For boys, there is some indication that advanced education and commercial training, in their present status, are less closely related to high wages than are personal qualities and experience. For girls, the combination of high school education and business training is the best preparation for wage advancement. A general high school education and usually, business training, are essential to the assurance of even a living wage. Business training based upon less than high school education is almost futile.
Six chapters of the report are devoted to a consideration of the needs and possibilities of training. The work now being done in the public schools of the city is discussed in detail, with suggestions for a better adaptation of the courses of study and methods and content of instruction to the needs of boys and girls who wish to prepare themselves to enter clerical occupations. The observations on training for such work may be summarized as follows:
Commercial training should be open to all students whom commercial subjects and methods can serve best; but graduation should depend upon a high standard of efficiency.
Statistics show that commercial training is not to be looked upon, in a wholesale way, as a successful means of taking care of backward academic students.
Commercial students’ need for cultural and other supplementary education may be even greater than that of academic students.
The graduation rate of commercial students in public schools has been increased since the organization of a separate commercial high school and the number of students entering has been decreased.
Commercial high schools receive a grade of children who are about medium in scholarship and normal in age.
Commercial and academic high school teachers are similar in scholastic preparation and in the salaries they are paid.
The Cleveland Normal School does not prepare definitely for the teaching of commercial subjects. Commercial teachers are nominally supervised by the district superintendents.
Public schools receive 29 per cent of the city’s day commercial students. The private schools receive a few more than the sum of public, parochial, and philanthropic schools.
Public schools receive 22 per cent of the city’s night commercial students. The private schools receive more than twice as many as the public and philanthropic schools. There are no night commercial classes in parochial schools.
The length of the day course in most private schools is eight months or less; in public schools it is four years.
The public school, if it believes in longer preparation for commercial work than most private schools give, should demonstrate the reason to parents and children.
Training for boys and girls should be different in content and in emphasis.