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Full text of "Annual report of the School Committee of the City of Charlestown"

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



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I 



ANNUAL REPORT 



OF THE 



SCHOOL COMMITTEE, 



OF THE 



^itg of ^Ii»ivUsit0W«. 



DECEMBER, 1864. 




BOSTON: 
PRESS OF LOCKE & WILDER, 143 MILK STREET. 

1865. 



CITY OF CHARLESTOWN, 



In School Committee, Dec. 15, 1864. 
Rev. Mr. Miles presented the Annual Report of the Board, which 
was accepted ; and it Avas voted that the usual number of copies 
be printed for distribution. 

Attest: F. A. DOWNING, 

Secretary. 



SCHOOL REPORT. 



The School Committee commence their Annual Re- 
port with a grateful recognition of that gracious 
Providence, by whose favor our Schools have quietly, 
uninterruptedly, and with a commendable degree of 
success, prosecuted their important work through 
another year. Notwithstanding the great demands 
made upon us by the war, which we are waging, to crush 
a gigantic and wicked rebellion, and to transmit 
unimpaired to posterity the priceless boon of Republican 
Government, and of civil and religious freedom, a 
generous provision has been made for, and a watchful 
vigilance exercised over, the interests of Education 
among us. While profoundly grateful that the excite- 
ment and confusion incident to the times have not 
interfered with the progress of our Public Schools, we 
improve this occasion to convey the meed of sympathy 
to those cities and communities which have not enjoyed 
a like felicity ; nor can we refrain from expressing the 
hope that ere another year " completes its round " 
peace, established in righteousness, may shed upon the 
land its benign influences, and our beloved nation. 



6 

ennobled and purified by suiFering, may be permitted 
to direct all its mighty energies to the promotion of 
virtue, intelligence, religion, and all the pursuits of 
peaceful industry. It hardly needs to be said, that any 
Report, even though extended much beyond those 
limits within which it is proper for this to be confined, 
can, at most, give only a very concise and meagre 
account of the incessant pains-taking and labor requisite 
properly to care for and promote the welfare of our 
Free Schools. The responsibilities of the School 
Committee, and the importance of a faithful discharge 
of their duties, are not likely to be over-estimated. 
Properly to superintend the public education of the five 
thousand children gathered into our schools, which 
require the services of between ninety and one hundred 
Teachers, is no sinecure. And it is proper for the 
author of this Report to say, that the members of the 
Board, without other remuneration than the conscious- 
ness of doing good, have cheerfully and patiently 
bestowed time, and thought, and labor, holding in 
addition to their regular bi-monthly meetings several 
especial meetings ; and besides the protracted semi- 
annual examinations, making frequent visits to 
the Schools. And yet, while the Committee have 
reason for gratification with the results of the past year, 
they are far from feeling that a perfect standard has 
been reached, and are well convinced that " Onward 
and Upward " ought to be our watchword for years to 
come. 



APPROPRIATIONS, &c. 

•e. 

In compliance with the requirements of the new City 
Ordinance No. 26, the School Committee, in the month 
of February last, presented to the Committee on Finance 
of the City Council, an estimate of the expenses of the 
Public Schools for the next financial year, statmg the 
amount required for Salaries, for Incidental Expenses, 
and for Alterations and Repairs of school houses. By a 
provision of the same Ordinance, the Committee of the 
City Council on Fuel and Lighting Streets, were 
authorized to purchase fuel for the Public Schools, and 
charge the expense thereof to the appropriation for the 
Support of Schools ; and at their request, the School 
Committee made an estimate of the quantity of coal, 
wood and bark which might be required, also the 
probable amount to be paid out for labor on the same. 
Previous, however, to the final passage of the Appro- 
priation Bill by the City Council, in consequence of 
numerous petitions from the Teachers, presented to the 
Board, asking for increased salaries, and, it being 
apparent to the members of the Board that the salaries 
then paid to the Teachers were inadequate to their 
reasonable support, on account of the increased 
cost of living — it was voted to ask the City 
Council, to add $4000 to the amount first pro- 
posed by the Board for salaries. This request was 



8 

readily and cheerfully granted, and the appropriation 
for the Support of Schools, as finally passed, was as 
follows, viz : 

For Salaries $46,050 

Incidental Expenses 5,650 

Alteration and Repaks of School Houses, 2,500 

Fuel, and Labor on same 5,000 

Total $59,200 

The City's proportion of the State School Fund is 
included in the above, amounting this year to $1,156.44, 
so that the amount actually raised by taxation for Sup- 
port of Schools during the current year, is $58,043.56. 

It is hoped that the above liberal appropriation for 
maintaining our Public Schools during the present year 
will be sufficient, although it would not be strange, neither 
would it evince a want of foresight on the part of the 
members of the Board, in view of the rapid rise of late 
in the price of everything required for carrying on the 
Schools, if the expenses should considerably exceed the 
amount appropriated. Of this, however, we feel confi- 
dent, that the appropriation for salaries will be sufficient 
for that purpose. 

Of the income of the Trust Fund in the hands of the 
Treasurer of the Board, there has been judiciously 
expended during the year, for Lectures, School Concerts, 
Maps, Writing Tablets, a full set of the American 



9 

Cyclopsedia for the High and each of the Grammar 
Schools, and convenient Book Cases to contain the 
same, for Apparatus and Chemicals for the High School, 
and for many other things of utility to the Schools, 
the sum of $1,115.33. 

The salaries of Teachers for the year are as follows, 
viz: — 

Principal of High School . . . |2,000 00 

Sub-Master " ... 1,000 00 

1st Assistant " .... 700 00 

2d " " . , . . 525 00 

3d " " . . . . 450 00 

4th " " • . . . 400 00 

Principals of Grammar Schools, each . 1,400 00 

Sub-Masters " " " . 1,000 00 

Assistants " " . . 400 00 

375 00 

" . . 350 00 

Teachers of Intermediate Schools, each . 425 00 

" Primary Schools, each . 400 00 

" . . 375 00 

" . . 350 00 

Music ..... 850 00 



10 



WRITING. 

