« PreviousContinue »
umn 3, Table 18, shows the result. The figures presented appear somewhat improbable in certain cases and the outcome is not altogether satisfactory as a whole, but even with its faults a far more equitable basis for comparison is established than has been available heretofore.
CITY HIGH SCHOOLS.
In Table 16 appear statistics relating to the public high schools of 660 cities.
The whole number of schools reported is 725, which number would probably be increased by about 100 if all the 768 cities were heard from.
NUMBER OF HIGH SCHOOLS COMPARED WITH POPULATION.
The following table reveals several interesting facts in relation to the 725 schools concerning which definite information is at hand:
TABLE 4.-Distribution, by geographical divisions, of city public high schools.
High schools are relatively most numerous in the cities of the North Central Division and fewest in those of the North Atlantic Division. This does not necessarily mean that high-school advantages are more limited in the North Atlantic than in any other division, for in this, as in all other divisions but the Western, there are more schools than cities; but it is due to the fact that the cities, and consequently the schools themselves, are larger. The cities of New York and Philadelphia alone have as large a population as all the 91 cities reporting from the South Atlantic and South Central Divisions combined, yet 5 high schools susice for New York and Philadelphia, while 109 are necessary for the 91 Southern cities.
1 See also page 770.
The following table exhibits more in detail the location of the schools reported and their numerical relation to the total population which they are intended to serve:
NORTH ATLANTIC DIVIS
SOUTH ATLANTIC DIVIS
XORTI CENTRAL DIVIS-
Indiana...... 3,791, 523 | Illinois
796, 900 Michigan..
SOUTE CENTRAL DIVIS
Columns 12 to 16 ia Table 16 were introduced to show the character of the instruction imparted in the several schools. The information shown is not of the character to justify the formation of new opinions or startling conclusions of a general kind, for it simply brings further proof'to the well-known fact that the great majority of high school students are about equally divided between the two principal courses that are practically the same the country over. For purposes of comparison between individual schools, and in judying the character of each, the coluinus are principally valuable.
SEX CF HIGII SCHOOL GRADUATES,
In the column showing the nr.mber of high school graduates during the year, 513 cities are reported, showing a to al of 11,970 persons graduated. (this number 3,561 are males and 7,903 are females, the sex of 416 not being reportel. Of those whose sex is known 30.9 per cent. are boys and 69.1 per cent. are girls.
The small proportion of boys who finish the higii school course is a matter of grave concern, which is worthy of the most serious consideration, especially since it is apparent that the proportion is decreasing. This tendency is conspicuously visible in the largest cities. It may be remarked in passing that not only is the proportion of high school pupils least in those cities,' but among those who do reach the highest grades boys are relatively fewer in the large then in the smaller cities. In the ten great cities named in the table below the ratio of boys to the whole number of graduates in 18:9 was 25.2 per cent., 5.7 per cent. less than the same ratio for all of the cities.
See column 7, Table 21, p. 809, Education Report, 1383-87, and column 14, Table 26, p. 360, Education Report, 1887-88.
DECREASING PROPORTION OF MALE GRADUATES.
To determine what has been the decrease in the relative number of males a table bas been prepared, showing the number of male and of female graduates from the high schools of the ten principal cities during three periods of five years each, ending 1864, 1869, and 1889, respectively. The last period is separated from the first two by sutiicient interval to show the effect of causes constantly operating; each covers time enough to avoid errors that might occur from considering results produced in a shorter time which might be the outcome of'accidental, not permanent, causes; and finally, the cities taken are representatives of all sections of the country, so that the conclusions reached may not be vitiated by a suspicion that the causes are to be found in purely local conditions. Prior to 1860 the records are not sufficient for general comparisons.
