The story of noncontagious physical defects found and treated is set forth in the following table:
Medical Examination of School Children: Noncontagious Physical Defects Found and Treated, 1906
|Defects||School A||School B||School C|
|Found||Reported Treated||Found||Reported Treated||Found||Reported Treated|
|No.||% of Total Defects Found||No.||% of Total Defects Found||No.||% of Total Defects Found||No.||% of Total Defects Found||No.||% of Total Defects Found||No.||% of Total Defects Found|
|Diseased anterior cervical glands|
|Diseased posterior cervical glands|
|Deformity of spine|
|Deformity of chest|
|Deformity of extremities|
The effect of a report telling what schools have enough seats, proper ventilation, adequate medical inspection, safe drinking water, ample play space, and what schools are without these necessities is to cause the reader to rank the particular school that he happens to know; i.e. he says, "School A is better equipped than School B; or, School C is neglected." County and state superintendents in many states have acquired the habit of ranking schools according to the number of children who pass in arithmetic, algebra, etc. It would greatly further the cause of public health and, at the same time, advance the interest of education if state superintendents would rank individual schools, and if county superintendents would rank individual schools, according to the number of children found to have physical defects, the number afflicted with contagious diseases, and the number properly treated.
It is difficult to compare one school with another, because it is necessary to make subtractions and divisions and to reduce to percentages. It would not be so serious for a school of a thousand pupils as for a school of two hundred, to report 100 for adenoids. To make it possible to compare school with school without judging either unfairly, the state superintendent of schools for Connecticut has made tables in which cities are ranked according to the number of pupils, average attendance, per capita cost, etc. As to each of these headings, cities are grouped in a manner corresponding to the line up of a battalion, "according to height." A general table is then shown, which gives the ranking of each city with respect to each important item. Applied to schools, this would work out as follows:
|Register||Defects Found||Children Needing Treatment||Children Treated||Children not Treated|
Such a table fails to convey its significance unless the reader is reminded that rank 18 in children not treated is as good a record for a school that ranks 30 in register as is rank 6 for a school that ranks 10 in register.