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Wisconsin. Dept. of Public Instruction.

Suggestive studies of school conditions; an outlined study in school problems for women's clubs, parent-teacher associations and community organizations online

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By computing percentages, find out what subject fails the most pupils
proportionately and in which subject most pupils are found to drop. If
possible make this study for several years using former reports. It will
probably be found that the freshman subjects, algebra, history, English,
etc., fail the most pupils, with geometry a subject in which many also
fail. In connection with this compute the proportion of students who
fail each year and take the same percentage of the instructional expenses
(total) for the high school to find how much it costs the local district to
have high school pupils fail. Make a chart giving this information (See
plate XXII Appendix on Method)

Do boys or girls fail to a larger extent? If you are interested get like
data on other nearby high schools to see which high school makes the
better showing as to the number of children passed.

6. The High School Alumni

Using the high school enrollment for the last four years find out the
number of pupils who have been in high school for sometime during this
period but who are no longer attending. Separate these into (a) graduates
(b) students who have left school without graduating. (If students have
left to attend other schools do not count them.)

Determine for each individual — graduates and students dropped — the
present occupation. In the case of which group is it better? Can this be
made an argument for high school attendance and graduation?

7. Work for High School Students

These are some of the things which high school students have done for
local communities:

Testing food during chemistry class to detect adulteration
Making posters and signs for local functions in art class
Running a lunch counter at which citizens might buy food
Testing cows, corn, etc., for farmers in the community



82 Suggestive Studies of School Conditions

Selling tested seed to farme s

Keeping home or store account ledgers for bookkeeping practice
Writing up a column of school notes in the local newspapers
Making articles in manual training or industrial work for home, school
or commercial trade.

How many, if any, of these activities are now carried on in connection
wilh the local high school? How many community services not listed
here are being done? Ask each teacher to report informally as to how the
instruction in her class is made a direct service to the community. Ask
also what services not now rendered the teacher would like to incorporate
into the course of study. Which of these are feasible?



8. School Athletics and Contests

Make a complete list of all forms of school athletics carried on in the
local school and the number and names of pupils engaged in each. How
many children in the high school do not participate in any form of ath-
letics? What proportion? What athletics are carried on for the girls and
what proportion of the girls participate in these?

Discuss the value of athletics for the girl as well as for the boy. Get the
teacher most interested on this subject to speak on it.

Have athletics for boys been carried so far as to hurt, school work, or
injure the boys? What cases, if any, of accidents or disablements have
occurred on account of school athletics? Keep in mind the necessity and
importance of abundant properly directed play. Discuss ways and
means to make athletics for both boys and girls the most complete and
efficient system possible.

What other sorts of contests (a) with other schools (b) in local schools
are held? Has the school a debating team? Are competitions in subjects
ever held? Find from the teacher the extent to which work of this sort is
done.

9. Clubs and Organizations

Let the teachers find from each of the boys and girls of what clubs or
associations they are a member — include social clubs, literary societies,
school committees, officers of class, athletic clubs, boy scouts, church
organizations and all other such clubs.

Compute the number of pupils who are in no club, one club, two clubs,
etc., and of the highest number of organizations of which any one pupil
is a member. Is there a great discrepancy, that is, do a few pupils belong to
a great number of clubs while many are entirely omitted? (Names need not
be taken on the lists of clubs handed in if desired). Make a list also of the
total number of possible organizations or clubs to which pupils may belong
from the lists handed in. When do these organizations hold meetings?
How often do they come? What meetings come on school nights or on
afternoons after school? Is this a good thing in the case of (a) outdoor
clubs (b) literary and study clubs (c) social organizations?

Do school clubs seem to serve a useful and constructive purpose? (Bear
*n mind that amusement is a necessary activity of a boy or girl of high



The High School 83

school age if the sort of amusement indulged in is not harmful.) If there
is unevenness in the number belonging to clubs, that is, if a number of
students are entirely left out, what can be done to provide organization
life for these pupils? Are there any clubs whose activities are positively
harmful and which should be eliminated?

10. High School Boys and Girls

Do any of the high school boys hang around street corners, railroad
station, pool rooms, or other cheap amusement places in the community?
Do any engage in the smoking of cigarettes? Are there any troublesome
"gangs"? If these things are found, it will be well to consult with the
high school principal and teachers so that they may be eUminated and
healthful lines of activity be substituted for high school boys.

What should be the dress of the average high school girl? Are there any
who overdress? What can be done to prevent this by mothers or
or by the school? A few high schools have adopted high school uniform of
some simple kind. Would this help the high school girls to dress sensibly
and sanely?