At one of the early Sessions of the Board, an order 
was passed appointing an Especial Committee to consider 
and report what measures might be taken for securing 
in our High and Grammar Schools, a greater degree of 
excellence in the very useful and ornamental branch of 
education — Penmanship or Chirography. It was found 
that writing was not taught in the High School, and 
that there was not a uniform system in the Grammar 
Schools. After an examination of different systems the 
Committee decided upon that which is known as 
" Pay son, Dunton & Scribner's," which had already been 
introduced into a part of our Schools, and availing 
themselves of the liberal offer of Messrs. Crosby and 
Nichols, the publishers of the system, they obtained the 
services of Prof. Harrison, who devoted several weeks 
to giving instructions in Penmanship in the Schools. 
Prof. Harrison is a perfect master of the system, and as 
taught by him writing is not a mechanical art, but a 
highly intellectual and improving science. The pro- 
ficiency made by the pupils while under his instruction, 
and the favorable impulse given to this department, 
of culture, were truly gratifying. 

LECTURES. 

In the month of May the Committee made arrange- 
ments with Prof. W. D. Gunning to give a course of famil- 



11 

iar scientific lectures, more especially for the benefit of 
the pupils of the High School. These lectures were 
given weekly in the commodious and pleasant hall of the 
High School Building, and were eminently entertaining 
and instructive in their character. Being given on Satur- 
days, at noon, they were attended and enjoyed by a large 
number of the Teachers of the other Schools, and, also, 
by quite a number of our citizens. Prof. Gunning 
possesses an unusually happy faculty of simplifying the 
great truths of nature, and of presentmg them in a form 
greatly to interest and instruct the young. The 
influence of these lectures, upon all who attended them, 
in awakening thought, in enlarging and elevating their 
conceptions of the grandeur and beauty of the Creator's 
works, must have been exceedingly happy. 

READING AND ELOCUTION. 

The Committee regard the ability to read with proper 
spirit and expression, one of the fii'st accomplishments, 
and they would feel that our Schools were failmg to 
accomplish their object if they did not secure this end. 
This is a department of education which admits of 
indefinite improvement ; and, in considering how the 
most could be done to promote progress in this direction, 
the Committee have been led to introduce the new 
series of Readers prepared by Mr. Hillard, the fifth and 
sixth of which series contain a very lucid and philo- 
sophical statement of the rules and principles of good 



12 

reading and speaking, by Prof. Mark Bailey, of Yale 
College. The Committee esteem themselves fortunate 
in having been able to arrange with Prof. Bailey to give 
a course of familiar lectures and instructions to all our 
Teachers upon vocal culture and elocution. These 
lectures were given at the time of the introduction of 
the new E-eaders, in October last, and we have reason to 
think were highly appreciated by the Teachers, and 
that they will, through the Teachers, have a most 
decided influence in elevating the standard of reading 
in the Schools. Prof. Bailey also gave lessons in the 
High and each of the Grammar Schools. 

MUSIC. 

This important and delightful branch in our system 
of education, as in several former years, has been taught 
by Mr. W. H. Goodwin, and the commendation accorded 
to him by previous reports, is fully justified by his labors 
and his success the past year. By his faithful and 
efficient efforts our Schools have been advanced to such 
a degree of excellence in this department, that they need 
not fear comparison with the Schools of any other cities 
in this respect. 



13 



PRIMARY SCHOOLS. 

Our Schools of this grade now number thirty-one, one 
having been added to the list the past year, and the 
prospect is that, at least, one or two more must be added 
during the coming year. The Committee, learning that 
the rooms occupied by Engine Co. No. 4, in the build- 
ing on Common Street, are soon to be vacated, have 
already applied to the City Council to have these rooms 
fitted up for Schools of this grade. These Schools 
are frequently spoken of as holding the lowest place in 
our system, but there is an important sense in which 
they may be said to hold the highest place. Properly 
to draw forth and direct the tender and pliant faculties 
and powers of these little ones, and to start them aright 
upon the career of education, requires qualifications in 
the Teacher of the highest order. No Teacher who 
justly estimates the work of superintending and culti- 
vating these spiritual nurseries and gardens, is in danger 
of feeling that her literary and religious attainments, 
her tact and judgment, and her resources generally, are 
greater than her sphere demands. The danger against 
which all, and especially Teachers of Primary Schools, 
need assiduously to guard, is that of falling into a 
mechanical routine, and of being satisfied with going 
through with a set round of exercises, whereas their 
minds ought to be constantly on the alert, and ever 



14: 

active in devising means for applying to the discharge 
of their daily duties, whatever valnable results are from 
time to time disclosed in the progress towards a more 
perfect knowledge of this great subject of education of 
the young. While we are averse to fanciful innovations, 
we are of opinion that " object teaching," as it is 
termed, might, with advantage, have a larger place in 
our Primary Schools. The Reports of the members of 
the Board, who have been respectively charged with 
the care of those Schools, represent the Teachers of 
them, as a general thing, to be faithful and successful, 
and a goodly number of these teachers are spoken of 
in terms of high commendation. 



15 



INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS. 

These Schools, as their name implies, are designed 
for a class of pupils who are too old for the Primary 
Schools, but who, for various reasons, are not qualified 
for the Grammar Schools. Although it has sometimes 
been intimated that they are superfluous, yet, we see 
not how they can well be dispensed with in our city. 
We believe they are at present doing a necessary and 
important work. A definite knowledge of their present 
condition may be gathered from the following extracts 
from the Semi- Annual Reports of their Sub-Committees. 
Of No. 1, the Committee, in his first Report, says: — 
" This School was found to be in an excellent condition. 
Miss Miles has the happy faculty of interesting her 
pupils to such an extent that disorder and truancy are 
rare, and the pleasant ' good-night ' at the close of each 
day from nearly all the scholars, indicates that they are 
truly mindful of the untiring efforts made in their behalf 
by their Teacher. * Of No. 2, Mr. Smith, in his fkst 
Report, says : — -" This School passed a very satisfactory 
examination. The Teacher labors with much earnest- 
ness, and her efforts meet with good success. The 
progress of the School is much impeded by the evil of 
truancy, and measures ought to be adopted to secure a 
more efiicient truant police." Erom Mr. Smith's second 
Report we take the following : — ■ - The progress of this 



16 

School during the past term has been very gratifying. 
Schools of this grade in a city like ours, are unquestion- 
ably of great value in educating a class of children, who 
would be much neglected if the policy of merging these 
Schools with the Primary and Grammar Schools should 
prevail. The want of a more efficient truant police is 
severely felt at this School. I regret to report to the 
Board the loss of the services of so valuable a teacher 
as Miss Walker, who has been obliged to resign on 
account of ill health. She has administered the affairs 
of the School the past two years with marked ability." 

