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tools of industry, but, in grasping at this by means of the co-operative factories, Labor has been uncontrolled and unscientific. When Organized Labor has grown strong enough to throw off the existing machinery of organization which now grips it; when it once more thinks and acts for itself, it will certainly take hold of a systematized, well considered plan of co-operation--that which is already, quietly transforming the industrial world abroad. Success is not to be hoped for until working-class consumers have organized in sufficient strength to own their own wholesales and factories, and have learned a social point of view equal to running these industries. If the struggle of Labor to get control of Industry shall not have socialized it, the case appears to be hopeless, at least for a long time. For where shall we look for a more efficient social schooling? And this mental attitude is the sine qua non of industrial freedom.

The Belgian Example. Hence, to return to and close with our own problem, the Belgian, non-dividend paying method of co-operation, the social centre, social service co-operative would seem most desirable for us. And there are strong indications that the Belgian idea is that best adapted to the psychology of our people. We are not shop keepers by nature, but are a fun-loving people. In substantiation of this observation many of the most successful American associations are imbued with this social spirit; notably: Charleroi, with its branch stores; The Workingmen's Co-operative of Queens County, New York; the Purity Co-operative of Paterson, New Jersey; the West Hoboken Co-operative; the Haledon Co-operative; the Central Labor Council Co-operative of Charleston, W. Virginia; the North American Co-operative of Philadelphia; the Svea Co-operative of Minnesota; and much of the Illinois movement show a marked tendency to emphasize the social rather than the pecuniary advantages of co-operation.

It is only in the case of a strike that we appreciate the full depth of the employer's regard for the sanctity of contract.

Reformers generally would succeed better if they were to give less attention to the effects of the strike and more to the causes thereof.

The labor press is the only remaining free press,

PUBLIC EDUCATION.
COMPULSORY EDUCATION LAWS.

BY BENJAMIN C. GRUENBERG. Every State in the Union has upon its statutes laws making school attendance compulsory for young children. The minimum of school attendance for each year is usually prescribed, and the age limit is steadily being advanced. In every State also, exceptions are made, or “Exemptions," as they are called, permitting non-attendance to certain classes of children, or to all children under certain conditions. The tendency, however, is to reduce the exemptions. For example, many states exempt children residing beyond a certain distance from the nearest school; progressive localities provide suitable transportation. Or, children suffering from various physical or mental defects are exempted; progressive communities make special provision for handicapped children, and so on. · The exemption of the children of the poor, on the ground that their services are needed to help in the support of the family, or on the ground that the parents can not afford suitable clothing, still holds in many states, although it is coming to be generally recognized that however indigent the parents of a child may be, it is poor economy for the community to permit the child to escape an education. The states in which this class of exemption still holds may be considered as socially backward. There are eighteen states in this class. Ten states leave considerable discretion to local authorities in exempting children from school attendance, and thus leave the door open for the escape of the needy children from suitable supervision and instruction. On the other hand, five of the states (Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Vermont) require that wherever necessary financial assistance shall be furnished to families to make school attendance of children possible.

Minimum Schooling. In Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia children may leave school and go to work at twelve years of age—and in Virginia, if the child is “able to read and write" he need not attend school at all. In ten states (California, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Washington) the age of compulsory attendance extends to 15 years, or 16 (Oklahoma, South Dakota; and for girls in Ohio). Beginning in 1917. Alabama and New York will also be in the 1! year class. In the states not mentioned the age is 14 years. For illiterates, and for children who have not completed a certain amount of schooling (usually the sixth grade) 28 states require attendance up to the age of 16 years, either in regu

ance.

a

lar schools or in special day or evening schools; and three states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Wisconsin) require supplementary school attendance of all illiterate minors. Mississippi has no provisions for compulsory school attend

In seventeen states the length of the school year required by law is less than six months; in sixteen states it is 7 months (140 days) or more. In seven states (not counting Mississippi) the law is satisfied if children of school age attend from thirty to eighty days a year.

Elimination of Children from School. In a study made by Dr. Leonard P. Ayres of the Russell Sage Foundation, it was found that in the 78 cities investigated half the children leave school before they are fourteen years old, and half leave before completing the sixth school grade. Many cities and many rural communities make a better record, of course, but if these figures are true for the country as a whole, the rising generation is not receiving adequate preparation either for citizenship or for effective economic service. It is the poorly educated who furnish the most easily exploited workers, and the most easily controlled voters. Moreover, these children are not properly prepared for healthy living or for the suitable use of such leisure as they may manage to get.

The conditions in the most prosperous cities are none too good. The following table shows the number of children who left school on employment certificate during the year 1914-15, in New York. Distribution of Children Who Received Employment Certificates, New York City, Year Ending June 30, 1915.

