The problem of high school failure and elimination among cities in Texas



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This study has a three-fold aim, namely: (1) the measurement of the extent to which pupils fail or drop out of high school in Texas; (2) a study of the reasons prompting high school failure and withdrawal as submitted by Texas teachers; and (3) a survey of the educational literature which pertains to devices for reducing the number of high school failures and drop outs. [...] This survey includes a study of high school failure and elimination in 16 senior high schools in Texas. The data involve a study of the permanent high school record cards of 22,287 pupils, of which number 4434 failed in one or more subjects. This study embraces grades 9, 10, and 11, for the scholastic year 1933-34. In most instances the data were obtainable only through solicitation of assistance from principals and superintendents by means of a questionnaire. Consequently such factors as (1) difficulties involved in assembling the desired information; (2) lack of clerical assistance for such lengthy compilations; (3) inaccessibility of the material owing to inferior record systems; (4) lack of cooperation on the part of principals and superintendents; (5) employment of promotional practices foreign to those called for in the questionnaire; and (6) reluctance on the part of school administrators to divulge the information called for -- resulted in only 16 city school systems complying with usuable returns. Lack of uniformity even among the 16 city schools retained for study necessitated an organization of presentation so as to indicate possible variances between large and small city school systems and at the same time maintain the continuity of the problem. Data from eight schools--four schools in cities ranging in population from 25,000 - 100,000, and four schools from cities with populations of 10,000 - 25,000--were finally obtained in such a form as to carry forward the stated problem in its entirety, and at the same time to permit the fluctuations characteristic of individual systems to be revealed and emphasized. Data from the other eight high schools, five of which are in cities of over 100,000 population, and the remaining three in cities of 5,000 - 10,000 inhabitants, are introduced in summary tables to materially increase the number of cases upon which conclusions may be based. At the same time such a procedure allows trends and tendencies, with regard to variation in size of city as a possible factor in high school failure and elimination, to manifest themselves