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An examination of the foregoing summaries and their comparison with the statistics of former years, will show a measure of material prosperity and progress, which must be gratifying to all friends of the public schools. It will appear that while the whole number of children listed on the census is a trifle smaller than in 1879, the number enrolled in the public schools during the last two years, the average number belonging, and the average daily attendance, are all largely in excess of those of former years in the history of the

The percentage of nonattendance, those between five and seventeen years of age, who have attended no school during the year, is less than at any time in nine years.

The average time that schools have been maintained is longer than in any preceding years. This is no doubt due, in a measure, to the rigid enforcement of the provisions of Sections 1621 and 1622 of the Political Code.

In counties where the plan has been adopted, as provided in Section 1771, of issuing diplomas of graduation to pupils who complete the full grammar school course of study, it is found that pupils remain longer in school, and are stimulated to better and more thorough work in every way than before. I therefore recommend all County Boards to act in this matter, guaranteeing the most satisfactory results.

After the foregoing was in “proof," the following item in the editorial columns of the New York Journal of Education attracted my attention; and I insert it here as an encouragement to those Superintendents and County Boards of Education who have already availed themselves of the provisions for holding examinations and issuing diplomas of graduation to those who satisfactorily complete the prescribed course of study, and as a stimulus to those who have not yet done so:

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In the State of New York about one million of pupils are yearly under the supervision of the
State in its public schools. Thirty thousand teachers are employed, to whom eight millions of
dollars are annually paid. It would seem that the State is doing a noble work for the children,
but a close examination fails to disclose it; at all events it does not do what it might, could, and
should do, and not increase the expenditure at all. The million of children are summoned
together, and (except in cities) they separate without any testimonial that they have completed
the work assigned them; and worse than this, no set course of study (except in cities) is assigned
to them!
This statement arraigns our school department as inefficient, and so it is. It fails to do for the
student what colleges and academies do lay out a course of study, encourage the pupils to finish
it, and when finished bestow a testimonial to that effect. The Board of Regents, with but $40,000
to spend in overseeing academies, have created a remarkable interest by the issue of their
"Questions." The Regents do justice to the pupils of the academies by these “Questions;"!
they issue a certificate to those who answer them, and the influence of those certificates is exten-
sive and steadily growing. But there are upwards of one million that are excluded from the
city examination and the Regents' examination. Justice to the children of the public schools
demands that examinations be instituted, and diplomas awarded to those who successfully pass

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Were the material prosperity and progress of the schools, as shown by the foregoing facts and

figures, all

that could be reported, the showing, though highly satisfactory, would fall far short of meeting the just and reasonable requirements and expectations of the people and taxpayers, who so liberally and so ungrudgingly furnish the means Emerson said: “The truest test of civilization is not the census, nor

carrying on this work of free public education. The late Mr. the size of cities, nor the crops. No, but the kind of men the country

"The kind of men the country turns out” must depend,

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turns out."

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