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child;—more stringent laws for the purpose of enforcing marital responsibility, and the inauguration of a system of government insurance for workingmen in case of accident, sickness, invalidism, and old age, for the purpose of reducing those temptations to neglect of marital duty which arise from want.

Miss Caroline L. Hunt read a paper on “ Public and private industry,” in which she pointed out the great significance to family life of the revival of the handicrafts, and the movement toward centralization in the work of food preparation. The former brings to woman work for hand and brain that can be carried on without interfering with home-making, while the latter gives her leisure in which to become a specialist in her work and to learn its relation to the general social economy.

The members of the Conference adopted resolutions in which they expressed the belief that the time had come when the subjects related to the home should receive larger recognition in the curricula of colleges and universities. In view of the increasing demand for such instruction, and in view of the fact that such instruction is of equal educational value with that in other subjects now included in college courses, they urge that the heads of the higher institutions of learning meet the demand either by introducing new departments or by extending already existing departments, such as those of chemistry, sociology, and economics, in such a way as to make them of more direct benefit in the study of home problems.

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For several months past Mayor Low of New
Mayor Low on
the New York York has made public a series of instructive

and interesting talks” on various departments and phases of the city government. These “talks” have been widely read, when published in the daily newspapers, and that on the public schools, lately issued, is reproduced here in full both for record and that it may reach the readers of the REVIEW in other parts of the country.

Most problems that are simple upon a small scale become difficult if the scale is magnified. In Maine, where I have been in the habit of spending the summer, there is an island containing a population, young and old, of forty persons. Upon this island there is a small schoolhouse. As the population is practically stationary, the school problem was solved on its physical

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side for a long term of years by the erection of this building; on its educational side the appointment of a school-teacher, year by year, is all that needs to be done. When it comes to providing school buildings for five hundred thousand children, however, and an educational system that will produce satisfactory results on so large a scale, the problem becomes immensely difficult-yet nothing has happened, except that the multiplication table has come into play. .

The most striking feature in the school situation, at the moment, is the fact that there are 67,590 children in part-time classes this year; against 58,123 last year. This was at the opening of the school year. There were, however, at the end of September last year, 5068 children, in addition, entirely out of school. This year there are no children out of school who are six years of age and over. It is clear, however, that the increase of sittings has not equaled the growth in the demand. The following figures throw light upon this situation. Just prior to consolidation large appropriations were made in old New York for school buildings, with the result that 15,000 seats were added to the supply in 1898. In Brooklyn, however, this seems not to have been done; with the result that only 400 seats were added to Brooklyn schools in that year.

The bond issues authorized for school purposes by the last Administration were as follows:


None $7,683,640 3.500,000 3,850,000



The actual expenditures made in these years were as follows: 1898

$2,275,583.04 1899

6.360.718.35 1900

5.248.310.34 1901



. $18,362,352.30

The excess is due to money on hand from earlier bond issues.

For 1902 the present Board of Estimate and Apportionment has authorized the issue of bonds for school buildings to the extent of $6,000,000.

The seats added in each year, since consolidation, have been as follows :

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Two inferences are to be drawn from these figures. First, that it takes two years, ordinarily, for bond issues for school buildings to produce their full effect upon the sittings. Thus, the large issue of bonds in 1899 added 29,000 sittings in 1901, while the small issue of bonds in 1900 added only 14,000 sittings in 1902. The second inference is that, since 1898, the school moneys have been fairly divided, as between these two boroughs, on the basis of population; if anything, the division has favored Brooklyn.

The greatest number of part-time classes in Manhattan and the Bronx are on the East Side, in the section of the city bounded by the East River, Catherine Street, the Bowery and Third Avenue, and East Twelfth Street. On examining the statistics of the last five years, the explanation is selfevident. By Mayor Strong's Administration, provision was made for this quarter of the city which resulted in adding, in 1898, 10,750 sittings to the school accommodations there. Since then, the additions of seats in this quarter have been as follows: 1899, none; 1900, 1080 sittings; 1901, 1600 sittings; 1902, 1090 sittings. In other words, very little provision has been made for this part of the city during the past four years.

The present board of education is hoping to add 8000 seats in this section next year, and about 17,000 seats the year after that. As I have said, it takes two years to realize the full effects of large appropriations,

In Brooklyn, on the other hand, the shortage of sittings is much less localized, tho it is most acute in the old Sixteenth Ward. This is partly due to the use, during recent years, of available funds for the erection of school buildings in new sections of the borough, in advance of the need. I cannot escape the conviction, however, that Brooklyn must have been less adequately supplied with schools at the time of the consolidation than the old city of New York; for since 1898 there have been 37,517 sittings added in Brooklyn, against 48,160 in Manhattan and the Bronx. However that may be, the greatest number of children now on half-time is in Brooklyn, and the schools must be placed where the children are. The present board of education is hoping to add, for the whole city, 33,000 sittings in 1903, and 32,000 or more in 1904. Of these 24,000 will be in Brooklyn, and 30,500 in Manhattan and the Bronx.

In this discussion I have not gone into details as to Queens and Richmond, as it seemed to be unnecessary. There is a certain deficiency in parts of Long Island City; but that, also, is being made good.

