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The Virginia Sehool Journal .



No. 2.


all arrearage.

J. A. McQILVRAY, Editor.

DEPARTMENT OF The Department of Su

perintendence of the NaTerms, $1.00 a year (10 numbers) in advance.


tional Educational AssoSingle copy, 15 cents.

ciation will meet in ChiThe Journal is published at Richmond the first of each month ex

N. E. A.

cago, February 27th, 28th, cept July and August. The annual volume begins in January. New

and March 1st. Prelimi subscriptions may begin with any month and the subscriber will receive the ten numbers following.

nary programs for advance issue are now in

press. The usual rate of one fare and a third has Remitttances should be made by Money Order, Registered Letter, Express Order, Draft, or Check, payable to the order of THE VIR

been secured from all passenger associations in the GINIA SCHOOL JOURNAL. Money in letters not registered is at risk United States. Headquarters of the Department of the sender. Any person failing to receive the JOURNAL within rea

will be at the Auditorium Hotel, and meetings sonable time after sending subscription, should give notice of the fact.

will be held in Studebaker Hall. We hope VirThe Journal is sent to subscribers until they order it to be discon- ginia will be represented at this important meeting. tinued and


SchooL LAW Superintendent Southall's When Change of Address is desired, the old address as well as the

recommendation that the new one must be given.

COMMISSION. Legislature authorize the Discontinuances. Subscribers wishing the JOURNAL stopped should

appointment by the Board notify us to that effect; otherwise it is understood that they wish

of Education of a competent commission to revise it to continue.

the school laws of the State is very timely and Address all remittances and communications to

judicious. The edition of the laws now in use THE VIRGINIA SCHOOL JOURNAL,

was prepared in 1892, since which time some P. O. DRAWER 926,

changes have been made in the laws. FurtherRichmond, Va.

more, several statutes have become antiquated,

and should be amended or repealed, and some 1. Better salaries for teachers,

new legislation is needed. The utmost care and prompt payment.

should be be exercised in revising the laws. A 2. A longer school term for chil

commission well acquainted with the practical The

dren, and more effective working of school systems would doubtless imteaching.

prove the law in many particulars. If the LegisVirginia 3. Life diplomas, issued by the lature now in session should authorize the selecState and worthily won.

tion of such a commission, a new code could be School 4. A deliverance from anu ual ex- prepared in time to be submitted to the Legislaaminations, after


ture two years hence. We hope Dr. Southall's Journal

tency has been once estab- suggestion will be adopted, and that the proposed lished.

new code will meet with the hearty approval of Stands

5. A Teachers' Reading Circle, the Legislature. For with no fees attachel.

In 1888 a joint committee of school officers and 6. A Virginia Chautauqua, with members of the General Assembly prepared and a permanent home.

presented for adoption a'new school code, but the 7. Closer supervision, with sala- bill was pigeonholed and the work of the comries that justify it.

mittee was lost. There is urgent need for immeWe would be glad to receive from our readers diate action in this important matter. The school statements of views on any of the above subjects. system is the chief interest of the State, and the

Legislature cannot afford to be indifferent to its Be brief and to the point.


THE SOUTHERN The meeting of the South- one, for most of us are unconsciously inclined to

ern Educational Association spend too much valuable time in the eftort to EDUCATIONAL at Memphis on December com pass thoroughness on the part of pupils.

27th was an eminently sucASSOCIATION. cessful one, more than seven We give in this issue of the JOURNAL an account

hundred delegates, represent- of Lynchburg's Art Loan Exhibition. The exing the entire South, being present, as well as a ample of the progressive and able Superintendent number of Northern educators. Virginia's Su- of the Lynchburg schools, Mr. E. C. Glass, in perintendent, Dr. Joseph W. Southall, was una

providing his schools with a library, is one that voidably absent. Our State was, however, ably

may well be emulated by other superintendents represented by many prominent educators, among in our State. It is a verification of the old prorwhom were Dr. W. W. Smith, of Randolph- erb, “ Where there's a will there's a way.” Macon College; Miss Celestia Parrish, of Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and Mr. B. F.

RUFFNER SCHOOL In compliance with a request Johnson, of Richmond, all of whom made ad

from us, Hon. George C. dress es, which added to their own reputation as

No. 1. Round, clerk of the Manassas educators and to the honor of their State.

School Board, has sent us a DR. JORDAN'S Dr. Junius Jordan, in his very interesting account of the dedication of Ruff

ner School No. 1 of Manassas, which we publish welcoming address, spoke elo

in this issue. Ile has also forwarded a letter sent ADDRESS. quently of the great race prob- by Dr. Ruffner to be read at the dedication in lem, which the teachers of the

which the father of the Virginia schools gives South, more than any other class, have it in their

his tinal advice to the educators of Virginia, and power to help in solving. This subject is brought which we should like to have every teacher and forward in a circular addressed to the teachers of school officer in the State, read and take to heart. Southern States, and prepared by a committee

Like all the utterances of Dr. Ruffner, it is well appointed by the New Orleans Conference of the

worthy of careful consideration, and is peculiarly Southern Educational Association.

