Wisconsin. Dept. of Public Instruction.

Biennial report online

. (page 2 of 25)
Online LibraryWisconsin. Dept. of Public InstructionBiennial report → online text (page 2 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

some approved college, or from a normal school course consisting of two
years' work beyond high school entitles candidates to the license and at
the end of two years of successful teaching in high schools to the life
certificate for high school teaching. Special licenses for manual arts,
domestic science, agriculture or commercial work are granted either on
examination or upon completion of a two years* special training course
in some normal or university. Holders of these special licenses are
not qualified by law for high school principalships or for the teaching
of other high school branches except by securing a subject license for
each branch to be taught. Licenses for these special subjects must be
based either on examination or upon certified credits from some
approved higher institution.

"Two years of training beyond the high school provides inadequate
opportunity for the mastery of subject matter and teaching methods

Digitized by



for high school subjects. Such training does not prepare for high schoo,
teaching. At least another year of training ought to be added at once
to the present requirement. The experience and practice of other
states is that four years is none too much. The move of the normals
of the state to iprovide a three-year course for high-school teachers
was a move in a right direction. If the normal schools are to con-
tinue to train teachers for the high schools, as they have in the past,
they should be expected to provide at least three years of training. A
four year requirement is desirable in the near future and is here
strongly recommended. Furthermore, the law should grant licenses
only on completion of the more extended course. At present even
though the longer course is offered there is nothing to prevent graduates
of t^e two years* course from securing the license and beginning to

"Furthermore, the license permits the teaching of any high school
subject (except those for the teaching of which specJial aid is given)
regardless of whether that subject was Included in the normal or col-
lege course of the teacher. If two years of training is inadequate for
general high school work, it is also inadequate for vocational work.
Much confusion and difficulty has already occurred in the state in this
matter, especially in the smaller high schools where it is necessary to
ask vocational teachers to teach other subjects. Still more difficulty
arises in schools having agricultural departments. Here the special
teacher must often act both as principal and as director of the special
course. Again, domestic science teachers have in a number of cases
been obliged to give up their positions because they were unable to
secure the license for academic subjects which they were required to
teach. Under these circumstances it is recommended that the present
law relating to qualifications of high-school teachers be so amended as
to require at an early date all candidates for the state license to offer
the equivalent of four years* training, beyond the high school, taken in
some normal school, university or approved college. Such modifications
should not apply to present successful teachers and should not Inter-
fere with granting the state certificate on examination.

"Attention should be called in this connection to the fact that Stout
Institute at Menomonie has already by legislative enactment extended
its course to four years in order to meet exactly this need. If the
recommendation here made is carried out it would be necessary to
extend the course for training high-school teachers in a similar way in
at least a number of normal schools, for to provide the needed instruc-
tion and practice teaching for all at the university seems to be a
physical impossibility. Certainly the three-year course for high-school
teachers should be offered in the normal schools and required of all
prospective high-school teachers who plan to teach, beginning, let us
say, 1924-1925, and a four-year course leading to the degree of bachelor
of pedagogy should be offered in the normal schools and required of
prospective teachers who plan to begin teaching 1926-1927.

"It is further recommended that four years of professional training
be made the basis for the granting of all licenses to teach the special
vocational subjects in the high school."

Digitized by LjOOQIC









Into cost

only for
and city


for cost

Size of
school as
A cost


costs in-

Table 5

Annual Per Capita Costs in Wisconsin High Schools for the Year


Number of High Schools

Annual Cost Union Free City

$75— 99 6 15

100—124 13 25

125—149 18 18

150—174 15 4

175—199 ....10 2

200—224 ' 7

225 — over 8

Total 77 64

Median per capita cost. $152.50 $117.00

The above table is based on average daily attendance and yearly
expenditures for instruction, operation and maintenance. Expenditures
involving capital outlay for new buildings, lands, bonded indebtedness,
interest, etc., are not included. Average daily attendance is used
instead of enrollment because it is a much more accurate figure and
therefore more comparable for different schools.

Data is given for union free and city high schools only. The reason
district high schools are not included is because few of their school
boards separate carefully in their reports expenditures for high school
from those for elementary schools. A few city school boards fail in this
respect and these are also omitted. Since union free high school
boards handle only high school funds their reports are free from this
defect and are therefore regarded as quite reliable. The table then
contains data from the 1920-21 reports of all the union free high schools
and about three-fourths of the city high schools in the state.