It is to be hoped the evils referred to in these reports 
resulting from the want of a more efficient truant police, 
which evils, we regret to say, are not confined to this 
one School, but which are felt in many of our Schools, 
will speedily secure that attention, which will effect 
their removal. 



17 



WINTHROP SCHOOL. 

Teachers. 

B. F. S. Griffin, Principal. Caleb Murdock, Sub-Master. 

Assistants. 

Mary L. Sheffield, Mary F. Goldthwait, 

Sophia W, Page, Emily B. Brown, 

Sarah H. Woodman, Eliza A. White, 

Abby M. Clark, Olive E. Fairbanks, 

Arabella P. Moulton, Ellen M. Rugg. 

Sub- Committee. 

Benjamin F. Brown, James Lee, Jr., 

Arthur W. Tufts, Augustus H. Heath. 

Of the state of this School, the Committee say : — 

" As heretofore, the examination of parallel divisions 
was made by placing together the corresponding classes 
in each division. 

" The result of this examination was highly satis- 
factory to the Committee. The scholars were ready and 
anxious to perform their part of the work, and the 
several classes gave clear evidence of much progress 
during the last half year. The scholars for the most 
part were self-reliant and thorough, and we think the 
School justly entitled to a high rank for mental activity. 

" Good order is maintained without any especial effort, 
and the general moral atmosphere of the School is 
exceedingly good. 

" The scholars manifest a sincere attachment to their 
Teachers, evinced by many a token of affection during 



18 

the past term, and the cheerful aspect and kindly 
feelings of the scholars are marked features of this 
School." 

In their last E-eport the Committee say : 

" This School was examined by the Committee 
during the time prescribed by the Rules of the Board, 
and found to be in excellent condition, both in point of 
discipline and instruction. 

" The whole tone of the School is vastly superior to 
what it was two or three years ago. Most of the 
classes appeared remarkably well ; some few, however, 
not meeting the just expectations of the Committee. 

" One secret of the success of this school is a 
unanimity of purpose, and a hearty sympathy of co- 
operation in the attainment of that purpose, by the most 
of its teachers ; many of them spending, daily, hours of 
extra labor in bringing their classes to their own high 
standard of excellence. 

" No School, nor Division of a School, can be 
prosperous unless the Teachers are governed by a high 
sense of duty, and have a love for their work, being 
gifted with the requisite amount of will and energy. 

"It is not enough that teachers perform all the 
agreeable duties of a teacher's life, and leave the others 
undone ; but they should regard their business as a 
profession, and should allow nothing to interfere with 
the interests of the school, either during school hours, 
or at any other time." 



19 



BUNKER HILL SCHOOL. 



Teacliers. 

Wm. H. Sanders, Frincipal. 



Assistants. 



Phebe a. Knight, 
Mary S. Thomas, 
Judith C, Walker, 
Abbt F. Crocker, 
Sarah J. Mills, 



Maria T. Delano, 
Mart A. Davis, 
Martha A. Stevens, 
c. c. e. goodspeed, 
Fannie B. Hall. 



Suh- Committee. 

Charles F. Smith, Wm. H. Finney, 

William Fosdick. 

The Committee in their March Report, speak of this 
School as follows : 

'" The Bunker Hill School was examined in as 
thorough a manner as the large amount of work to be 
done would permit, and we are gratified to be able to 
report that in the main the School is in a satisfactory 
condition. 

" The Teachers are all faithful, and are laboring with 
zeal to promote the interests of their pupils. 

" The effects of inconstant attendance, so injurious to 
a school and discouraging to the teachers, are severely 
felt in some of the divisions. 

" This School, located at the upper end of the city, 



20 

is seldom visited by any member of the Board, except 
those appointed its Sub-Committee. 

" We are pleased to be able to record thus early in 
the year, one visit from the President of the Board, and 
hope this example will be followed by other members." 

From the second Semi- Annual Report of the Com- 
mittee, we give the folio whig extract : 

" The result of the examination of the Bunker Hill 
School was not so satisfactory as on former occasions. 
The first division, which has usually given evidence of 
thorough and faithful teaching, fell much below the 
standard which we have a right to expect from scholars 
of that age and rank. Various reasons have been 
assigned for this result, which it is unnecessary here to 
enumerate. We have been assured that these causes 
will not exist the ensuing year ; and we confidently 
hope that at the next examination the Committee will 
be enabled to make as favorable report in all respects 
as on former occasions. - Most of the divisions are 
under the charge of able teachers, and their labors are 
meeting with gratifying success. This school contains 
a larger portion of the poor and neglected children than 
any other in the city. As a class they are very incon- 
stant in their attendance and exercise no little influence 
in lowering the standard of excellence in the school. 

Truancy exists in this district to an alarming extent. 
An urgent appeal ought at once to be made by this 
Board to the Mayor and Aldermen, that some place may 



21 



be provided for the care of neglected and stubborn boys, 
who now roam at will, committing petty depredations 
upon the property of citizens, and laying the foundations 
for lives of ignorance and crime." 



22 



HARVARD SCHOOL. 

Teachers. 

Joseph B. Morse, Principal. 
Assistants. 
Ann E. Weston, Abby B. Fiske, 

Sarah E. Archer, Lucy L. Burgess, 

Martha Blood, Martha M. Bahtlett, 

Elizabeth Swords, Susan H. Williams. 

Sub- Committee. 

Abram E. Cutter, James Adams, 

William Pierce. 

In their first Report the Committee say : 

" It is much to be desired in all our schools that the 
Teachers should not confine themselves so much to the 
books, and to any every day monotonous routine of 
labor : the scholars should in all their lessons learn more 
than just what is in the book. Children may read glibly 
and with efi'ect ; but it is just as important that they 
understand what the lesson is about, and know the 
meaning of the words. 

"A good Teacher will interest the scholars, and 
create a desire on the part of the scholars to obtain 
knowledge, 

" The examination of the Harvard has shown that the 
School is in good condition : that its Principal is faithful 
and zealous in his work, and that he has the co-opera- 
tion of a good corps of female Teachers. 



23 

" On the Friday before vacation, exercises were con- 
ducted in all the rooms, showing the daily work of the 
school ; there was a good attendance on the part of the 
parents and friends of the scholars, and the exercises 
were of a satisfactory character to those members of the 
Committee who were present." 

