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that has passed through his hands during the two years he was treasurer of this board.
In reference to the statements contained in the report of Mr. Newton, of the condition of the schools of this board at the end of the last school year, I feel compelled to disagree with him, and also to object to his opinions of what the schools were four months before his connection with them being regarded by the Hon. Secretary as an official statement or report of the board, as it is simply his opinion, which is not called for by the Hon. Secretary, or by the Senate.
So far as the statistical statements furnished by him indicate their condition, no objections are made to their being considered, but the conclusions to be derived therefrom are for the trustees to decide, as it is their views, and not his, that are called for, and this position is not weakened by the adoption of his views by the majority of the board, for it still remains true that his judgment has been exercised, and not theirs, in the conclusions arrived at.
To judge intelligently of the condition of these schools at the close of the year ending June 30, 1870, we must compare the statistics of that year with the previous years, and also with those of other schools. The average per cent. of attendance in our schools for the year ending June, 1868, was 89 per cent.; for the year ending June, 1869, 90 per cent.; and for the year ending June, 1870, 89 per cent. The average per cent. of attendance in the other public schools of this city for the year ending June, 1870, was 92.1 per cent., and in the public schools of the city of Philadelphia, for the same year, 87} per cent., as appears by the report of superintendent of the common schools of Pennsylvania, J. P. Wickersham, esq., just published.
The average monthly cases of tardiness to each of our schools was, for the year ending June, 1868, 15; for the year ending June, 1869, 43; and for the year ending June, 1870, 13.
The number of expulsions for the same years were respectively 112, 70, and 36, the latter stated by Mr. Newton as 52, which we believe to be a mistake of his, as we have our statement direct from the records, while in the other public schools of this city, numbering not quite double our average attendance, the number for 1870 is reported at 132.
We do not deem it essential for the purpose of this communication to pursue these figures further, as they present the condition of our schools in their true relation to others, and we do not think will suffer in comparison with any, if a reasonable allowance is made for the disadvantages under which our people have until very recently labored. There is, however, one item that I think, under all circumstances, particularly creditable, and that is the fact that 1,251, or forty per cent. of the average number of our scholars were present every half-day of the entire school year ending June, 1870.
The evil of tardiness is, perhaps, the most discouraging feature with which we have to contend; but even this evil is not a growing one, but it is one that can only be eradicated as the parents themselves become impressed with its unfortunate effects and the necessity for its correction.
The examinations at the close of last year disclosed a proficiency and thoroughness that called forth the commendation of all who attended them, and in a report made by Mr. Alvord, of the Freedmen's Burean, to General Howard on the subject, their condition was stated to be highly creditable to all concerned in their management.
The remarks made in reference to the construction and location of the Stevens school building are deemed to be out of place, and to contain an unjust reflection upon the board as constituted when that buildino
S. Ex. 20- -3
was erected. The Hon. Sayles J. Bowen, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Jones were then the members, and no doubt at the time did all that was deemed their duty. Certainly it cannot be pretended that they were actuated by any improper motives, and if they erred in judgment it is no more than others have done and will do in all human attairs.
The Washington corporation bonds sold by the board were sold at the highest market price, and in order to relieve them of all indebtedness at the close of the year. They had been held for more than twelve montlis, during which time much inconvenience had been experienced for want of money and serious injustice done to creditors of the board, the writer always insisting that no authority existed in law for our retaining them one moment as an investment, our business not being that of saving and making money, but simply that of expending the fund under our care for educational purposes. Necessity and law both compelled the board to accept the bonds in lieu of money, the same as any other creditors of the corporation, but good faith in executing our trust most imperatively demanded that they should, at the first moment funds were needed, be converted into cash, in order to carry on the work given us by Congress to do, and it would have been just as legitimate to have invested the money in real estate for the sake of a profit to the fund and await the result of time for an advance, as to hold these bonds until they were worth their face before turning them into money with which to carry out the purposes of our trust. We had no respousibility in connection with the value of the bonds, but we were responsible to carry out the objects of our trust, and these bonds were given us as the means with which to do it.
In reference to future legislation a few words will suflice. From the character of our population in the District of Columbia we think it ob. vious that Congress should contribute not less than twenty-five per (ent. of all the moneys expended in public education, as it is believed full that proportion of the children of the school age in our schools belong to families brought here temporarily in the service of the Govern. ment, and who leave when no longer in the public service. For this reason we suggest that a general bill should be passed, at an early day, placing all the schools of the entire District under one board of not less than twenty-four trustees, to be appointed, proportionally, by the commissioners of education, according to the amount of funds contributed by the General Government and by the authorities of the several municipal corporations.
