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quirement in the matter of voting. The amendment was submitted with the object of disfranchising the negroes, but a large proportion of the negroes are favoring it, as an incitant to the education of their race, while the illiterate whites are opposing it, on the grounds that it will take away the franchise from this large class of their own color. Verily, the world does move.
In the September JOURNAL we noted the establishment of a new high school in each of the two chief towns of Napa county. Misfortune seems to have overtaken the school to be located in St. Helena, for the supervisors of the county declared the election for the organization of the school illegal on account of an informality in the election petition in one of the districts that voted to unite with St. Helena. The supervisors refused to levy tax for the support of the school, but the plucky people are in earnest in their determination to have a high school, and they have raised a sufficient sum by subscription to provide for maintaining the school until a new election can be held. A small fee is charged for tuition, but provision is made for free admission of pupils unable to pay.
PROFESSOR E. E. BROWN, of the State University, has made the following announcement, which will be of personal interest to progressive teachers living within several hours' ride of the University :
"The regular University class in the Theory of Education, meeting four times a week, has one of its recitation hours for this term at 10:20 A. M. Saturday. The Saturday recitations are devoted to a summary of the lectures given in the other three recitation hours of the week, and the discussion of special questions in educational theory. Any teachers who can regularly attend these Saturday sessions will be welcomed as visiting members of the class. Ordinarily university matriculation will not be required, nor university credit given for such attendance. School principals who receive this card are respectfully requested to extend the notice to the teachers in their respective schools."
The circular letter to the superintendents and teachers prepared by the committee of the California Council of Education is receiving attention at the institutes. A day set aside for the discussion of the questions contained in the letter is a day profitably spent, provided that a strong local committee has the matter in hand, and a copy of the letter has been placed in the hands of each teacher previous to the meeting of the institute ; and, provided further, that the teachers have read the reports of the Committees of Ten and Fifteen where the whole field is traversed. The results of these discussions, in so far as they may be summed up should be forwarded to Supt. J. W. Linscott, of Santa Cruz, chairman of the California committee, by some one designated by the institute, to be presented as at least a report of progress by the committee, at the Oakland meeting of the State Association, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January next.
The following, taken from a Wisconsin journal, indicates that the provision for institutes in California has some features that our Eastern friends would be glad to incorporate in their own :
“Institutes have been appointed in only nine counties of Wisconsin. This is about one-third the usual number. Several county superintendents who expected to hold institutes are disappointed. This matter of determining when and how much institute work shall be done can never be satisfactorily determined until provision is made for an institute fund in each county, under the exclusive control of the county superintendent."
Since the above quotation was printed the Wisconsin legislature has passed a law similar to our own, by which an institute fund is created in each county by fees to be paid by candidates for examination ; this fund is to be expended by the county superintendent for institute purposes.
This is the institute season proper, and in various parts of the State these annual meetings are now being held. That the great body of earnest teachers finds in these gatherings much that is helpful and inspiring, there can be no question ; but there is in some directions an undercurrent of popular opinion, emphasized occasionally by a discordant note from the teachers' ranks, that the State receives no adequate return for the liberal outlay in support of Teachers' Institutes. We believe that this view is an erroneous one, and that the institute is one of the most potent agencies in lifting the public schools to a higher plane of efficiency and usefulness. However, that the work of these annual conventions can be made a still greater source of inspiration and guidance there is no doubt; and if the older and more experienced teachers, as well as the young and inexperienced, will attend in the spirit of earnestness and lend their hearty sympathy and coöperation to officers, conductors and lecturers, there will be aroused all over this State a professional enthusiasm, an educational quickening, that will be of inestimable benefit to our schools. Trusting that good work, good fellowship, and a high ideal of the mission of the institute may prevail in all, the JOURNAL extends greeting.
SUPERINTENDENT GARLICK, of Alameda county, will convene his institute in Oakland January 2, 3 and 4, during the session of the State Teachers' Association, and the two gatherings will practically be united, as was the case last year when the Santa Cruz Teachers' Institute met with the State Association in Santa Cruz. We look forward to the Oakland meeting with the expectation that it will be the largest and best the Association has yet held. The contiguity of so many of the educational institutions of the State assures the presence of an unusual number of our prominent educators, and the important problems to be discussed by the Association will attract a large attendance of teachers and friends of public education from all parts of the State. This meeting should be a notable one. The place itself with its numerous points of interest near at hand affords pleasant diversion for after-session hours. The presidency of Prof. Earl Barnes gives assurance of a strong program and a session in which the chair will not be held responsible for any lagging or failure to drive straight to the point in view. Teachers should arrange their holiday vacation so as to be there and enjoy it all. Oakland will extend a hearty welcome.
