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CITY SCHOOL SYSTEMS.
MAGNITUDE OF THE INTERESTS INVOLVED. Table 14 (pp. 240–303) presents the school statistics of 471 cities containing each 5,000 inbabitants or moro. From an examination of tie headings of the several columns it will be seen that the inquiries sent out by the Bureau included all the particulars that go to the making up of a complete exhibit of the edncational condition. While some of these are of greater general importance than others, yet it is believed that none is absolutely unimportant. The many omissions in the soveral columus show how difficult it is to secure the full information sought. In the number of cities included in the exhibit is massed about one-fifth of the total population, supplying about one-tifth of the total school enrolment of the country, and contributing for school purposes nearly one-tbird of the entire income reported for all public-school purposes. The magnitude of these interests, the independence of the cities in respect to their management, the great variety of conditions which they represent, the gravo, social problems which are involved in their success or failure, impart the utmost innportance to this chapter of the educational record. Moreover, the separation of the facts pertaining to the city systems from the general view of the country is essential to a clear ouderstanding of the work and the requirements of the rural schools. For thiese reasons it is greatly to be desired that the returns from the cities should be complete and explicit. Next to the item, " total population"-which is taken from the census of 1880 avd affords a very unsatisfactory basis for comparative study at the present time—the item of enrolment is most fully given, all ihe cities but one being included in the total (viz, 2,105,418), or 18 per cent of the population in 1880. The enrolment in private schools is reported for 360 cities and increases the total enrolmont to 22 per cent. of the population. The average daily attendance (viz, 1,563,927) is for 354 cities, and the total expendituro (viz, $38,326,641) for 367 cities.
The expenditure for teaching, or for teaching and supervision, which is the largest and most constant item of expense, and therefore of most value for comparative study, is not reported from 55 cities. The following table summarizes the most important particulars relating to school finances, the cities being grouped by geographical sectious.
This summary, it should be observed, simply presents the statistics specified in a convenient form for reference. No satisfactory comparisons can be instituted without reference to populations and total property valuations, itoms not easily obtained.
TABLE 11.-Summary of statistics relating to city-school finances.
TABLE 11.-Summary of statistics relating to city-school finances-Continued.
In the following table an effort has been made to supply data for the comparative study of the chief conditions of the school systems of 55 cities, grouped according to their population and geographical position.
For the lirst group, which includes cities of from 5,000 to 20,000 inhabitants, the ratio of enrolment to the population is most uniform in the North Atlantic and North Central Divisions. In all the geographical sections the greatest variations in the ratio of erolment to population are in the cities having from 20,000 to 80,000 inhabitauts.
The rating of average attendance to enrolment are quito uniform for cities of the samo rank as regards population in each section, the greatest exception to this gen
eral state being in the cities of the North Atlantic Division having from 320,000 to 1,300,000 inhabitants. Here, Philadelpbia presents a ratio so far above the general average as to throw some doubt upon the return. The only other city in which an average attendance equal to 90 per cent. of the enrolment is secured is Sacramento, Cal. The low percentages of average attendance in New York and Brooklyn are a significant reminder of the hitherto unsuccessful efforts to bring the children of the poor and vagrant classes into the schools. Boston makes a creditable showing in ibis respect, and if the figures from Philadelphia are trustworthy, that city would seem to have solved the problem of regularity in school attendance.
The per capita expenditures all seem to vary greatly, not only in the cities of one section as compared with another, but in the cities of the same section. The highest per capita expenditures for supervision and instruction are reported from Oakland, Cal.
TABLE 12.-Comparative school statistics of a number of representative cities, grouped ac
cording to population and geographical position.
from 5,000 to 20,000
inhabitants. North Atlantic Division... Altoona, Pa
Coboes, N. Y
from 20,000 to 80,000
inhabitants. North Atlantic Division... Allegheny, Pa..
Kansas City, Mo
19, 710 19, 416 19, 329 19, 083 17, 350 15, 959 13, 659 12, 749 19, 743 19, 450 18, 063 16, 546 16, 713 16, 513 13, 138 12, 892 17, 577 14, 820 12, 567 5,987
1 81 2 52 1 33 7 75 11 02 4 58 2 72
TABLE 12.-Comparative school statistics of a number of representative cities, &c.—Cont'd
inhabitants. North Atlantic Division... Pittsburgh, Pa.
