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schools for Indians. These included in the aggregate 288,280 pupils) would swell the total to over 14,000,000 persons who were receiving education in school for a longer or shorter period during the year. The average number of days during which the common schools were in ses. sion was 1344, and the average number of days during which the pupils of these schools actually attended was 87). This, at the rate of 5 school days per week, would give 174 weeks for the actual aitendance, averaged by the entire enrollment.
The question arises here as to the number of years of attendance at school for each pupil on an average. The number of persons in the United States between the ages of 6 and 20 years, inclusive, is 34 per cent. of the whole population. This would give, for the year 1889 20,700,000 children of school age, of whom, as we have seen, nearly 14,000,000 attended school, or 67 per cent of all persons of suitable age. If it is reasonable to expect a school attendance of only that portion of the community whose ages range from 6 to 16, inclusive, then (since this portion is 26 per centum of the total population) we may say that the school enrollment was very nearly all to be expected, namely, 90 per cent. of the youth from 6 to 16 years, inclusive.
From these data we may infer that on an average the youth of the land receive each 17 weeks of schooling annually for 10 years.
Taken in this general aspect, the results do not seem otherwise than encouraging. Certainly the educative effect of 17 weeks' schooling compared with 40 weeks (the annual term in cities) is much greater than the fraction seventeen-fortieths would indicate. Perhaps in 20 weeks the average school will teach three-fourths as much as it would in 40 weeks. The youth who attends school 3 months a year learns in 10 years much more than he would learn in 30 months of consecutive schooling.
But these general averages conceal the bad side of school statistics by mixing it with the good. The length of the school term (see page 18) is much longer in the Northern States than in the Southern, being something over 150 days in the former and less than 100 days in the latter. The average attendance in both sections is about 65 per cent. of the number enrolled, and this reduces the actual amount of schooling received by the total number to about 100 days in the North and 60 days in the South. The sparsely settled country districts usually have short annual school terms, and this is the chief reason why the South makes so poor a showing in this respect. On the other hand, the South indicates a great and increasing interest in public school education by the very large per cent. of its population which it enrolls in school. It will be seen (page 1) that the public schools of the South make quite as good a showing as those of the North in this last respect.
In this particular, however, the returns obtained from the several States are far from satisfactory. It is the practice over a large portion of the country for the rural districts to have two terms separated by a long vacation, the one called a winter school and the other a suinmer school. The winter term enrolls older pupils and is usually taught loy a master, while the summer term is often taught by a different teacher. In the summer term more young pupils are enrolled, but there are many who attend both summer and winter terms, and these are counted twice in the State summaries of school enrollment in those States where efficient devices have not yet been invented to exclude from the returns all duplication. It is my impression that it is the more careful exclusion of duplicates that causes most of the apparent shrinkage in the per centum of enrollment in the public schools of the northern sections. In the North Atlantic division it will be seen (page 13) that the enrollment has diminished from 22 per cent. in 1870 to less than 18 per cent, in 1889. In the South Atlantic division, on the contrary, the per cent. has increased during the same period from 6 to 20. The specialist of the Bureau who prepared the general statistical exhibit* has mentioned four other points to be considered (pages 15, 16) in explaining this real or apparent decline in the school enrollment of the Northern States. I would urge, however, that whether the decline be real or only apparent, the enrollment is still as large as is normal. The increase in the length of school term, pointed out in the comparative tables, makes it possible for the youth to complete the course of study in fewer years than formerly. Hence, although his aggregate schooling as measured by number of weeks has greatly increased, the namber of years of enrollment may have decreased somewhat. It is the increase of city population and the extension of urban systems of education into the villages along the line of the railroad that cause this increase in the length of the school term.
GRADE OF INSTRUCTION. Looking at the grade of education we see (page 3) that less than 6 papils in the hundred are returned as pursuing secondary and higher education, the remaining 94 being engaged upon the elementary course in reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, and United States history. The ratio of pupils in secondary schools (i, e., high schools, academies, and schools preparatory for college) to those in col. leges and universities is 5 to 1. One in five hundred of the population is enrolled in schools for higher instruction.
If we divide the school population, which has been stated to form 34 per cent. of the total population, roughly into 3 classes, allowing for primary or elementary schools all between the ages of 6 and 13, inclusive, we shall set apart 20 per centum of the whole ; the population aged from 14 to 17, inclusive, amounts to 8 per centum for secondary education; 6 per centum remains for the number aged 18 to 20, inclusive, for higher education. These percentages applied to the results shown by the statistics for the year 1889 give us the following ratios :
For the 12,000,000 of school age for elementary instruction there were
actually enrolled in public and private schools 12,931,259, or an excess of nearly 1,000,000. For the 4,750,000 of school age for secondary in. struction there were actually enrolled only 668,461, or less than oneseventh of the youth of age for that grade of work. Of the 4,000,000 of right age for higher education there were enrolled only 126,854, or less than one-thirtieth of the quota.
These data are explained by the fact that the pupils enrolled as studying in the elementary grades of school work include some who have not yet completed their sixth year, and many more who are of ages ranging from 14 to 20 years.
Six.sevenths of the population on arriving at the proper age for secondary education never receive it. Thirty out of thirty-one fail to receive higher education upon arriving at the proper age.
