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TABLE 5.—TOTAL ATTENDANCE ; DURATION OF SCHOOLS.
North Atlantic Division :
a Estimated. b These statistics are for 1885-86. o Estimated in part (a few cities). d Country schools.
e City schools. fOnly the States tabulated are represented in
this summary. g Approximately.
NUMBER OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS; SEATING CAPACITY.
[Table 6.] School accommodations.--Column 2 of Table 6 gives the number of school buildings in each State, so far as reported. In some cases where reports were lacking the number of sehools is given instead.
A knowledge of the number of school-hou ses is useful for some purposes; on account of their great difference in size, however, something else is needed to determine the question of sufficiency of school accommodations. This is effected by a consideration of the number of sittings taken in connection with the number of pupils for whom seats are to be provided.
The number of sittings is reported only from ten States and Territories. It is hoped that this number will be increased in future years.
As regards the suficiency of the seating capacity, it should be observed that the number of seats may fall short of the enrolment, and yet be large enough, since all the sebolars enrolled during the year are seldom present at one time. On the other hand, it should be greater than the average daily attendance, since the number actually attending must sometimes exceed the average. The number it should just equal, in order to show a sufficiency without a surplus, is the maximum attendance, a statistical quantity almost unknown in the United States, though used with effect in some foreign systems.
Whenever the number of sittings, then, exceeds the enrolment, there is, ipso facto, a sufficiency of school accommodation. This is the case with all the States reporting, except Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, as will be seen from an inspection of Colomn 6. Yet in these two cases the number of sittings exceeds the average attendance, so that a deficiency can not be argued; the data simply are not sufficient to determine whether or not the sittings are sufficiently numerous.
Column 8 gives the average number of sittings to a building, or the average size of school buildings.
• TABLE 6.-NUMBER OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS; SEATING CAPACITY.
TALLE 6.-NUMBER OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS SEATING CAPACITY-Continued.
SCHOOL LIBRARIES; High SCHOOLS.
[Table 7, Page 67.] School libraries.—The educational value of school libraries is beginning to be more fully appreciated by superintendents and teachers. No statistics upon this point in any degree approaching completeness, however, have ever been collected. Those given in Columns 2 and 3 of Table 7 present what information of a quantitative character touching this subject it has been possible to collect.
It appears that Ohio and Michigan are the States in which, so far as known, school libraries have received their greatest development, the former having 191 volumes and the latter 154 volumes for every one hundred pupils in average attendance. In the Southern States no public school libraries of any consequence are reported.
It is not possible, from want of data, to make summaries of the statistics of school libraries that would be of any use whatever.
High schools.—High school statistics in like manner are, and apparently must remain, in an unsatisfactory condition. There is no well-defined line outside of cities, as a general rule, separating high schools from other schools. In the rural districts schools, and even the studies of individual pupils, are of a mixed primary and secondary character. The high school statistics that are given, therefore, can lay no claim to accuracy or completeness in most cases, but are presented as being the best that could be collected from State superintendents, and as furnishing valuable indications of a general character.
The statistics of individual high schools are given in detail in another chapter of this Report (see Index).
By far the greatest public high school enrolment is found in the North among the older States. In the North Atlantic Division, oat of every 1,000 pupils enrolled 64 are high school pupils. Maine leads in this point, 77 pupils out of every 1,000 enrolled in that State being high school pupils (Column 9).
With the exception of the District of Columbia, and an estimate by the State superintendent of Mississippi, no high school statistics are reported from the two Southern divisions. It is known, however, that in these divisions the great bulk of secondary instruction is or was given in private high schools and academies. In Georgia, at least, there is a constitutional provision forbidding any except the elementary branches being taught in the public schools at the charge of the public funds.
In the North Central States 28 pupils out of every 1,000, and in the Western States 17, are high school pupils. The average for all the States reporting is 35.
TABLE 7.-SCHOOL LIBRARIES; HIGH SCHOOLS.
TABLE 7.-SCHOOL LIBRARIES; High SCHOOLS-Continued.
[Table 8, Page 69.) The statistics of private schools, notwithstanding the importance that attaches to them, are of the most fragmentary character. One phase of educational activity, a definite knowledge of which is absolutely necessary to a full understanding of the subject, is thus left almost wholly unrecorded. Furthermore, the statistics that are given bear in some cases internal evidences of unreliability.
The obligations which should be imposed upon private school teachers, in the matter of reporting the statistics of their schools, have become a subject of discussion. In Connecticut legislative action has been taken which should result in a complete system of private school reports. Superintendent Orr, of Georgia, has urged the right of the State to require private school reports, and has defined the basis upon which this right rests. (See Index, under head of “Private schools.'')
Growth of private schools. It would be useful to compare the percentage of increase or decrease of the private school enrolment as given in Column 6 with that of the public school enrolment, to see if the public schools are more than holding their own. The abnormal results that are recorded for some of the States, however, in the column mentioned, would seem to indicate that either this year's or last year's report, as the case may be, was extremely defective.
The three North Atlantic States reporting apparently furnish the most reliable statistics of growth; enough so, perhaps, to enable a fair estimate to be made of the present prospects of private schools in that section. It will be found that while Vermont shows a decrease of .36 per cent. in public school enrolment, and Connecticut and New York an increase of only 20 and .98, respectively, the private school enrolment has increased 3.57 per cent. in Vermont, 5.13 in Connecticut, and 4.12 in New York. Those figures may be considered as establishing conclusively the fact that the private schools are gaining on the public schools in the States mentioned, and the presumption that they are so doing in the neighboring States.