In the September Report the Committee say : 
" The same plan was adopted by the Committee in 
this examination as in the preceding one — each member 
taking a different branch of study and going through 
the whole School. 

*' In Arithmetic the percentage of correct answers 
through the school was, in written arithmetic about 84 
per cent, in mental 86 per cent. 

" Agreeably to the new rule of the Board, the 
Principal of the School also had a thorough examination 
of the whole school previous to the one held by the 
Committee, the record of which is preserved in a book 
kept for that purpose. This plan, it is hoped, may 
prove of much benefit to our Schools, as it brings th6 
Principal into direct contact with each scholar ; not 
merely in cases of discipline, but in their lessons and 
methods of study and recitation. The record also is 
very useful for reference at any time, and also for a 
comparison of results with the Committee's examination. 
I find by reference to it that the percentage of correct 
answers in the school, in spelling was 79 per cent 
from the Reader, 81 per cent from the Speller ; in 



24 

geography, 85 per cent of correct answers ; in gram- 
mar, 87 per cent. 

" Since the examination, the resignation of Mrs. 
Bartlett, Teacher of the 4th division, has been received 
and accepted by the Board. The committee have 
just appointed in her place Miss Caroline M. Kimball, 
a graduate of the Boston Normal School. 

" One of the 3rd divisions in the School has been 
under the charge of Miss Williams for the past six or 
seven months. 

" There has been no change in the other divisions of 
the School : they are under the charge of faithful and 
experienced Teachers, who have enjoyed the con- 
fidence and support of the Board. The Principal is 
conscientious and successful in his labors, and teaching 
with him is not all hard work, but in a good measure a 
labor of love." 



25 



PRESCOTT SCHOOL. 

Teacliers. 

"William Baxter, Principal. 

Assistants. 

Sarah M. Chandler, Ellen C. Dickinson, 

H. A. T. Dadley, Mary G. Prichard, 

Hannah M. Sawyer, Emma L. "Whiting, 

Abbie L. Swan, Maria T. Savage, 

Josephine M. Flint, Annie M. Swan, 

Kate A. Lethbridge, Martha M. Kenrick. 

Suh-Committee. 

Andrew J. Locke, George H.»Yeaton, 

George H. Marden, Edwin B. Haskell. 

The condition of this large Grammar School is thus 
indicated by the Committee in their April Report : 

" The school is in a good condition. There is no 
indication of any want of interest on the part of the 
Teachers that would warrant censure or even admoni- 
tion. The responsibilities resting upon the Principal 
of a School of this magnitude are great, and the 
Committee feel that Mr. Swan fully realizes the nature 
of his duties, and faithfully discharges them." 

In their second Report the Committee say : 

" Our report has been delayed so as to enable us to 
speak with some degree of definiteness of the new 
Principal, Mr. Baxter, who has had charge since the 



26 

first of June last. The committee feel justified in 
saying that Mr. Baxter has succeeded well in maintain- 
ing good order, has the respect of his pupils and 
assistant teachers, and manifests a zeal in his vocation 
as a teacher worthy of imitation. We deem him well 
qualified for the position he occupies. This school is 
one of the largest in the city, and is organized as 
follows : one first division of one grade under the 
immediate charge of the Principal and his assistant ; 
three parallel second divisions ; three third divisions, 
and five fourth divisions. All the Teachers are faithful 
and competent." 

In closing their Report the Committee express their 
regret because of the resignation of Mr. Joseph T. 
Swan, and speak of him as one who, through all the 
long period of his service, had proved himself as a 
" faithful teacher " and " an honorable and upright 
man." 



27 



W A KEEN SCHOOL. 

Teachers. 

George Swan, Principal. 

Assistants. 

Letitia H. Musset, Julia A. Worcester, 

Mart A. Osgood, V. A. M. L. Dadlet, 

Maria Brown, Henrietta J. Merrill, 

Margaret Veazie, Annie M. Turner. 

Suh- Committee. 

Nathan A. Tufts, George B. Neal, 

William B. Long. 

In their first report the Sub-Committee on this School 
speak of the reading as fair, but not entirely satisfactory, 
and express the result of the examination of the several 
divisions of the School in the other branches, as 
follows : 

" Mr. Swan's division, 94 per cent correct answers ; 
Miss Osgood's 93.9; Miss Merrill's 93.3; Miss Veazie's 
92.6 ; Miss Fuller's 89.6 ; Miss Brown's 83 ; Miss 
Dadley's 81.4 ; Miss Worcester's 79.5 ; Mr. Baxter's 
division ranked, in correct answers, about on an average 
with the first five named above. 

" The Warren School appears to be a happy School ; 
the teachers are sedulously and harmoniously devoted 
to thek work, and the scholars are studious and well- 
behaved, conforming to the established rules of the 



28 

School. A mild and effective discipline is maintained, 
and the order of the School is excellent throughout. 

" Additional recitation rooms are very much needed. 
The necessity was so apparent that the Committee on 
City Property promised them last year, but for some 
reason the fulfilment of the promise was deferred to 
this season. It is now hoped the favor may be granted. 

" The Committee have devoted much time to the 
examination, and it is hoped that good will result from 
it. It is pretty certain no scholar has been neglected 
who was in attendance at the examination." 

In their second Report the Committee remark : 

" The vacancy arising from Mr. Baxter's election to 
the Prescott School was filled by Miss Mussey, who has 
had considerable experience in teaching, and will, we 
believe, fulfil the high expectations of the Committee 
in her selection. Miss Turner takes the place of Mr. 
Swan's former assistant. She is a graduate of our High 
School, and enters upon her duties with much promise 
of success as a faithful and accomplished teacher. 

" Mr. Swan deserves much credit for his untiring and 
successful efforts in promoting the interest of the 
Warren School. The pupils have a high respect and 
affection for their Principal, and obey all his orders with 
promptness." 



29 



HIGH SCHOOL. 

Teachers. 

Caleb Emery, Principal. 
John G. Adams, Sub-Master. 

Assistants. 

Katharine Whitney, Frances M. Read, 

Mary Curtis, Harriet E. Lovett. 

Suh- Committee. 
James B. Miles, Nathan A. Tufts, 

James Adams, Geo. B. Neal, 

William H. Finney. 

