First of all, it must be recognized that such work is a big job in itself and cannot be successfully conducted as an appendix of the day school. It is worth doing well, or it is not worth doing. It needs an organization sufficiently elastic and adaptable to quickly make adjustments to unusual and unexpected conditions. It needs the supervision of a competent director who can devote to it all his time and energy, and a corps of teachers who not only know how and what to teach, but who possess a firm conviction of the value and utility of this kind of instruction. In the hands of teachers who bring to it only the margin of interest and energy remaining after a hard day’s work in the high school, or who are unable to comprehend the radical difference between teaching a boy in the day school 35 hours a week and teaching a boy four hours a week in the continuation school or evening class, the full measure of success cannot be expected. The employment of day teachers for night school work has never been other than a makeshift, and the insignificant results attained in night schools throughout the country have been due in great measure to this cause.
Apart from the fact that the interests of adolescent workers imperatively demand the establishment of day continuation schools, an additional argument in favor of such schools is that they would provide a means for making the night trade-extension work effective, through the use of continuation day school teachers for night school work. Such a plan would mean that teachers employed on this basis would have charge of a day continuation class during one session of four hours, and a night class of two hours, making a total of six hours’ work per day. A plan of this kind would make possible the establishment of the fundamental conditions for successful trade—preparatory and trade-extension training in the night schools. The present system is unjust to both teachers and students;—to the students because the man or boy who sacrifices his recreation time to attend night school has a right to the best the schools can give; to the teachers because no teacher can work a two-hour night shift in addition to seven or eight hours in the technical high school without seriously impairing his efficiency.
The development of this plan would necessitate the establishment of two centers, one located in the eastern and one in the western section of the city. In these centers should be housed the day vocational school, the day continuation classes, and the night vocational classes. This would relieve the technical high schools of a task which does not belong to them, and which by overloading the teachers seriously interferes with the work they were originally employed to do. At present a considerable number of the technical high school teachers are devoting from one-fifth to one-fourth of their total working day to elementary teaching, as most of the work in the night schools is below high school grade.