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53. Redemption of bonds.
III. OTHER PAYMENTS
54. Redemption of short-term loans..
55. Payment of warrants and orders of preceding year.
56. Payments to sinking funds..
57. Payments of interest..
58. Miscellaneous payments, including payments to trust funds, textbooks to be sold to pupils, etc..
67. Business taxes (licenses, excise taxes, taxes on corporations, taxes on occupations, etc.)...
68. Poll taxes...
69. Fines and penalties.
70. Rents and interest.
71. All other revenue.
TOTAL REVENUE RECEIPTS.
73. Loans and bond sales..
74. Warrants issued and unpaid..
75. Sales of real property and proceeds of insurance adjustments.
76. Sales of equipment and supplies..
77. Refund of payments..
78. Other non-revenue receipts.
These two forms of record; namely the cumulative pupil card and the schedule for reporting fiscal statistics, are each made more significant by reason of existence of the other. It is to be supposed that these accurate records of the attendance, promotion, retardation, and elimination of pupils will be used in connection with the fiscal statistics in order to determine the cost of education per pupil in any school, or if the fiscal schedule be somewhat elaborated, in any subject.
The report has thus far considered the problem of uniform records and reports as affecting cities. The problem of comparison among the several states was also considered by your committee.
The value of educational statistics for purposes of comparisons between states depends largely upon the degree of uniformity and the form and method in which they are reported. Such value also depends in great measure upon the extent to which the terms employed are commonly accepted and definitely understood.
To secure such uniformity of method and form the following recommendations are suggested:
1. That the terms and definitions used by the Bureau of Education be accepted and employed in collecting and reporting all local data by the states, supplemented with such other terms and definitions as the statutes of the individual state may require.
2. That the blank forms employed by the state departments for collecting statistics be based, so far as practicable, upon the arrangement used by the United States Bureau of Education.
3. That all the facts of educational interest tabulated by the United States Bureau of Education be fully and uniformly reported by the states.
4. That the printed reports of the states cover, so far as practicable, for each state the same scope of educational activity as that covered by the reports of the Bureau of Education for the entire nation.
COMMENT ON RECOMMENDATION NUMBER ONE
The first of the foregoing recommendations calls for mutual agreement to accept and employ somewhat arbitrary definitions and terms now variously interpreted as, for example, "school enrollment," "average attendance," "truancy," "school age," etc., etc. Such definitions should be made by a committee representing the states, but should, so far as possible, conform to any majority practice already accepted, and should be submitted to a referendum of the state departments.
COMMENT ON RECOMMENDATION NUMBER TWO
The advantage of employing forms as nearly as possible uniform in arrangement would be the more rapid acceptance and understanding of the items required under any given subject. The use of such forms by local reporting officers would tend rapidly toward a general and uniform understanding of items now variously understood because they are reported from various points of view.
The blank forms should constitute the subject of further investigation by the Committee on Uniform Statistics or a similar committee and should be subject to a referendum of the state departments.
COMMENT ON RECOMMENDATION NUMBER THREE
An examination of the state reports and those of the Bureau of Education reveals a considerable lack of uniformity in certain fundamental matters reported by the Bureau of Education. The third recommendation would call, therefore, for the extension of inquiry on the part of the states. The following items are selected as representative of facts reported by a majority of the states, but not collected and reported by all of them. A. School Census.
a) Not taken by three states.
b) Sexes not enumerated by thirteen states.
B. School Enrollment.
a) Lack of uniformity of definition.
b) Sexes not enumerated by twelve states.
C. Average Attendance.
a) Statistics uncertain because of lack of uniformity of definition.
D. Teachers' Wages.
a) No differentiation between sexes by nine states.
b) The distinction between elementary and secondary schools is not clearly indicated by many states.
E. Private Schools.
a) Statistics for the majority of states are inadequate. Seven states report no statistics. Other states gather such statistics, but not uniformly in time or method with those for public schools. A number of states give approximate figures only. F. School Revenues and Expenditures.
a) Methods of gathering and reporting these figures vary greatly among the states. Suggestions for improving these form the subject of another section of this report. G. Classification of School Expenses.
a) See note under F.
COMMENT ON RECOMMENDATION NUMBER FOUR
An examination of the state reports reveals no general practice relative to the publication in school reports of statistics of educational movements and institutions not under direct public control.