The first examination of this School was made in 
February, and for the purpose of securing thoroughness 
the diiferent studies were divided among the members 
of the Sub-Committee. Each member devoted to the 
particular branches allotted to him, ample time for 
ascertaining the proficiency the pupils had made, as 
also, for learning with what degree of fidelity and 
success the Teachers had been discharging their duties. 
The Committee consider the ability to read with proper 
expression, spirit and elegance, an indispensable part 
of a good education. We trust the time will come 
when a high degree of excellence in this branch will be 
attained by our youth before they enter the High School. 
But for the present, instruction and practice in this 
important art are imperatively demanded. As a part of 



30 

the ceremonies in honor of the memory of Washington, 
the pupils of the school read the " Farewell Address." 
Nearly all the pupils participated in the reading, and 
taking into account all the circumstances, they gener- 
ally acquitted themselves with credit. A higher degree 
of excellence would, however, be reasonably expected 
on a future similar occasion. 

The examination in reading and spelling was con- 
ducted by Mr. Tufts, and the result of it he expresses 
as follows : 

" A few of the scholars read well, with marked 
expression ; but as a general thing there was a lack of 
animation and force. A higher degree of excellence is 
desirable and attainable. The Teacher is assiduous to 
advance her pupils in this delightful exercise. The 
spelling was not satisfactory. I was disappointed in 
not finding more correct spellers." 

In Rhetoric, taught by the third assistant, Mr. Tufts 
reports: — "They bore a good examination. The 
recitations were generally prompt and correct. The 
Teacher is thorough in her department of instruction." 
Of the class in English Literature, taught by the first 
assistant, he remarks : — " The examination was highly 
satisfactory. The scholars recited promptly and intelli- 
gently. I think we may regard the Teacher as very 
superior." 

The examination of the classes in Natural Philosophy 
and Physiology, taught by the first assistant, and of the 
class in History, taught by the fourth assistant, was 



81 

conducted by Mr. Finney, and the result of it he gives 
in the following language : 

" I am happy in being able to report that the 
recitations generally gave evidence of thorough instruc- 
tion by the Teachers, and of diligence on the ^art of 
the pupils. The recitations evince that thorough oral 
instruction has been given, and that the lessons have 
been made attractive and interesting. Both of these 
Teachers apparently possess the confidence and esteem 
of their pupils. In some of the divisions the results of 
long continued absence were painfully manifest. The 
attention of parents should be directed to the importance 
of keeping their children constantly and punctually in 
attendance upon the instruction freely offered to them." 

The examination of the first and second divisions in 
Arithmetic, Mr. Adams, teacher ; of two divisions in 
Physical Geography, Miss Curtis, teacher ; and a class 
in Chemistry, Miss Whitney, teacher, was made by Mr. 
James Adams, who reports as follows : 

" The recitations in Arithmetic went off finely ; the 
Teacher having adopted a mental and slate exercise in 
addition to the regular problems of the book, which 
served to awaken an interest and enthusiasm on the 
part of the scholars. One class in Physical Geography 
made a fair recitation, the other not so good. The 
class in Chemistry seems to have been well instructed 
and to have an intelligent knowlege of that intricate 
science." Mr. Adams expresses the opinion that a more 
full illustration of the lessons by experiments would be 



32 

an advantage, and adds : " Nothing so interests learners, 
from little children upwards, as oral instruction com- 
bined with full illustrations, and the more we can adopt 
them in our systems of instruction, the more certain we 
shall be of interesting the scholars, and making the 
daily business of study, not only more profitable, but 
also more appreciable and pleasant." 

Mr. Neal examined all" the classes in French and 
several classes in Latin, and expresses satisfaction with 
the proficiency of the most advanced class in French, 
taught by the second assistant, and commends the 
Teacher as " excellent in all respects." Of the classes 
in French, under the charge of the Sub-Master, he says: 
" The examination of the first was very satisfactory ; 
but the members of the second class did not acquit 
themselves as well as I could have wished. I consider 
the Sub-Master as a teacher of French, most excellent ; 
his classes in Latin, also, passed a satisfactory examina- 
tion, and I found him, as a teacher of Latin, thorough, 
exact and critical. Of the beginners in Latin, under 
the instruction of the third assistant, Mr. Neal reports 
favorably and says of the teacher : " She is patient and 
untiring, and if her pupils do not make great progress 
it is not her fault." 

The examination of the classes in Virgil and Caesar, 
and in Greek, taught by the Principal, was conducted 
by the Chairman, and was generally satisfactory. 
While some of the pupils did not evince that minute 
and thorough knowledge of grammatical principles, 



33 

which is essential for excellence in classical study, 
others acquitted themselves creditably in this respect. 
In some instances the pupils showed a lack of confidence 
in the correctness of their knowledge. It does not 
suffice for scholars to recite correctly; they should be 
able to give the reasons which substantiate the correct- 
ness of their knowledge. The February examination 
disclosed some tendencies in the School detrimental to 
its good order and highest usefulness, which were 
speedily checked by the prompt and energetic action of 
the Board. 

The Annual Public Examination of this School was 
held on the twenty-third of July. The day was pro- 
pitious, and a large number of the parents of the pupils, 
and of our citizens interested in the cause of education, 
were present. The exercises consisted of recitations, 
conducted by the Teachers according to their daily 
custom, declamations by several of the Lads, compositions 
read by a number of the Misses, and the singing of 
select pieces by the School. The recitations were so 
arranged that all the pupils were examined in some one 
branch at least. The scholars were called at random 
upon all parts of the studies, and almost without 
exception they acquitted themselves with credit. In 
such branches as admitted of it, the scholars gave 
entertaining illustrations of the practical application of 
their knowledge. The class in Botany showed a good 
degree of familiarity with the analysis of flowers, and the 
class in Chemistry performed successfully various 



34 

interesting experiments in that science. The declama- 
tions were rendered with spirit, and in a style of 
elocution quite commendable. The compositions evinced 
thought, culture and taste. The whole impression of 
the examination was indicative of the fidelity and 
efiiciency of the instructors, and of a praiseworthy 
degree of diligence on the part of the pupils, and gave 
evidence that our High School is an honor to our city, 
and is worthy of the confidence and admiration of our 
citizens. In April the Committee received and accepted 
the resignation of Mr. Stetson, the Principal, and they 
esteem themselves exceedingly fortunate in being able 
to restore to the head of our High School Mr. Caleb 
Emery, who some years since occupied the position and 
discharged its duties with great acceptance, and whose 
long and successful experience as a Teacher, and whose 
eminent qualifications for the place he now fills, give 
assurance that, under his management, all the interests 
of the School will be advanced. We will add here 
simply that at the July examination he was found to be 
satisfying the high expectations that had been enter- 
tained in regard to him. 

