It is the opinion of the Survey Staff that the only practicable solution of this problem lies in the day continuation school, backed by a compulsory law which will bring every boy and girl at work under the age of 18 into school for a certain number of hours per week. Only through a comprehensive plan that will reach large numbers of young workers can the difficulties inherent in the administration of small classes be overcome. The night schools have never been successful in holding boys long enough to make more than a beginning in trade-extension training. It is certain that growing boys should not be expected to add two hours of study to their nine or 10 hours of unaccustomed labor in the shop. Both individual and community interests demand that this problem be taken up in such a way as to obviate the sharp cleavage between the boy’s school life and his working life. From every point of view it is unwise to permit him to lose all contact with the educational agencies of the city during his first years at work.
The compulsory continuation school avoids the difficulties which are responsible for the common failure of those schemes which depend for their success on the initiative of individuals or the voluntary cooeperation of employers and trade unions. One of its great advantages is that the principle on which it is based makes for equal justice to all. There can be no doubt that the decline of apprentice training in the shops is due partly to the fact that employers find that much of the time and money it costs goes toward providing a skilled labor force for competitors who make no effort to train young workers. The cooperation of employers on a comprehensive scale will be secured only when the burden is equally shared.
Night classes are conducted in both of the technical high schools for two terms a year of 10 weeks each, the pupils attending four hours a week. A tuition fee of $5 a term is collected, of which $3.50 is refunded to those who maintain an average attendance of 75 per cent. No special provision is made for apprentices as distinct from journeymen, and the trade classes are attended by a considerable number of wage-earners employed in occupations unrelated to industrial work. The list of courses offered during the past year, with the number enrolled in each course at the beginning of the second term, is shown in Table 12.
A glance at the list of courses shows at once that while the vocational motive is given first importance, the schools also aim to provide instruction in cultural subjects which have only an indirect vocational application. Less than one-third of the students are pursuing courses which are directly related to their daily work. The remainder are enrolled in courses which have little or no connection with their daily occupations. In but four of the courses—machine shop, architectural drawing, printing, and sheet metal work—are more than half of the students employed in directly related occupations.