Discuss the health and recreation of the high school girl. How may she
be induced to take sufficient healthful outdoor exercise so that her school
duties will not injure her health? Do girls frequent the railroad station at
train time? Is amusement indulged in by any to an extreme extent? If
so, it, will be well to consult with high school authorities as to the means
of eliminating this.



SECTION XV. HIGHER EDUCATIONAL ORGAN-
IZATIONS



This section is not so much a study to better local conditions as a study
in the opportunities offered by higher educational organizations in Wis-
consin and throughout the country. The club which knows where it can
get help has a multitude of sources of assistance to which to turn and the
main purpose of this chapter is to suggest a few of them.

1. Our Contribution to Higher Education

Look over the list of high school graduates for the past ten years and
determine how many (and what per cent) have attended higher institu-
tions of learning. How many have gone into teaching; how many into law;
medicine; into each of other vocations and how many have returned to
the community?

How many college graduates are there in the community? (Estimate if
necessary). Get one or two of these people to talk to the club on the ad-
vantages of a college education and the things which college or university
meant to the individual. Secure a catalog of the universities and colleges
nearest by and look them over to see what possibilities are to be found in
the university which are not already obvious to the club.

Get one of the recent graduates, preferably one who has himself worked
his way through college, to talk to the high school on methods by which
a boy or girl may earn his or her college education. Look through the uni-
versity and college catalogs to find what scholarships are offered. Write
the Employment Committee, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wiscon-
sin, for information as its field of activity and possible service to local
students who would otherwise not be able to meet the expenses of a college
course. Ask students in the graduating class what vocation they would
like to pursue and look up for them the college or university which will
give them best training along this line. (Write Legislative Reference
Library, Madison, Wisconsin, or School Service, Department of Public
Instruction, Madison, Wisconsin.)

2. Department of Public Instruction

The Wisconsin State Department of Public Instruction offers help to
local organizations in a large number of ways. A number of bulletins
along educational lines have been issued dunng the past few years and
these will be found of value to school officers and other citizens. See
introduction for a list of bulletins which are available.

The Educational News Bulletin is issued monthly, except in July and
August, to give the educational news of the state and "to make the best
in one school contagious to all."



Higher Educational Organizations 85

Supervisors are constantly traveling over the state to visit schools and
make suggestions for their improvement. Such supervisors may be se-
cured for talks and suggestions in a given locality if adequate notice is
given and if conditions make it possible.

The school service in. the department of public instruction is an organ-
ized center of information to give help through correspondence to teachers
in service throughout the state and also to any citizen wishing information
or suggestions along educational lines. Write School Service, Department
of Public Instruction, Madison, Wisconsin.



3. The Extension Division

Use the extension division section of the general university catalog or
write the Extension Division, Madison, for copies of their bulletins of
information as to service to be rendered by this organization. A few of
the many services possible are listed here.

(a) bulletins are issued giving valuable information along many lines.
A list of these may be procured by writing

(b) the hygienic laboratory tests water and other substances so as to
show communities whether their living conditions are healthful or not.
This is only one of the activities of the hygienic laboratory

(c) the bureau of visual instruction sends out moving picture films and
stereopticon slides on all of a great variety of educational and informational
subjects

(d) the extension division furnishes speakers for programs in any part
of the state

(e) the package library of the extension division sends out packages
of material on a great number of recent questions including clippings,
magazine articles, bulletins, pamphlets, and other valuable material for
debates, speeches, etc.

(f ) the agricultural extension division aids farmers by carrying on experi-
ments to determine the seed best adapted to Wisconsin soils; by giving
advice and information along agricultural subjects and in a great number
of other ways

(g) all these services rendered by the extension division are free except
for paying the charges on material sent, etc.



4. Free Library Commission

The Wisconsin Free Library Commission (Madison) is equipped to
send books to any individual or organization in the state of Wisconsin
charging only the postage required to transport the books. Free traveling
libraries are made up in sets of fifty books along definite lines such as
agriculture, travel, fiction, etc., which may be procured for a given length
of time. Any individual wishing a book on a certain subject may procure
such a book through the Free Library Commission if it is not a subject
which is not available. Write the Free Library Commission for a full
statement of the services it is prepared to render.



86 Suggestive Studies of School Conditions



5. State Normal Schools and County Superintendent

The normal schools are developing more and more a service to the terri-
tory in which they are situated. Faculty members take charge of meetings
and institutes upon request, give suggestions upon educational topics,
supervise schools where supervision is requested and are seeking in every
way to render any educational service possible.

