The Connecticut report makes a serious mistake in failing to arrange schools according to population. If this were done, schools of a size would be side by side and comparison would be fair. When, as in the above table, schools are arranged alphabetically, a school with four thousand pupils may follow or precede a school with four hundred pupils, and comparison will be unfair and futile.
Where, on the other hand, schools are arranged in order of register, a table will show whether schools confronted with practically the same problems, the same number of defects, the same number of children needing treatment, are equally successful, or perhaps equally inactive, in correcting these defects. The following table brings out clearly marked unequal achievement in the face of relatively equal need.
|Register||Defects Found||Children Needing Treatment||Children Treated||Children not Treated|
If the number of schools in a state is so large that it is unlikely that people will read the table of ranking because of the difficulty of finding their own school, an alphabetical table might be given that would show where to look in the general ranking table for the school or schools in which the reader is interested.
Experience will demonstrate to public school superintendents the strategic advantage of putting together all the things they need and of telling the community over and over again just what needs there are, what penalties are paid for want of them, and what benefits would result from obtaining them. If health needs of school children were placed side by side with mental results, the relation would come out so clearly that parents, school boards, and taxpayers would realize how inextricably they are bound together and would see that health needs are satisfied. To this end superintendents should require teachers to keep daily reports of school conditions.
|10.30||12.00||2.00||Dry||Wet||Disinfecting||In Room||Out of Room|
The teacher's daily report of the temperature of a schoolroom, taken three times a day, tells the parent exactly what is the efficiency of the ventilating and heating apparatus in the particular school in which he is interested; whereas the report of the department of buildings gives only the number of schools which have an approved system of ventilation and steam heat. School authorities may or may not know that this system of ventilation is out of order, that the thermometer in the indoor playground of School A stood at forty degrees for many days in winter. But they must know it when the principal of School A sends in a daily record; the school board, the parents, or the press will then see that the condition is remedied. If the condition is due to lack of funds, funds will never be forthcoming so long as the condition is concealed.
Similar results will follow publicity of overcrowding, too little play space, dry cleaning of school buildings, etc. The intent of such reporting is not to "keep tabs" on the school-teacher, the school child, the janitor, the principal, superintendent, or board, but to insure favorable conditions and to correct bad conditions. This is done best by giving everybody the facts. The objective test of the efficiency of a method throws emphasis on the method, not on the motive of those operating it. The blackboard method of publishing facts concentrates attention upon the importance of those facts and enlists aid in the attainment of the end sought.