|State Superintendent - Introduction||Bradford County Report||Tioga County Report||Mansfield Normal School Report|
.BRADFORD COUNTY----H. S. Putnam.
The past year has not been materially different from other years in educational matters in Bradford county. We are still confronted with the same hindrances, and while the sentiment in favor of better school advantages is gradually spreading over our county and is always a subject of interest in local gatherings not very much has been done as yet in that direction, however, I can note a decided improvement in several particulars; our people are becoming more critical in their demands for good teaching, more loyal to the teaching force, more strenuous in their demands for better schools and more willing to comply with the requirements of the compulsory law, and more alive to the importance of the needs of the schools in general.
In most districts the demand for better qualified teachers is quite perceptible, and were it not for the fact that many of our schools are so small that the directors hardly feel justified in continuing them, there would be a noticeable improvement in the salaries paid and a corresponding improvement in the qualifications of the teachers employed.
During the year thirty-four examinations were held by the superintendent, at which 390 provisional certificates were granted, seventeen professional certificates, and 117 applicants rejected, 114 male teachers were employed, 383 female teachers, the average age of teachers employed is twenty five years, ninety-one had no previous experience, 181 had taught five years, 336 held provisional certificates, seventy-seven hold professional certificates, sixteen permanent certificates, sixty-eight were Normal school graduates, twenty-nine not graduates had attended a Normal school, fifty-three were educated in the common schools, 444 had had higher instruction and ten were college graduates.
In comparing these items with those of the previous years a few changes are noted. There was a less number of provisional certificates granted, ten more applicants were rejected, six less male teachers were employed, eight less female teachers, the average age is increased one year; the number of teachers without experience has increased and the number who have taught five years or more has increased; the number who hold provisional certificates has been reduced eighteen; the number holding professional certificates has been increased eleven; the number holding permanent certificates has been reduced three; the number of Normal graduates is three less, and the number who attended Normal schools without graduating is one less; the number educated in the common schools has increased; the number having academic education is increased; the number of college graduates is one less than the previous year.
The annual county institute was held in Hale’s Opera House the week of October 7. Four hundred and forty-eight teachers and twenty-two persons not teaching were enrolled.
Instructors were Dr. S. D. Fess, Ohio Normal University, Ada, Ohio; Dr. Lincoln B. Hulley, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa.; Dr. Geo. M. Phillips, West Chester, S. N. S.; Dr. Andrew Thomas Smith, Mansfield, S. N. S.; Miss Julia E. Rogers, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.; Prof. J. F. Kinsey, Chicago, Ill.; Miss Louie E. Taylor, St. Stephens, N. B., Canada.
The lectures and entertainments were as follows:
Monday—Hon. Chas B. Landis and Hon. Champ Clark, debate, “Imperialism.”
Tuesday—Dr. S. D./ Fess, “Abraham Lincoln.”
Wednesday—Col. Geo. W. Bain, “The New Woman and the Old Man.”
Thursday—Ariel Ladies’ Sextette, Musical Entertainment.
Friday—Maro, Magic, Music and Mirth.
The usual interest in the instruction and entertainment given was manifest during the whole session.
The annual meeting of the Bradford County Directors’ Association was held on October 9; the morning session was held conjointly with the teachers, and the regular work of the institute was given; at the afternoon meeting a discussion on the subject “Recent School Laws” was opened by James H. Codding and was participated in by the members of the association present. Dr. G. M. Phillips gave an interesting talk and Dr. Andrew Thomas Smith spoke on the subject, “Practical Education.” Most of the districts in the county were represented and much interest was manifested throughout the whole session.
The plan of arousing sentiment through the medium of educational meetings has been continued during the past year, the first four of these meetings were in connection with “The Farmers’ Institute” and were held at Spring Hill, Rome, East Smithfield and Granville Center, they were well attended and the sessions were interesting and profitable.
Following these meetings thirty-six educational meetings were held in the different townships in the county, they were uniformly well attended, despite the bad weather and almost impassable roads following the December flood, and there was a noticeable improvement in the character of the work over the meetings held the preceding year. These meetings were attended by pupils, parents, and all directors and in almost all cases interesting programmes had been arranged by the person who had charge of the session. An effort was made to bring before these gatherings for consideration the general hinderances to the work of the public schools. As the very basis of our educational system is a good healthy school sentiment, it seems as if the work of the superintendent can be more effective in this way than any other, while it is most desirable for him to visit the schools and see the work that is actually going on, it is almost impossible to exert any great influence over the character of the instruction given, so far as individual instances are concerned, but when parent, pupil and teacher can be brought together and the general faults of all parties concerned considered in a general way, all are more alive to the needs and the benefits to be obtained from public schools.
The compulsory school law and its practical application was considered at all of these meetings, the feasibility of consolidating the small schools and establishing high schools, and the necessity of better school advantages for farmers’ children had a prominent part at all of these meetings.
Three sessions of the Bradford County Educational Association were held, interesting papers were read and educational addresses given.
Three new school buildings were opened for use at the beginning of the last school year, one in Wells township, one in Athens township and one in Towanda borough. These buildings were described in the preceding report, except the one in Athens township at East Athens, which is a commodious one room building. An additional room has been furnished in the building at Luthers Mills, and will be opened for use at the beginning of the coming year.
The growing population of Sayre has made it necessary to enlarge one of their buildings, and two more rooms will be opened for use this coming year.
The townships of Smithfield and Granville will each have a township high school organized at the opening of the coming year.