RE -ORGANIZATION OF THE HIGH SCHOOL. 

For a year or two past this subject has engaged the 
attention of the School Committee to a greater or less 
extent, and as it is one in which all our citizens are 
interested, it has been thought best to give, in this 



35 

connection, the following Special Report, which was 
adopted by the Board in July last : 

Report of the Suh-Committee on the High School. 

At a meeting of the Board of School Committee held 
January 21st, 1864, the following order was passed : 
" Ordered, — That the Committee on the High School 
be directed to consider and report what measures can 
be adopted so to divide the School into departments 
as to enable the pupils to pursue either the study of 
the Classics or the advanced English branches, at the 
option of the parents." 

The Committee on the High School, in compliance 
with the above order, beg leave to submit the following 
Report : — 

The Charlestown High School has for a term of 
years maintained a high rank among similar institutions 
in our Commonwealth. Tested by the facilities, which, 
according to its present organization, it furnishes for 
preparing young men for our Colleges ; and pupils, of 
both sexes, for an efficient and honorable prosecution of 
the various callings which Providence has assigned 
them, our High School, we take pleasure in saying, 
holds an enviable position. It is with no little satisfac- 
tion that we are able to point to its graduates acquitting 
themselves with honor in the learned professions, taking 
rank among the first scholars in our Colleges, and 
adorning the various walks of life. Standing at the 
head of our School System, and constituting in an 



36 

important sense its crown and glory, this School has 
naturally enlisted the deep interest of our citizens, as 
well as that of the School Committee. The High 
School Committee, while expressing their unfeigned 
gratification in view of the rich benefits which have 
flowed and are flowing from this institution, do not wish 
to convey the impression, that, in their opinion, the 
School has reached the maximum of excellence. They 
have no doubt it is capable of improvement, and would 
deem themselves remiss in the discharge of their duties 
were they not properly attentive to the means by which 
its defects can be remedied and its usefulness increased. 
They regard the duty enjoined upon them by the order 
of the Board as one of more than usual importance, and 
one whose wise or unwise performance will be followed 
with consequences for good or evil, far reaching and 
of great magnitude. It were comparatively easy to 
make changes and innovations, which, while their 
novelty lasts, would seem to be improvements. But we 
are to receive it as a first principle, that changes in 
existing arrangements, in themselves considered, are an 
evil, and that the presumption is against them. The 
benefits likely to result from the innovation must seem 
to be tangible and decisive, before we are justified in 
making it. The question submitted to the consideration 
of your Committee, was in substance : — Will the High 
School more perfectly accomplish its purposes by 
substituting, in the case of those who wish it, an English 
course for the Latin? The School Board has granted 



37 

to the High School Committee time for a thorough and 
comprehensive consideration of this question ; and, it 
may not be inappropriate to say, your Committee have 
neglected no means which appeared likely to aid them 
in coming to a right conclusion. They have devoted 
much time to ' the discussion of the question among 
themselves, and in conference with the Teachers of the 
High School. They have visited other High Schools 
that they might observe the practical working of the 
system contemplated by the order of the Board, and 
have conferred with School Committees, Superintendents 
and Teachers on the subject, and as the result of all, 
they have come unanimously to the conclusion, that the 
change is not desirable. The limits of this report, by 
no means, allow a detailed statement of all the reasons 
and arguments which have had weight in bringing 
us to this decision. We have found that there is in 
some minds an erroneous idea in regard to the time, 
which, by the present arrangement, is devoted to Latin. 
Some seem to think pupils are compelled to study Latin 
during the entire school course, whereas they are 
required to study it but about two years — a time, if 
they are faithful, sufficient, but not more than sufficient, 
to prepare them to appreciate the uses and the beauties 
of the language, or to determine whether they have a 
taste for it or not. It is not to be inferred that Latin is 
the prominent study of the School, from the fact that all 
the pupils are required to study it : it must be borne in 
mind that all the pupils are required to attend to each 



38 

study. The fact is, Latin, according to the present 
organization of the School, occupies hardly one-sixth of 
the study time ; five-sixths of the time and attention of 
the pupils is devoted to English branches, and all are 
required to study Mathematics for three years, or a year 
longer than Latin is required. 

It has been urged, that it is on account of our present 
requirements as to Latin, that so few of the boys 
who enter the School complete the course and graduate. 
But this is a most manifest mistake, as is shown by the 
fact, that the very same evil exists in High Schools that 
are organized on the plan of English and Classical 
departments, like the Providence and Worcester High 
Schools ; it even extends to schools instituted for study 
for a particular end or profession, as West Point, 
Boston Latin, Boston High, Roxbury Latin School, 
indeed, the evil is of universal prevalence, and the 
origin of it is not to be sought in the internal arrange- 
ments of the schools, but in the improper haste which 
characterizes too many of the young people of our time 
and community to finish their education, and obtain 
situations in counting rooms, shops and stores ; in a 
word, to get started in life. We are sorry to be com- 
pelled to say that a part, at least, of the blame for this 
evil is to be attributed to parents. Not pondering and 
appreciating the importance of having the minds of their 
children carefully disciplined auvd well stored with 
knowledge — in some instances, too little esteeming the 
rich advantages aff"orded by the school, and eager to 



39 

have their sons earmng somethmg, as they express it, 
they allow them, or require them, to stay in the school 
only to such a time as some opening in business shall 
be found for them. Would that all parents understood 
what, we are glad to say, some parents do understand — 
the irreparable injury that is done to young men or 
young women by cutting short the period of their 
education and by starting them in life prematurely. On 
the score of economy alone, parents will find it better 
in the end to keep their children in the school until the 
completion of the course, even if they must make no 
inconsiderable sacrifices at the time to do it. We 
regard with no little admiration those parents of narrow 
means, who cheerfully accept extra hardships and toil, 
rather than take their children from School before they 
have completed their course of study. We speak, of 
course, of such children as improve their school 
privileges. 