In administering the funds for new buildings, it is highly important that the board of education give great attention to securing new sites for buildings ahead of the actual need. I do not mean simply in the new parts of the city, where the growth can be foreseen, but also in the crowded parts of the city, where the growth is just as real, altho it is less apparent. When sites can be acquired at private sale, the process is not a long one; but this, unfortunately, is seldom possible. The process of condemning property for a school site, on the other hand, is, at best, slow, and sometimes it takes as long as a year. Altho the board of education was given $6,000,000 for school buildings in the early part of this year, it has found itself utterly helpless promptly to relieve the congestion in Brooklyn, because few sites were at command in the parts of the city where the pressure upon the schools is greatest. The delay involved in acquiring

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new sites means that this pressure cannot be thoroly relieved in less than two years; whereas it might have been largely relieved in one, if the sites had been at command.

This whole subject, it must be confessed, is one of very great difficulty. When the board of education has done its best, it is not always possible to foresee where the growth of population will be. It is also a perplexing feature of the situation that there may be seats enough in the schools as a whole, and yet a very great deficiency in localities, here and there. This is to some extent the situation at the present time. This is due to the fact that the vacant sittings are in buildings so far removed from the centers of congestion as not to be available for their relief. The fact, however, serves to illustrate the statement that the city must provide more sittings than the whole number of school children, in order to have seats enough in all places.

It seems singular that, in Manhattan, the principal deficiency is to be found south of Houston street. This probably signifies that the process of changing old school buildings, which were well enough adapted to the conditions ten years ago, has not kept pace with the very rapid increase in population in that quarter during the last five years. On the lower west side, on the other hand, schools that were at one time overcrowded have now empty seats.

This whole subject is so large and so complicated that it requires the most careful study by the board of education from other points of view as well. It ought to be said that the new board of education has taken one step of great importance in the right direction. Heretofore, principals have ceased registering pupils when the school buildings were full. This year they have been instructed to register—that is, admit-every pupil over six years of age who applied. As many as possible were admitted to full-time classes, and the rest to part-time classes. It must, therefore, be said that this year, for the first time, the board of education knows how many children are not fully provided for. Indeed, as a result of this policy there are now no children known to be out of school who are six years old or over, tho there are many in part-time classes. It is possible, therefore, that the increase in the number of half-time classes is apparent rather than real; that is to say, there may have been more children out of school last year than was known to be the case. A few years of experience under the present method will give valuable information on this head. This system also takes the place of a school census; and gives information as to where schools are needed that is really more trustworthy than the results of a census.

Twenty years ago, when I was Mayor of Brooklyn, there were precisely the same sort of difficulties to be contended with. At that time I urged the board of estimate to decline to make appropriations for high schools until there was room enough at the bottom. That is a remedy not infrequently suggested now. I refer to it because the result of that policy, which was actually adopted for a time, was highly disappointing. Graduations from the highest grammar grades almost entirely ceased, and the orderly movement of children from grade to grade was everywhere checked. Principals all over the city kept their children in the higher grammar grades

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without promoting them, so that they might get the additional instruction which they desired. In other words, this policy ran against an instinct of human nature that has to be taken into account. It was found to be practically impossible to induce teachers to deprive bright students of two or three years of advanced study, that they were competent to take and which their circumstances permitted them to enjoy. By reversing this policy, and building a high school, the normal flow of children thru the public schools was resumed and has never since been checked. The high schools, therefore, in meeting this desire, increase, rather than decrease, the capacity of the schools of the lower grades. No remedy for the present troubles, therefore, is likely to come from a failure to enlarge the highschool system as may be necessary.

On the other hand, precisely as children go for long distances to the different high schools of the city, so it would seem to me that children of the higher grades in the grammar schools can properly be asked to go a considerable distance to a grammar school. The younger children must, of course, be taken care of near home. It is worth considering whether the creation of grainmar-school districts of convenient size, and the concentration of the grammar-school pupils in those districts in a few buildings, may not be worth while. I submit the suggestion for what it may be worth, without having any distinct opinion as to its value. Similarly, it may be worth while to consider, in a systematic way, the proposal which President Burlingham has frequently urged, that the older grammar-school children be furnished transportation, where that is practicable, to schools at a distance where vacant seats may be available.

It is fair to the present board of education to remember that the system under which the schools were being cared for was radically changed on the ist of February. At that time an entirely new board of education took control. Progress has already been made, in many directions, that justifies the hope that the conduct of the schools under this new system will constantly grow in efficiency. It has already put an end to useless squabbles among the boroughs; and it has brought about uniformity in educational and financial management that has resulted in increased efficiency, and, at the same time, in many economies. It has enlarged the powers of the city superintendent, so as to make possible a system of pedagogical control, reaching over the whole city, that is harmonious and effective. Ву devolving responsibility, in turn, upon district superintendents, better oversight is had and better results obtained. The new plan, also, delegated the legislative initiative to a small body of superintendents, which has the opportunity to seek the advice and aid of all members of the teaching force. At the same time it has brought the schools into closer relations with the people thru the enlarged functions of the district school boards. It has made eligible for the higher places in the system all the teachers in the city, resulting in a better esprit de corps, and generally in a greater sense of unity.

It is certainly true that this board has not succeeded perfectly in the matter of school repairs. Under proper management, all repairing should be finished by the time the schools open in the autumn. This is not so easy a task, at best; and it is especially difficult by the processes which the

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