The median or average annual per capita cost for the union free high
schools is $152.50 and for city high schools is $117.00. There are several
reasons why the former is so much larger than the latter. Transporta-
tion is a considerable item of expense for union free high schools and
a very small one in the cities. This is an item also which is sure
to increase from year to year as rural residents demand more and
more an opportunity for secondary education, equal to that in villages
and cities.

Another factor in higher school costs for union free high schools is
that of size. The average size of the 77 union free high schools in
Table 5 is 50 pupils in average daily attendance while the same average
for the city high schools is 257. It is readily seen that although the
salaries of city high-school teachers are higher than those In the
smaller schools the size of classes in the larger schools is also very
much larger, thus decreasing the per capita cost. This is a condition
which is unavoidable in the nature of the case. Per capita costs are
necessarily larger in smaller schools.

It must be noted also that per capita costs in all schools have in-
creased rapidly in the last few years. In the report of the United
States Commissioner of Education for 1916 the estimated per capita in

Digitized by




the high schools of the country was $56.54 on the basis of enrollment
or, on the basis of average daily attendance approximately $71.00. The
increase here indicated was, of course, to be expected and is easily

The most prominent factor in the increased school costs is that of
teachers' wages. This in turn is due to the depreciation in the value
of the dollar or increased cost of living. Table 6 presents these facts
as given in a report issued by the United States Department of Liabor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statement 1478, May 4th, 1922, p. 2.


Table 6.
Year. Index Number

1913 .' 100

1915 105

1917 142

1919 199

1921-22 173


1013 TO

This table should be interpreted to read that the amount of goods
which could be bought for $100 in 1913 would cost $173 in 1922, or, in
other words, that the cost of living increased 73 per cent in this period.
During the same period the reports of the United States Bureau of
Education show that the average increase in teachers' salaries in the
United States was 97 per cent. Table 7 is copied from Bulletin One
of the Research Department of the National Education Association,
p. 41.

Table 7

Average Salary Index of

of Teachers Average

Year in U. S. Salary

1913 $515 100

1915 543 105

1917 599 116

1919 736 143

1921 : 987 192

1922 1017 197

tation of

In U. S.

From the above data it is evident that in the country as a whole
the increase in teachers* salaries is only slightly greater than the in-
crease in living cost, and represents only a small increase in purchas-
ing power. It is clear, therefore, that teachers' salaries cannot
be lowered but must be still further raised if we are to ask for
increased qualifications and increased efficiency from the teachers

A still further conclusion from the above discussion is that the
per capita high school costs as shown in Table 5 represent only a
natural increase over pre-war costs due to the causes which have been
set forth. The costs of instruction supplies, fuel, building repairs,
maintenance and personal service as well as teachers' salaries have
kept pace approximately with advancing living costs due to the de-
preciation of the dollar. Since this is a condition that promises to



irr eater




costs ad-

Digitized by






based on

Lng: cost



ity of

remain relatively permanent it will be necessary for us to adjust our
support of the school to the new basis of costs.

The amount which should be charged for high school tuition to non-
residents is closely related to the subject of per capita costs dis-
cussed above. At the present time approximately one-fourth of the
students in Wisconsin high schools outside of Milwaukee are tuition
pupils. In many schools more than half of the enrollment is composed
of nonresidents. The number of pupils thus transferred is 17,000 and
the tuition involved is over $1,000,000.

But the maximum tuition that can be charged is $2.00 per week per
pupil or $72 per school year of nine months, while the actual cost of
running the school varies all the way from less thaii $100 to over
$200 per pupil per year with an average for the state of over $125.
It scarcely seems fair that those communities with pride and initiative
enough to maintain a first class high school should be compelled to
educate the children of their less progressive neighbors, oftentimes at
less than half the actual cost of maintaining the school. This condi-
tion, of course, has only arisen in recent years, but should receive the
prompt attention of the state legislature.

