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Essential points not now reported by all the States should by agreement come under universal reporting.-A careful inspection both of National and State reports shows that there are various fundamental points of information relative to schools that are reported by a majority of the States but are not reported by all of them. The committee believes that the basis adopted by the Bureau of Education for all leading items is at once conservative and reasonably comprehensive and that it should be adopted by all the States.
In its preliminary report the committee called attention to various items regarded as fundamental by a majority of the States, but not reported by all of them. In order to collect figures on some of these points, as, for example, the school census (not taken by 3 States), enumeration by sex (omitted by 13 States), school enrollment (only partially taken by 12 States), wages of teachers (not returned for the sexes separately), and private schools (not fully reported), it may be necessary to secure additional legislative authority. The fact that so large a majority of the States have found it desirable to secure these statistics is sufficient evidence of their general interest and value.
Educational reports should be made for the year ending June 30.There appears to be a considerable variety in the terms for which reports are made. The committee recommends that all school systems, including State systems, make their reports on all educational items for the year ending June 30. It does not appear to the committee that such reports for this period are necessarily inconsistent with a plan of making financial reports for a fiscal year terminating on another date.
The scope of the State report should be coextensive with all educational interests of the State.-The committee believes that the educational report of each State should bear the same relation, but more in detail, to the State and its educational activities that the National report bears to the entire country.
A review of State school reports reveals a wide variety of practice in the scope of investigation conducted by State departments. Some of these reports cover only the essential points of public-school conduct required by law to be returned to the State offices, while others aim to report with reasonable fullness all the educational activities. of the State.
With regard to the content of State reports the committee commends to the favorable consideration of State officers the proposition that each State report shall be a compendium of all the educational activities of the State for which it is made. As a supplement to this proposition, the committee mentions the following suggestive outline:
1. A review of educational progress of other States, with particular bearing upon forward movements within the State.
2. Detailed statistics of all public schools under local management-a, elementary; b, secondary; c, normal; d, collegiate; e, city institutional; f, for special pupils; g, vocational; h, extensional. 3. Summaries of the foregoing.
4. Public schools under direct State management-a, elementary; b, secondary; c, normal; d, collegiate; e, technical or vocational; f, professional; g, schools for delinquents; h, schools for defectives; i, special.
5. Summaries of the foregoing.
6. Schools under private management-a, elementary; b; secondary; c, collegiate; d, vocational; e, professional; f, schools for delinquents; g, schools for defectives; h, special.
7. Summaries of the foregoing.
8. Special investigations—
(a) Investigations dealing with special problems, such as school mortality, nonpromotion, etc., are most efficiently conducted through local school systems. The fruits of such investigations should, however, through the medium of the State report be made available to all the people of the State.
(b) State-wide investigations dealing with forward movements affecting a large number of communities, such as school consolidation, conveyance, secondary school distribution, rural progress, etc., should be made directly by State offices.
Special reports or bulletins should be issued at intervals.-The committee strongly recommends the issuing by the States of bulletins or special reports dealing with particular issues at times separate from that of the publication of the comprehensive State report. Such separate reports may be made timely to the discussion of these special issues and hence may be made more effective in promoting a public understanding of them.
The use of charts, diagrams, and illustrations should be considerably increased. The committee recommends that the State reports, in common with city reports, make larger use of charts, diagrams, and illustrations for the purpose of presenting with greater force matters of special and timely interest. While these are in the nature of devices and as such are rarely applicable to the same set of statistics each year, yet they undoubtedly make an appeal to the interest of any subject that a verbal or tabular statement fails to effect, with a resultant better understanding of it.
Comparative tables should be arranged covering intervals of several years and certain phases of school activity should be reported for longer periods. The committee believes that both State and city reports should make comparative tables showing statistics covering intervals of 5 or 10 years. Such tables should appear on many items
that are annually reported. The work of gathering statistics would, however, be considerably simplified if statistics on various phases of educational progress should be gathered at decennial periods, and the committee is of the opinion that the purpose for which these statistics are gathered would be fully met by such occasional reporting. The United States Bureau of Education should become the source of suggestions as to what information shall be collected for other than annual periods.
Interpretation of statistics is necessary. As in the case of city reports, the State report must discharge as fully as possible its chief function as an agent of publicity. The merely formal presentation of figures or tables is only a step toward publicity. The reporting officer should bring his school experience and his larger outlook over the educational field to the aid of the public through an adequate interpretation of the statistics presented. Such interpretations should in part be made in the reports themselves, closely connected with tables and their summaries. They will have particular value, however, when presented at opportune times through special bulletins, exhibits, and the public press. The committee recommends a largely increased attention to that phase of educational reporting that aims to make statistics intelligible to the largest possible constituency.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS RELATING TO STATE REPORTS.
A. That the State departments adopt forms for receiving statistics from the units within the States similar, as far as practicable, in arrangement to those used by the Bureau of Education.
B. That all the State departments in gathering information adopt as a basis the items accepted by the practice of a majority of States and of the Bureau of Education.
C. That educational statistics be reported for the year ending June 30.
D. That each State report be made the clearing house of information of all educational institutions and activities within the State.
E. That the State report give publicity to any local investigations whose findings would have general interest and that it include the findings of State-wide investigations covering matters of State-wide application.
F. That special bulletins or reports be issued at opportune times. G. That tables be arranged to show comparisons covering a range of years and that certain phases of educational activity be reported at decennial or other periods.
H. That larger attention be paid to the interpretation of statistics.
CITY SCHOOL REPORTS.
The need for the gathering of data showing actual conditions in the schools is obvious. If the school is to be scientifically managed, and its effectiveness definitely measured by fixed tests, eliminating mere personal bias and unsupported opinion, facts must be collected and employed as a guide to administration.
For convenience, an outline showing the organization of the school system, together with the date of introduction of various kinds of activities, such as evening schools, summer schools, manual training, etc., should constitute part of a school report. The following outline suggests merely one form in which this may be expressed:
TEACHERS' SALARY TABLE.
Obviously, the question of salaries is important. For purposes of comparison, it is desirable to gather data showing the number of teachers at the various salary units indicated in the following table:
The following form of table is used to show the per cent of teachers for the various periods of service:
Increasing interest centers in cost. It is important that the per capita cost of instruction, on the one hand, and of equipment and supplies, on the other, should be shown not only city wide, but also . per building. The per capita cost for each subject in the high school, for example, chemistry, physics, manual training, etc., should be shown for each building, and also city wide. Moreover, for purposes of comparison, these tables of cost should cover a period of 5 or even 10 years. Not only does economy in educational supplies and educa