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courses of study, teaching staff, methods of teaching, student body, and results as measured by the achievements of those who are being trained or who have been trained therein. The demand for efficiency on the part of all public servants and the growing belief in. the possibility of evaluating the work of our schools will doubtless operate to bring about many more surveys within the next few years. Those who have made school surveys have sought to apply scientific methods in the conduct of these inquiries. It will be well to review carefully the principles which should control and the methods which have been employed in this field.
The attempt to evaluate current practice and to increase the efficiency of schools has always been a function of the administrative and supervisory corps of our school systems. School surveys are to be thought of as supplementary to the regular work of the supervisory staff. As our school systems develop bureaus of investigation and research, such as have already been established in New York, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Kansas City, Oakland, and elsewhere, there will be less need for the survey as we now know it. In all communities, however, there will be occasions when expert knowledge will be desired and when specialists outside of the regular supervisory staff will be called in. The lay public and the educational profession will come to recognize that the calling in of specialists for the purpose of consultation is not a reflection upon the efficiency of the superintendent,' the board of education, or the members of the teaching staff, but rather a recognition of the complexity of the educational problem and of the development of specialists in the profession of educational administration.
Surveys, if they are to serve any useful purpose in education, must be constructive. We judge the work of a supervisor by the growth and development of those who are supervised. In like manner the survey, as a supplementary agency, is to be judged not in terms of the weaknesses or deficiencies which it discovers, but rather by means of the suggestions for development and improvement which are contained in it. It is necessary, of course, to discover wherein a school system is weak before any adequate remedies can be suggested, but the survey which is concerned mainly with a statement of deficiencies can not accomplish much in the way of improving the work of teachers or administrative officers, and will probably result in destroying that public confidence which is so essential for the development of a strong school system. This constructive aspect of the work of the survey may be expressed by saying that it is the primary business of the survey staff to teach.
The improvement or development of a system of public education involves the education of the community, as well as the teaching of
1 See also p. 39 of this report,
teachers or the consultation with supervisory or administrative offi
A survey should seek to secure a large measure of public support for the constructive program proposed. To this end, members of the survey staff should meet with groups of interested citizens for the sake of discussing educational problems and for the presentation of the program for development which has resulted from the inquiry.
A survey can never legitimately seek either to discredit or to accredit any individual member of the supervisory or teaching staff or other employee of the board of education. The responsibility for securing adequate administration and supervision rests with the board of education. The nomination of assistants to the superintendents or supervisory officers, of principals, and of teachers, and their placing in the school system, should be in the hands of the superintendent of schools, subject to confirmation by the board of education. In like manner, individual inefficiency upon the part of assistants to the superintendents or members of the teaching corps should be discovered as a regular part of the supervisory or administrative activity vested by the board in the superintendent of schools. It is not probable that any survey commission could become well enough acquainted with the work of individuals either legitimately to praise or to blame. It is certainly not desirable that they should be expected to pass upon the qualifications of employees of the school board. A school survey should be conducted upon an impersonal basis.
In the foregoing paragraphs there have been presented those principles which are fundamental in the conduct of school surveys. There remain to be discussed the methods to be employed in the attempt to measure or to evaluate the work of the school system. The writer is able to distinguish three methods that have been employed, each of which seems to have its place in the work of the survey. These methods or means may be named as follows: (1) The consensus of opinion or of judgments of specialists; (2) the comparison of the school system surveyed with other school systems; (3) the measurement of efficiency by means of scales or units of measurement.
The judgments of specialists.-In education, as in other forms of human activity, there will always be a place for the judgment of any one who is recognized in his particular calling or profession as a specialist with respect to the practice involved. If a group of such specialists, after careful observation and study, agree in their diagnosis of the situation and with respect to the remedy to be invoked, we are usually willing to act in accordance with their judgment. It is important to emphasize the fact that a consensus of judgment is what is taken, rather than an agreement which has resulted from the judgment of one who has secured the approval of others. It is easily possible to find a dominating personality whose judgment may be poor, but who may nevertheless impose it upon others. The members of a survey commission, in so far as they attempt to evaluate the work of a school system on the basis of their individual opinions or judgments, should be careful to record these judgments individualy and to value most highly those judgments which they have in common. The survey should not be a series of monographs prepared by specialists, but rather the report of a board or committee who have been able to agree in the recommendations which they make.
The record of opinion which the specialists make should be put in such terms as can be easily understood by teachers. The judgment of a philosopher may be sound and yet couched in such language us to be unintelligible to the rank and file of the teaching profession. Keeping in mind the teaching function of the survey, the specialist should seek to express his judgment in terms which apply to the every-day practice of the classroom. For example, it is essential that any criticism of the quality of teaching should be expressed in terms of those criteria which apply to the different types of teaching. There are doubtless general criteria or aims of education which can be interpreted by the philosopher in such a way as to be applicable to many different types of classroom procedure. The survey may not assume this power of interpretation upon the part of the teaching corps, but would rather embody such criticism and suggestions as may seem necessary in terms of criteria applicable to the drill lesson, lessons involving thinking, lessons for appreciation, study lessons, and social and disciplinary phases of school work.
