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of brick in the erection of magnificent school buildings; let us hope and pray that we shall soon enter upon a moie important era of brain in furnishing each school with a thoroughly educated, well trained teacher.

Perhaps the most encouraging feature connected with the development of the public school system is found in the rapid growth of high schools in the State. The Ohio high school is very largely the growth of the last twentyfive years. A brief comparison of 1897 with 1877 will be gratifying to all friends of higher education. In 1877, the total enrollment in all the township high schools in the State was 1,188; in all other high schools, 26,207. In 1897, the total enrollment in township high schools was 5,268; in all other higli schools, 47,483—an increase in township high schools of over three hundred and forty per cent, and in all others of eighty-one per cent. In this connection it should be stated that a very large part of the very large increase of attendance at township high schools has been within the past six years and is the direct result of the Boxwell Law. This plainly demonstrates the value of this law even if the payment of tuition is not mandatory on the part of boards of education.

While the mere fact of the rapidly increasing attendance of high schools is important in itself as indicating an increasing public interest in higher education, yet the influence of such attendance upon both the elementary schools and colleges is, in my judgment, of even greater importance. The additional information, power, culture and character resulting from the completion of a high school course are well worth the time and effort of the student to secure them, and the expenditure on the part of the State necessary to carry on the work, but the influence which the high school has on the work of the pupils in the

lower grades in furnishing them with an objective point toward which to direct energy and effort, and in thus making necessary

systematic and thorough work in these grades, fully justities the State in establishing and maintaining such schools. In attempting to estimate the value of the high school, this important fact must ever be kept in mind.

As a means of inspiring young people of all classes and conditions with such a love for knowledge that they will seek a college education, the high school is of prime importance. The fact that the attendance of the colleges in Ohio has increased from about nine thousand in 1877 to twenty-eight thousand in 1897— over two hundred per cent-is conclusive proof that the high school is fulfilling its important mission in this particular, and il is gratifying to note that the authorities representing both the public high schools, and the higher institutions of learning are striving each year to come to a better understanding regarding thať vexed problem of their proper relations. In Ohio with her numerous and important colleges and universities, both public and private, this problem presents more than ordinary difficulty, and in our attempt to solve it, we must see to it that all the different interests involved shall be treated with absolute fairness and justice. I have no sympathy whatever with any movement which would sacrifice in the least degree the interests of the smallest institution of learning, public or private, in an attempt to build up a huge educational machine under the name of a State system of education. We must guard just as zealously the rights of the smallest institution as we would those of the largest and most powerful. I am perfectly willing that Ohio should continue to be the object of the ignorant and bigoted criticism of all those who point the finger of scorn at her numerous col

half years.

leges as long as her citizenship, which is the product of an educational sentiment due very largely to these colleges, continues to command the influence in the affairs of the nation which it has for the past fifty years. All honor to the small colleges of Ohio, and may they continue to be in the future as they have been in the past, a mighty influence for good in the educational welfare of the State.

As we have read of the numerous changes taking place in the management of the public schools in the State within the past two months, the question of the insecurity of t'enure of office has presented itself for consideration to many of us. I am happy to state that a very careful investigation into the actual conditions as they have existed in Ohio for the past twenty-five years furnishes much substantial encouragement in this particular. The school commissioner's report for 1897 contains reports from sixty-two cities of different classes, each one of which has a population of five thousand or over. In three of these cities, Elyria, Fremont and Wellsville, there has been no change in the superintendency in a quarter of a century; in ten, Bucyrus, Circleville, Columbus, Massillon, Newark, Piqua, Steubenville, Urbana, Youngstown, and Zanesville, there has been but one change in that period; in eleven, but two changes; in eleven others, three changes; in thirteen, four changes; in six, five changes; in one, seven; in another, eight; and in still another, nine. The average length of term of service in these sixty-two cities is slightly over seven and a half years. To my personal knowledge at least twenty of the changes have resulted either from death, or voluntary resignation to accept a better position. Taking into consideration this fact, and the fact that, in some instances, at least, the good of the schools has demanded the dismissal of inefficient and incompetent superintendents, we readily con

clude that, under ordinary circumstances, the tenure of office of the city superintendent who does his duty, is reasonably secure.

