Physiological age, according to studies made in New York City, should be considered in grading, not only for physical culture classes but for all high school or continuation classes. Dr. C. Ward Crampton, assistant physical director, while examining boys in the first grade of the High School of Commerce, noticed a greater variation in physical advancement than in years. He kept careful watch of the educational progress and discovered three clear divisions: (1) boys arrived at puberty,—postpubescent; (2) boys approaching maturity,—pubescent; (3) boys not yet approaching maturity,—prepubescent.

The work in lower grades they had all passed satisfactorily, but in high school only the most advanced class did well. Practically none of the not-yet-maturing boys survived and few of the almost mature. In other words, the high school course was fitted to only one of the three classes of boys turned out of the grammar schools. The others succumbed like hothouse azaleas at Christmas time, forced beyond their season. Physiological age, not calendar years or grammar school months, should determine the studies and the companions of children after the tenth year. Physiological strength and vitality, not ability to spell or to remember dates, should be the basis of grading for play and study and companionship among younger children. Vitality, power to endure physically, should be the test of work and recreation for adults. Physicians may be so trained to follow directions issued by experts that physical examinations will disclose the chief enemies of vitality and the approximate limits of endurance.

Teachers may train themselves to recognize signs of fatigue in school children and to adapt each day's, each hour's work to the endurance of each pupil. One woman principal has written:

School programmes, after they have been based upon the laws of a child's development, should provide for frequent change of subject, alternating studies requiring mental concentration with studies permitting motor activity, and arranging for very short periods of the former. Anæmic children should be relieved of all anxiety as to the results of their efforts, and only short hours of daylight work required of them. The disastrous consequences of eye strain should be understood by all in charge of children who are naturally hypermetropic. The ventilation of a class room is far more important than its decoration or even than a high average percentage in mathematics, and the lack of pure air is one of the auxiliary causes of nervous exhaustion in both pupils and teachers. Deficient motor control is a most trustworthy indication of fatigue in children, and teachers may safely use it as a rough index of the amount of effort to be reasonably expected of their pupils. Facial pallor or feverish flushes are both evidences of overtasking, and either hints that fatigue has already begun. As to unfavorable atmospheric conditions, the teacher herself will undoubtedly realize them as soon as the children, but she should remember that effort carried to the point of exhaustion, injurious as it is in an adult, is yet less harmful than it is to the developing nerve centers of the child.

Because adults at work and at play reluctantly submit themselves to vitality tests, because few scientists are beseeching individuals to be tested, because almost no one yearns to be tested, the promotion of adult vitality and of community vitality can best be hastened by demanding complete vital statistics. Industrial insurance companies and mutual benefit societies are doing much to educate laborers regarding the effect upon vitality of certain dangerous and unsanitary trades, and of certain unhygienic habits, such as alcoholism and nicotinism. Progress is slower than it need be because state boards of health are not gathering sufficiently complete information about causes of sickness and death. American health and factory inspection is not even profiting, as it should, from British, German, and French statistics. Statistics are in ill repute because the truth is not generally known that our boasted sanitary improvements are due chiefly to the efficient use of vital statistics by statesmen sanitarians.[7]

[7] Dr. Arthur Newsholme's Vital Statistics should be in public libraries and on the shelves of health officers, public-spirited physicians, and school superintendents.

The vital statistics of greatest consequence are not the number of deaths or the number of births, not even the number of deaths from preventable diseases, but rather the number of cases of sickness from transmissible diseases. The cost and danger to society from preventable diseases, such as typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, are imperfectly represented by the number of deaths. Medical skill could gradually reduce death rates in the face of increasing prevalence of infectious disease. With few exceptions, only those patients who refuse to follow instructions will die of measles, diphtheria, or smallpox. The scarlet-fever patient who recovers and goes to church or school while "peeling" can cause vastly more sickness from scarlet fever than a patient who dies. Dr. W. Leslie Mackenzie, who has recently written The Health of the School Child, said ten years ago, while health officer of Leith:

Death is the ultimate and most severe injury that any disease can inflict, but short of death there may be disablement, permanent or temporary, loss of wages, loss of employment, loss of education, increase of home labor, increase of sickness outlays, increase of worry, anxiety and annoyance, disorganization of the household, general impairment of social efficiency.