60 in this instance, since he declares it to be his

last “testimony in behalf of our public school DR. HARRIS'S We have had occasion more system.” This letter will be found in another

than once in these columns to department of this issue of the JOURNAL. We ADDRESS.

congratulate ourselves, and all shall give our readers in the March JOURNAL some

engaged in educational pursuits other papers read at the dedication, including a throughout our land, on having at our head a man clearly stated and thoughtful paper by Mrs. Fanof such profound intelligence, of such broad and nie B. Metz, Principal of Manassas Institute. far-seeing wisdom, as our Commissioner of Elu- It will be remembered that this is the school to cation, Dr. W. T. Harris. Nowhere has he shown which Mr. Andrew Carnegie gave $1,000 for a in a greater degree this penetrating knowledge library on condition that another story should be of the true and broad relations of things than in added to the new building to accommodate the his address before the Memphis meeting.

books. Accordingly the third story of the buildThe contribution that he makes to the subject ing is reserved for the Carnegie Public Library. of child study by directing the teacher to the danger that lurks in a too great desire for thor- It is encouraging to note the efforts making by oughness in the pupil is one that is much needed. those in charge of the education of our youth to He justly says that there is great temptation to give the children the great advantages to be dethe teacher to keep her pupils on her own subject rived from a library. Let us hear what other under the plea of making them thorough, long schools are doing in this direction. after the time when development is arrested and they have become listless and mechanical in their


The bill to appropriate $5,000 habits of study. When the will power and sari

for the education of young women ous faculties of the mind are no longer called into THE EDUCATION in the State Normal School shows action, and the study becomes, by repeated acts

an awakening of the people to the of the will, simply a habit, mental development OF WOMEN. fact that the State is making an ceases, habit does most of the work, and the study

unjust discrimination between her is no longer educative. The caution that Dr.

young men and young women students. Why Harris gives to teachers in bis advice is a timely should the man who has sons be able to get them



educated in this State at the public cost, while his approved February 28, 1898, is a substitute for subneighbor, who has daughters, must educate them section second, section 23, page 43 of the School at his own expense, and if he wishes them to have Laws. the advantages of a university must send them out An act to amend and re-enact subsection second of of the State ? We fail to see the justice of this section 1466 of the Code of Virginia, in relation to the condition of affairs, and believe the time is not

duties of boards of school trustees.-1. Be it enacted far distant when all our higher institutions of by the general assembly of Virginia, That sub

section second of section 1466 of the Code of Virlearning will offer equal advantages to both sexes. ginia, in relation to the duties of boards of school Speed the day, and when it comes, we shall won- trustees, be amended and re-enacted so as to read der that it could ever have been otherwise.

as follows:

Subsection second. To employ teachers and to

dismiss them when delinquent, inefficient, or in PRESIDENCY Mr. Dudley R. Cowles has re

anywise unworthy of the position: provided, how

ever, that the authority hereby given shall be subsigned the principalship of the ject to appeal to the board of reterence provided Hampton Graded School, and by section 1487 of the Code of Virginia. --Acts of

has accepted a position in New Assembly, 1897—'98, chapter 559. STATE LEAGUE. York city. As president of the Following is the law creating the board of referTeachers' League Mr. Cowles was doing a great ence (section 1487 of the Code; section 45 of the work for the schools of the State, and his with- School Laws) : drawal will occasion keen regret to all who have

The board of school trustees shall provide suitobserved the success attending his efforts. From able school houses, with proper furniture and apa letter received from him we make the following pliances, in every school district; and to that end extracts :

may hire, purchase or build such houses, accord

ing to the exigencies of the district and the means I wish to thank the teachers of Virginia at their disposal: provided, that any five heads for the cordial manner in which they have sup- of families belonging to the district, who may ported me in my work; and I assure them that it feel aggrieved by the action of the district board is with deep regret that I separate myself from in fixing the location of a school house on a parsuch a noble band of workers. I hope that in the ticular spot, or in discontinuing a school, which future they will continue to show the same zeal they may have established by employing and that bas characterized their work for the past year. paying a teacher in any house they may have

A strong League is essential to the protection purchased, hired or occupied free of rent for the of the teaching profession and the continued

purposes of said school, shall be allowed to appea! growth of the public school system. I hope the from such action to a special board of reference, teachers will stand firmly together, and before an- to be composed of the county superintendent, as other session passes there will be a League in president, and any two trustees whom he may every county of Virginia.

