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Terms in which specified number of absences occurred— Unfinished group of boys.

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Terms in which specified number of absences occurred— Unfinished group of girls.

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These children show better attendance than those that dropped out. During the total number of terms in which these boys were promoted they were absent less than 10 days to a term in 98.5 per cent of the terms and from 10 to 19 days to a term in 1.3 per cent of the terms; during the total number of terms in which they were not promoted they were absent less than 10 days to a term in 93 per cent of the terms and from 10 to 19 days to a term in 2.1 per cent of the terms. Likewise the girls show that during the total number of terms in which they were promoted they were absent less than 10 days to a term in 99.3 per cent of the terms and from 10 to 19 days to a term in less than 1 per cent (0.6 per cent) of the terms; but during the total number of terms in which they were not promoted they were absent less than 10 days to a term in 91.4 per cent of the terms and from 10 to 19 days to a term in 4.5 per cent of the terms.

TABLE 19.-Percentage of terms with specified number of days absent during which the children (Negro) in the different groups repeated or did not repeat

the work of the grade.

Percentage of terms with specified number of days absent.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

Boys.

Girls.

3

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53 53

63 63

540 244

669 243

98.5 93.0

99.3 91.4

1.3 2.1

.6 4.5

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100 100

3.7

100 100

4.1

Number of children,

Total terms

made.

Groups.

0-9 days.

10-19 days.

20-29 days.

30-39 days.

40-49 days.

50 and more

days.

Total.

I, Finished in normal

time..
II, Unfinished:

Terms not re

peated.

Terms repeated...
III. Dropped-no terms

repeated.
IV. Dropped:

Terms not re

peated Terms repeated...

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Table 19 shows how a very large majority of the children who were absent less than 10 days to a term were the ones who made normal progress. It shows also that during the terms in which they were not promoted they were absent more than 10 days to a term in a very great many cases. From these results there can be no question about the fact that much of the retardation occurring in this group of children might have been prevented if they had been in school. Their absence is connected directly with their failure.

ENTRANCE AGES AND PROGRESS THROUGH SCHOOL.

Where there has been no compulsory school law, it is quite evident that the age at which children entered school will vary more than where they have been required to enter at a certain age. Since there has been considerable retardation in this group of children, it seems worth while to inquire the age at which they have entered school and to inquire further as to whether late entrance goes along with retardation.

Table 20.-Ages at which children (white) of different groups entered school.

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Groups.

Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls. Boys. Girls.

1

150

135

44 128

6.8 6.9 6.5

6.7 7.8 6.3

12

4 26

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1

3

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6

2

135

44 128

150

48 122

320

307

57

42

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TABLE 21.-Ages at which children (Negro) of different groups entered school.

Dropped-retarded.
Dropped-nonretarded
Unfinished and finished

48
122

Total.

Total.

Median

age.

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Tables 20 and 21 give the information for the white and colored children separated into dropped-retarded, dropped-nonretarded, and unfinished and finished groups. The tables are read as follows: On Table 20 there are 150 boys and 135 girls who had repeated grades before they dropped out. Of this number 12 boys and 13 girls entered at 6 years, 81 boys and 74 girls entered at 7 years, 28 boys and 33 girls entered at 8 years, etc. The median age at which the boys entered was 6.8 years, and the median age at which the girls entered was 6.7 years.

From the information on these tables it seems that, considered as groups, the children who dropped out of school show a wider range in the age of entrance to school than do the children who finished in normal or in less than normal time or who were still in school. This difference is sufficiently large to warrant the conclusion that late entrance to school increases the probability of dropping out before the completion of the work of the elementary schools.

In summarizing the results of this inquiry into the effect which a child's attendance and the age at which he enters school have had on his progress through school the following points should be noticed:

1. Children in the white schools showed an absence of less than 10 days in 76 per cent to 92 per cent of the terms in which they were promoted. During the terms in which they were not promoted they showed an absence of less than 10 days in only 58 per cent to 72 per cent of the terms.

2. Children in the Negro schools showed an absence of less than 10 days in 89 per cent to 98 per cent of the terms in which they were promoted. During the terms in which they were not promoted they showed an absence of less than 10 days in only 79 per cent to 93 per cent of the terms.

3. The children who dropped out of school include a very large majority of those who entered school late. In general the chances for normal progress favor those who entered about 7 years of age—the normal entrance age.

Such, then, is the progress which the children in the Richmond public schools have been making in the past seven years, supposing the results to be practically the same from year to year. The information in the previous chapters represents the output which the Richmond public school system as a business concern has been yielding.

If the application of scientific measurements is made to these conditions, what results will such measurements show? Can tests be employed to show that many of these children who were compelled to repeat a grade or more could have done more advanced work if they had been given a chance? The answer to such problems will be the aim of the chapters which follow.

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