Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/49

This page needs to be proofread.



eighteen years and no woman can be employed in any textile factory between six o'clock p. m. and six o'clock a. m.; no child under fourteen years of age can be employed during the hours w'hen the public schools are in session, nor between seven o'clock p. m. and six o'clock a. m. Children under fourteen years, and children over fourteen years and under sixteen years, who cannot read at sight and write legibly simple sentences in the English language, shall be permitted to work on Saturdays between six o'clock a. m. and seven o'clock p. m. only. Transportation facilities have kept pace with the growth of the in- dustries. Two main railroad systems connect with the West, and, by means of the interstate branches, these connect with all the leading industrial cities. One general railroad system with its sub-divisions connects with the South, via New York. The means of transportation by water are no less complete than those by rail, and offer every faciUty to bring coal and other supplies of the world into connection with the various railroad terminals for distribution.

C. Education. — All education in Massachusetts was at first religious. We read of the estabUshment in 1636 of Harvard College, "lest an illiterate ministry might be left to the churches' ' , and ' ' to provide for the instruction of the people in piety, morality, and learn- ing." The union of Church and State was accepted, and the General Court agreed to give 400 pounds to- wards the establishment of the college. Six years later it was resolved, "taking into consideration the great neglect of many parents and guardians in train- ing up their children in learning and labor and other emplojonent which may be profitable to the Common- wealth . . . that chosen men in every town are to redress this evil, are to have power to take account of parents, masters, and of their children, especially of their ability to read and understand the principles of religion and the capital laws of the country". Tills was the origin of compulsory education in Massa- chusetts. In 1647 every town was ordered, under penalty of a fine, to build and support a school for the double purpose of religious instruction and of citizen- ship; every large town of one hundred families to build a grammar school to fit the youths for the university. Thus was established the common free school. The union of Church and State was as pronounced in education as in civic affairs. AMien the grants from the legislature — colonial, provincial, and state — failed to meet the expenses of salaries and maintenance, lotteries were employed. The last grant to Harvard College from the public treasury was in 1814. Con- gregationalism had controlled education and legisla- tion, and the corporation of Harvard College was limited to state officials and a specified number of Con- gregational clergymen. It was not until 1843 that other than Congregationalists were eligible for elec- tion as overseers of the college.

The original system of state education, as outlined above, was uninterrupted until the close of the Revo- lution. The burdens of the war, with its poverty and taxation, reduced the "grammar school" to a very low standard. Men of ability found a more lucrative occupation than teaching. Private schools sprang into existence about this time, and the legacies of Dummer, Phillips, Williston, and others made their foundations the preparatory schools for Harvard. In 1789 the legislature passed an act substituting six months for the constant instruction provided for towns of fifty families; and the law required a gram- mar-teacher of determined qualifications for towns of 200 families, instead of the similar requirements for all towns of half that population. In 1707 the Legisla- ture formally adopted all the incori'orated academn's as public state schools, and thus denoniinalional edu- cation almost entirely replaced thi' grammar schools founded in ltj47. The act of 17.S9 was repealed in 1824. This aided greatly the private denominational

schools and gave to them a false and fictitious social, intellectual, and moral standing. The American In- stitute of Instruction was formed in 1830 at Boston as a protest against the low standard of teacliing in the public schools. Three years prior to this (1827) the Legislature had established the State Board of Educa- tion, which remained unchanged in form until 1909. That same year was made historic by the Legislature voting to make it unlawful to use the common schools, or to teach anything in the schools, in order to turn the children to a belief in any particular sect. This was the first show of strength Unitarianism had mani- fested in Massachu.setts, and it has retained its con- trol of the educational policy of the state since that date. In 1835 the civil authorities at Lowell author- ized the establishment of separate Catholic schools with Catholic teachers and with all text-books subject to the pastor's approval. The municipality paid all the expenses except the rent of rooms. This experi- ment was a great success. The general wave of reli- gious fanaticism, which swept the country a few years later, was responsible for the acceptance of the refer- endum vote of 21 May, 1855, which adopted the con- stitutional amendment that "all moneys thus raised by taxation in towns, or appropriated by the state, shall never be appropriated to any religious sect for the maintenance exclusively of its own schools ". The Civil War resulted in a saner view of many questions which had been blurred by passion and prejudice, and in 1862 (and again in 1880) the statute law was modi- fied so that " Bible reading is required, but without written note or oral comment ; a pupil is exempt from taking part in any such exercise if his parent or guar- dian so wishes ; any version is allowed, and no commit- tee may purchase or order to be used in any public school books calculated to favor the tenets of any par- ticular sect of Christians." — This, in brief, is the pro- cess by which the secularization of the public schools came about, a complete repudiation of the law of 1642.

Massachusetts has ten state normal schools with over 2000 pupils and a corps of 130 teachers. In the 17,566 public schools there are 524,319 pupils with an average attendance of 92 per cent. The proportion of teachers is 1281 male and 13,497 female. The total support of the pulilic schools amounts amiually to $14,697,774. There are forty-two academies with an enrolment of over 6000 pupils, and 344 private schools with a registration of 91,772. The local annual tax for school support per child between the ages of five to fifteen years is .$26. The total valuation of all schools in Massachu.setts is $3,512,557,604. There are within the state eighteen colleges or universities, six of them devoted to the education of women only. Massachu- setts has also eight schools of theology, three law schools, four medical schools, two dental schools, one school of pharmacy, and three textile schools. The only colleges in Massachusetts (except textile schools) receiving state or federal subsidies are the State Agri- cultural Colleges and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the latter receiving lioth. The number of public Ubraries in Massachu.setts exceeds that of any other state. The Ust includes 2586 Ubraries with 10,- 810,974 volumes valued at .$12,657,757. There are 623 reading rooms, of which 301 are free. There are thirty schools for the dependent and the afflicted.

The growth of the Catholic schools lias been nota- ble. Besides Holy Cross College at Worcester, and Boston College at Boston, there are in the diocese of Boston seventy-nine grammar schools and twenty- six high .schools with a teaching staff of 1075 persons and an enrolment of .52,1 12. This represents an in- vestment of more than $2,700,000, a yearly interest of $135,000. More than .a third of the pari.shes in this diocese now maintain parochial .schools. In the Dio- cese of Kail River there are over 12,000 pupils in 28 parochial schools, besides ji commercial school with