It would seem under the conditions stated above that a just and
equitable law would provide for the payment of a tuition for nonresi-
dent pupils equal to the actual cost per pupil of maintaining the school.
No one could fairly object to such a law and its provisions could be
easily carried out. Similar laws have worked successfully in other
states. The results of Such a statute in Wisconsin would undoubtedly
prove beneficial to many small high school districts, with inadequate
tax valuation by either forcing neighboring districts with no high
school to join them in the maintenance of a joint, union or consolidated
high school or pay at least a proportionate share of the cOst of the

Another argument in favor of such an arrangement as here recom-
mended is that the outside districts would pay also in proportion to
the quality of the schooling received and not a fiat rate as at present.
It would be generally admitted that, as a rule, better paid teachers pro-
vide a better school, but under the existing law the school employing
the cheapest teachers secures the largest premium from its tuition

In connection with school costs it should be noted that the state
aid now distributed to high schools is entirely inadequate. The number
of schools receiving the various forms of state aid has increased to
such an extent since the first passage of the laws that the amounts
apportioned to the schools are now much less than the maximum pay-
meijt originally intended by the legislature. This percentage for the
year 1921 was as follows:

District free high schools ooyo

Union free and consolidated high schools 71%

High school aid for special subjects 52%

Digitized by




The primary purpose of state aid to schools is to eQualize the burden
of school maintenance among all the communities of the state as well of atd^
as to encourage the individual districts to support the very best schools
possible. But the amount of state money distributed to high schools
in Wisconsin at the present time does not adequately fulfill this purpose.
Space does not permit a further discussion of the subject here, but
it is a matter of such importance that it should receive the careful
consideration of those responsible for the enactment of school leg'sla-

Digitized by LjOOQIC



Law and
ment of
tion set




ards first

The term "Junior High School" as applied to recognized junior
high schools in the state of Wisconsin has through legislative enact-
ment and definite rulings of the Department of Public Instruction been
made to mean a very definite type of school. Through such limita-
tions the number of schools operating junior high or intermediate
schools that meet law and department requirements is small in com-
parison to the number found in some other states.

The following places have schools which have met these require
ments: Augusta, Cudahy, Fairchild, Monroe, Marshfield, Prairie du
Sac, Port Edwards, Ripon, Washburn, Waukesha, West Allis, Kenosha
(3), Beloit (2), Niagara, Racine (2). The following places are well
along with building programs or have plans well under way for rec-
ognition: Chippewa Falls, Sparta, Green Bay, Appleton, Jancsville,
Horicon, Marinette, River Falls and MaH^yville. In the approved group-
it is interesting to note that in but one place — Port Edwards — is there
no senior high school organization. Port Edwards is in a particularly
favorable position to develop a junior high school independent of a
senior high school because of senior high school facilities offered within
four or five miles at Wisconsin Rapids and Nekoosa, both reached by
excellent electric car service.

The following standards have been in operation since the enactment
of the junior high school law in 1919:

(1) Aggregate enrollment of pupils in the seventh and eighth grades
for the preceding year shall have been forty or more. ,

(2) At least three teachers shall be employed, one of whom shall
be qualified to teach manual training or agriculture, and one of whom
shall be qualified to teach domestic science.

(3) A school day of at least six hours divided into six periods of
at least sixty minutes each.

(4) Principal and teachers shall have some form of state certificate
equivalent to that required for teachers in the four-year high school.

(5) Evidence that the principal has made a close study of the prob-
lems of the junior high school.

(6) Adequate equipment of books, maps, work tables, and material
for instruction in science.

(7) Adequate classroom facilities.

(8) Adequate shops and laboratories.

Digitized by




(9) An assignment of not more than five periods a day to each

(10) A program of studies of greater scope and of greater richness
of content than that of the traditional elementary school.

(11) A program of studies approved by the Department of Public

For the statutory provision relating to junior high schools the reader
is referred to section 40.635 of the statutes.

Considerable discussion has arisen over the sixty minute class period
requirement made by the department for junior high school recogni-
tion in this state. With well-qualified teachers who are able to assist
class procedure by directing study, leading in group problem solving
activities, and encouraging individual effort, the department still
feels that the sixty minute period is desirable.

In the various junior high schools throughout the country there is
much difference in practice as to the length of the class period. This
variation is shown in a report of a committee on Junior High Schools,
Denver, Colorado, in the Elementary School Journal for September

Number of
Class Periods

Number of





















Length of Class
Periods in Minutes

Number of











From this table it may be observed that the median school of this
group of ninety-five schools has a class period forty-five minutes in

The department is aware that the best length of class recitation
period is open to discussion in light of the above practices. It in
no way wishes to hamper an individual school in experimenting to
find out what length of period is best suited to Its needs. It has there-
fore removed the sixty minute requirement. Periods of less than
forty-five minutes do not offer opportunity for supervision of study
which requires from one-third to one-half of the period. Forty-five
minutes has been fixed as the minimum recitation period. Such an
arrangement permits of seven recitation periods with a general period
daily given over to sympathetic contact with pupils through teacher
advisers along lines of educational, vocational and social guidance.
This period can do much toward rounding out the extra-curricular
activities of a school.

