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A study of pupil personnel in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles elementary schools

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A STUDY OF PUPIL PERSONNEL IN
SAN LUIS OBISPO AND PASO ROBLES ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
A Thesis
Presented to
the Faculty of the School of Education
The University
of Southern California
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Science in Education
by
Alexander Bruce Hawk
June
1941
UMI Number: EP54036
All rights reserved
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a note will indicate the deletion.
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UMI EP54036
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unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code
ProQuest LLC.
789 East Eisenhower Parkway
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c^-
T h is thesis, w r i t t e n u n d e r the d ir e c t io n o f the *
C h a ir m a n o f the ca nd id a te ’s G u id a n c e C o m m itte e
a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l m em bers o f the C o m m itte e ,
has been presented to a n d accepted by the F a c u l t y
o f the S c h o o l o f E d u c a t io n in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t
o f the re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f M a s t e r o f
Science in E d u c a tio n .
Guidance Committee
.P....®,..Hull..............
Chairman
D. Welty Lefever
Irving R. Mellbo
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I.
PAGE
THE PROBLEM........... '..........
Statement of the p r o b l e m ..................
1
Analysis of the problem..........
2
Need for this s t u d y . ..............
3
Method of procedure and sources of data. . .
4
Related investigations ....................
5
Pasadena survey. .
....................
Sacramento survey. . . . . . .
II.
III.
1
6
..........
7
Unpublished Masters’ theses................
9
Organization of thesis ....................
11
LOCATION AND ORGANIZATION....................
13
Purpose of c h a p t e r .........
13
San Luis Obispo school district............
13
History of San Luis Obispo County........
14
Paso Robles school district................
16
Summary of chapter...........
17
AGE GRADE PLACEMENT OF PUPILS................
20
Purpose of c h a p t e r ........................
20
The age-grade study........................
20
Retardation in San Luis Obispo schools . . .
24
Retardation in Paso Robles schools ........
26
Causes of retardation......................
28
CHAPTER
IV.
V.
PAGE
Pupil age at achool entrance..........
29
Summary of chapter..........................
30
MENTAL STATUS OF THE PUPILS
..........
32
Definition of t e r m s ........................
3^
Mental Age..............
~5k
Intelligence quotient ....................
3^
Intelligence grade placement..........* . . .
3^
Mental ability..............................
35
Mental age grade placement
in San Luis Obispo
35
Mental age grade placement
in Paso Robles . .
38
Summary of chapter.........................
41
PUPIL ACHIEVEMENT..............................
44
Purpose of the chapter......................
44
Purpose of the achievement
44
testing-program. .
Tests used................................
45
Time tests were g i v e n ....................
47
Range in grade placementin San Luis Obispo. •
48
Achievement in San Luis Obispo elementary
s c h o o l s ....................................
Range in grade placement
Achievement in Paso Robles
Summary of chapter.
VI.
50
in Paso Robles . .
52
elementary-schools
54
...................
PUPIL PROGRESS PROBLEMS . . . . . . . . . . . .
Purpose, of chapter..................
.
58
62
62'
CHAPTER
PAGE
Principles of promotion policies. .
.. .........
62
General causes of non-promotion................
66
Causes of non-promotion in San LuisObispo. . .
69
Causes of non-promotion in Paso Robles........
70
Relation of educational achievement and mental
..............
-ability in San Luis Obispo.
73
Relation Of educational achievement and mental
..................
ability in Paso Robles.
73
Comparison of pupil progress in San Luis Obispo
and Paso Robles elementary schools. . . . . . . .
Summary of chapter.
VII.
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION
Purpose of chapter.
VIII.
.-...............
83
OF THE COURSESOF STUDY . .
..
81
87
.....................
87
Evaluation of the courses of study..............
87
Legal requirements of the course of study . . .
92
Length of school day................
•#*...
92
Time allotments in Paso Robles..................
97
Summary of chapter. . . • • • • . . • • . • • . .
99
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMEND­
ATIONS. . . . . . . .
... . . . . . . .
.........
102
Purpose of chapter................
102
Resume of p r o b l e m ..............
102
Location and organization of school districts
studied..........................
102
CHAPTER
PAGE
Age-grade placement of pupils,
. . . . . . . . . .
Mental status of the pupils. ........
. . . . . .
106
Pupil achievement.
108
Pupil progress problems. . . . . . . . . . . . .
The courses of study.
BIBLIOGRAPHY...............................
104
109
.
112
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE
I.
PAGE
Age-Grade Distribution in the San Luis Obispo
Elementary Schools. . . .
II.
................
Age-Grade Distribution in the Paso Robles
Elementary Schools......................
III,
25
*
Intelligence Grade Placement of Pupils in the
San Luis Obispo Elementary Schools........
IV.
37
Intelligence Grade Placement of the Pupils in
Paso Robles Elementary Schools............
V.
27
39
Composite Grade Placement of all San Luis
Obispo Schools Derived from Progressive
Achievement T e s t s ................ , . . .
VI.
49
Relationship in Achievement above or below.the
norm in San Luis ObisporSchools as derived
from Progressive Achievement Tests........
VII.
51
Composite Grade Placement of Paso Robles
Elementary School derived from Progressive
Achievement Tests......................