associate with him from any other district in the I have the pleasure of reporting the League in county, except that of the district concerned ; land a most excellent condition. There has been a

on the written request of heads of families aforemost decided increase in its organization within said, addressed to the county superintendent, it the last three months.

shall be the duty of that officer, without unnecesI have written to Miss Parrish, Lynchburg, Va., sary delay, to call a meeting of the board of refrequesting her to act as president during my un- erence, at or near the disputed place or places, expired term. With such culture and learning giving due notice to all parties concerned. And as is possessed by Miss Parrish brought to the if, at the time and place appointed, the board of presidency, I feel sure of the permanent success réference be present, it shall proceed to both sides of the League.

of the case, to examine in person all competing Mr. Cowles displayed great wisdom in selecting locations, and to decide where the schoolhouse in Miss Parrish as his successor. The League will

question shall stand; or whether the school in

question shall be continued as a public free school; be safe in her hands.

which decision shall be final.
This board shall have jurisdiction over all ques-

tions which may be presented for its consideraTALKS ON SCHOOL LAW AND tion, by similar appeal, concerning the action of

the district board in respect to any subject over SCHOOL MANAGEMENT.

which the district board has power. Any action taken by this board of reference shall be duly re

corded in the record book of the district board (Continued from January JOURNAL.)

whose action is reviewed, and also in the book of Employment of Teachers-- Boards of Reference.- the county superintendent of schools. II.—The Legislature at its session of 1897–98 set It will be observed that this law does not apply at rest all doubt as to the jurisdiction of a special to cities. The school board of a city is a unit, board of reference in cases of appeal concerning and therefore the Superintendent cannot organize the employment of teachers. The following act a board of reference by “associating with him any


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two trustees from any other district except that of the district concerned,” etc.

It is presumed that "any five heads of families belonging to the district, who may feel aggrieved

Letter From Dr. Wm. H. Ruffner. by the action of the district board” in employing

FINAL TESTIMONY FOR FREE SCHOOLS. a teacher, will file with the County Superintend

LEXINGTON, Va., December 26, 1899. ent their written request before the district board Hon. GEORGE C. ROUND. enters into a written contract with the teacher. My dear Sir, It would give me peculiar pleaThe law, however, does not prescribe the time with- sure to attend the dedication of the enlarged Ruffin which such appeal may be made, and, as con- ner school building, but my age ( now neariy 76 ) tracts are made subject to existing laws, no teacher and my intirmities forbid. This school has long is secure in her position unless and until a board been an object of interest to me, and its present of reference has passed upon her appointment. enlargement excites my warm sympathy. It is a [Under the law, district boards are required to enter credit to all concerned ; and I do not doubt that into written contracts with teachers before they Mr. Round, who to my knowledge has been enter upon the discharge of their duties.]

working with intelligent zeal in the cause of eduThe law is specific as to the procedure in ap- cation for thirty years, has done his full share in peals concerning the location of a schoolhouse or this new enterprise. I am glad that that princely the discontinuance of a school. But the method Scotchman, Andrew Carnegie, has turned his beof procedure in appeals in regard to the employ- nevolent eye upon our Southernland where help ment of teachers is not set out. This omission is so much needed. has occasioned much misunderstanding as to the Your addition of the high school course has powers and duties of a board of reference in such great importance from the fact that our edua case, and perplexed both local school officers and cational system is weakest in the secondary the Central Office.

branches. The more distinctive and independent Some of the difficulties have been pretty well

you can make the high school the better. But I settled by practice in such cases :

would not be understood as making light of the 1st. The tive heads of families who feel aggrieved should be patrons of the school, or should

lower grades, which are in fact the most imporpledge themselves to become patrons of the school. tant, not only because they reach the greatest

2nd. The “written request” to the County Su- number, but because their studies are the root perintendent for the appointment of a board of from which all subsequent studies grow; and reference should set forth the specific reasons for they are the instruments used in giving character preferring the request—the reasons why the parties feel aggrieved.

to the mental development at the most formative 3rd. Each one of the five heads of families period of life. The most skillful teachers should should sign the “written request” in proper person. have charge of the youngest children and the

4th. After satisfying himself that the foregoing most elementary branches. conditions have been complied with, the County But with such officers and teachers as you have, Superivtendent should associate with him "two trustees from any other district in the county ex

backed by an intelligent public sentiment, I doubt cept that of the district concerned,” fix the time not you will have a school conducted on the best and the place of meeting of the board of refer- principles and methods. To such teaching the ence, notify all parties in interest, and furnish the children will respond joyfully. They have a cravdistrict board whose action is to be reviewed, and ing for knowledge, which is more insatiable than also the teacher involved, a copy of the reasons given by the complainants for asking an appeal. it is in after life. They appreciate the true, the