Many of the larger cities of the state are definitely committed to
the junior high school organization. A building program involving

of claim

tion of

In lengrth


Digitized by




insrs un-
der eon-

Bflect of
laiFT on




may or-





over five million dollars has been or is nearly completed during the
biennium. The cost of junior high school buildings in the following
places shows that communities and boards of education have taken
very kindly to the intermediate school as expressed in junior high
school organization. Racine leads the li^t with a showing of three
such schools at a cost of five hundred thousand dollars each ; Beloit
has two to her credit costing almost half a million; Janesville will
occupy its million dollar structure about the first of the year; Chip-
pewa Falls spent in the neighborhood of two hundred thousand dol-
lars for a building which will be used during the present school year;
Marshfleld very early in the biennium was housed in its new building
which cost the city about two hundred thousand dollars; Marinette is
proud of a splendid structure for which almost three hundred thou-
sand dollars was appropriated.

Several places are either planning, have buildings under construc-
tion or about completed which will provide most adequately for both
senior find junior high school organization: Oconomowoc, Mayville,
Lancaster, and several other communities may be mentioned as out-
standing examples; Sparta is spending about three hundred thousand
dollars; Two Rivers will dedicate its splendid junior-senior high school
building early during the present school year. Appleton has voted
four hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of bonds for two junior
high schools. Green Bay has a building program which provides for
an additional junior high school on the west side in addition to the
one now in use on the east side.

The limitation on organization of a junior high school based on an
enrollment of forty in seventh and eighth grades eliminates the or-
ganization of such schools in small villages and open country now
operating state graded schools of the first class (whose upper grades
might be considered an intermediate school) which are giving the
ninth grade of high school work or often both ninth and tenth grade.
The further requirement that there be three teachers with state
legal qualifications one of whom is qualified to do home economics and
another either agriculture or manual arts adds a cost to operating
expenses that can not be borne by them. If the assessed valuation is
sufficient in these districts it is fully as easy for them to organize a
four year high school.

One provision of the law relating to junior high schools has not
been put into practice by any community in the state up to the pres-
ent time. Paragraph (2) of Section 1 of the law reads as follows:
"Any district maintaining a district free high school, a union free
high school or a graded school in which five or more teachers are em-
ployed may establish and maintain one or more junior high schools
in the manner hereinafter provided. The laws relating to district
and union free high schools shall govern in the establishment and
maintenance of junior high schools in so far as such laws are ap-
plicable except as hereinafter provided." This paragraph definitely
permits the organization of a junior high school in connection witn

Digitized by




a union high school. Previous to the enactment of this law the union
high school organization was entirely independent of the first eight
grades in the district schools of the high school territory. This statute
gives the electors of a union free high school district the right to care
for the seventh and eighth grade pupils of all the rural or state
graded pupils belonging to the union high school district in a junior
high school connected with the union high school.

The junior high school and union high school under such an ar-
rangement should be organized as a six-year secondary school. This
is the best plan for junior-senior organization when the combined
enrollment is less than five hundred. Separate study rooms should
be planned for each school. Laboratories, vocational classrooms, and
gymnasium can be made to serve both senior and junior schools.
Such an arrangement gives a much wider, more effective use of the
school plant witfi less duplication of equipment. This form of or-
ganization is recommended not only in connection with union high
schools but also in small cities.

The organization of junior high schools in connection with union
high schools should have a marked effect in bettering conditions in
a rural school. The present course for rural schools based on eight
years of work is impossible of effective operation without an alterna-
tion of classes. To reduce the number of -subjects and classes for the
rural teacher to handle to those of the first six grades would permit
grading and would greatly simplify the preparation for rural teach-
ing. Many communities object to consolidation because of trans-
porting little children. The removal of pupils of. junior high school
age from country schools would permit a readjustment of the school
year. The younger children are not needed for home work during
the summer. Country schools could close during the cold weather and
be open during a great part of the summer. Even combinations of
small rural schools through possible practical auto transportation
during the season when road conditiokis are best, could be brought
about. Better attendance, better teaching, less retardation, and a
great saving of money due to eflaciency of the school itself would

The work of the elementary schools in connection with junior high
schools is more and more bedng brought to the fore. Greater attention

Online LibraryWisconsin. Dept. of Public InstructionBiennial report → online text (page 2 of 25)