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AVERAGE DAILY ATTENDANCE.
TABLE 6.- Average number of pupils attending daily the common schools of the United
· Slales, by years, from 1870 to 1889.
TABLE 7.-Average number of pupils daily attending school for every 100 enrolled,
Average daily attendance.—The growth of average attendance has more than kept pace with that of enrollment, so that, for a given pumber of pupils enrolled during the year, for each 100 for instance, the aver. age number attending daily bas progressively increased, considering the United States as a whole. From 59.3 in 1870, the number has risen to 65.1 in 1889, as shown in Table 7. These numbers may also be in. terpreted as showing how many days on an average each pupil enrolled attended school out of every 100 days the schools were in session.
This increase of regularity of attendance has been most marked in the North Atlantic and North Central Divisions; to such an extent, indecd, that the falling off in the proportion of population enrolled in those di. visions bas been nearly counterbalanced, and about as large a propor. tion of the population attend daily on the average now as in 1870.
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Length of school tcrm.-The 100 representing the changes in the lepuh ole school term in Diagram IT are somewhat irregular. On the *119€, tiere has been a decided gain in the ITO Dortlern divisions since 1870. The sudden decrease in the Sorth Atiantic Division in 1884 was due chief'to a law charging the time of the close of the school year in Vew York State, and in a lesser degree to an unusually short school term that year in Pennsylraria.
The upward movement of the line of the Western Division from 1874 to 1875 is very noticeable; this upward siope chronicles the improve. ment effected by a change in the school law of California, establishing a new rule for apportioning school moness, by which every school district, no matter how few the children, received a certain minimum amount-enough to keep their schools open at least six months.
In the South Atlantic Division the length of school term decreased almost continuously from 1870 to 1879. This may be considered as the result of the establishment of ever-increasing numbers of country schools, with shorter terms than the city schools, thus bringing down the general average length of term, without, in fact, the terms of any particular class of schools having been shortened. Here averages are liable to mislcad unless their true character and significance are kept well in mind.
The increasing length of term in the two northern divisions men. tioned above, it may be added, is due in part to the increasing proportion of city schools. The whole school system of the United States, in fact, is gradually taking on a more urban character, and from this cause alone the average school term, average wages of teachers, average per capita expenditure, etc., should show a progressive increase, without there being necessarily any actual increase in either city or country
schools, the increasing average being solely due to the changing proportion each class of schools forms of the total. Hence the necessity arises of a classification of most school statistics for certain purposes into those of city and country schools. Such a classification is also needed to do justice to the agricultural and thinly populated States. The line of the North Atlantic Division, for instance, appears on the diagram far above all the others, on account of the large proportion of city schools in that section. In a comparison of city schools alone, or country schools alono, other sections of the country would prob. ably equal it.
The line exhibiting the length of scbool torm of the South Central Division is very angular, especially in its earlier stages. Several elements enter in to produce this. In 1870 the line represents principally the average school term of only four or five States, in which school systems had been established, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama, and in a less degree Louisiana; then followed the establishment of systems in Mississippi and Texas, beginning with city schools of long terms, by which the average was raised until 1872; then followed a decline, as noted in the South Atlantic Dirision.
These rere contributing causes; still a part of the vagaries of this line must be considered as due to the uncertain and incorrect reports of the grerage length of the school term of that period which are upon record, as well as to changes in the method of computing it adopted by different superintendents.
During the decade just closed the Southern States, like the Northern, show an increase in length of sehool term. There should be a wellmarked prognissire increase, as the school systems of the Sontb are gradually taking on a more urban aspect.
VALUE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY, TABLE 10.- Value of common school property in the United States, by years, from 1870 to 1889.
TABLE 11.- The value of common school property compared with the total population and
with the average daily attendance.
Value of school property.--The valne of school property per capita of population has exhibited a well-defined increase in every section of the Union since 1870. This movement of growth has been in the main continuous, excopt in the interval from 1876 to 1880, during which there was a decided decline in the Northern and Western States, the increase in the value of school property during that time not keeping pace with the increase of population.
This falling off in the per capita value of school property from 1876 to 1880 is attributable in part to the shrinkage of values then going on, which produced only an apparent decline, and in part to an actual dimi. nation of activity in the matter of building schoolhouses; the school reports of that period indicate that the Northern States were then passing through an era of economy and retrenchment, in which school expen