VIII.
53
Relationship in Achievement above or below the
. norm in the Paso Robles Schools as derived
from Progressive achievement Tests
IX.
55
Deviation of subject gradesnorms from ability
norms in San Luis Obispo Elementary schools
74
TABLE
X.
PAGE
Deviation of Subject Grade Norms from ability
norms in Paso Robles elementary schools. . .
XI.
Evaluation of Courses of study in San Luis
Obispo and Paso Robles.................
XII.
90
94
Weekly Time Allotments in San Luis Obispo
Elementary Schools. . .
XIV.
.
Suggested Schedule of weekly subject time
allotments. .’.............
XIII.
79
. . . . . .
96
Weekly Time Allotments in Paso Robles
Elementary Schools.........
98
CHAPTER I
THE PROBLEM
A growing school population and a general expansion
of the school’s educational program has steadily increased
the cost of education.
The public is becoming more critical
regarding the school, its expenditures, and its products.
Survey techniques have been established whereby it is
possible for school administrators to evaluate the school
program so that the school administration and the public may
know if they are receiving value commensurable with the
moneys expended.
Sears, in reference to school surveys said:
The assumption is that there can be no intelligent
administration, supervision, or teaching without: (1)
a reasonably scientific determination of aims and
procedures; followed by (2) a critical evaluation of
results obtained; together with (3) an interpretation
of these results for future policies.1
In the present study an effort is made to apply the
above criteria to the schools of a given area; namely, San
Luis Obispo and'Paso Robles.
Statement of the problem.
It was the purpose of this
study to ascertain in so far as possible:
(l) the educational
needs of the pupils of grades two to six inclusive in the
1 Jesse B. Sears, The School Survey
Mifflin Company, 1925), p T U .
‘
,
(Boston: Houghton
2
elementary schools of San Luis Obispo City and Paso Robles,
as shown by the age-grade placement, the mental status, the
subject matter' achievement, and the progress through grades
of the pupil personnel;
(2) to set up criteria for the
analysis and evaluation of the curricula of these cities to
determine what provisions have been made to meet the educa­
tional needs of the pupils; and (3) to make recommendations,
based upon best current educational practices, for the
improvement of conditions as determined by this study.
All
other administrative problems, important as they are, have
been excluded from this study.
Analysis of the problem.
From an analysis of the
problem at hand it was apparent that the answers to the
following questions were essential before a solution to the
problem was possible.
1.
At what age do the pupils of the elementary schools
in San Luis Gbispo and Paso Robles enter school?
2.
What is the range in age within the several grades
or groups?
3.
How well are the pupils of San Luis Obispo and
Paso Robles placed in relation to mental ability?
4.
Were the pupils' subject matter achievements
satisfactory in relation to their mental abilities?
5.
What proportion of the pupils are classified as
failures by the schools?
6.
What policies determine pupil progress through
schools?
7.
Are the schools providing experiences which
challenge the ability of all the members of the group?
8.
What recommendations are suggested by best
educational practices for the improvement of conditions
found by this survey?
The problem of pupil needs involves, therefore, a study
of age at school entrance, the age-grade placement, the mental
status of the pupils, subject matter achievement survey and a
study of pupil progress through the grades and of non-promo­
tion.
A critical analysis of the courses of study was neces­
sary to determine how well they are meeting the apparent edu­
cational needs of the pupils.
Recommendations for improvement of conditions must come
from an evaluation of the study and a comparison with
acceptedly better educational materials, methods, and techniques..
Need for this study.
There is no doubt that San Luis
Obispo and Paso Robles school districts could benefit from a
study of this kind.
It has been impossible to find any record
of such an investigation ever having been made in these cities,
and inadequacies may be revealed by a survey which would be of
value to the administrators of both school districts.
Current
educational trends indicate that the elementary schools are
going through a period of rapid change, especially in regard
to methods of instruction and courses of study. .Because of
these recent changes in educational practices and the
necessity for periodic check-ups for greatest efficiency, it
is felt there is a definite need for this study at the present
time to determine to what extent the schools in San Luis
Obispo and Paso Robles have adopted modern procedures.
Method of procedure and sources of data.
In this study
are included the elementary schools, grades two to six in­
clusive, in the cities of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.
There are.three San Luis Obispo schools with a pupil personnel
of 856 and two Paso Robles elementary schools with 535 pupils
included in the survey.
The first step was to find the age-
grade placement and the age at school entrance of the pupils
as furnished by school records and the building principals.
From the data assembled, tables were designed to present
graphically these pertinent facts.
The intelligence quotients and mental age-grade place­
ments were found by carefully checking the results of the
tests given to all pupils included in this investigation.
The subject matter achievements of the pupils were
ascertained by the use of achievement tests.
are listed in Chapters IV and V).
(These
tests
5
The extent of pupil failure was obtained by a careful
examination of each students' permanent record card.
The
curricula were then checked by criteria set up by Stratemeyer
and Bruener^ to determine to what degree the curricula were
adequate for the needs of the pupil personnel.
Belated investigations.
A great many school surveys
have been made throughout the United States in recent years.
