September 14, 1867. N. 1255.

The Economist, 14. September 1867. S. 1041/1042.
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The Common Schools of America.

Rev. James Fraser was sent out, to make the inquiry, by the Schools Inquiry Commissioners. His Report now printed. He begins by the State of Massachusetts. By its laws every township is bound to keep up common schools for the instruction of all the children of the township in the rudiments of education. Every township containing 500 families or householders is, in addition, to keep up a high school of the second class, in which general history, bookkeeping, surveying, geometry, natural philosophy, chemistry, botany, the civil polity of the State itself and of the U. States, and Latin are to be taught and every township containing 4000 inhabitants is further to provide instruction in Greek, French, astronomy, geology, rhetoric, logic, intellectual and moral science, and political economy. These schools are supported almost entirely by local taxation. There is a State School Fund, contributing towards their expenses, but this contribution is small, positively and relatively. In 1864, the average sum contributed by the State School Fund less than 1/4$ for each child, while the average sum raised by local taxes almost 61/2$ for each child. School fees are unknown in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Ohio; in some other States they are permitted, but limited by law. Where they do not exist, each township is bound to raise such sums of money for the support of its schools as it judges necessary. If it refuses or neglects to raise the money, or to choose a school committee, it is liable to penalties, and receives no aid from the State School fund unless it raises 11/2$ for each person between 5 and 15. These penalties difficult of infliction, and instances where they are evaded. The law says the common schools are to be kept for at least 6 months in the year. In 1864 more than 1/4 of townships failed in this respect, 32 townships out of 68 (of more than 4000 inhabitants) did keep no First class school (as by Law), in 1864. Nach dem Law der High Schools to be open 10 months in year. Of the 118 High Schools of Massachusetts, in 1864, only 88 fulfilled the requirement; 14 kept open for 8 months only, 16 for less than 8 months. These breaches insignificant.  Kommentar von Marx.
(dabei 1864 Kriegsjahr!)
The public duty by no means neglected in the chief States. In Boston, more than 1/8 of the whole amount of taxation, about 21/2% on the capital of the city, spent on education; in New York city 1/5 of its ordinary annual taxation, 51/2% on its capital. „The cost“, says Fraser, „being defrayed by taxation, is proportionate to the property of the parent, not to the number of the children he sends to school.“ |163 „It is nothing more than a sober conclusion, that an American farmer frequently gets an education for his family at a cost to the community of not more than 10sh. a year per  The Economist: child
, 1/3 of the amount at which our own Committee of Council have been in the habit of rating the cost of the education of the children of an English mechanic or labouring man.“ The community, defraying the cost, has the right to insist on guarantees, that the education is effective. Each township elects a school committee, charged with the management and control of the scholars at large. The duties of the committee are to appoint, examine, and, if necessary, dismiss the teachers; to visit and inspect the schools, to provide books and apparatus, and maintain and keep in order a sufficient number of school houses. As to the books to be used, the school committee bound to take care that „no book calculated to favour the tenets of any particular sect of Christians be purchased or used, and  Kommentar von Marx.
to require the daily reading of some portion of the Bible in the common English version.“ There is a growing demand in the U. States for a central bureau of education, or a Ministry of Public Instruction. „The supreme control of schools absolutely in the hands of local administrators“ and want of „a properly authenticated and independent officer“ to see that legal requirements are not ignored or evaded. At present the law rests too much on the sentiment of the district.

The Massachusetts Factory Act is almost if not quite inoperative. Parents are bound to send their children to school under a penalty, but this seems to be seldom inflicted. But the demand for compulsory attendance is growing loud and vehement. „It is argued that if the State taxes me, who perhaps have no children, towards the support of schools for the security of the society, I have a right to claim from the State for the security of the same society, that the schools which I am taxed to maintain shall be attended by those for whose benefits they were designed.[“] Others ask if the State has a right to put its subjects into prison, but no right to send them to school; a right to take away life, but no right to make life useful and bearable. Diess richtige Sprache für the descendants der early colonists, who „in 1642, only 22 years after the landing of the pilgrim fathers from the Mayflower, enjoined upon the municipal authorities,“ (by a public Act passed in the General Court of the colony) „the duty of seeing that every child within their respective jurisdictions should be educated“. These Public schools supported by the people for the people, instruction offered freely to everyone, powers given by the law to render that instruction compulsory.


  • London. 1868.
  • 1866 „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) vol. XXIV.
  • The Social Economist, 1. Oktober 1868
  • „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) (Fortsetzung)
  • Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register der obigen Auszüge aus dem Economist für 1866 und 1867.
  • The „Money Market Review“. Jahrgang 1866.
  • The Money Market Review. Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register Money Market Review Jahrgänge 1866 und 1867