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We pult of this untrarium is exhibited in Diagram II, showing the number of een euch 10) adults are required to educate. The cir
South Central Division. berber
Mantan showing the number of school children 6 to 14 yenrs of age to every 100 adults, or per
on ve VI to HRD, Thomhaded parts measure the number of childron 6 to 14.
onmistance may be noted that in the South Central States each 100 adults have nearly twice as many children dependent upon them for Aucation and the same number of adults in the States and Territories of the Western Division, the numbers being 50.7 and 28.3 respectively. luindi dual States her also the contrast would be still more striking.
TABLE 5.--Percentage of the population enrolled in the common schools.
Enrollment.--Tables 4 and 5 exhibit various facts relating to the enrollment of pupils in common schools since 1870; the data of the latter table are also graphically represented in Diagram III (p. 14). While the table gives the facts with greater numerical accuracy, the diagram presents more clearly to the eye the status of the different geographical divisions with respect to each other, and the changes that have taken place from year to year.
The diagram shows what percentage of the total population was enrolled in the common schools. The most noticeable feature presented by this diagram is the growth of common schools in the South. Beginning with an enrollment of less than 8 per cent. in 1870, the two southern divisions rise almost uninterruptedly in the scale. The South Atlantic passes above the Western Division in 1880, and the South Central above the same in 1883. Their course is still upward in the main, until in 1889, with an enrollment of about 20 per cent., they both stand above the North Atlantic Division, which has 17.8 per cent.
Hardly less significant, though not so much a matter of common knowledge, is the decrease of the proportion of the population reported as enrolled in the common schools in the two northern divisions. This movement of decrease has been going on almost continuously since 1870, until in 1889 the North Atlantic Division has fallon below every division except the Western. The final dip downward (from 1888 to 1889) is very noticeable. The detailed table, given in Chap. XXIX, shows that there was an absolute decrease in the enrollment of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island from 1888 to 1889, while the enrollment of New York and New Jersey was almost stationary, the school population at the same time increasing rapidly.
III.-Diagram showing the percentage of population enrolled in the common schools, ag tabulated in Tablo 5.
It may be of use to inquire to what causes this apparent or real fall. ing off is due. It is not possible to make any exact statement in this regard, but the following agencies have undoubtedly operated during the last two decades to decrease the public school enrollment as reported :
(a) The more rigid exclusion of duplicate enrollments from school reports in recent years.
(b) The rapid extension of the private school system. A continually increasing proportion of pupils attend private schools, with the result of diminishing public school attendance by so much. During the year 1888–89 the estimated private school enrollment of sixteen States increased at the rate of 7.10 per cent. per annum, while the public school rate of increase for the same States was only 1.44 per cent.
(c) The growing tendency to refrain from sending children to school at so early an age as heretofore. The number of pupils under five years of age has decreased in Massachusetts during each of the last ten years. Six years is coming to be considered soon enough to begin the public school education of children by other than kindergarten methods, and in many cities children are not permitted to attend until they have reached that age. On the other hand, in Massachusetts at least, children do not leave school at as early an age as heretoforema consideration tending to increase the enrollment. The resultant effect would depend on whether the average number of years children remain in schools is increasing or diminishing.
(d) The gradual change in the character of the population. With the growth of manufactures the class of factory operatives, largely of foreign extraction, has more and more predominated. There has been an influx of French Canadians and of Irish into New England, all largely Catholics of the humbler classes, and neither element is calculated to in. crease the public school attendance. The census of 1890 will probably furnish valuable material for study in this connection.
The circumstance that the decline in thd proportion of the population enrolled in the public schools of the Northern States is coincident in point of time with the introduction of compulsory attendance in the great majority of those States” is noteworthy. Yet compulsory laws have bad very little to do with the matter. Except in Connecticut and in certain municipalities in perhaps half a dozen other States, compul. sory laws have been entirely inoperative, and have had no effect on
* E.9.: The Massachusetts School Report for 1888-39 says (p. 56) that previous to 1-79 a system of reports was in use under which some of the pupils were counted more than once.
The compulsory edacation systom of the United States is in the main the growth of the two last decades. Previous to 1870 there were compulsory attendance laws only in Massachusetts, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, and these were of a crude character and had never been thoroughly enforced. Laws for suppressing truancy, and restricting the employment of children of school ago to labor had, howver, been passed before 1870 in Connecticut and a few other States.
attendance one way or the other, except it may be a temporary one immediately following their first enactment; in some cases their very existence is unknown to or has been forgotten by most persons.
Where they have been enforced, in the most advanced educational communities, they are applicable to only a small percentage of children. Most children either voluntarily attend the public schools, or are educated elsewhere, or are legally exempt. In such communities a rigid enforcement of the law would increase the school enrollment by only a a slight ratio, and even of the few brought into school under compul. sion a majority will perhaps select private schools as their place of attendance."
“In any given year a larger percentage of children may be kept from school by a contagious disease or an inclement season than the entire percentage affected by the law, and hence its influence, so far as shown by statistics, be wholly lost sight of.92
In a word, the influence of compulsory laws upon school attendance bas been either zero, or else so slight that in the most favorable cases it may be more thau neutralized by such agencies as those just referred to.
(e) The low proportion of children of school age in the total popula. tion must not be overlooked in considering the small school enrollment in the North Atlantic States. This was noticed on p. 11. It is possi. ble that the census of 1890 will show a still smaller percentage of children of school age. How can the fact be explained that in the enlightened State of Rhode Island only 15.1 per cent of the population are enrolled in school in 1858–89, save through absolute lack of children !
The average percentage of enrollment for the United States rose from 17.8 per 100 in 1870 to 20,1 per 100 in 1815. It was during this period, in a great measure, that the common school systems of the South were organized. Since 1875 the increase of enrollment in the South has only been sufficient to compensate for the decline in the North, and the resultant enrollment of pupils in the United States has remained at about 20 per 100, or 1 in 5 of the popnlation.
The North Central Division occupies altogether the highest position as regards the proportion of the population enrolled (22.6 per 100), while the West, rn Division was in 1859 the lowest (17.1 per 100). The proportion of the school population enrolled, however, is another matter. Children are most numerons in the South, as has been shown, and a high percentage of the total population enrolled may coerist there with a low percentage of school population (sis to fourteen years) enrolled. In point of fact, a diagram giving the percentage of children of school age enrolled, would show the North throughout standing far above the Sonth.
"In Manchester, X. H., (12), of eighty-nine "truaats not earolled found on streets," twenty-three were sent to city schools and sixty-six to parochial schools.
* Conn. Sch. Rep., 182, p. 36.