It has been the purpose of this study to present some surveys
of outstanding importance to indicate the procedures and tech­
niques used by these authorities; then to give brief summaries
of recent unpublished.u-.mas ter s ' theses related to the problem
at hand.
There is little doubt that two of the school survey
specialists most noted today on a national scale are George
D. Strayer and Nickolaus L. Engelhardt, professors in educa­
tion, Teachers' College, Columbia University.2
These two men have-been developing techniques and
making school surveys throughout the United States for many
years.
One of their latest surveys was made at Ridgefield,
2 Florence B. Stratemeyer and H. B. Bruener, Rating
Elementary School Courses of Study (New York: Bureau of
Publications, Teachers' College, Columbia University 1926).
5 Engelhardt, Nickolaus L., and George D. Strayer,
(Ridgefield
Press 19377*
A Report of a Survey in Ridgefield, Connecticut
6
Connecticut, in 1937.
-Although this study was not as com­
prehensive as some they have made. and. is -concerned primarily
with present school buildings, school curriculum, and school
building needs, it is a fine example of the survey technique.
That section of the Ridgefield, Connecticut survey
dealing with the school curriculum was of particular value
to the present study.
Outstanding California surveys: 1. Pasadena survey.
A survey was made of the Pasadena City Schools in 1930 under
the direction of Hull and Ford,^ professors in education at
the University of Southern California.
This was a very
comprehensive survey which investigated the entire Pasadena
educational system.
It was revealed in Chapter XIII that
there is a gradual increase in the number of pupils who are
over-age and under-age as they progress through school.
The
amount of retardation and acceleration is relatively small.
Pasadena elementary schools were found to rank second in
percentage of normal aged pupils when compared with schools
in eighteen California cities.
progress through the grades.
Chapter XIV deals with pupil
In the elementary schools it
was found that 66 per cent had made normal progress, 27 per
^ Osman R. Hull and Willard S. Ford, Survey of the
Pasadena City Schools (Los Angeles, California: CalTfornia
Taxpayer’s Association, Incorporated 1931) Report 119.
cent had made slow progress, and 7 per cent were accelerated.
Chapter XV is concerned with the promotional policies.
It
was found that four and three tenths per cent of the elemen­
tary pupils failed.
The greatest rate of failure occurred
in the first grade where 11.5 per cent of the IB and 14.1 per
cent of the LA pupils failed.
Beyond the first grade the
percentage of failure was found to be very small.
Chapter XVI
is a study of the relationship between achievement and ability.
A comparison of achievement and mental ability of the pupils
in three representative schools found the most effective
teaching of formal subjects in the middle grades.
Achieve­
ment in.the upper and lower grades was less in keeping with
the mental ability of the pupils.
The present writer found the Pasadena survey extremely
helpful for suggested techniques and tables.
2.
Sacramento survey.
The Sacramento City Schools'
survey was made in 1928 under the direction of Sears,^ pro­
fessor in education at Stanford University.
Sears was one of
the first educators to see the value of the school survey
and is widely known for his work in, this field.
The Sacra­
mento survey was a most comprehensive study of the entire
city schools' problems.
Chapter XI is concerned with the
5 Jesse B. Sears, Sacramento School Survey, Sacramento
Board of Education, 1928. vol. II.
8
elementary school curriculum.
Among other things, the survey
revealed that the curriculum was lacking in a definite state­
ment of minimum essentials, that there were inadequate pro­
visions for individual differences, lack of library materials,
too few supplementary readers, and many books obviously out
of date.
Many of the courses of studies needed revising to
meet adequately the needs of the pupils.
In Chapter XVII pupil progress through the grades is
discussed.
The major findings in this chapter were: (1) that
there was a wide range in the age of pupils entering school,
average age close to six years; (2) that too early school
entrance tended toward greater failure; and late entrance
showed little if any value toward school progress; (3) that
the age-grade study showed 33 per cent of the pupils re­
tarded, 57 pez* cent making normal progress, and 10 per cent
accelerated; and (4) the progress through school investiga­
tion found that 29 per cent of the children had repeated a
gra,de section while 13.3 per cent had skipped work.
Chapter XVIII revealed the results of the study of
pupil ability and achievement.
The study showed that: (l)
the Sacramento children were well up to standard in ability,
(2) spelling was a half year above standard, (3) arithmetic
was slightly more than one year below standard, (4) reading
was about one year below standard in rate and comprehension,
(5) there was wide variability in achievement between schools,
9
and (6) some of the reasons for the poor showing undoubtedly
included poor teaching, poor supervision and poor administra­
tion.
The Sacramento survey furnished an excellent example
of survey technique and was of particular value to the study
at hand for its age-grade study and the pupil progress through
school investigators.
Unpublished Masters’ theses.
A significant study was
made by Gilbert in San Gabriel, California in 1932-1933.^
In
Chapter III of the above study, placement and progress of
pupils is discussed.
This investigation revealed that 14 per
cent of the pupils in San Gabriel were retarded, 66 per cent
making normal progress, while 20 per cent were under-age or
accelerated.
the pupils.
Chapter IV is a study of the mental status of
A greater spread of ability in any given upper
grade than the lower grades and a consequent over-lapping
in adjacent sections was revealed.
The mental ability for
the district as a whole was found to be satisfactory.
