurality vote selected Los Angeles as the next place of meeting (July, 1896). It will rest largely with the teachers and school officers of the State whether the selection will be confirmed by the Executive Committee.
SAMUEL T. BLACK,
Superintendent of Public Instruction.