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3. That in view of those conclusions the card submitted has been adopted as best representing the consensus of opinion on the matter of a cumulative record card, and the committee recommends the general use of this card, or one in substantial agreement with it as to the essential facts needed for statistical data and school administration.
The committee desires to call attention to the following suggestive list of uses to which the card may be put:
1. Amount of attendance of individual pupil for one year.
2. Comparative rates of progress in schools having seven-year, eight-year, or nineyear elementary courses.
3. Classification of pupils by age and grade. (Note that a standard date for computing ages is established, viz., September 1.)
4. Classification of pupils for enrollment data:
a) Duplicate enrollment in the school.
b) From other public schools in town or city.
c) From other public schools in state.
d) Original enrollment from all other sources.
5. Number of times child has been detained in a grade.
6. Foreign birth as affecting progress.
7. Kindergarten training as affecting progress.
8. Attendance in other schools as affecting progress.
9. Absence as affecting progress.
10. Numerous inquiries having to do with individual school management.
Diverse opinions as to the necessity of certain items on the Admission, Discharge, and Promotion Card, as, for example, item "Conduct," are not necessarily barriers in the way of the uniform use of the form of card recommended; for in any school system such an item may be omitted by direction of the superintendent, or left optional with principals. The value of a uniform card lies chiefly in three considerations:
1. Universal adaptability for use in whatever system of schools the pupil may enter. 2. Decreased cost because of printing in large quantities.
3. Establishment of common practices of record making and common terms for the expression of facts valuable for statistical investigation.
It is believed that any general record card recommended for universal adoption should not include a detailed statement of facts needed for an adequate study of individual cases of physically abnormal and retarded children. For such a purpose a special form should be used providing for yearly records of defective eyesight, hearing, condition of teeth, and other physical characteristics, and for records concerning nutrition, environment, specific cases of illness, special aptitudes, and such other facts as are likely to be desired. The exact form of such a card may well be left for future consideration.
The general cumulative record card and this supplementary card will represent the minimum and maximum requirements of the individual cumulative record.
It seems inadvisable at the present time to submit for general agreement any specific form for the recording of daily attendance and for monthly and yearly reports of the same; but certain general principles ought to be given careful consideration, and there are some particulars in which uniformity of practice is very greatly to be desired.
The daily register or daily summary should show four groups of admitted pupils as follows:
a) Pupils previously enrolled during the year, including transfers, within the school or school district. (This item is thrown out in computing the number of different pupils enrolled during the year in a given school or district.)
b) Pupils previously enrolled during the year in some other school or school district in the town or city. (This item is thrown out in computing the number of different pupils enrolled during the year in a given town or city.)
c) Pupils previously enrolled during the year in other towns or cities in the state. (This item is thrown out in computing the number of different pupils enrolled during the year in a given state.)
d) Pupils not previously enrolled during the year in any town or city in the state. (These are original enrollments included in all reports.)
It is not useful to attempt a classification of discharged pupils into four groups corresponding exactly to the four groups of admitted pupils. The following classification is suggested as a desirable one:
a) Pupils temporarily discharged, and transferred within the school or school district. b) Pupils transferred to any other school, public or private. (Graduates separately.) c) Pupils permanently discharged to go to work. (Schooling discontinued before completion of elementary-school course.)
d) Pupils discharged for other reasons. (A relatively small number whose schooling is discontinued before completion of elementary-school course for accidental reasons.)
More important, at the present time, than forms for recording attendance and enrollment data, is the securing of a common terminology for certain conditions of attendance and enrollment. The following definitions are submitted as representative of the best practice:
1. Age and grade classification.-For this purpose the age on the first day of September should be used. This is the age at which, approximately, the pupil enters upon the work of a new grade. There are good reasons for taking it in preference to January 1, the day on which the work of the grade is partially completed, or July 1, the approximate date on which the work of the grade is finished. It is commonly used in school census enumerations, and is conveniently near the time at which a great majority of pupils enter school. If once recorded on the Admission, Discharge, and Promotion Card it can be made a matter of record for each succeeding year with practically no effort and with little likelihood of error.
2. Number enrolled.-It is generally understood that this item means the number enrolled exclusive of duplication, in whatever school unit it is reported for. The way in which this number may be ascertained is indicated under "Enrollment Data," above.
3. Number belonging.-As soon as a pupil is known to have left the school without intention to return he ceases at once to belong and he is not thereafter included in the number belonging. If absent under any other circumstances he is carried on the rolls as "belonging," and marked absent for five consecutive days (or until he returns if his consecutive absence is less than five days in duration). He is "temporarily discharged" at the end of five consecutive days of absence, and then ceases to "belong" until he returns to school and is "readmitted."
Five days (ten half-day sessions in schools having two sessions a day) constitute one week in a great majority of schools, and represent a fair compromise between extremes of practice in this particular.
N.B. "Average number belonging" means the same as "average membership." The average number belonging is found by the same process as the average attendance. 4. Average attendance.-The average daily attendance during the school year (which is the average number of pupils actually present each day the schools were in session) may be computed as follows:
a) For a single school: Add together the number of days each pupil was present during the year or the number of pupils present each day during the year, and divide the sum (which is the "aggregate attendance in days") by the number of such school days.
b) For a group of schools having the same number of days in the year (as the schools of most cities have): Divide the combined aggregate attendance in days of all the schools by the number of days in the school year.
c) For a system of schools having different lengths of school year (as, for instance, those of a county): Add together the average attendance of the component schools and groups of the system as ascertained by the foregoing rules. For larger systems, as those of a state, the summing-up process is continued in the same way.
NOTE. In systems of schools where monthly reports of attendance are called for the general principles of a, b, and c, above, apply to the finding of monthly averages. The sum of the monthly averages of attendance in the schools of most cities, divided by the number of months, is approximately the same as the average attendance for the year found by the methods given above.
5. Average number of days in the school year. In a school system having different lengths of school year in its various units (as in c, above), the average number of days in the school year is found by dividing the combined "aggregate attendance in days" of all schools of the system by the "average attendance" as ascertained by the method given
The second recommendation of the committee has to do with the form of reporting fiscal statistics. With the variation in record and report which we now have, it is impossible to make any adequate comparison of the cost of education as among any group of cities, and usually it is not easy to determine the cost for any particular unit within the school system. itself. The form of report recommended by the committee provides for such differentiation as will enable any one to make adequate comparisons among the several cities of the United States, and, at the same time, calls for a system of accounts which will make it possible to discover the cost of particular types of schools within the system itself.
In some of our cities as much as one-third of the entire city revenue is devoted to education. The demands from all departments for more funds are insistent. Increased expenditures for education must be justified by showing the maximum of return for money already granted. Such evidence of efficiency calls for a system of accounts and of reports at least as elaborate as that which is required to fill out the schedule of fiscal statistics recommended by the committee. The schedule recommended for reporting fiscal statistics follows:
7. Office of superintendent of schools.
8. Enforcement of compulsory education and truancy laws
9. Other expenses of general control..