It is apparently the practice of many states to include in the publicschool report figures and statistics relative only to those items which are specifically controlled by state or local public-school authorities. The committee would suggest the proposition that it is desirable that each state report shall cover all essential particulars of the varied educational activities within the state. Among the features not reported uniformly by all states are:
A. Private elementary schools.
B. Academies, seminaries, and other private secondary schools.
C. Colleges other than state universities and land-grant colleges.
D. Schools for defectives and delinquents.
E. General educational movements, as, for example, public playgrounds, school hygiene, etc.
The committee suggests that the use of the state report as a clearinghouse of educational information would simplify the task of gathering information on the condition and progress of education among the states and that reasonable uniformity of treatment would simplify the interpretation of the facts reported. As a basis for such uniformity the committee suggests the adoption by the states of the general form of report adopted by the Bureau of Education.
The recommendations of the committee with regard to the type of record to be kept become significant only in proportion to the use which can be made of the statistics gathered in the organization and administration of our schools. The discussion and illustrations which follow furnish the best argument which can be made for the adoption of more adequate records and reports.
USE OF STATISTICS IN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
FACTS VERSUS OPINION
When the school was small, consisting of one or two teachers, or at most of one or two buildings, definite knowledge with reference to school needs and the work done was easily acquired. With the development of school systems, involving expenditure of millions of dollars, comprising thousands of teachers, and hundreds of thousands of pupils, direct knowledge of what should be done, and of what is being done, is rendered more or less impossible, yet the necessity of positive knowledge of actual school needs and conditions is imperative.
Teaching is at best only becoming a profession. Perhaps in no other line of activity do custom and tradition play such a prominent part. The same activities are carried on today because they were carried on yesterday. The same emphasis is given a study now because this was the emphasis formerly given. The same topics are taught in the subject because these were previously taught. In a word, we are just beginning to study the reasons for this and that activity, and for doing this and that type of school work.
At best, theories of education are difficult to define and to determine. Our attitude toward foreign languages, toward science, toward formal grammar, toward the time and place given to arithmetic, our ideas of where to begin the teaching of formal spelling, or of writing, or of geography, rest not upon facts, but very largely upon opinions-opinions which in turn are determined to a large extent by education and temperament.
Not only in the work of administration are our larger policies a reflection, to a greater or less extent, of personal bias, but even in the smaller matters, if they may be so called, the personal point of view dominates
to a considerable extent. We arbitrarily assume that our children profit by the study of Latin, by the study of science; we arbitrarily assume that the high school is doing all that it should for its pupils; we arbitrarily assume that pupils are efficient in reading, that this style and type of writing is preferable; that our children are good or poor in spelling; that the work in history and geography is effective; we arbitrarily assume that proper emphasis is placed upon each of the studies, and these given their time-value and proper emphasis in the advancement of children through the school. Seldom indeed in the past have school men measured by any definite criteria, or proved by systematic investigation, any of the above assumptions.
If the administration of the public school is to be elevated above the plane of personal opinion, if our theories are to be given foundation in fact, if our assumptions with reference to lines of work, methods of instruction, mastery of subject-matter, and skill in manipulation are to be displaced by positive knowledge, data must be collected with reference to actual social conditions, with reference to the effect upon children of certain lines of instruction, and with reference to the effectiveness of given methods of teaching. In a word, if school administration is to be rescued from the dominion of tradition and personal bias, systematic and scientific study must be made of school methods, and of school results. For only as facts take the place of opinion, assumption gives way to definite knowledge, mere personal point of view yields to established principles, will the administration of our schools be placed upon a firm footing, and education be made scientific and professional.
DETERMINING THE WORK OF THE SCHOOL
The annual reports of given school systems may show an increase in the number of children receiving their education at public expense. Yet in centers of rapidly increasing population the school registration may be increasing and still the public school be losing ground. The basis of determining whether a given system is reaching a larger and larger proportion of children of school age, or of determining what part of its whole task a given school is doing, lies not in the enrollment, but in the relation this enrollment bears to the total school population.
To know the whole work of the school, it is therefore necessary to secure an accurate school census by ages. A comparison of this data with the total enrollment in public, private, and parochial schools will reveal the part of the whole work which is not being covered by any school, also the part of the whole work being done by the public school.
Table I shows the school census by ages of the city of Cleveland for 1908-1909, the number enrolled in public, private, and parochial schools, the number in no school, and the percentage of all the children of the city in the public school: