From twenty such statements of fact and from its experience in getting things done for one year, the committee drew fifteen practical conclusions, among which the following deserve emphasis here:

1. The only new thing about the physical defects of school children is not their existence, but our recent awakening to their existence, their prevalence, their seriousness if neglected, and their cost to individual children, to school progress, to industry, and to social welfare.

2. Physical deterioration, applied to America's school children, is a misnomer. No evidence whatever has been given that the percentage of children suffering from physical defects in 1907 is greater than the percentage of children suffering from such defects in 1857. On the contrary, the small proportion of defects that are not easily removable, as well as a vast amount of evidence from medical experience and vital statistics, indicates that, if a comparison were possible, the children of 1907 would be found to have sounder bodies and fewer defects than their predecessors of fifty years ago. If there is an exception to this statement, it is probably defects of vision, with regard to which school authorities and oculists seem to agree that confinement in school for longer hours and more constant application under unfavorable lighting conditions have caused a marked increase. Positive evidence as to tendencies will be easily obtained after thorough physical examination has been carried on for a generation.

3. The effect of massing facts as to physical defects of school children should not be to cause alarm, but to stimulate remedial and preventive measures, to invoke congratulations and aggressive optimism, not doleful pessimism and palliative measures born of despair.

4. The causes of physical defects are not confined to "marginal" incomes, but, while more apt to be present in families having small incomes, are found among all incomes wherever there exist bad ventilation, insufficient outdoor exercise, improper light, irregular eating, overeating, improper as well as insufficient food, lack of medical, dental, and ocular attention.

5. Whatever may be said of free meals at school as a means of insuring punctual attendance or better attention, they are inadequate to correct physical conditions that home and street environment produce.

6. To remove physical defects, causal conditions among all income classes should be treated, and not merely symptoms revealed at school by children of the so-called poor.

7. Parents can and will correct the greater part of the defects discovered by the physical examination of school children, if shown what steps to take. Where parents refuse to do what can be proved to be within their power, and where existing laws are nonenforced or inadequate, the segregation of children having physical defects in special classes might prove an effective stimulus to obstinate parents.

8. Where parents are unable to pay for medical, dental, and ocular care and proper nourishment, private philanthropy must either provide adequately or expect the state to step in and assume the duty.

9. Private dispensaries and hospitals must either arrange themselves to treat cases and to educate communities as to the importance of detecting and correcting physical defects, or must expect the state to provide hospital and dispensary care. Until private hospitals and dispensaries take steps to prevent people with adequate incomes from imposing upon them for free treatment, it is difficult to make out a case against free eyeglasses and free meals for school children.

10. Either private philanthropy or the state must take steps to procure more dental clinics and an educational policy on the part of the dental profession that will prevent the exploitation of the poor when dental care is needed.

11. The United States Bureau of Education is the only agency with authority and equipment adequate to secure from all sections of the country proper attention to the subject. Nothing in the world can prevent free meals, free eyeglasses, free medical care, free material relief at school, unless educational use is made by each community of the facts learned through physical examination to correct home, school, and street conditions that produce and aggravate physical defects. The national bureau can mass information in such a way as to convince budget makers in city, county, and state to vote gladly the funds necessary to promote the physical welfare of school children.

The Dark-Hall Evil Is Here Indexed By Adenoids.

How the committee got things done is often referred to. There is something about a request for cooperation, whether by schools or by any other agency, that enlists the interest of those whose help is asked. The reason is not that people are flattered by requests to serve on committees, or that human nature finds it difficult to be unfriendly or unkind. On the contrary, men and women are by nature social; there is more joy in giving than in withholding, in working with others than in working alone. Men and women, official and volunteer agencies, will cooperate with school-teachers when invited, for the same reason and with the same readiness that ninety-nine farmers out of a hundred, on the prairie or in the mountain, will welcome a request for food and lodging.

Where "Getting Things Done" Is Possible But "Doing Things" Ineffective

Mothers will naturally take a greater interest in the welfare of their children if held responsible for proper food and proper home surroundings than if not reminded of their responsibility. In New York City a woman district superintendent of schools, Miss Julia Richman, has organized a unique "social settlement." She and several school-teachers occupy a house, known as "The Teachers' House." This is their residence. Here they are subject to neither intrusion nor importunity; no clubs or classes are held here; visitors are treated as guests, not as beneficiaries. The purpose these teachers have in living together is to work out the methods of interesting private and official leaders in community needs disclosed at school.

Where clubs and social gatherings are held in school buildings, it is not unusual for a thousand mothers, recent immigrants, to meet together in one hall to hear talks on the care of children. Thus, instead of principals, teachers, and physicians taking the place of mothers (which they nowhere have succeeded in doing), they do succeed in harnessing mothers to the school programme. It may take two, three, or ten visits to get a particular mother to do the necessary thing for her child, but when once convinced and once inspired to do that thing, she will go on day in and day out doing the right thing for that child and for all others in her home. It may take a year to convert a police magistrate whose sympathy for delinquent parents and truant children is an active promoter of disorder; but a magistrate convinced, efficient, and interested is worth a hundred volunteer visitors. To get things done in this way for a hundred thousand children costs less in time and money than to do the necessary things for one thousand children.