A
discussion of pupil subject matter achievements is found in
Chapter V.
A progressive increase in the range of grade
placements’from the lowest to the highest grades was indica­
ted.
Achievement in the several subjects approached normal
6 Carl E. Gilbert,"Analysis of Pupil Classification in'
San Gabriel, California.” (unpublished Master’s thesis, The
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1934).
10
in the first four grades, but in the low sixth, seventh, and
eighth grades there was a decided decline in practically all
the subjects.
The San Gabriel survey was of interest because of its
similarity to the present study.
The findings and conclusions
furnished data with which to compare the results of this study.
A survey of pupil achievement and ability in Ventura,
7
California by Stewart' concludes that achievement medians lag
behind those of general ability in grades four, five, and
six, a total of twelve school months, but surpass those of
ability in grades seven and eight, a total of nine school
months.
Recommendations are made that more time be devoted
to spelling, literature, history, and language usage.
It is
also recommended that school and county norms be established
yearly.
The study of Pupil Achievement and Ability in the Rural
Schools of Ventura County was presented because of its simi­
larity to the study at hand.
An analysis of the elementary pupil personnel in Wins­
low, Arizona, by McKinney^ concluded that the retardation of
7 L. R. Stewart, ”A. Study of Pupil Achievement and
Ability in the Rural Schools of Ventura County,” (unpublished
Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
1934).
^ Willie T. McKinney, ’’Analysis of the Elementary Pupil
Personnel in Grade Placement in the Washington and Lincoln
Schools of Winslow, Arizona,” (unpublished Master’s thesis,
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1937).
11
the English-speaking children "was normal hut a high percen­
tage of the Spanish-speaking group was retarded,
A high
degree of correlation was found to exist between retardation
and slow progress, indicating that age at school entrance had
little effect on the whole number of retarded cases.
The
mental status and pupil achievement studies revealed that the
mental ability of the pupils as a group is average and the
achievement in each grade approximated the norm,
Although the present study does not include schools
with excessive foreign language population, the Winslow,
Arizona survey was of interest because of the contrasting
data presented on the progress through school of the Englishspeaking and Spanish-speaking children.
Organization of thesis.
Chapter I of this thesis has
presented the problem, the method of procedure, and related
investigations,
The first step in the presentation of the study is a
brief description, of the communities and the schools where
this study was made which is given in Chapter II,
In Chapter III, by means of an age-grade and age-atschool-entrance study, some of the causes of maladjustment
of the pupils are revealed.
The second phase of the problem was to determine the
mental status of the pupil personnel.
This part of the study
is presented in Chapter IV.
In Chapter V are presented data which clearly indicate
pupil achievement.
In Chapter VI is completed the study of the needs of
the pupils by showing the relation between educational achieve­
ment and mental ability by presentation of a pupil progress
study, and a discussion of non-promotion and its causes.
The question of how well the curricula meet the
apparent needs of the pupils is studied in Chapter VII.
The importance of any study is not only to find what
is wrong, but also to suggest methods, materials, and tech­
niques which will lead to the improvement or solution of the
problem.
In chapter VIII, the final chapter of this thesis,
summaries of the problems and the recommendations for their
improvement are given.
An annotated bibliography of sources of material,found
extremely helpful in this study,is presented at the conclusion
of the thesis.
CHAPTER II
LOCATION AND ORGANIZATION
Purpose of chapter.
The purpose of this chapter is
to present the background and local conditions in the cities
of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles which, it is hoped, will
aid in understanding the significance of the results obtained
in this study.
Oftentimes, factors which on the surface do
not seem important or are overlooked entirely have a very
important bearing upon administrative and teaching problems
in particular and pupil achievement in general.
With these
thoughts in mind, examination is made of the school districts
included in this survey to obtain information to serve as a
background for further study.
San Luis Obispo school district.
The city of San Luis
Obispo is located on the coast Hi-way (U.S.Hi-way 101)
approximately 190 miles north of Los Angeles and ten miles
inland from the coast at Port San Luis, which is the second
largest port in the world for the shipping of oil, and which,
until the development of the railroad made San Luis Obispo one
of the most important cities in the Central coast section of
California.
San Luis Obispo had its beginning on September 1,1772
when Father Junipero Serra founded the mission there.
The
Ik
village grew up around the mission and became an important
link in the Padres' chain of missions because it was almost
the half-way point and was accessible by water as well as
the overland route.
Jespersen^- in his History of San Luis Obispo County
credits the mission Fathers at San Luis Obispo as having
made one great contribution to mission architecture by intro­
ducing the red tile roofs in 1782.
Heretofore, the roofs had been made of dry tule
During Indian attacks blazing arrows were fired into
the dry tule with disastrous results to buildings and
supplies. The Padres, weary of continually patching
up their buildings, turned their ingenuity to the
manufacture of tile to replace the inflammable tule,
and these proved so successful they were soon adopted
by all the missions. Thus to the blazing arrows of
the Indians may we give thanks for the beautiful
tiled roofs so characteristic of Spanish Mission
architecture.
The City of San Luis Obispo was incorporated in 1863
and for many years was a typical old California town.
Many
Americans came to live in the village but it still remained
Spanish in nature.