The report for 1897, previously referred to, also contains reports from forty-six towns and villages whose school organization can be traced back through the annual reports for a period of twenty-five years. In two of these, the village of Avondale, now a part of Cincinnati, and Delphos, no change has been made in the superintendency. Four have made but one change, and seven, but two; nine have made three changes; eight, four changes; seven, five changes; four, six changes; three, seven changes; and two, nine changes. The average length of term of service in the fortysix towns and villages is six and one

From twenty to forty of the changes noted have been the result of such efficient work on the part of superintendents that they have been called to better positions at larger salaries, and perhaps an equal number have been retired because of failure to do good work. It will be readily determined from the foregoing statements that, even in the villages and smaller towns, as well as in the cities, the tenure of office of the superintendent is more secure than we have been accustomed to believe. It should also be remembered in this connection that the custom of electing a superintendent for a term of two or three years is now practiced by a majority of the cities, and quite a large number of the villages and towns.

So far as principals anu teachers of the villages, towns, and cities are concerned, it may be safely said that as a rule their tenure of office is even more secure than tnat of superintendents. In fact, I am sometimes almost constrained to believe that in a few instances, especially in our larger cities, there is too much security for either the welfare of the schools, or the growth of the teacher

or principal. There are two sides to this question as to all questions of importance. Tenure of office should always be secure enough to encourage faithfulness and efficiency, but never so secure as to make possible permanency, in spite of laziness, incompetency and inefficiency.

What has just been said on the brighter side of this subject for the encouragemenť of superintendents and teachers, and to the credit of boards of education who represent the people in the management of the schools, must not be construed as an apology for some of the changes in school administration which occur in our State each year as the result of the whims of so-called educational reformers whose imagined criticism of the work of public schools serves only to show their absolute ignorance of every phase of the subject; or for changes made at the dictation of some political boss whose influence is never fele in public education except to debase and degrade it; or for those changes determined by the decree of ecclesiastical bigotry, be it Protestant or Catholic, which assumes to use the public school to further the selfish and un-Christian ends of some particular denomination; or worst of all, those changes which are initiated by a fellow worker who never tries to build up himself except as he tears down another.

The high moral stand taken by the teachers of Ohio is another source of encouragement to us at this time. While it is true that a few modern educators who seem to have only very recently discovered that moral training is the end and aim of all education, are attempting to take to themselves the credit for a so-called new movement in which moral training is given special prominence, yet it is known by every one who has given any attention to the work of the public schools of this State for the past twenty-five years that character build

ing has always been uppermost in the minds of the great majority of the teachers. It is no exaggeration to state that in this all-important work the public school is to-day a factor second in importance to no other. In instilling lessons of obedience, promptness and punctuality, attention to business, industry, truthfulness, honesty, temperance and virtue, the public school is a tremendous power. It will be a happy day for this country when the moral training of the average home becomes as effective as it now is in the average school.

The past furnishes many suggestions which the present will do well to consider carefully. I desire to call especial attention to one which in my judgment is of vital importance—the necessity of awakening and keeping alive a strong public sentiment in favor of the best schools possible. In my judgment the present tendency is to underestimate the importance of this, and to depend too much upon law and system for the betterment of our schools. In the past six years it has been my happy privilege to visit every county in Ohio a number of times and to talk to educational meetings of every conceivable character. Out of that experience comes the deep conviction that all genuine improvement in the public schools must result in a very large measure from a demand on the part of the people for better things. The people of any community can have just as good a school as they want, and they will have as a rule just as poor a school as they will permit. While no one can doubt that efficient laws are an aid, it must be remembered that they are only a means to an end, and that all true and enduring educational progress must have its roots down deep in the hearts of the common people.

In the early history of this association the importance of a healthy public sentiment was especially emphasized. In the report of the executive committee for 1851, the principal objects of the labors of this committee are said to be,

1. To grow up a strong public sentiment

2. To recommend to the towns and cities of the State the adoption of the Union School System.

3. To improve teachers, and elevate the profession of teaching.

We cannot do better to-day than to renew with emphasis our belief in the importance and necessity of the first and third objects just outlined, and to substitute for the second which has been completely realized in the establishment of a graded system of schools in every village, town and city in the State, the recommendation to every township in Ohio that the sub-district schools within it's bounds be placed under such organization and supervision as will insure to country boys and girls equal educational advantages to those now enjoyed in the towns and cities, and then show the sincerity of our actions by helping in the development of the sentiment which will demand the full realization of this object also.

