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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

[graphic]

Oregon Educational Exhibit at the Columbian Exposition, 1893.

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

MOTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

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-- - The Oregon exhibit presents a very neat and tasteful appearance, and contains a great variety of school work of all grades. Two Universities the State University at Eugene and the Willamette at Salem and the Agriculural College at Corvallis, are represented. The Portland High School is well represented. It boasts of the finest building in the country, and with the exception of that at Duluth, the most expensive. Portland has had a remarkable growth, and now claims a population of one hundred thousand. It has a school population of about twenty thousand, and employs more than two hundred teachers. It annual expense for the support of these schools reaches about three hundred thousand dollars, while its school property is valued at nearly a million. The Portland schools exhibit as fine drawing and penmanship as any in the country. Much slate-work of lower grades is photographed, and shows an excellence and uniformity which suggest special training in that line. In addition to Portland all parts of the State are well represented. Special care seems to have been taken with the work from Roseburg, Astoria, Salem, Ashland, Albany, Independence, Dallas, Jacksonville, Lebanon, Medford, McMinnville, Hillsboro, Eugene, Grants Pass, Corvallis, Pendleton, The Dalles, and Union.- American School Board Journal, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

One of the most important features presented to visitors is the magnificent educational exbibit-now fully open and complete - in the Department of Liberal Arts. Nearly all of the States and Territories are creditably represented; particularly are the most distant States well represented, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and of these no exhibit is more attractive than that presented by the State of Oregon. Its specific characteristics are numerous and many of them unique, and at once hold the attention of the passer-by. In the Department of Ornithology there is a magnificent display of all the game birds of Oregon elegantly mounted. There are free-hand and mechanical drawings and photograph work, illustrating all features of public-school work through the several grades. Of the higher institutions of learning the State University, the State Agricultural College, and the Willamette University lead in their exhibits. The entire exhibit is a tribute to the enterprise, skill, and ability of the teachers and schools of the Webfoot State. --The Daily Chicago Inter-Ocean.

CONCLUSION.

In this place it may not be amiss to recall the work done by the Oregon schools during the past in presenting educational exhibits at the National Educational Association held at San Francisco in 1858, Nashville in 1889, St. Paul in 1890, and at the World's Fair held at Paris, France, in 1889.

These several school exhibits were awarded special certificates for excellence and a medal of merit was presented by the French Government in 1889.

Dr. Jay G. Lewis, the able and etlicient General Superintendent of the Oregon Commission, has officialy notified this Department that the Educational Exhibit is entitled to a number of awards and prizes for special excellence in several lines of school work. This result is very satisfactory to all friends of education, and a special source of gratification to all teachers and pupils who contributed to the success of the exhibit. It is encouraging to report that the direct results of our school exhibit, in connection with the other splendid exhibits in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, woman's work, fisheries, and mining, have been to impart a healthy impetus to the interest already expressed in the material progress of Oregon.

EDUCATIONAL REVIEW. The following review of educational reports issued by the Department of Public Instruction was prepared by the editor of the Daily Statesman and published in the very complete and special issue of that paper, printed January 1, 1893. This review is published here to preserve the same for future use at such

time as the complete educational history of Oregon may be written. The review covers a period of twenty years, from January 1, 1873, to January 1, 1893:

"The act detaching the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction from that of Governor, and creating it a separate and distinct office, went into effect by operation of the constitution on January 29, 1873. Prior to the enactment of this law the several counties of the State were practically independent of each other in school affairs. There was really no State school system. The Governor was nominally the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, but, burdened as he necessarily was, with other important daties, he could give no attention to the schools of the State beyond receiving the reports of the County Superintendents and devoting a few lines in his biennial message to the subject of general education.

"The County Superintendents were, in fact, the highest educational officers of the State, each being the head of an independent school system. To compact these separate and distinct county systems into one uniform and orderly State system was the principal object of the act passed by the legislature. Under the then law it became the duty of the Governor to appoint a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Hon. Syl. C. Sympson was appointed the first State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and took charge of his office January 29, 1873. In order to indicate the loose and upsystematic methods of the so-called systems prior to that date, we quote below from Mr. Sympson's report issued for the biennial period closing September 14, 1874:

11. In accordance with the requirements of the law, I have endeavored to collect as full and accurate information as possible concerning the public schools of the State, but I regret to say that the endeavor has not been as successful as I could wish. Owing to the defective character of many of the district reports for both of the last two school years I am unable to furnish complete and trustworthy statistics upon many of the subjects upon which the law requires me to speak. I can only present such information as I have been able to collect, calling attention to the particulars in which it is deficient. It gives me pleasure to be able to report that the present condition of the public schools of the State is as prosperous as could reasonably be expected when we consider the many serious disadvantages under which they labor. Of course, Oregon is not as far advanced in this respect as many of the other States, nor is it surprising that she is not. She has neither the wealth nor the population to enable her to maintain such a flourishing school system as her neighbor, California, possesses. In addition to this it must be borne in mind that our State school fund, commonly called, by a kind of pleasant fiction, irreducible school fund,' has been so negligently and improperly managed that, until quite recently, it has contributed very little toward the support of the public schools of the State, hence the chief resources for the maintenance of these schools have been direct taxation and voluntary subscription.

"The State school fund is now, however, better managed than formerly, and there is reason to hope that for the future it will be irreducible' in fact as well as in name, and that before many years the income deriyed from it will materially increase the resources for the support of our public schools and relieve the people of some of the burdens of taxation. The fact that our population is so small and so widely scattered has been, as already binted, another serious obstacle in the way of the progress of our school system. Even if we had an abundance of wealth it would be impossible for us to maintain really good schools throughout the State, so long as our people live so far apart as they do now. In order to afford facilities to all our citizens for the education of their children, it has been found necessary to subdivide our counties into a large number of thinly settled school districts. And we have thus been compelled to fritter away our resources among a great multitude of small and weak schools. And yet even now, it often happens that some of the inhabitants of a district live three or four miles from the schoolhouse. Clearly it is out of the question to build upstrong withouri-bing schools while this state of affairs

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