The legislature of Pennylvania has passed an act to prevent the wearing in the public schools of that commonwealth, by any of the teachers thereof, of any dress, insignia, marks or emblems, indicating the fact that such teacher is an adherent or member of any religious order, sect or denomination, and imposing a fine upon the Board of Directors of any public school permitting the same. This act is generally regarded by the leading educators of the State as oue of questionable propriety, while its constitutionality is a doubtful question, with which the courts will be called upon to grapple. The legislature also passed a compulsory school law, the practical results of which will be awaited with interest by the other States in which tentative measures of the same tenor have proved ineffective. An act to withhold the State appropriation from school districts that neglect to keep the essential outhouses in good repair and proper sanitary condition
was also passed. Of the need of this stringent law in relation to decency, every teacher who is familiar with the unspeakable abominations tolerated in many of the schools of the Keystone State must know. A similar law in some other States would also work an improvement in this direction, as may be inferred from the reports of Superintendent Moulder on the condition of twenty-eight out of the sixty-four public school buildings in San Francisco.
The Del Norte county teachers' institute, held Sept. 24-26 inclusive, was an illustration of the capability of the teachers of the State. There are only eighteen regularly employed teachers in the county : five men, thirteen women. Three or four unemployed teachers in the county attended and participated in the discussions, the impression being that it is the duty of all the teachers in the county to attend, the fact of non-employment being accidental. The little company was equal to every demand. There was Granville F. Foster, principal of the county high school at Crescent City, to present his department of the work, and by scholarly lecture incite the young teacher to higher attainment, and invite the general public to higher levels of thought. Under the stimulus of his presence a Chautauqua circle has been organized in the town, for the promotion of intellectual fellowship during the winter that emphasizes a geographical isolation. In this work his assistant, Mrs. E. M. Lipowitz, will be a worthy coadjutor. Mr. S. C. Garrison, principal of the grammar school, whose work in Santa Clara and Marin counties will be recalled by many readers of the JOURNAL, promises to give a wise and salutary administration, and prove a strong factor in the social and intellectual life of the little community. D. W. Finch, of Smith River, type of the more permanent village principal in California, tax-payer, living in his own comfortable home, possessing a good stock of common sense, without a fad, but capable of much solid work. Supt. Leishman, a young man, not a teacher, but ambitious to serve his constituents well, and quick to recognize merit in his corps. And so the roll might be called further. Every phase of elementary educa: tion was touched, excursions taken into the field of secondary education, and glimpses given of the greater heights that lie beyond. The day sessions were attended by many of the citizens, chiefly women. In the evenings the hall was filled, the addresses being of a character to interest the general public. It was voted to have an annual insti. tute. The Superintendent, in view of the situation, will probably incline to a biennial meeting, although favoring a session next year. That such a meeting is valuable, especially to a community so situated, is above cavil. Helpful indirectly through the healthful impulse given to the teachers; helpful directly to the community, by association with the teachers and the instruction and inspiration of the addresses enjoyed.
One of the problems affecting directly every professional teacher in our State does not seem to have received that attention which its importance demands, and we are unable to account for the indifference shown by institutes, and other associations of teachers, in ignoring it almost entirely. We refer to the problem growing out of the keen competition-rather, let us say, the wild struggle, for positions in our public schools. Able and experienced teachers, as well as tyros in the ranks, report that the scramble for place is baving a demoralizing effect upon the standing of the teacher in general, and presents a most discouraging outlook for those who expect to make teaching a livelihood. The conditions as they appear in every county in our State show that too many persons have been granted licenses to teach, and it is evident that the solution of the problems as to how our professional teachers are to make a living, and how to prevent the lowering of the standard of the profession, depends upon an advance in the requirements for a teacher's certificate. Other States, zealous in the work of making the public school system as good as possible, have recognized the necessity of demanding a higher grade of ability for admission to the teachers' ranks, but in California it is practically easier to-day to secure credentials to teach than it was some years ago. Our State Normal schools, it is true, have strengthened their courses of study, and a wonderful stimulus to professsional training has been received from the State University; but, nevertheless, while these influences have been at work to raise the standard among the best classes in the teaching profession in the State, little has been done to exclude from the schools those who do not possess the special talents and attainments which should be the essential qualifications of the teacher. As a veteran teacher put the matter, "Almost anybody can teach school now."
It is evident that if our public schools are to be raised to a higher efficiency, if teaching is to be recognized as a dignified vocation, and if the impulse and inspiration of those who by energy and self