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-Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3.

A Pencil Geography

issued by the JOSEPH DIXON
CRUCIBLE CO. It is convenient
in size and shape, handy to carry
in the pocket, and just enough in
it to be read without any fatigue.
It is patterned after the old school
geography of forty years ago, in
which the subject was taught by
means of questions and answers.
It gives answers to many ques-
tions which are being continually
asked as to where the materials
come from which compose the
pencil, and also how they are put
together. We think it will help
you in your work in the school

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Illinois bids fair to make an advance the coming winter such as the State has not made educationally for fifty years. Some two years ago the Superintendent of Public Instruction recommended the appointment of a commission to revise the school laws of the State, and at the meeting of the State Teachers' Association two years ago the Governor of the State recommended that a Commission be appointed not only for this purpose but also to recommend improvements in the administrative control of education in the State. When the Legislature opened the Governor sent a message to the Legislature recommending the appointment of such Commission to codify the existing laws, rearranging them and reducing their bulk, and in particular to study existing school systems in other States with a view to recommending to the Legislature changes and additions to the administrative machinery of the State which would be calculated to bring the schools of Illinois up to the highest standard of efficiency.

The Legislature accepted the recommendation and passed an Act creating such a Commission, the Governor to nominate six persons for the work, who, with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, should constitute the Commission. The Commission was empowered to appoint a Secretary, and money was provided to meet the salary and all other expenses. The Commission as appointed consists of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, President James of the University of Illinois, Superintendent Cooley of the City of Chicago, Superintendent Nightingale of Cook County, Alfred Baylis, formerly a Superintendent of Public Instruction, and two others. As Secretary Professor Ira Woods Howerth, of the University of Chicago, was chosen, and he has been the working member and the genius of the Commission. At the meeting of a year ago the State Teachers' Association pledged its support and appointed a committee of one hundred. to co-operate with the Commission.

Work of the Commission

The first part of the work, that of codification and simplification of the laws of the State relating to education, was accomplished first, and was the easier task. After this had been done work of a constructive nature was begun, and as this has been brought into definite shape it has been published in the form of a series of bulletins for the information of the schoolmen and others interested. Four of these have been issued and one more is in preparation. The four so far issued deal with the following subjects:

1. Plan for a State Board of Education.

2.

Plan for a County Board of Education.

3. Plan for the Certification of Teachers.

4. Plan for making the Township the unit of School Organization.

The fifth bulletin is to deal with the subject of teachers' institutes.

State Board of Education

In the first of these bulletins the Commission makes some excellent recommendations. Illinois has had no State Board of Education in the past, all the State administrative work having been performed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is elected by the people for four year terms, and who is paid $7,500 per year. The State system costs $31,000,000 a year, the

school property owned is valued at $37,700,000 and 28,000 teachers are employed. To assist in the management of this system it is proposed to created a State Board of nine members, consisting of the Superintendent of Public Education, ex-officio, and eight members to be appointed for eight year terms by the Governor, State Superintendent, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court acting together. To this Board it is proposed to give the following comprehensive powers:

1. To have general supervision and inspection of the public schools of the State, including the educational departments of State charitable and reformatory institutions.

2. To make rules for the distribution of any part of a State school fund set aside to assist and encourage pupils.

3. To prepare and distribute plans and specifications for the construction and equipment of schools.

4. To provide suggestive courses of study for rural, elementary and high schools.

5. To prepare all questions for teachers' examinations, to grade all examination papers and to prescribe all rules and regulations necessary to carry into effect the provisions of the law in regard to the certification of teachers.

6. To propose plans for organizing and conducting institutes. 7. To prescribe rules and regulations for the sanitary inspection of school buildings, and for the examination of pupils in order to detect contagious and infectious diseases and physical defects, and to take such other action as may seem necessary and expedient to promote the physical welfare of school children.

8. To classify and standardize the public schools and colleges, to provide for new forms of educational effort, and in general to take such action as may be necessary to promote the organization and increase the efficiency of the educational system of the State.

A careful reading of these provisions reveals the work of a far-seeing student of educational welfare. With a reasonably good Board of Education Illinois, or any other State for that matter, could make very rapid and very substantial educational progress. The opportunities for constructive work given to this Board are not only large and far-reaching when endowed with such powers, but such a State Board of Education ought to possess.

County Boards of Education

The Bulletin on County Boards of Education proposes the constitution of a County Board of Education for each county, to be composed of the County Superintendent of Schools and the President of the Township Boards of Trustees of the different townships of the county. This Board is to serve as an advisory body, is to serve as means of communication and as an agent for the extension of educational ideas downward, and is to have certain powers and duties not otherwise provided for, such as the enforcement of rules and regulations, the adoption of textbooks and apparatus, the selection of books for district libraries, and the devising of means for advancing educational interests in the county. No such centralized County Board as we have in California is of course completed. The bulletin also discussed the county superintendency, gives statements as to salary paid there and elsewhere, duties and qualifications, discusses election or appointment, and, like the bulletin referring to a State Board, contains digested information as to the practice in every other State. With reference to qualifications it is proposed that

all city and county superintendents in the future be required to possess a supervisory certificate,-a new and a very desirable form of certificate which it is proposed to establish.

tini'

The Certification of Teachers

In the third bulletin the Commission outlines an entirely new plan for the entire reconstruction of the certification machinery in the State, and one which, if adopted, will place Illinois in the front rank in the matter of having an intelligently worked out and a well integrated system. In its broad outlines it follows the plan suggested by the writer* two years ago. The plan provides for uniform examination questions prepared by the State Board for use throughout the State, examinations for county certificates to be held at the county seats and the papers to be graded there, but under rules framed by the State Board, examinations for State certificates to be held at designated places and to be under the control of the State Board, interstate recognition of certificates to be in the hands of the State Board, and the abolition of all fees for examinations, the expenses to be paid entirely by the State. In addition the plan provides for the following grades of certificates:

I. COUNTY CERTIFICATES.

1. Elementary School Certificates-Third Grade. Renewable once. Good for one year. To be abolished entirely in four years. Based on examination only.

Second Grade. Good for two years. Good for two years. Renewable twice. May be accepted in other counties. Based on graduation from a high school and an examination. Granted without examination to normal school graduates.

Third Grade. Good for three years, and renewable indefinitely. Good in any county in the State. Based on a high school education and four years successful experience, or two years in the case of normal graduates.

2. High School Certificates-Second Grade. Good for one year, and renewable for two years. To be abolished entirely in 1913. Based on at least on year of college study, and an examination.

First Grade. Good for three years, with inter-county validity. Based on at least two years study in a college, and an examina

Certification of Teachers. Fifth Year Book of the National Society for the Scientific Study of Education, Part 2. University of Chicago Press, 1906. 88pp.

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