County superintendents issue bulletins and periodicals of information
for schools, organize school contests, are always \\illing to speak at meetings
if possible and will be ready to give educational help when called upon.
Write the superintendent of your county for a statement as to possible
services of his office to your club. The supervising teacher is also a source
of help.

6. The National Bureau

The National Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C, is perhaps the
most fruitful source of printed bulletin helps in education. About fifty
bulletins a year are issued dealing with all phases of modern education
in a constructive way. Write for a copy of the latest bulletin issued and
you will find on the inside covers a list of all bulletins formerly issued which
are available. The latest report of the Commissioner of Education to the
Secretary of the Interior, available upon request, will also give an account
of other services renderd by this department.

7. Other General Agencies

These are the days of organized associations to further educational
progress. In almost every field of modern educational thought there will
be found a society or association issuing pamphlets and bulletin literature
which is formed for the distinct purpose of furthering the line of activity
for which it is organized. Many of these societies have already been re-
ferred to in the course of this outline. A partial list will be given below.
If you wish to find the names of a society working in a field not indicated
here write School Service, Department of Public Instruction, Madison,
Wisconsin.

Children's Bureau, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.
(Child care and child labor bulletins)

National Kindergarten Association, 250 Madison Ave., New York City,
(Kindergarten literature)

National Child Labor Committee, Niw York City, (Child Labor)

Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education, West 39th Street,
New York City, (Industrial and Vocational education.)

Self (Government Committee, Citizens League, 2 Wall Street, New York
City, (Self government and school discipline.)

Russell Sage Foundation, 130 East 23rd Street, New York City, (Recre-
ation, school surveys and general.)

General Education Board, 61 Broadway, New York City, (General).

Institute for Public Service, 51 Chambers Street, New York City,
(General).

National Education Association, Durand W. Springer, Sec'y-. Ann
Arbor, Michigan, (General)

Playground & Recreational Association of America, 1 Madison Avenue,
New York City, (Recreation and school health)

Wisconsin Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Milwaukee, Wis. (School
health).



XVI. SCHOOL FINANCES

It is often overlooked by an organization studying the schools that the
finances of the school system form a key to its efficiency and that a study
of school finances will reveal perhaps more interesting facts and possi-
bilities than any other one study.

In an analysis of the schools of the state, it was found that some spent
two-thirds again as inuch on teaching salaries as did other Wisconsin cities;
that the amount spent on control (board of education, school census,
superintendent's salary, office expenses, truancy, etc.) varies 1600 per cent
among 79 cities; that the expense of school maintenance (repairs, insur-
ance, etc.) varies 3800 per cent. Why should one school spend less than
one-half of its income in paying teachers, while another spends three-
fourths? What branch of the school system gets the biggest slice of the
money available? These are questions which, if answered wisely, will
throw a flood of light on the efficiency of the school system.

1. Taxes

An analysis of the amount of taxes paid for school purposes will show
whether the local district is liberal or parsimonious in maintaining its
schools. A district with a high property valuation will of course find it
possible to raise more money for school purposes than the district where
the valuation is low.

What is the assessed valuation of the local school district? What was
the total tax during the past year? How much of the money raised went
for education (a) local, (b) county or state? What then is the millage tax
for local education? Compare this amount with the millage tax in ten
cities or villages of approximately the same size; with five large cities such
as Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Paul, etc., and with five rural districts.
(Figures as to the millage tax are obtainable by writing the office of the
superintendent or principal of the schools in each instance. These letters
may be written by grade pupils for language practice.)

Where are local school taxes found highest, in thinly, average, or thickly
settled communities? It will probably be found that taxes are much the
lowest in the rural communities and highest in the cities. Several reasons
for this may be found:

a. Expenses are higher in the cities.

b. The direct income of the farmer is far smaller than that of the average
village or city business man.

c. Salaries are larger in cities and villages as better trained teachers are
employed.

d. City people are willing to pay higher taxes than people in smaller
communities.

e. City communities are not content with schools of as inexpensive a
type generally as are rural and village people.



88



Suggestive Studies of School Conditions





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School Finances 89

In comparison are the local taxes high for the class of school being
studied? If high how is the fact to be explained? If low are the reasons to
be found in state aid, much nonresident tuition, economical management,
or a poor standard for the school system? These figures will be found
excellent material for a chart on finances on the order of Plate XIX.

