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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/659

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STATE EDUCATION: A NECESSITY.

presented any of the special or general evils so much feared by the honorable gentleman, and which to him seem so threatening in the schools of England. In several of our American cities the system has matured, during a period of some thirty-odd years, from the kindergarten to the university. These schools have produced whatever results the organism of the graded system is calculated to accomplish. The pupils have passed from the lowest grade, in regular order, in large classes, under similar programmes, in a uniform course, supervised by boards of trustees, and taught by instructors rising in literary attainments from grade to grade through the entire series. When the higher grades are reached, the pupils take more and more optional studies, and less and less required. And, as the curriculum widens toward the end of the course, the linguistic and scientific studies yield more and more to the inclination of the parent or the pupil, until the post-graduates of the high-school, as well as of the university, severally fall into chosen specialties, as their tastes and preparation may dictate. The result is all that could be desired. So independent and so varied are the subjects of this uniform, organized system of required and optional studies, and so thorough is the knowledge imparted in the selected fields embraced in its curriculum, that from one city its fame has passed from the Western to the Eastern Hemisphere, and in several important lines of skilled industries and art-culture received the award of superiority at the late Paris Exposition over the schools of the civilized world!

At the expense of a little brevity, let me here make a short quotation from a report of Superintendent Peaslee, of the Cincinnati schools, under date of 1880. He says: "I desire to call the attention of the board to the statement of the National Educational Association at Washington, in February last, by Hon. J. D. Philbrick, U. S. Commissioner to the Paris Exposition, and former Superintendent of the Public Schools of Boston. In speaking of the different school exhibits at Paris, Mr. Philbrick said, * No other exhibits of scholars' work equal to that of Cincinnati was ever made in the known world.' It will be remembered that Mr. Philbrick was also United States Commissioner of Education at Vienna, in 1872, and that he was connected with the educational exhibit of the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. *In this connection,' he says, *it gives me great pleasure to report that I have received, through the United States Commissioner, General R. C. McCormick, a gold-medal diploma and a silver-medal diploma, awarded to the public schools of Cincinnati, by the international jury at the Universal Exposition of 1878 held at Paris. I have had the gratification, also, of receiving from the Royal Industrial Museum at Turin a diploma of membership, as a token of their appreciation of the work of our school exhibit at Paris. As stated in a previous report, Cincinnati enjoys the most complete system of public-school education of any city in the world; for the pupils