It has been intimated that our citizens, the supporters 
and patrons of the school, demand the change under 
consideration. Your Committee think they have abun- 
dant reason for supposing this is not true of a large 
majority of them. 

A few years ago, Mr. Gay, the Principal of the High 
School, at the request of the School Committee, pro- 
posed the following question to the School, which then 
numbered about two hundred : " How many desire to 
leave off the study of Latin, or how many know that it 
is their parents desire to have them do so V " Out of 



40 

that large number about a dozen only expressed a wish 
to leave off the study, and those in different classes. 
As it would not be expedient to form a class for the 
study of English for so small a number, the matter was 
dropped." In all probability were the same question 
repeated to the school to-day and sent home to the 
parents, the result would be essentially as it was then. 

Moreover, we add a fact derived from the teachers, 
and a fact of no little significance, that, " Of those who 
wished to give up Latin there were almost no good 
scholars, i.e. good in Latin or any other study ; also, 
that at the end of the two years, or at the time the class 
is separated into an English and Latin division, the 
Latin division absorbs the greater part of the talent and 
scholarship of the class. In the English division, with 
some good scholars, are always found those who openly 
avow that they take the English that they may have an 
easier time.''' 

It is not compatible with the limits of this Report, so 
much as even to hint at all the advantages which accrue 
from the study of the Latin, or the reasons, which, in 
the opinion of the Committee, make it indispensable in 
the course of study in the High School. Upon this 
point a volume might be written. Let it be remem- 
bered in the outset, that it is a mistake to suppose that 
those pupils, who do not gain a sufficient mastery of the 
language to read it with facility, derive no advantage 
from its study. Let it be remembered that the prime 
end of education is to develop, e diico, to draw forth or 



41 

draw up the faculties and powers of the mind, and to 
give maturity and vigor to them, and to promote their 
symmetrical and harmonious growth. As means for the 
accomplishment of this end, the Ancient Classics are 
without a rival. 

While the Mathematics are indispensable for culti- 
vating the power of close attention, that rigid intense 
application, which is necessary to detect the connection 
of the various links in a chain of reasoning, the 
Classics perform an office no less important, in calling 
into exercise the faculties of judgment, comparison, 
memory, in refining the taste, and imparting to the mind 
a delicate and discriminating sense of the beautiful. It 
would be interesting did our space permit, to consider 
minutely the process through which the mind of the 
student passes, in his endeavor to arrive at the exact 
thought, or shade of thought, expressed by some pas- 
sage of a dead language. No one can have an intelli- 
gent conception of what that process is without seeing 
that its influence must be most efficacious in promoting 
the ends of a true education. The object of the High 
School is not merely to impart knowledge ; it is to 
enlarge the capacity of the mind, so that it can receive 
richer and more abundant stores of knowledge in after 
years. The study of Latin is a very efi'ective instrument 
in this enlarging process. A knowledge of the Latin 
is, also, essential to the best appreciation of the force 
and elegance of our own language, many of the words of 
which are derived from the Latin. Without this know- 



42 

ledge, many scientific and philosophical terms cannot be 
fully understood, and many of the rarest beauties of the 
English language cannot be appreciated. If one would 
possess the power really expressed by that much mis- 
understood expression, " A good command of language," 
he must acquire it by gaining a knowledge of the 
Classics. We can but applaud the wisdom of the 
School Committee of Boston, who we are credibly 
informed, make a classical education an essential 
qualification of the principal teachers of their Grammar 
Schools. Whether they have adopted that principle 
or not, we would earnestly recommend to our Board, 
in all future elections of new teachers to the positions of 
Masters of our Grammar Schools, to insist upon a 
knowledge of the Classics as essential. 

In concluding this Report, your Committee would 
suggest the propriety of a careful examination of the 
course of study in the High School, and the possibility 
of its revision by some minor changes, but it is their 
unanimous and decided conviction, that the radical 
change referred to in the order of the Board, would be 
a step backward. It would lower the standard of 
scholarship, work more or less of confusion, and in 
many ways prove detrimental to the High School. 

James B. Miles, 

For the Com. on the High School. 
July 7th, 1864. 



43 



VENTILATION OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS. 

Recently the attention of the Board was called to this 
important subject, and an Especial Committee was 
chosen to take the matter into consideration and report. 
The Committee find our School Houses generally 
defective in the means of thorough ventilation. Several 
of the Primary School rooms, and of the recitation 
rooms in the Grammar and High School Buildings, 
especially, demand immediate attention. It is a serious 
question — If the injury the children receive from 
breathing the tainted and poisonous air of those rooms, 
does not, in a great measure, counterbalance the bene- 
fits they receive from the Schools. 

Any method of ventilating school buildings, which 
requires the opening and shutting of windows while the 
schools are in session, will fail to accomplish its object. 
Besides endangering the health of the pupils-by exposing 
them to currents of air, the teachers in their press of 
occupation, cannot be expected to exercise that care 
which is requisite to keep the rooms in a healthful 
condition. In the advance of science and its practical 
applications, systems of ventilation have been discovered, 
which are both safe and effective, and which can be 
applied at a reasonable expense. They have borne the 
test of successful experiment, and it is hoped our 
Schools may soon enjoy their benefits. Certainly those 
two great boons which a beneficent Creator bestows 
upon us in unstinted measure — pure air and pure 
water — should not be denied to our youth. 



44 



SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS. 

The School Committee in several of their Annual 
Reports have expressed their conviction, that, for the 
promotion, in the highest degree, of the success of our 
Schools, a competent and efficient Superintendent of 
Schools should be appointed, and they have made an 
appeal to the City Council for the passage of an ordi- 
nance creating such an office. Probably the exigencies 
of the times, imperatively demanding economy in public 
expenditures, have occasioned delay in this matter. 
But the School Committee are so fully impressed with a 
sense of the importance of this measure, that they most 
respectfully and urgently renew their appeal. The 
urgency of the demand for such an officer increases 
yearly with the ever expanding growth of our Schools, 
and the increasing labor that devolves upon the Com- 
mittee. The members of the School Board, with very 
rarely an exception, are persons actively engaged in the 
duties of professional or business life, who cannot com- 
mand all the leisure requisite properly to attend to all 
the daily details and demands of the most eifective 
guardianship of the Schools. 