Early Spanish influence is still shown
by a large Mexican population, the names of the streets, and
the architecture of the buildings.
1 Chris N. Jespersen, editor, History of San Luis
Obispo County (United States of P merica 19397~P•"17.
15
The climate of San Luis Obispo is very mild due to the
proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the city does not ex­
perience extreme temperatures so common in that part of
California farther inland.
The average rainfall is slightly
in excess of twenty inches per year.
There is very little industrial development in San
Luis Obispo; therefore, the city depends upon being a rail­
road division point and upon farming, dairying, truck farming,
and the above mentioned oil shipped from Port San Luis and
Cayucos.
The schools of San Luis Obispo are organized on a
six-three-three basis.
There are three elementary schools,
one junior high school and one senior high school.
As this
study is concerned only with the elementary schools, our
attention will be focused on these three.
The three elementary schools Fremont, Emerson, and
Hawthorne, include a kindergarten and grades on through the
sixth.
The average .approximates eight hundred twenty-six
pupils, but inasmuch as this study does not include the
kindergarten or the first grades, the number of pupils will
be considerably less.
The elementary schools’ population was made up of
eighty-five per cent whites, seven per cent Mexican, five
per cent Swiss-Portuguese, and three per cent Japanese and
Chinese.
The school population is more or less stable because
16
of the agricultural occupations of most of the parents.
The
one exception to this is that part of the school population
whose parents are engaged in the oil industry. However, the
number of pupils effected is small and offers little or no
administrative or teaching problems.
Paso Robles school district.
The city of Paso Robles
is located near the lower end of the Salinas Valley approxi­
mately half way between Los .Angeles and San Francisco on
United States Hi-way 101 and eleven miles from the northern
boundary of San Luis Obispo County.
The town grew up around a group of hot sulphur springs
which since the earliest times have been recognized for their
remarkable meidicinal properties.
The hot springs are still
regarded as very valuable, and the Exchange Club is attempting
to have a hot springs foundation of the west established
there.
Paso Robles, a town of twenty-eight hundred population,
is situated in the eastern edge of the coast range.
The
rolling hills and fine valleys and plains of the surrounding
country lends itself to wheat growing, cattle raising, dairy­
ing, and almond orchards from which a majority of the people
earn a livelihood.
The climate is one of extremes, varying from as low
in winter as ten degrees above zero to as high as one hundred
fifteen degrees in summer.
The rainfall varies from eight
17
inches in dry years to as high as thirty inches with an
average yearly rainfall between ten and twenty inches.
The Paso Robles Elementary School District became a
union district in 1934 when the Oak Flat, Estrella, Bethel,
Encinal, and San Marcos school districts voted to join in a
union district.
The union district forms the second largest
elementary school, numerically, in San Luis Obispo County.
The enrollment for the 1939-1940 school year was five hundred
eighty-five.
There are three elementary schools in Paso Robles:
one includes a kindergarten and the first five grades; a
second is an intermediate departmental school comprising the
sixth, seventh, and eighth grades; and the third is a small
opportunity school of two teachers to which are sent a few
children, who, it is felt, would do better with a special
curriculum.
The average enrollment per class approximates
thirty pupils.
As would be expected in an agricultural community of
this type, the school population is very stable.
During the
almond harvest in the early fall there is a slight increase
in the enrollment caused by children of migrant workers, but
there are not enough of these pupils to cause any administra­
tive or teaching problems.
The population in the Paso Robles Elementary Schools
is made up of ninety per cent whites, six per cent Mexican,
18
and four per cent Swiss-Portuguese and. others.
As has been
stated before, only grades two to six are,included in this
study.
The children in the Opportunity School are not included
in this study because most of these pupils have physical
language, mental or speech handicaps which prevents their
participation in a traditional curriculum.
It is of impor­
tance to note that many of the Mexican pupils are sent to the
Opportunity School until they have overcome their language
difficulties or have completed the fifth grade.
For this
reason many of the Mexican pupils will not be included in
this study.
Summary of chapter.
The purpose of this chapter has
been to give the reader some of the background of the communi­
ties included in this study so that a clearer interpretation
of the findings can be made.
It has been stated that San Luis Obispo is the trading
center for a large agricultural and dairying district.
There
are three elementary schools of which only grades two to six
are included in this study.
The school population is made up
of eighty-five per cent white, seven per cent Mexican, five
per cent Swiss-Portuguese and three per cent Japanese and
Chinese.
It has been brought to the attention of the reader
that Paso Robles Union Elementary District is the second
19
largest numerically in San Luis Obispo County.
The community
is the trading center for a large agricultural district.
The
school population is stable, consisting-of ninety per cent
white, six per cent Mexican and four per cent Swiss-Portuguese,
and others.
It has been noted that the children of the
Opportunity School, including many of the Mexican pupils are
not included in this study because of the special type of
work done in that school.
CHAPTER III
AGE GRADE PLACEMENT OF PUPILS
Purpose of chapter.
The purpose of this chapter is
to present the age of the pupils in grades-two to six in the
San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles Schools in relation to the
grade in which they are working,
A study of this kind is
made to determine the percentage of pupils making normal,
retarded, or accelerated progress through school.
After the
age-grade data has been compiled, it does not necessarily
present a complete picture.