Comparison of the school system.--A comparison which may be instituted among several school systems with respect to their organization, curricula, methods of teaching, costs, and the like is a legitimate part of a school survey. Our common practice is the result of the best judgment of many men working in many situations over a long period of years. That which is less efficient tends to be eliminated, and that which is most worth while to persist by the process of trial and success. A school system which shows great variation from common practice with respect to its curricula or time allotment for studies or costs should be most carefully scrutinized with respect to the functions which show this variability. Conformity to the common practice may not be absolute proof of efficiency, but it at least suggests the exercise of judgment in conformity with that of others who have attacked the same problems.
Measurement of efficiency.-Much is to be gained by applying units or scales of measurement which will enable us to make more accurate comparisons than have been commonly instituted heretofore. By applying scales in handwriting, in English composition, or carefully derived tests in arithmetic, spelling, or reading, it is
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possible to compare the achievements of pupils among several school systems and within the several units of a single system. These results will often show satisfactory work for the school system, or for some unit or units within it, and will, on the other hand, sometimes discover a remarkable lack of achievement. The more frequently such measurements of achievements are undertaken, the more valid will be the comparison which can be instituted and the more nearly we may hope to arrive at a statement of a standard. 16 is not only with respect to the work done in school studies, however, that such units of measurement are available. The efficiency of the enforcement of compulsory education can in some degree be measured by the time elasping between the beginning of the period of truancy and the period at which the pupil is returned to school. The adaptation of schools to the individual differences of pupils is indicated by a careful study of retardation, acceleration, and elimination. One might judge of the efficiency of medical inspection in terms of the better physical condition of pupils. The costs of various parts or units of the school system can be determined if an adequate system of bookkeeping has been established.
In all the work of the survey it is necessary to observe, to measure in so far as possible, and to report upon the condition of the community's political, industrial, social, and educational life that favors or interferes with the work of the schools. Indeed it is not possible to suggest a program for the development of a school system without a thorough-going appreciation of the community's present status and of its needs. The contact of a survey commission with groups of interested citizens, as was suggested in an earlier part of the discussion, may serve in considerable measure to furnish this social background, but wherever possible a more painstaking and precise study of conditions should be undertaken.
Surveys which are understood by the teaching profession and by the lay public as supplementary to the regular activity of the supervisory and administrative corps; which undertake to teach through appreciation of that which is worthy; which seek to capitalize the successes of the school system; which involve the discovery of weaknesses only for the sake of suggesting a program for growth and development; which are conducted upon an impersonal basis; which endeavor to help and to stimulate rather than to find fault and to destroy-from such school surveys we may expect to derive much which will make for the greater efficiency of our public schools.
The development of the school survey as a supplement to the regular work of the supervisory and administrative staff of the school system suggests the possibility of developing in our schools a system of inspection which will take the place of our present practice of placing responsibility for successful work upon local administrative oslicers and teachers. If such were the result, it would be most unfortunate. It is rather to be hoped that the methods of those who undertake school surveys may become, in so far as they are valid, the methods of the local administrative officers and of the local teaching corps. One of the elements in our present situation that seems especially worthy is this feeling of responsibility for successful work which is found as a part of the professional consciousness of most teachers. To substitute for this responsibility an attitude of subservience to an inspecting authority, and an attempt to cram children to get them past examinations, would be most unfortunate. State and county administrative officers will do their most significant work in the training of teachers to a higher degree of efficiency through careful supervision, rather than through a system of inspection which seeks to secure a uniform product.
The development of a scientific attack upon the problems of administration may be expected to make rapid progress during the next few years. Through the data accumulated in the reports of superintendents, through the work of special departments of research and investigation in our larger city school systems, by means of the collection of significant data by State officers, by means of systematic inquiries or surveys of educational activities in State, county, and city, and through the study of education in our professional schools, we may hope to measure more significantly than heretofore our educational practice and to establish with greater certainty the principles upon which we base administrative procedure.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROFESSIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OR
OF THE PROFESSION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION.
When we seek to review recent educational progress, whether wo are concerned with the enlarged scope and complexity of our educational system, with the problem of adapting our schools to the varying capacities and needs of children, with the tendency to enlarge the administrative unit and to increase the responsibility of professional administrative officers, or with the development of a scientific method of attack upon administrative problems—all of these seem to point unmistakably in the direction of the development of a profession of educational administration as distinct from teaching. There was a time when a single school, organized for the sake of a few families in a local community, could be supervised more or less adequately by the local minister. With the development of professional knowledge with respect to the theory and practice of teaching, it was necessary to draft from the teaching corps one conversant with this field who could supervise and direct the work of others. In many cases, as we have developed larger school systems, the work of the chief executive officer has consisted in no small