SCHOOL PROPERTY. In 19 years the value of property owned for public schools has in. creased from $130,000,000 to $323,000,000, or more than twice as fast as the population. During the same period the annual expenditures have risen from $63,000,000 to $132,000,000, and the amount for each man, .woman, and child has increased from $1.64 to $2.16. The Southern section has more than doubled its amount per capita. The annual cost of education in the public schools is $16.51 for each pupil in attendance.
EDUCATION IN THE SOUTI. The following exhibit shows at a glance the steady progress of the Southern States in the development of common-school education. There are no statistics accessible that show separate items for the white and colored schools previous to 1876. Since that period the enrollment of white pupils has increased 75 per cent., while the white population has increased little more than 30. The colored enrollment has increased 113 per cent., while the colored population has increased less than 25 per cent. The amount of money expended from public funds bas in, creased from $11,000,000 to $23,000,000 per annum.
Sixteen former slave States and the District of Columbia,
COMPARISON OF GERMAN, FRENCH, AND AMERICAN SCHOOLS.
The legitimate function of the Bureau of Education is the collection and distribation of educational information. Each place should know the fruits of experience in all other places. A national bureau should not merely collect the statistics of education in the several States, but should also study the systems established by the various nations of Europe and Asia. Doubtless each nation has devised some kind of discipline, some course of study which will train the children of its schools into babits in harmony with its laws. An investigation of these features in view of the obvious demands of the governmental forms will furnish us with a science of comparative pedagogy.
My predecessors in this Bureau have therefore presented from year to year in their Annual Reports a digest of foreign educational information, and have supplemented these by special studies of noteworthy educational changes abroad.
The knowledge of other educational systems than our own is the most important of all species of practical knowledge, because it is a knowledge of methods, and this sort of knowledge alone it is that gives directive power. The explanation to ourselves of the differences that exist in our neighbor's system and a careful study of the special fruits which grow from it will enlighten us as to our own peculiarities, and we shall watch these with care lest they become exaggerated and have results not to be desired.
In the second chapter of this Report there is offered a comparison of the school systems of Germany and France with our own. The specialist* who has prepared it has accompanied his figures with graphic illustrations so as to impress on the reader the quantitative values of the items of school attendance and course of study.
It will be noticed that the enrollment of all the pupils who have attended school for any portion of the year is not so large in the other countries as that returned for the United States. The proportion of pupils pursuing higher studies seems, however, to bo much larger in Germany and France. It must be borne in mind that these comparative statistics are only approximately correct. There are many obstacles in the way besides inaccurate local records. The technical terms used by one nation do not have precisely the same import as words used by an. other nation to translate those terms. We are not yet sure that the item which we call "enrollment” corresponds precisely to what the French and Germans express by the words inscrit and eingeschrieben. It seems, too, that they do not find the item of average attendance by averaging the daily count. They take the attendance on two selected days of the year and make the average of these two days stand for the average attendance for the year. That this method can furnish only approximate results is evident. Both days selected might prove stormy or unusually
* Dr. L. R. Klemm.
pleasant; they would scarcely be average days. I note in the reports of the schools of St. Louis (Missouri) for the year 1879 the average attendance, calculated by averaging the daily reports for the entire year, was 35,860 pupils, while averaging the reports for the days closing the first and last quarter of the year gives 35,925 pupils; but an average of the four days that closed the first, second, third, and fourth quarters gives 36,106. The year 1878 shows: Average for entire year .....
35, 710 Average for closing days of first and fourth quarters........................ 34,500 Average for closing days of first, second, third, and fourth quarters.......... 35, 394
This illustrates the unreliability of any method of calculating average attendance except that of averaging daily reports for the whole year.
COURSE OF STUDY.
The comparison of the courses of study shows that the French and Germans devote much less time than Americans to the study of orthography. The peculiarities of English spelling render necessary much memorizing. Were this exercise of memory devoted to the subjectmatter of science and literature there would be acquired a store of useful erudition which future reflection might assimilate and turn into wisdom. But the spelling-book does not furnish food for reflection, or mental nourishment. Mechanical memorizing is the much-lamented characteristic of our common schools. It is evident that such must remain their characteristic so long as English-speaking children mem.orize, like the Chinese, the arbitrary spelling of more than ten thousand words before they can write the language with readiness. But the Chinese gain one solid advantage. Their civilization, resting as it does on the patriarchal form, needs implicit obedience on the part of each and every person to those higher in rank and consideration by reason of age and official position. The Chinese child in memorizing the shape and structure of the complex sign that represents a word, trains himself at the same time into the habit of conforming to what is prescribed for him. By the time he has memorized the ten thousand complex symbols necessary to each scribe he has also memorized the classic writings which enjoin on his mind all the formalities necessary to testify his respect and obedience to his elders and superiors in rank. His mind is filled with adages which impress on him the importance of this obedience. Trained to mecbanical habits of conformity and taught to believe in externally prescribed rules as of supreme authority, the Chinese yonth is sure to be conservative.
The singular feature of this kind of education is that the more the youth receives of it the more fixed he becomes in his conservatism. Western European education generally tends towards emancipation from authority. Only in so far as it deals with certain conventional elements which require mechanical memory does it have the opposite tendency of strengthening the habit of obedience to external authority.