156, 389 Binttalo, N.Y.
155, 134 Newark, X.J.
Jersey City, N.J.. Sonth Atlantic Division
120, 7:22 Northern Central Division. Cincinnati, Ohio.
255, 139 Cleveland, Ohio 160, 146
Detroit, Mich Southern Contral Division. New Orleans, La.
Louisville, Ky. Western Division.....
Philadelphia, la 847, 170
362, 639 South Atlantic Division ... Baltimore, Md.
332, 313 Northorn Central Division. Chicago, III
St. Louis, Mo. Sonthern Central Division.
350, 518 Western Division....
SUMMARIES OF CITY REPORTS.
Oakland owns 20 school buildiugs and the Chabot observatory, which, with their sites and furniture, are valued at $119,175. The schools are divided into 11 grades, of which 4 form the primary, 4 the grammar, and the remaining 3 the high schools. Special promivence is given to English, and much attention is paid to drawing during the entire course. As a beginning in the direction of manual training, one of tho schools has been provided with a complete carpenter shop, in which classes are being trained as wood workers. Both sexes are tangut together, and 6,770 pupils are enrolled, iucluding 120 in an uugraded evening school. The Chabot observatory is an important aid and incentive to the study of astronomy; it is thoroughly equipped, containing a powerful telescope of 8-inch aperture.
San Francisco school-houses are in a wretched condition; but at last there seems to be a probability that the needed improvements will be made, since the continued efforts of the superintendent in this direction have resulted in the introduction of a specific clause for their provision into the platforms of all the political parties. Carefnl investigation has shown that the majority of the schools are over-graded, and that pupils are advanced beyond their capacity. This is thought to be the result of abolishing anpoal examinations. The course of study was niodified during the year, and kindergarten methods are more extensively employed in the lowest grades. The time required for the completion of the normal-school course was made two years instead of one, at the beginning of 1885–86, by act of the board of education. One grado in the girls' high school receives instruction 1 hour each week in doniestic economy, and much interest is manifested in this novel branch. A coinmercial school is conducted with great success.
San José reports the enrolment in the public schools of 3,000 scholars, an increase of 262 over 1884–85. The number of 612 children of school age has attended private schools only, and 765 have not attended any school during the year.
The evening school, which had been discontinned in 1884, was re-opened during the year, and 190 pupils bave been enrolled. In addition to the usual branches, book-keeping, commercial arithmetic, free-band and mechanical drawing are taught. In December, 1885, the schools of ibis city were awarded a diploma for the excellence of their exbibit of work before the State Teachers' Association. The city bas appropriated $1,100 for the maintenance during the ensuing year of a kindergarten, the merits of which will be thoroughly tested for the first time here. As an experiment, instructiou has been given during the year to some of the pupils in needle-work and wood-carving, and as a result it is proposed to add industrial training to the school course.
The total value of school property, personal and real, owned is $158,500, and the aynnal cost per pupil, based upon nunīber enrolled, is $15,65, or $1.03 less than to previous year.
COLORADO. Aspen schools are primary, intermediate, grammar, and high, requiring, respectively, two, four, three, and two-years study. Each school year is divided into tbree terms of three months each. The rudiments of music and drawing are taught in the lower grades, and book-keeping is embraced in the high-school course.
District No. 2, Denrer, employs only experienced teachers, and as a natural consequence of such a wise policy, excellent schools are the result. The course of ihe graded schools extends over six years. The buildings are all new, and amply provided with arrangements for heating and ventilation. Notable additions have been parlo to the philosophical apparatus of the high school. Special teachers aro employed for music and German.
CONNECTICUT. Bridgeport school registration for 1885–86 has been 349 more than for the previous year, and a corresponding increase in the cost of maintenance is reported. A new school has been opened under 2 teachers, in a rented room, and an average attendance of 90 scholars has already been secured. The sum of $12,000 was appropriated for additions to one of the buildings, and many other improvements of lesser