TABLE 6.-Number of males and of females graduated from the high schools of the ten
largest cilies during 1860–64 inclusive.
a The boys' high school was established in 1864; the first class graduated from the girls' high school in 1865. 6 Data for this period not available, except for 1860. c Number in senior class. d The first class graduated from the Central School in 1880.
e Prior to establishinent of girls' high and normal school supplementary classes were maintained with a course of study covering two years, for girls; number of graduates prior to 1864 is nou shown.
TABLE 7.-Number of males and of females graduated from the high schools of the ten
largest cities during 1865-69 inclusive.
a Course in Eastern Female High School changed to four years. b Number in senior class. c The first class graduated from Central School in 1850. d Males, graduates of Free Academy, afterwards New York College; females, graduates of supo plementary classes of two years.
TABLE 8.-Number of males and of females grailuated from the high schcols of the ten
largest cities during 1885-89 inclusive.
San Francisco 59 179
48 159 50 121 43 140 200 599 Chicago ....
37 131 36 157 49 194 33 281 192 $75 New Orleans...
18 90 Baltimore......
125 19 128 49 124 43 117 63 129 190 623 Boston c 203 253 219
320 256 399 208 383 252 339 1,198 1,691 St. Louis à ....... 16
84 | 20
110 32 102 ! 35 122 22 | 181 125 599 Brooklyn 18 173 33 188 1 42 185 0 147 101 159
103 $52 New York..
e38 1280 e38 f289 e55 f291 450 f291 181 1,157 Cincinnati
57 237 | 59 237 137 253 95 260 348 987 103 1,016 483 1,504 637 1,786 690 1,720 619 11, 838 2,838 7,864
a Number of seniors in December, 1885. b Increase, 6.7.
c Includes graduates of Latin schools and members of third year and advanced classes of high schools.
d Number in senior class.
The large ratio of boys graduated during the first five years is all the more remarkable since not only did a considerable number of boys actually leave school to enlist in the military service, but it may be assumed that the absence of such numbers of men from their ordinary avocations necessitated by the civil war had the effect of increasing the demand for the services of youths of high school age both at their homes and in the industrial and business pursuits. It would have been natural to suppose, therefore, that the relative number of boys in the high schools would show an immediate increase after the disbanding of the armies, and the resumption of their places in the peaceful callings by over a million of released soldiers.
But the statistics bear witness that instead of an increase, the second five-year period shows a falling off of nearly 10 per cent., proving that the unreasonable and inexplicable custom that takes boys prematurely from the schools and puts them to work ill prepared for its exactions was even then tightening the grip which it has held with increasing firmness ever since.
In the third period, which embraces the present time, the girl graduates outnumber the boys nearly three to one. The proportion of boys is largest in the cities of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Boston, Mass., and smallest in Brooklyn, N. Y., where the girls are more than eight times as many as the boys. The greatest decrease is noticed in St. Louis, Mo., where from two boys to one girl in 1860-64 the proportion has changed to four girls to one boy during the last period.
In Baltimore the decrease since 1865-69 is inconsiderable, and since 1860-64 there has been an actual gain. This is due principally to the establishment of the manual training school, which has annually graduated a large class of boys without affecting the popularity of the City College. A similar result may be seen in Philadelphia since the graduation of the first class from the manual training school there, for there has been no falling off in the number graduated from the Central High School, while the graduates from the special school represent a clear gain. This does not immediately justify the conclusion that the solution of the question of the small proportion of boy graduates consists in the establishment of special schools to hold those who would ordinarily leave before the completion of the course, for even if it be granted that the end justifies the means the time that has elapsed has not been sufficient to show the ultimate effect of the special schools upon the older add more orthodox institutions. But there can be no doubt that the statistics so far are favorable to the advocates of the “mechanic-arts high schools."
