Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/727

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

the people had nothing to do. They were never offered a chance of expressing their opinion of the repudiation of the plan they had formally ratified. It was diverted from its objects, without consulting them, by ring-management; and, as the city had got a college for boys, the cry was raised that there must be another for girls also; and the Normal College was the result.

There was no mistaking the character and object of this covertly managed revolution in the policy of popular education in this city. When the thing was done, all disguise was thrown out. As we have stated before in these pages, but which may now be pertinently recalled. Judge Larrimore, President of the Board of Education, gave an address explanatory of the new situation. The school called for by the people was contemptuously repudiated in its theory and object. The new institution was proclaimed as of the old order of colleges. The speaker went back to the middle ages to get his ideal of a college, and defended classical studies, as entitled to the leading place, in opposition to the claims of science and modern studies. How far he appreciated the idea which the people had tried to embody in the Free Academy was shown by the fact that, when an influential work on education, that has been translated into all civilized languages, was quoted, he sneeringly retorted that it was written by an engineer.

Had the design of the Free Academy been carried out in good faith, its benign results to education in this city and this country would have been great. A generation has passed since the people pronounced for an advance in industrial education; and if the plan had not miscarried—if they had not been cheated out of it—the salutary influence upon the lower schools, and the consequent benefits to the community, would have been incalculable. Bat this retrogressive step has been fatal to our educational progress. The classical college at the head of our system has reacted to obstruct reform in the primary schools. Of the way this influence is exerted we have a fresh illustration. The new President, notwithstanding his solicitude to let things alone, can not refrain from meddling. He was made chairman of the Board of Trustees of the City College, and in his address he said that "the college entrance examinations were not exacting enough." That is, the screws must be put on to the lower schools to force more vigorous exertion on the part of boys with reference to the system of instruction pursued in the classical institution.

 

 

CONANT ON INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT.

It is surprising how English ardor on international copyright cools as Americans begin to draw the distinction between the rights of British authors and the claims of British publishers. As long as these were mixed up, the case against us was strong, and we were very frequently reminded of the turpitude of our piratical practices. But when it began to be said here, seriously, We will yield the English author his just demand, and pay him for his literary property, but his foreign publisher we will not pay because he has no just claims upon us, then we hear a good deal less of foreign denunciation, and international copyright ceases to be urged, or much discussed.

Mr. S. S. Conant, of New York, was asked to write a paper for "Macmillan's Magazine," giving the American view of the subject. He complied, and furnished an able article, moderate but decided, and discussing the question with a view to its practical settlement. He recognized the urgency of the question, and took the ground that the full rights of English authors should be accorded and secured by law, but that we in this country must be permitted to manufacture their books. He showed