For the past six years an earnest battle has been going on in Ohio for the betterment of the rural schools. The Workman Law, embodying the principle of township organization as opposed to the sub-district idea has been the object of attack in many sections of the State, resulting from a failure to under. stand its purpose or to enforce either its letter or spirit. After forty years of passing resolutions and making requests that such a meausre be enacted, it was discovered that when it was enacted, there was not a sufficiently well developed public sentiment to make it effective. We must understand that resolutions passed by this association or any other are absolutely worthless unless they are backed up by personal effort on the

part of each one to develop a sentiment in support of the measure thus favored. In my judgment this association has no more important duty to perform at present than that of aiding in a practical way

the solution of this rural school problem. An importanť step was taken at the last meeting in the enactment of a resolution requesting the school commissioner to secure for free distribution ten thousand copies of the Report of the Committee of Twelve on Rural Schools. I am happy to state that the requirements of that resolution have been more than meť in the free distribution of fifteen thousand copies of that valuable document. The good work must not stop here. We must follow up this distribution with constant suggestion, exhortation, and agitation if any practical results are to follow. We can do much by aiding in different ways, the township superintendents in their work, which is perhaps the most difficult of performance of any now going on in the State. They merit something more than merely good wishes from their fellow workers in the town and city. They should have the most cordial sympathy and earnest co-operation of every friend of education. I sincerely hope that as a result of united effort we may have in the near future efficient supervision of all our country schools. In my judgment we should direct our energies to the development of a sentiment among the people which will demand the enactment of legislation looking to this end. The amendment of the law at the last session of the General Assembly permitting consolidation of schools in all townships will help to solve the problem in the sparsely settled districts. Experience teaches that as a rule the most efficient supervision of the country schools results from placing two or more townships under the control of one person who devotes all his time to the work. To my mind the enactment

me.

of legislation with this object in view would be a desirable end toward which to direct our united efforts.

Within the past year death has been busy in our ranks and some of our most earnest and consecrated teachers have been called to their reward. W. V. Rood, for so many years principal of the High School of Akron, has finished his work on earth, but the lesson of faithfulness to duty which his earnest life so constantly taught will ever remain with us. M. A. Yarnell's long suffering which he bore so patiently is over, and he is at rest, but his manly, Christian character still lives in its inAuence for good. Hampton Bennett is no more, but many who are still living will be better for the remembrance of his devotion to truth and justice. Although Le Roy D. Brown had to die so far away from the old home, he will never be forgotten by the old friends for whom he did so much. Reuben McMillan-Father McMillan, as he was lovingly called by many—whose spirit has been lingering for so many years upon the shore of the great ocean of eternity, seemingly anxious to forego the pleasures of heaven a little longer in order that he might remain to bless humanity with the influence of his pure character and genial presence, has just been called home. A few weeks ago, I wrote him regarding this meeting, assuring him of the very high regard in which he was held by all, and asking him if he felt able to send me a few lines to be read to the association on this occasion. On June 3, Mrs. McMillan replied that her husband was not able to write, and that she would do so for him. She stated that each year, as the time drew near for the State meeting, Mr. McMillan wished that he could attend, and look once more into the faces of the dear teachers whose friendship had always been so dear to him; that not

withstanding his extreme weakness, he was always cheerful, repeating almost daily, "When all thy mercies, O, my God," etc.

On June 15, I was delighted to receive from Mr. McMillan, himself, a letter of nearly three pages written in his own hand in all probability the last letter he wrote. Omitting a number of persor al references, the letter is as follows: Canfield, June (No date given, prob

ably written June 13, 1898.) My dear Brother Corson:

I was very unwell when your first letter came and my dear wife without consulting me took upon herself the responsibility of answering it. I do not know what she said in her letter, and as she preserved no copy, cannot now tell

I have no doubt she has performed the duty better than I would have done.

I shall be greatly disappointed at not meeting the Association at Putin-Bay once more. I can never repay the debt I owe the Association for what it has done for me during the fortyeight years since I first met with it at Springfield, July, 1850. I went jaded and depressed by the year's work and returned invigorated exceedingly rejuvenated, ready for the next year's work. How can I ever forget the warm welcome given me by Dr. Lord, Lorin Andrews, Barney, Ray, McGuffey, and many others from different parts of the State?

My dear friend, Edwards, of Troy I met there for the first time. No better collection of noble men and women ever associated together for the purpose of regenerating the world. Surely we shall walk together on the other shore. There are many other things I desire to say but cannot say them now. Don't come within twenty miles of Canfield without dropping in to see My dear wife who has stood faithfully by

me.

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