The existence of evening schools is reported in 149 of the 710 cities heard from. Six cities, namely, Rockford, Ili., Plymouth, Mass., East Saginaw, Mich., Escanaba, Mich.,
Cohoes, N. Y., and Sidney, Ohio, report the discontinuance of the evening schools maintained in 1887-88; and no information is given in the reports and returns received in this office relating to such schools in Key West, Fla., Muscatine, Iowa, Peabody, Mass., Harrisburg, Pa., New Castle, Pa., Wilkes Barre, Pa., and Oshkosh, Wis., all of which reported them last year.
One hundred and thirty-four cities now on our lists were included in the evening-school table in the last Report. The number represented in Table 17 herewith is greater by fifteen, hence twenty-eight cities report evening schools this year which did not report them in 1887–88. The actual gain in the number of evening schools can not be positively stated, for it is impossible to say in how many of these twenty-eight cities this is the initial year, since some of them made no report last year, and the failure to mention evening schools in other cases may have been due simply to oversight on the part of reporting officers; this is known to be true in one or two instances.
FALLING OFF OF ATTENDANCE AT EVENING SCHOOLS.
An attempt was made to secure for this Report whatever exact data was arailable in relation to falling off in attendance which is a source of complaint in so many cities. No better questions for this purpose suggested themselves than those which appear at the head of columns 14 and 15 in Table17. Though the information obtained represents but a few cities, it clearly shows the grounds for the complaint. In Chicago 9, 189 pupils were enrolled during the whole six months' term; 3,461 were present at the opening and only 1,297 at the closing session. The average number of evenings' attendance of each pupil enrolled was 40, which is equivalent to three complete changes of personnel during the term. In Paterson, N. J., all but 43 of the 1,993 pupils enrolled entered at the beginning of the term and at the end of three months only one-fifth of them remained. The average of each pupil's attendance in that city was twenty-one evenings or about one month. In Pawtucket, R. I., the schools were open five months and in that time practically three different sets of pupils were instructed, the average time of attendance of each pupil being twenty-eight evenings. At Milwaukee, Wis., 1,000 pupils were present at the opening and 1,488 came in as the term grew older, but the average daily attendance was only 886 and the number at the closing session was but 660.
Mr. Donald L. Morrill, supervisor of evening schools of Chicago, thinks it “not unreasonable to suppose that one-half the number enrolled can be kept in school for the greater part of the term,” and urges that "no effort be spared to attain that result at least.” Even this low standard has been reached by considerably less than half the cities from which both the enrollment and daily attendance are reported, and if Mr. Morrill's further assertion be true that it is safe to assume in general that the pupil who is interested enough to come to an evening school for a few weeks will remain for a longer time if he finds he is repaid for so doing, the statistics show a woful deticiency in the general quality of evening school instruction,
UXSATISFACTORY CONDITION OF EVENING SCHOOLS.
There is, in fact, very little that affords grounds for encouragement in the general system of evening school organization as it now prevails. The day schools demand and obtain all that is best of the teaching profession, and it is a matter of pure chance if a thoroughly efficient teacher is found without permanent employment and willing to accept the hard work, poor pay, and uncertain tenure of an evening school position. As it is not considered judicious to allow day teachers to assume the extra burden of night work (though it is occasionally done), the consequence is that the care usually exercised in the selection of teachers is almost invariably relaxed when instructors for evening schools are to be appointed. The work to be done is rarely systematically laid out, and even the length of the term of each school is generally a matter left to be settled by the measure of success it attains. With a teacher picked up at baphazard and an air of uncertainty about everything connected with the school its duration is naturally very short.
It is not surprising in view of these circumstances that there is a general indifference almost amounting to contempt on the part of the people toward evening schools, and a lack of confidence in the value of the instruction tbey give; nor is it strange that they are termed "educational luxuries that only wealthy cities can afford” by men who undoubtedly have the best interests of public education at heart.
The plain truth is that evening schools ought to be placed upon such a basis as will enable them to do creditable work or they ought to be abolished altogether.
The latter would be a very serious mistake. The possibilities for good that they present are so great that to abandon them would be nearly as bad as to continue them in a state of inefficiency.