2. Analysis of School Income

From the clerk of the school board or the school superintendent obtain
a statement of the total school income during the most recent complete
school year. What proportion of it was obtained through direct taxation?
(For the state as a whole this is about 36 per cent.) What proportion is
obtained through state and county taxes, non-resident tuition, sale of
texts, etc.? What proportion is composed of nonrevenue receipts, that is,
money which has been loaned to the local school system? For what have
loans been contracted?

Is the school system in debt and if so to what extent and for what cause?
How long will it take to pay off the indebtedness?

3. Analysis of School Expenditures

Procure the report of the superintendent or principal to the state super-
intendent of public instruction or county superintendent for the latest
year for which this is available. Expenses are divided in the following
manner :

Control —

1. Board of Education and the secretary's office

2. School census

3. Finance offices and accounts

4. Legal services

5. Operation and maintenance of office building

6. Officers in control of buildings and supplies

7. Salary of the superintendent of schools

8. Expenses of office of superintendent of schools

9. Enforcement of compulsory education and truancy laws
10. Other expenses of general control

Instruction —

1. Salaries of supervisors of grades or of subjects

2. Other expenses of supervision

3. Salaries of principals and their clerks

4. Other expenses of prin'ipals

5. Salaries of men teachers. (Do not include amount withheld for

pension and retirement fund.)

6. Salaries of women teachers. (Do not include amount withheld for

pension md retirement fund.)

7. Textbooks

8. Stationery and supplies used in instruction

9. Materials used in manual training and domestic science
10. Other expenses of instruction

Operation of School Plant —

1. Wages of janitors and other employees

2. Fuel

3. Water

4. Light and power

5. Janitor's supplies

6. Other expenses of operation of school plant



90 Suggestive Studies of School Conditions

Maintenance of School Plant —

1 . Repair of buildings and upkeep of grounds

2. Repair and replacement of equipment

3. Insurance

4. Other expenses of maintenance of school plant

Miscella.ieous —

1 . Salaries of librarians and assistants

2. Library books

3. Other expenses of libraries

4. Salaries of physicians and nurses

5. Other expenses of promotion of health

6. Transportation of pupils

7. Payments to other districts

8. Teachers' pension and retirement fund

9. Rent

10. Other miscellaneous expenses

Ouilaijs —

1. Land

2. New buildings

3. Alteration of old buildings (not included in line 30)

4. Equipment of new buildings and grounds

5. Equipment of old buildings, ex-^lusive of replacements

6. Redemption of bonds

7. Redemption of short-term loans

8. Payments of warrants and orders of preceding years

9. Payments of sinking funds

10. Payments of interest

11. Miscellaneous payments including payments to trust funds, text-

books to be sold to pupils, etc.

Outlays are expenses which do not come frequently such as payment of
loans, purchase of land, erection of new building or additions, etc. They
are not ordinarily to be considered in computing costs for the school.

What are the proportionate expenditures for these various items in
your school? Plate XX gives the proportion of the state money which is
expended for each of the various purposes. Show cause where one item is
higher than the state average, or is greater than it needs to be. Many
schools find it possible to pay over 60 per cent of expenditures for teachers'
salaries and this is to be commended. Analyze expenses to see what items
are entirely omitted in the local schools. For example, what does the
school spend, if anything, for the promotion of health in pupils? Might
the library expenditure be larger to good advantage?



4. Unit Costs

The unit cost of any activity is its cost per individual benefited. Per
capita cost for the school as a whole is obtained by dividing the total
expenditures excluding outlays by the total number of pupils.* To find
per capita cost, make a table such as the following:



*Pcr capitf co.st for Wisconsin city schools, grade and higii school children both
included — $.'35.00, 1914-1915, — based on total enrollment.



School Finances



91



(a) Total number of pupils enrolled

(b) Total expenditures of the school

(r,) Outlays

(d) Expenditures for all current purposes

(subtract (c) from (b)

(e) Per capita cost

(divide (d) by (a) )

The unit cost of overhead (operation, maintenance, control, and mis-
cellaneous) of a school is found by dividing the cost of these four items by
the total number of pupils enrolled. The cost of instruction per pupil
is obtained by dividing total teaching salaries by total number of pupils.
Compute the overhead and cost of instruction per pupil in the local schools.

Now take the enrollment by grades and salaries of teachers by grades.


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Online LibraryWisconsin. Dept. of Public InstructionSuggestive studies of school conditions; an outlined study in school problems for women's clubs, parent-teacher associations and community organizations → online text (page 8 of 9)