The causes of retardation and
pupil age at school entrance are necessary before the infor­
mation obtained can be fully interpreted.
The age-grade study.
The importance of age-grade data
to present school administrators has been increased due to a
change of policy relating to pupil progress through school.
From earliest colonial times until very recently the emphasis
of the schools was placed upon the mastery of subject-matter
by all students regardless of ability, and failure to do this
meant a repetition of the grade until the work was completed.
Under such a plan a high percentage of retardation was in­
evitable.
In recent years, progressive school administrators
have realized the gross injustice of such a plan and are
attempting to adjust the school curricula to the needs of the
21
individual pupil. A concise explanation of the newer philosoP
phy as given by Henry J. Otto reads as follows:
A plan which is perhaps more feasible and more in
harmony with the purposes of public education is
to . . . provide teaching procedures and a type of class­
room organization adapted to the educational needs of’
the pupils. After all, one of the major functions of
a primary school is to provide a wholesome environment
in which children may grow up. The quantity of academic
skills and acquired during the elementary school career
and the exact time they are acquired is of secondary
importance that every child be surrounded with, and
have an opportunity to develop in, an environment in
which right attitudes and ideals may develop.1
The age-grade data therefore is very important because
from this it can easily be determined to what extent the newer
philosophy is being used inaa given system.
Sears, in reference
to age-grade studies says:
They provide a valuable index as to the efficiency
of the curriculum and are also essential in determining
the cost*of instruction;2
To be of any value to the school administrator, the
data contained in any school survey or study must be accurate.
The ages used in this age-grade study were compiled as of
September first, 1939#
They were taken from test material,
checked by the teacher with her' register, and re-cheched with
•the permanent records in the office to eliminate any errors.
In making an age-grade study it is assumed that most
1 Henry J . Ottto, "Promotion of Pupils in Elementary
Schools," The American School Board Journal, 87:20-21 July 1933.
2 Jessie B. Sears, The School Survey
Mifflin Company, 1925), p.~2F8.
(Boston: Houghton
22
pupils enter school at approximately the same age, which is
determined by law in California as six years of age.
If a
school has semi-annual promotion, children may enter school
if they'will, be six within three months after school opens.
If there are no mid-year starting classes children who will
be six.within six months of the opening day of school are
permitted to enter.
The difference in age of school entrance
allowed by law between schools having semi-annual promotions
and those using annual promotions makes a different standard
necessary when comparing two such school systems.
In schools having mid-year beginning classes, a one
year span is considered normal; thus a pupil who enters the
lower half of the first grade at the age of six, or six and
one-half years, is considered to be of normal age for that
grade.
The normal age group for each subsequent half grade
is a corresponding half year older.
Children who are younger
than the normal age are considered to be accelerated while
those older than the normai age are said to be over-age or
retarded.
In schools using annual promotion, a differential of
one and one-half years is considered normal by most authori­
ties,
Thus a child entering the first grade at five and one-
half, six, or six and one-half would be considered to be of
normal age.
For each succeeding grade the normal age would
be one year older; that is, the normal age for the second
23
grade would be six and one-half, seven, or seven and one-half
years of age.
After the age-grade data has been compiled it is
important to have some standard to use for comparison.
While
there is no nationally accepted standard and school adminis­
trators do not agree on.what the average percentage of •
accelerated, normal and retarded progress should be, Heck
suggests:
That for putposes of comparison, ten per cent
accelerated, fifty-two per cent normal, and thirtyeight per cent retarded is perhaps an average
situation,3
A, compilation made by Cooke^ of age-grade data from
fifty-nine school surveys made from 1908 to 1928 including
twenty-four rural, thirty-one city, and four foreign countries
reveals that between 1908 and 1928 there was a decrease in
the per cent of pupils who were of normal age for their re­
spective grades.
This decrease in the percentage of normal
pupils corresponds approximately with the increase in the
percentage of pupils accelerated for their respective grades.
There was scarcely any fluctuation between 1908 and 1928 in
the percentage of retarded pupils.
The composite result of all these age-grade studies
3 Arch 0, Heck, Administration of Pupil Personnel
(Boston: Ginn and Company, I929), p. 377’*"
^ Dennis H. Cooke, ,fA Study of School Surveys with
'Regard to Age-Grade Distribution,- Peabody Journal of Education
8:259-266, March, I93I.
24
shows that twenty-one per cent were accelerated, forty-eight
per cent were of normal age, and thirty-one per cent were re­
tarded.
The fact that two hundred ten thousand pupils were
/included in these studies and they were made in many sections
of the country indicates that these figures could be used as
a standard for compairson.
Retardation in San Luis Obispo schools.
The age-grade
study in the San Luis Obispo Elementary Schools is presented
in Table I.
In the compilation of this composite table it
was found that the three elementary schools revealed approxi­
mately the same percentage of acceleration and retardation.
It was- evident that the administration through the Superin­
tendents office had been unusually uniform.
It was noted
that variation in retardation between the schools in San Luis
Obispo ranged from approximately twenty-nine per cent in one
school to forty-three per cent in another.
It was found that
the school with the highest percentage of retardation had the
lowest per cent of acceleration.