There is no doubt the usefulness of a Superintendent 
would be great, should he be a person possessed of the 
right qualifications. It is hoped our Schools may soon 
have the services of such an officer. 



45 



CONCLUSION. 

In closing their Report the School Committee heartily 
congratulate their fellow citizens upon the rich benefits 
flowing from our Public Schools. We believe these 
benefits, silently and often imperceptibly dispensed, are 
such as words fail adequately to describe. But, let it 
not for a moment be supposed these benefits are as 
many or as rich as they might be — as they ought to be. 
In our Schools there are yet evils to be remedied and 
imperfections to be removed. While their condition is 
in many respects gratifying, we ought by no means to 
be satisfied with the progress they have already made. 
It becomes the School Committee, the Teachers, the 
Parents of the Pupils, and all who have the common 
welfare at heart to enquire — How can the standard of 
our Public Schools be elevated and their greatest effi- 
ciency promoted] Notwithstanding all that has been 
said and written upon the subject of education, its 
magnitude and importance are not yet fully understood. 
Erroneous and partial views are still too prevalent. It 
would require volumes to express all that is comprised 
in a " good education." It embraces the perfect culture 
and development of the child as a complex and immor- 
tal being, uniting in himself body, soul and spirit. 
Recognizing the truth expressed by the familiar words, 
" Sana mens in sano corpore^' the guardians of education 



46 

must have a constant care for the health and physical 
trammg of the young, not suffering them to be poisoned 
by breathing the tainted air of ill ventilated rooms, or 
compelling, by means of badly constructed seats and 
desks, their supple members and bodies to grow into 
deformity ; or allowing them to contract disease by 
disregarding any sanitary rules. Nor in relation to the 
spiritual nature of the children must they limit their 
regard and endeavor to the intellect alone. Our Schools 
do not perform their whole work when they cultivate 
the understanding, the reason, the memory, the imagi- 
nation, and the intellectual powers alone. Important 
as this work is, equally important, yea, of greater 
importance, is the proper culture of the heart, the right 
development of the conscience and the entire moral and 
religious nature of the child. Our Public Schools, 
supported by citizens of all denominations and religious 
creeds are to be kept free from sectarianism. But it 
does not hence follow that the principles of Christian 
morality, a sacred regard for truth and honesty, hatred 
of falsehood, injustice and wrong, love of right, respect 
for the rights of others, reverence and love for God, 
and the virtues and graces that adorn humanity, are nofe 
to be diligently inculcated. All sects meet on the broad 
platform of Christian morality ; and without infringing 
on the rights of any sect Christian morality may be 
taught, and " a general Christian tone pervade the school 
both in its instruction and discipline." Centuries since, 
Socrates, the noblest of the sages of Greece, uttered 



47 

words whose deep meaning we do well to ponder. 
They show the exalted position of the school, and the 
dignity of the Teacher's profession. He says : " The 
true Government of a nation must begin with the 
education of the child, and it is far higher and better to 
form men to be virtuous citizens and enlightened rulers 
than to be one-self the chief of the state." And the 
noble founders of our Government regarded intelligence 
and morality, and religion, as the only sure guarantees 
of the stability of our Republic. Says the sainted 
Father of our country, in his immortal " Farewell 
Address:" — " Of all the dispositions and habits which 
lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are 
indispensable supports." And Alexis de Tocqueville, 
that able expounder of our institutions, says : — "The 
Americans of all classes and all parties, hold religion to 
be indispensable to the maintenance of Republican 
institutions." And he adds these significant remarks : 
" Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty 
cannot. How is it possible that society should escape 
destruction, if the moral tie be not strengthened in pro- 
portion as the political tie is relaxed ? and what can be 
done with a people who are their own masters, if they 
be not submissive to the Deity V Our beloved and 
honored Commonwealth does, therefore, but meet the 
demands of patriotism, when by statute it enjoins upon 
all the instructors of youth within its borders, to impress 
upon the minds of the young, " the principles of piety 
and justice, and a sacred regard to truth, love of their 



48 

country, humanity and universal benevolence, sobriety, 
industry and frugality, chastity, moderation and tem- 
perance, and those other virtues which are the orna- 
ments of human society, and the basis upon which a 
Republican Constitution is founded." Expressing the 
hope that our Public Schools, by the blessing of God, 
may enjoy uninterrupted and increased prosperity in 
the year and the years to come, the Committee close 
their Annual Keport. 

By order of the Committee, 

JAMES B. MILES, President. 

Charlestown, December, 1864. 



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sa 


5l| . 54 


1!: 


35 


51 


64 


■6i 


3a 


52 


54 


3! 


45 


51) 


64 


3f 


311 


51 


68 


3! 


37 


sn 


Gl 


21 


42 


6R 


55 


45 


3S 


G4 


61 


3t 


2S 


65 


67 


5( 


58 


68] 77 


35 


42 


62' Go 


4: 


3!- 


51] G8 


44 


49 


83 


85 



;.= 1 SUB-COMMITTEE OF 
'. i I TBl.M.^BV SCHOOLS. 



2G| 28 C7i 



49 i 39 
2880 1470 1410 2370 1231 1 139 



30 23 SGl 



19 28! 60 

22! 23! 61 

471 28j 105, 

35 34 88 

54 24I 91 

28: 29' 89' 

3ll 38' 85 

39] 28 88, 

'9GS 966 23G7" 



4 Wm. B. Long, 
6]Wm. H. Finney, 
SiWrn. FoBdick, 

2 Wm. Fostlick, 
SiChas. F. Smith, 

5 Edwin B. Haskell, 
4'..Vbram E. Cutter, 

14 Wm. Pierce, 

11 Wm. Pierce, 
OA. H. Heath, 
7:James B. Jliles, 

6 A. W. Tufts, 
9 A. W. Tufts, 

13.Tame8 Adams, 
7iAbram E. Cutter, 
2 B. F. Brown, 
oGco. II. Yeaton, 

5 Geo. H. Yeaton, 
5. Tames Lee. jr., 
4lNathan A. Tufts, 

12Geo. H. Marden, 
lllGeo. H. Marden, 
4 Geo. B. Neal, 

2 B. F. Brown, 

3 A. .T. Locke, 
8 A. J. Locke, 

6 Wm. B. Long, 

3 James Lee, jr., 

4 Edwin B. Haskell, 
10!a. H. Heath, 
18JWm. B. Long. 

lOll srsTT^R^^,