A Status Report from the Superintendent
Upon assuming the offices of superintendent of this county, my investigation led me to the discovery that there were three or four imperative needs among the teachers would should be supplied. With these in mind, I entered upon a vigorous prosecution of what I thus conceived to be a radical remedial measures for the improvement of our schools.
The first of these was to attempt a change in the methods of primary work. The method of teaching beginners was the old A B C method. By persistent and incessant demands for more modern methods, this method is been supplanted almost entirely in this county by the word and sentence method. Teachers have been led to see the importance of proper beginning for pupils, and so decided has been the change in reference to this work, that many of the teachers have taken special courses of instruction in primary work.
A second need was the lack of educational journals in the teachers' work. The emphasizing of this need and the constant reminding of the teachers of this necessity, if they desired to keep abreast with the times, has resulted in a majority becoming subscribers for at least one such periodical, and many subscribing for two or more. We think that we can say truly that nothing has been done by the teachers that will result in greater benefits than their interest in this particular work.
A third defect, in my judgment, was the interest and attendance at the institute. I have endeavored to enforce the law to the very letter and by so doing we have both interest and attendance that are complimented by those who have acted as instructors at our institutes. Some have been so enthusiastic in their compliments as to say that they not seen such interest and attendance elsewhere. The enforced attendance has brought as a natural sequence, a greater interest and a greater desire to profit from the institute.
Under the graded school law the school at Falmouth was organized, September, 1898. Much opposition was encountered at organization, the cause being opposition to the tax levy. The results of the school, however, in three years of its work, have gone far toward eliminating this opposition. In some portions of the county I find some very weak districts. My hope, in regard to these, is that for the sake of good schools those that are near may consolidate, or if this can not be accomplished, that a weak district may be consolidated with some stronger one, so that the consolidation may be an advantage to both.
Legislative document number 5. The Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, for the Two years beginning July 1, 1899 and ending June 30, 1901, H. V. McChesney, Superintendent of Public Instruction.