Variation in acceleration
between the three schools was rather small, ranging from
approximately four per cent in the lowest to eight per cent
in the highest.
San Luis Obispo is to be congratulated on
the uniformity of its administrative policies affecting the
age-grade status of the pupils.
A study of Table I, a composite of all the San Luis
TABLE I
AGE-GRADE DISTRIBUTION IN THE
SAN LUIS OBISPO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Grades
2-B
2 -A
3-B
3 -A
4-B
4-A
5-B
5-A
6-B
6-A
2
W
18
T o “~
7
17
14
"T<T
6
2
1
1
2
7
“2<F“
14
"To~“
4
4
1
1
7
"TF~
15
3
“25“
20
7~
’4
5
3
1
3
3
2
2
1
“T 3 ~
14
8~
4
3
3
1
6
~2B‘“
20
10
6
2
3
1
1
7
“~2T“
20
“T T “
10
5
3
1
1
3
“T F
8
IT
8
2
2
2
3
1
2
31
42
60
50
59
54
54
65
58
58
32
31
17
5
3
5
3
1
58
650
4
24
30
43
370
217
1
2
“T T ”
13
3~
3
5
1
2
69
49
72
55
69
48
85
44
81
2
47
20
0
31
18
9
43
20
7
31
17
3
46
20
1
29
18
7
48
30
2
30
12
8
41
32
_
_
_____
_
__
_
_
'
_
630
_
2.90
68.12
29.98
63.27
36.73
12.50
59.72
27.78
12.73
56.35
30.91
_
_
_
_
4.35 ■
2.08
66.67
60/42
28.98
37.50
,
8.24
56.47
35.29
4.55
68.18
27.27
9.88
30.62
39.50
6.90
41.38
51.72
.83
.73
.44
26
Obispo Schools, disclosed that, 6.83 P©** cent of the pupils
were accelerated, 58,73 per cent were making normal progress,
and 34 ,44 per cent of the children were retarded,
"When these
figures were compared to those presented by Heck^ as a fair
standard for purposes of comparison, it was evident that,
while there was much room for improvement in this respect in
San Luis Obispo, it compared very favorably with the average
standards now in use.
It was noted from Table I that of the
217 pupils retarded, 146 were retarded a year or less,
further indicating that a majority of the students in the San
Luis Obispo elementary schools were working at or near the
level in which they should have been according to their age*
Retardation in Paso Robles Schools.
The results of
the age-grade study in the Paso Robles Schools are presented
in Table II.
It was revealed from this study that I9 .6I per
cent of the pupils were retarded, 76.86 per cent were making
normal progress, and 3.53 per cent of the students were
accelerated.
The study also revealed that of the fifty pupils
who were retarded, forty-one were retarded one year or less.
Of the nine pupils who were accelerated all of them were
accelerated six months or less.
It was noted with satisfaction
from this study that more than 96 per cent of the pupils in
5 Heck, op. cit, p .
377.
27
TABLE. II
AGE-GRADE DISTRIBUTION IN THE PASO ROBLES
ELEMENTARY' SCHOOLS
Age
2
3
Grades
4
5
6
Total
11
15
29
16
16
32
19
29
24
27
22
■\4
6
2
3
6.6- 6.11
7.0- 7.5
7.6- 7.11
8.0- 8.5
8.6- 8.11
9.0- 9.5
9.6- 9 . H
10.0-10.5
10.6-10.11
11.0-11.5
11.6-11.11
12.0-12.5
12.6-12.11
13.0-13.5
13.6-13.11
14.0-14.5
11
15
14
.1
2
1
Total
44
52
44
53
62
255
0
40
4
0
39
13
0
35
9 ■
1
43
9
8
39
15
9
196
50
44
52
44
53
62
255
PERCENTAGES
0
0
1.89
75.0
79.55
81 .13
.25.0
20.45
16.98
12.90
62.91
24.19
3.53
76.86
19.61
Accelerated
Normal
Retarded
Total
Acc.
Normal
Redtarde
0
90 .91
9 .09
13“
15:
9
9
2
1
1
5
21
9
"■"T"
7
1
—
1
8
19
16
6
3
8
20
19
.. ¥ '
6
2
3
28
the Paso Robles Elementary Schools were working at or within
one year of the grade in which their chronological age would
place them.
The figures presented in Table V indicated that
insofar as the age-grade study is concerned, the Paso Robles
Elementary Schools were fa;r above the standards used for
comparison in such studies.
Causes of retardation.
There are many causes of
retardation in the schools, a great many of which are factors
beyond the control of the school.
Six common causes of re­
tardation given by Reavis^ are: (l) ineffective habits of work,
(2 ) personality difficulties, (3 ) deficiencies in previous
training, (4 ) physical defects, (5 ) mental disability, and
(6 ) psycho-physical defects.
Of the six reasons given above, the first one is of
greatest importance and one which the schools can do much
to eliminate*
If the proper motivation is supplied, if the
course of study is of vital interest to the pupils, and if
differentiated assignments are used, each child should de- .
velop an interest in the work and should be kept working up
to his mental ability.
Deficiencies in previous training is another given
cause for retardation in school.
While it is important that
/r
° W. C. Reavis, Adjustment in Junior and Senior High
School (New York: D.C.Heath and Company, I9S7'), PP. 11^"-1X9.