Boys Girls Total Total Certificates Issued

20,207 14,773 34,980 Public School children

17,317 12,874 30,191 Private and Parochial

2,890 1,899 4,789

Of these 34,980 children 15,423 or 44.85% had not completed the seventh school grade. This group was distributed as follows:

Boys
Girls

Total Public School children 7,334 : 42.35% 5,339 : 41.47% 12,673 : 41.31% Private and Parochial 1,600 : 55.36% 1,150 ; 65.59% 2,750 : 57.42%

Of the 34,980 children, 20,695 or 59.2% were under fifteen years old. This group was distributed as follows:

Boys
Girls

Total Public School children 10,120 : 58.4 % 7,402 : 57.5 % 17,522 : 58. % Private and Parochial 2,061 : 71.3 % 1,113 : 55.7 % 3,174 : 66.3 %

Unsatisfactory as are the public schools in many respects, data from all parts of the country indicate that they are for the most part superior to the parochial schools, and that they are excelled by very few of the private schools. From the figures in the foregoing table, which are in harmony with data from other cities, it will be seen that in general the children in the private and parochial schools do not average as much preparation as do those in the public schools.

MORTALITY IN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE. (From Bulletin No. 1, U. S. Bureau of Education, 1916.)

One of the most alarming features in our schools is the great mortality in school attendance as shown by a table in the Bulletin of the Bureau of Education. The bulletin quotes from a device shown at the San Francisco Exhibition, that

for every

60 pupils entering school in 1897-98,
53 were in the fourth grade in 1900-1901,
25 were in the eighth grade in 1904-5,
15 entered high school in 1905-6,
5+ completed high school in 1909-10,
3 were in college in 1910-11,
1 graduated from college in 1915.

ATTENDANCE AND EXPENDITURE (1912-13). (From Report of Commissioner of Education, 1914, Pt. II,

pp. 11, 14, 18, 19.)

Average number of days attended by each pupil enrolled

Per cent. of school population enrolled

Expenditure expenditure

Average per capita total

per capita, pop

school ulation

population

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Dist. of Col.
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts

74.3
110.6

82.5
129.9
118.7*
144.4
106.7
138.8
86.3
92.0
115.2
138.2
121.3
131.5
129.1
77.2
89.0
129.4
116.3
154.1

60.95
62.18
82.43
86.18
85.84
76.32
69.88
83.95
69.51
67.59
88.89
69.53
77.94
83.61
84.54
77.51
53.69
80.66
68.16
70.35

$1.82
7.49
2.58
9.58
7.39
5.79
2.93
8.72
3.19
1.97
9.53
6.45
6.90
7.04
6.42
2.89
2.77
4.75
3.75
6.61

$5.74
30.57

8.21 49.28 31.58* 25.22 11.867 43.80 11.11

6.18 36.11 26.19 27.61 26.79 24.27 9.83 8.85 20.75 14.29 29.62

Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
So. Carolina
So. Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

132.4
121.8

75.4
115.2
119.8
121.6
107.0*
136.3
144.4

88.8 150.6

83.1 104.1 132.0

79.8 121.3 137.3 154.2

60.0 110.5* 88.8 89.0* 128.7 130.6

89.8 131.4

95.8 123.3 101.2

79.21 76.00 80.65 78.88 84.04 84.81 71.40 65.01 72.61 60.13 67.27 80.84 76.59 74.17 78.98 87.56 66.47 62.87 68.81 74.55 80.94 63.53 80.61 77.36 66.18 78.06 76.70 63.94 81.68

6.40 7.23 1.50 4.63 10.54 7.48 6.60 4.24 8.28 3.01 6.39 1.76 8.82 6.31 4.15 7.99 5.74 4.69 1.64 6.39 2.62 3.48 9.95 5.39 2.62 9.37 3.88 5.25 6.47

26.00 26.71

4.59 17.75 48.99 27.55 40.24* 19.12 34.50 10.40 28.09

5.48 31.35 26.70 13.53 36.39 23.05 20.26

4.91 23.08*

8.73 11.09* 34.26 23.17

8.63 42.76 13.42 19.11 31.47

[ocr errors]

* Figures of 1911-1912. † Approximate.

THE HEALTH OF SCHOOL CHILDREN.

By EDWARD F. BROWN.

The city of New York spends per capita $40 annually on educating its children in elementary schools, and 44 cents on medical attention for these children.

The professional staff employed to supervise the health of school children in Greater New York includes exclusive of miscellaneous help, 100 doctors, 200 nurses, and 9 dentists.

There are approximately one million children enrolled in the free schools of the city.

The staff of doctors and nurses is so inadequate that it is only possible to examine a child for physical defects once in three years.

A doctor has approximately 10,000 and a nurse 5,000 children to care for.

Studies have shown that the best work can be done when a doctor has 1,500 and a nurse 1,500 children.

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