A partial comparison of the teachers is possible between the schools represented here and those of New York and New Jersey. More than four hundred teachers comprised the teaching staff for the 6,141 pupils of the eight schools reported here. Of these about 40 per cent were men, while the percentage of men of all high school teachers in New Jersey and New York was about 38 for the year 1916. The men in these schools comprised 50 per cent of the teachers in the subjects which prove most difficult by producing the most failures, and they were more frequently found teaching in the advanced years of these subjects. It is not assumed here that men are superior as high school teachers, but the endeavor is rather to show that the teaching force was by its constitution not unrepresentative. It may be added here that few high schools anywhere have a more highly selected and better paid staff of teachers than are found in this group of schools. It is indeed not easy to believe that the situation in these eight selected schools regarding failure and its contributing factors could not be readily duplicated elsewhere within the same states.
The American people have a large faith in the public high school. It enrolls approximately 84 per cent of the secondary school pupils of the United States. High school attendance is becoming legally and vocationally compulsory. The size of the waste product demands a diagnosis of the facts. This study aims to discover the significant facts relative to the failing pupils.
Failure is used in the unit sense of non-passing in a semester subject. Failures are then counted in terms of these units.
This study includes 6,141 pupils belonging to eight different high schools and distributed throughout two states. The cumulative, official, school records for these pupils formed the basis of the data used.
The schools were selected primarily for their possession of adequate records. More dependable school records than those employed are not likely to be found, yet they tend to understate the facts of failure. It is quite possible that a superior school, and one with a high grade teaching staff, is actually selected by the requirements of the study.
1. Annual Report of United States Commissioner of Education for 1917.
2. Josslyn, H.W. Chapter IV, in Johnson’s Modern High School.
3. The Money Value of Education. Bulletin No.
22, 1917, United States
Bureau of Education.
4. New York and New Jersey State School Reports for 1917.
How extensive are the failures of the high school pupils?