These trustees should hold their office for three years, one third of whom should retire annually. The superintendent should be appointed by the commissioners of education, and the treasurer and secretary should be elected by the whole people; the treasurer giving bonds in the requisite sum, to be fixed in the law. Under no circumstances should the board elect their own superintendent, treasurer, or secretary.
In reference to schools of mixed races, I think a difference of opinion may exist among the real friends of the colored people; but the time is rapidly approaching when this discrimination must be obliterated, all over our country, and I know of no better locality in which to make a beginning than in the District of Columbia, and no better time than the present. Let all discrimination, on account of color, be avoided in the public schools of Washington; let them be amply provided for in respect to funds and teachers, and a very few years will see the example followed all over our free country. The colored race will feel the stimulating effects of direct competition with the white race, their anıbition and self respect will grow under its influence and add dignity to their character, and rapidly develop a style and type of manhood that must place them on an equality with any of the other races of men.
We have seen this prejudice die out on the field of battle, where white and colored have fought together for the same flag. It has been met and conquered at the ballot-box and in the halls of our local and general legislatures, and why should it not receive the same fate in our school-rooms! Why educate American youth in the idea that superiority exists in the color of the skin, when our Declaration of Independence, of which we boast so much, flatly contradicts it ? Very respectfully,
CHARLES KING, Trustee of Colored Schools of Washington and Georgetown. , Hon. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
Comparatire rieuc of the statistics of the school year 1869–70, (as given by Mr. A. F. Newton,)
and the school year 1867–68.
3 203 52 17
10 2, 128
576 1, 495
Vamber of schools
66 Number of pupils continued from previous 1 2, 900
month. Whole number admitted..
93 Vumber admitted by transfer and promotion. Sumber admitted who had not before at: 36 tended school during school year. Vamber transferred and promoted.
1 Sumber left
759 Sumber punctnal every half day.
592 Vomber of tardinesses..
2. 002 Number of dismissals before completion of
duties. Iverage number belonging
2, 809 Iverage number in attendance
2, 378 Presences, half days
82, 129 Ahsenees, half days.
86 Receiving certificates of merit
160 Visita of trustees
43 Visits of superintendent
67 Visits of other persons.
Visits of parents.
\FAK DEPARTMENT, BUREAT REFUGEES, FREEDMEN AND ABANDONED LANDS,
OFFICE GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION,
Washington, D. C., June 24, 1870. GENERAL: I have the honor of reporting that the late examinations of the public rolored schools of this city and Georgetown, sixty-three in number, have been most
I have watched the progress of these schools with great interest since 1861. When the Bureau withdrew its special care two years since, and the board of colored trustees were appointed, some falling off or depreciation was feared.
For a time this may have been true.
Besides the withdrawment of benevolent patronage there were many changes of teachers, and time was required for the new board to gain experience.
I am happy to say, however, that our fears have, in the main, been wralized. These schools are a success.
Teachers, a majority of them coloreil, have been auroit in organization and discipline and thorough in their instructions. Pupils evince culture in manners and character; good progress in study; in some cases remarkable talent. There are exceptions, as in all other schools, but the whole movement has been rapidly onward.
The able superintendent and the board of trustees are to be congratulated in view of the results achieved. It is not too much to say that these gentlemen have been carnest and indefatigable, are now well acquainted irith their work, and we shall expect from them still larger results in the future. Very respectfully; your obedient servant,
J. W. ALVORD,
General Superintendent of Schools. Brevet Major General 0. (). HOWARD),
Commissioner, Sc., Bureau Refugeex, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 16, 1571. DEAR SIR: Having examined my accounts as treasurer of colored schools for Washington and Georgetown thoroughly, and having also taken a complete list of the original papers and vouchers, I am gratified to know you are entirely satisfied with the accuracy of my final statement.
As I had furnished the board of trustees with a complete record of these papers, and invited them to examine, at their pleasure, the original papers in my possession. I am surprised that any charges should have been made without first calling upon me for explanation. This matter concerns my honor as a man and citizen, and I feel it a duty to have it definitely settled beyond the power of any person to doubt my bonesty or slander my character.
I desire you, therefore, to request in my name the honorable the Secretary of the Interior to appoint some clerk or competent person to examine my accounts, and settle them under the rule adopted by that Department for the settlement of accounts of all clisbursing officers. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lute Trustee and Treasurer of Colored Schouls. ('ILARLES KING, Esq..
Trustee of Colored Schools.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR,
In obedience to law, a statement of the contracts of the Quartermaster's De.
partment during the year ending December 31, 1870.
JANUARY 23, 1871.–Ordered to lie on the table and be printed.
January 19, 1871. The Secretary of War has the honor to submit to the Senate of the United States, in pursuance of law, the accompanying statement of the contracts of the Quartermaster Department during the year just closed.
WM. W. BELKNAP,
Secretary of War.