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they had hccn in school. In Table 12 it is shown that 78 children, or 18.8 per cent of these 414 children who had left school, had moved out of the city. These 78 children, or 14.2 per cent of the total number, will reduce the percentage of children leaving school from 75.6 per cent to 61.4 per cent.

The nonretarded children who dropped out are scattered all the way from the 1A to the 7A grades, inclusive. A large number— comprising 44.9 per cent of this nonretarded group—leave in the first year. This large percentage of dropping out in the 1A grade can be partly explained by the number of children who move out of the city, which is slightly larger in the first year than in any other, and by the number of children who enter school and remain a few weeks or months and then leave on account of economic conditions, ill health, and the like. Furthermore, there seems to be no one age more than another at which these children leave school. They are scattered from the age of 7 to the age of 15.

The retarded children show more dropping out in certain grades than in others. This is apparent from the following figures:

Number of retarded children dropping out.


If a child is credited with having made the grade from which it dropped, then the median number of terms made by these 305 children is 4 terms for the boys and 5.8 terms for the girls.

Instead of these retarded children dropping out evenly from the age of 7 years to the ago of 15, as was the case with the nonretarded children who dropped out, there is a tendency for them to group themselves around the age of 12 and 13 years. The median ages at which boys and girls of this group drop out are 12 years and 12.8 years, respectively.

From these figures it is seen that at least one-half of the boys and girls remain in school until they are 12 or more years of age, which is the age at which they should be finishing the 6B grade or 12 terms in school, while, as a matter of fact, there are as many boys who completed less than 4 terms as completed more and as many girls who completed less than 5.8 terms as completed more.

Table 12.—Showing what became of the 414 children who dropped out of school (Negro).


Since 414 children, or 75.6 per cent of those who were in the 1A grade in September, 1906, had dropped out of school before the expiration of seven years, the question is even more pertinent here than in connection with the white children, What has become of these children? Table 12 gives the following information in connection with these children:

78, or 18.7 per cent, moved out of the city.
237, or 57.3 per cent, are employed in or out of the home or are unemployed.
75, or 18.1 per cent, are unknown.

4, or 1.0 per cent, went to private schools.
10, or 2.4 por cent, loft public Bchool and later returned as new pupils.

8, or 2.0 per cent, are dead.

2, or 0.5 per cent, are married.

From an analysis of the above percentages it is evident that the necessity to go to work is a very large factor in causing the Negro children to leave school; practically 57.3 per cent of those who drop out go to work. Only a few children are unemployed. The small number of children leaving to go to private schools, or leaving and later returning as new pupils, indicates a small effort on the part of the Negro children to secure an education if they do not succeed in securing it in the public schools. This situation is no doubt due, in a very large measure, to the limited resources of the Negro families. Furthermore, retardation accompanies dropping out. Of the number of children who leave to go to work, 83.1 per cent, or 47.6 per cent of the total number of children who drop out, are retarded, while 16.9 per cent of the same number, or 9.7 per cent of the total number who drop out, are not retarded.

It is interesting to note, further, that only 18.7 per cent of tho Negro children who drop out of school leave the city. The percentage of colored children leaving school concerning whom no information is available argues even more strongly than in tho case of the white children for moro accurate recording of childrens' school histories and a permanent and continuing school census.


The following points stand out in the progress of the 547 Negro children who were in the 1A grade in September, 1906:

1. No children completed the course in the elementary schools in less than normal time.

2. Seventeen children, or 3.1 per cent, completed the elementary schools in normal time. Of this number, 14 children, or 82.3 per cent, entered the high school. Therefore 2.5 per cent of the total number of children from the 1A grade entered the high school within the normal time.

3. One hundred and sixteen children, or 21.3 per cent, were still in the elementary school in September, 1913. The median number of terms made was 8.4 terms for the boys and 9.3 terms for the girls, although the median age for the boys was 13.2 years and for the girls 14.4 years. In relation to normal progress these children had made in 7 years only 67.8 per cent.

4. Four hundred and fourteen children, or 75.6 per cent, had left school. Of this number, 109 (26.3 per cent of 414 children), or 19.9 per cent of the total group, had not repeated a grade, while 305 (73.7 per cent of 414 children), or 55.7 per cent of the total group, had repeated one or more grades.

5. Of those who dropped out, 18.7 per cent had moved out of the city, 57.3 per cent had gone to work, 18.1 per cent were unknown, and the remainder had dropped for minor causes. It was further shown that of those who had gone to work 83.1 per cent had repeated before they left.


One of the questions which is raised in connection with children who havo skipped a grade or more, or who havo been retarded a grade or more, is whether this acceleration or retardation occurs most frequently at certain ages and at certain grades. From the studies which havo been made relating to this problem it has been pointed out very clearly that children are retarded at certain agos and in certain grades. This information seems to be in keeping with the complaint often heard from teachers, pupils, and parents alike that the work in certain grades gives the children special trouble. Teachers often complain that certain grades receive many failures in spite of every effort on their part to secure a good percentage of promotion. It is the object of the data presented in this chapter to dotermino the extent to which this tendency exists in the public schools of Richmond, so far as this group of children is concerned.

Table 13.—Acceleration by grades and ages (white children).



Sinco there wore but 6 children, or less than 1 per cent (0.96 per cent) of the total number, 627, in the lA grade in September, 1906, who succeeded in skipping a grade, the problem of acceleration is so small that it is impossible to ascertain from Table 13, which distributes these children by grades and ages, any general tendency as to where and when children skip.

These 6 children succeeded in skipping seven terms, which are scattered from the 2B grade to the 6B grade and from ago 9 to age 13, inclusive.

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