Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 85.djvu/48

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44
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

alent among the teachers in our schools. This again may be seen most clearly by contrasting the situation in Germany. Once appointed to a position in Germany, with few exceptions, the teacher remains in the same school until he dies or is retired on pension. The following statistics of the Prussian secondary schools for 1894 are cited by Bolton ("The Secondary School System of Germany," p. 119):

 
Total number of positions 7 .302
Number of new teachers 233
New teachers first position held 225
New teachers from other positions 8
Total number leaving 209
Called to other positions 2
Choosing other occupations 42
Number retiring 8
Retired on pension 98
Number of deaths 59
 

This remarkable permanency of tenure is made possible by the exacting methods of testing candidates which prevents the unfit from securing positions in the schools. Conditions in our schools are in marked contrast. Dr. Jessup in a paper recently read at the secondary-school conference of the University of Chicago reported recent investigations bearing on this point. In Indiana for 1912 the median tenure of 186 superintendents was 2.16 years, and for the past fifty years in that state about half the positions were open every other year. In Iowa for 1912 the superintendents of 250 accredited schools had a median tenure of two years, and 40 per cent, were new to their position that year. Including schools not on the accredited list, the condition was still more striking, showing that of 768 schools considered, 46 per cent, of the positions were open last year, and 70 per cent, of the superintendents of these schools had been in their positions two years or less. High-school principals show the same tendency to short tenure. Bolton declares that in Wisconsin about one third of the high-school principals change position every year. Jessup states that of 183 principals in Indiana high schools in 1912, 45 per cent, were new to their positions. In towns of 25,000 population or over, one third of the principals were new to their positions. The same condition holds among high-school teachers. That it is not confined to small schools or particular states is seen from the following statistics of schools on the list of the North Central Association for 1912: In Wisconsin 46 per cent, were new to their positions; in Colorado, 44 per cent.; in Missouri, 37 per cent.; in Iowa, 37 per cent.; in Indiana, 40 per cent.

In a recent study of "The Social Composition of the Teaching Population" (Teachers College Contributions to Education, No. 41) based upon reports of 5,215 teachers from twenty-two states, including rural, town and city schools, Dr. Coffman finds the median number of years men teachers have taught, irrespective of location and of position,