5th. The province of a board of reference is to beautiful and the good. They only ask the teachdetermine whether the action of the district board

er to make them understand what they are exin the appointment of a teacher shall stand or be set aside. Should the board of reference decide pected to learn. A boy may wear the dunce cap to set aside the action of the district board, the and yet have the best mind in the school. What appointment of the teacher is thereby annulled he wants is good teaching or else the spirit that and the contract cancelled. Here the power of Stonewall Jackson had throughout his school the board of reference is exhausted. It has no au

course, which led him to refuse to enter upon a thority to appoint a teacher. That authority belongs exclusively to the district board. Therefore,

new lesson until he had understood the previous if a board of reference sets aside the action of a The remedy for all the evils of the schooldistrict board, this action creates a vacancy and room is a plenty of good teachers. But you hear the district board should proceed to fill it by the enough ou these points. I want to say something appointment of another teacher. Of course, if a a board of reference approves the action of a district iu respect to a more fundamental difficulty. . board, the appointment stands.

Mrs. Randolph, in her famous “ Cookery


Book,” under the head of “How to Cook a


work among

Hare,” says, “ first catch the hare !” So, the first than to see the desolate looking, unpainted, gapthing to be done with the children is to bring ing door and rail-propped shutters, which are not them to school! During the last school year the unfrequently exhibited along our public roads, average daily attendance was less than one-third aud, per contra, there is no influence that primarof the school population of the State. And what ily commands respect, or more attracts the chilis worse—indeed, alarming—is that the attend- dren, than hospitable looking schoolhouses and ance upon the public schools has not increased in grounds with nothing to offend the most refined the last five years! Hence, relatively, it is annu- taste; all of which is entirely practicable in every ally diminishing; the population of the State be- community. ing supposed to increase year by year. This is 3. There needs to be much quiet missionary deplorable, and indicates á lethargic condition among the needy poor, and among the selfwhich is death to all present hopes of a general indulgent or short-sighted parents who appreciate education of the people.

their own present comfort more highly than they This general downward tendency ought cer- do the education of their children. Here is a tainly to arouse the friends of education, who poor widow wholly dependent upon the labor of should search out the causes and apply the reme- her children; there is a bed-ridden father in the dies. We cannot lay the decline upon any de

same distressed condition; and yonder is a family ficiency of school funds; they have been liberal that might spare their children, but cannot clothe from the first, and have been increased from one then decently. A compulsory law will not meet million, in the early years of the system, to two such cases as these. Will not their neighbors, for millions last year, and might be so manayed as to Christ's sake, look after these people ? double their efficiency. Whatever virtue may be As for those parents who could send their in laws compeling parents to educate their chil- children, but do not, mothers who would dren, such laws are out of the question in Virginia rather their daughters should have a buggy than just now. Such laws to have any value must be an education, fathers who would rather the sons the outgrowth of a lively public interest in the should save them the chopping of the wood than cause, aud a strong faith in such laws; neither of know how many teet make a cord; people who which conditions exists at present in Virginia. are sometimes too ignorant and stupid to know

What, then, should be done? I will mention better, and sometimes too selfish and mean to be a part. There are certain influences which are just, even to their own children ; even these may slow, but sure, in attracting the children to school. be ir fluenced.

1. I will first mention the familiar subject of 4. All this, and a great deal more of the same improvement of teachers. Here the Legislature sort, is known to those who have worked in the has failed egregiously in understanding the de- cause of popular education. The desire for mands of a school system. But for the Peabody knowledge is in inverse proportion to its possesfund, and the zeal and ability of a few men, chief sion, and there are special causes, poorly underamong whom stands E. C. Glass, pedagogy, with stood, which shake the faith of even intelligent its science and applications, would be almost un- people in the value of universal education. It known to the mass of Virginia teachers. The should be admitted that there may be extravawork of our few normal schools is of great value, gant hopes in regard to the immediate effects of but these instrumentalities can only be compared school education, both lower and higher; methods to a few snall lights shining in a great expanse of and courses of study may be justly criticised; new darkness. At least $100,000 should be added an- and highly diversified systems of teaching and nually to the present small appropriations for the training may be needed; but nothing has shaken improvement of teachers.

or can shake the fundamental principles on which 2. The externals of education must be made is based the argument for popular education by more inviting. Our cities and towns have done

the State. much in this direction, but the country school- The dangers to our school system were known houses are generally poor and badly neglected. It when our school law was framed, and certain does not require large money to build a pleasant provisions were incorporated which were intendlooking schoolhouse, and to take care of it after ed expressly to meet and overcome these evil tenit is built; to furnish it suitably, to enclose and dencies. The army of school officers which has plant its grounds, and by the exercise of a little been scattered over the State, were not intended good taste to give an air of comfort and beauty to be solely or chiefly engaged in a mechanical to the whole establishment. Nothing is more cal- . routine of official duties; they were to be the exculated to bring i school system into contempt pounders of the school law in all its mighty pura


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