On July 1, 1882, in Buffalo, my grandmother graduated from a normal school and was certified as an English teacher. She received, in recognition of her scholarship, a gold medal from the Jesse Ketchum Memorial Fund, along with a citation certificate.

The preamble to the certificate consists of the following:

"The system of public instruction has for its grand object and design to make worthy citizens, and this implies the culture of the mind, the morals and the manners, and the object of this trust is to promote that threefold culture in just proportions. The medals and other prizes are intended as incentives to diligent study, correct deportment and good behavior. They are intended to promote a faithful application to prescribed studies and a cheerful obedience to all the rules and regulations of the school, a respectful demeanor toward the teachers, a strict attention to the properties which distinguish the polite intercourse of refined society and a supreme regard for whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report."

For all those well-intentioned parents, professional educators and elected officials scrambling for ways to restore quality to public education, the above paragraph could prove to be a good starting point. HOWARD E. BALL McLean