■
29
children learn the essential fundamentals, it is felt by many
educators that too much stress has been planed on the mastery
of subject matter.
It has been said that it is not how muc|i
is taught but how well.
If each teacher takes her pupils
where she finds them in the courses of study and guides them
forward as far as time and their mental abilities will permit,
this old time-worn cause for retardation will disappear.
Another important cuase of retardation in school is
late entrance in school.
This factor is of great importance,
particularly to the elementary school, yet it is beyond its
control.
No age-grade study would present a full picture of
retardation in any school until a study has been made of the
age at school entrance of the pupils of that school.
Pupil age at school entrance.
A careful check of the •
permanent records of the San Luis Obispo Elementary Schools
revealed that of the 217 retarded children, 46 or 21 per cent
of those retarded had entered school late or had remained out
of school for one or more semesters.
The remaining 171 pupils
or 79 Per cent of those retarded were found to have repeated
.one or more semester!s work.
In Paso Robles it was found that, of the 50 pupils whom
the age-grade study had reve&lpd as retarded, 28 children or
56 per cent of those retarded had repeated one or more semesters
of work in other schools prior to their enrollment in the
30
Paso Robles Schools, 8 pupils or 16 per cent of those retarded
had repeated one.years1 -work in the Paso Robles Schools, and
14 children or 20 per cent were retarded due to late entry in
school or withdrawal from school for a year due to illness.'
It was determined from the above data that retardation
in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles Elementary Schools was not
excessive, and 28 per cent of the latter were due to late
entry in school or to temporary withdrawal due to illness or
causes beyond the control of the school.
Summary of chapter.
It was found from this age-grade
study that; first, 34.44 per cent of the pupils in grades two
to six in the San Luis Obispo City Schools were retarded, 58.73
per cent were making normal progress, and 6.83 Per cent were
accelerated; second, that retardation in the several grades
varied from 27.27 per cent in the five A to 51.72 in the six A;
third, of the 217 pupils found to be retarded 46 or 21 per cent
were retarded because of late school entry; and fourth, 171
children or 27 per cent of the total enrollment had repeated
one*or more semesters of the school work.
While the per cent
of retardation in the San Luis Obispo dementary schools com­
pared favorably with the average school system, it was indi­
cated that the number of pupils repeating grades or sections
thereof could be reduced by a change in the administrative
policies which would limit non-promotion to only cases where
31
it is certain that the child will benefit most by repeating
the grade and by changing the courses of study to meet the needs
of a greater number of the pupils, thereby eliminating the
cause of a majority of the retardations.
The age-grade study in the Paso Robles Elementary Schools
revealed:
first, that 19.61 per cent were retarded, 76.86 perh
cent were making normal progress and 3*53 Per cent were accele­
rated; second, that retardation by grades varied from 9*09 per
cent in the. second grade to a high of 25 per cent in the third
grade;
third, that of the 50 pupils found to be retarded, 28
had repeated one or more semester1s work in other schools
before attending school in Paso Robles and Ilf pupils were re­
tarded due solely to late entrance in school or absence for a
year due to illness;
fourth, that 36 or 10,20 per cent of the
total enrollment was retarded due to repetition of one year’s
work or more;
and fifth, that 8 pupils or only 3 .Ilf per cent
of the total enrollment was retarded due to repetition of a
year’s work or more in the Paso Robles elementary schools.
The results of this age-grade study indicated that the percen­
tage of pupils retarded in the elementary schools of Paso
Robles was exceptionally small.
It was recommended to the
superintendent of schools that the administrative policies,
which have made such a fine record possible, be continued in
an attempt to reduce still further the number of pupils re­
tarded.
It was found that six of the common causes, of retarda­
tion in the United States were (1) ineffective habits of work,
(2 ) personality difficulties, (3 ) deficiencies in previous
training, (4 ) physical defects, (5 ) mental disability, and '
(6 ) psycho-physical defects.
It was recommended that those
causes of retardation over which the school has any control
should be studied carefully with a view of eliminating as
many as possible, thereby reducing the number of retarded
pupils to a minimum.
CHAPTER IV
MENTAL STATUS OF THE PUPILS.
Purpose of the chapter.
It. is the purpose of this
chapter to present the mental abilities of the pupils In the
elementary schools of San Luis Obispo’and Paso Robles as
indicated by the results obtained from the California Test of
Mental Maturity,1 Form A, Primary and Elementary Battery.
The
results of the test will also furnish information to determine
whether pupils were making satisfactory progress through school,
their educational achievements and whether the courses of study
were adapted to the needs of the pupils.
These matters are
presented in following chapters.
The California Test of Mental Maturity was chosen first,
because past experience in using the tests has been satisfactory
second, they were devised and standardized by California educa­
tors and therefore should be more applicable to a California
school situation; third, because the achievement tests used
elsewhere In this thesis were devised by some of the same men
and should therefore be better for comparative purposes;
fourth,, because this test gives three mental ages and intelli­
gence quotients; namely, of total mental factors, language
factors, and non-language factors; and fifth, it was felt that
1 Elizabeth T. Sullivan and Others, California Test of
Mental Maturity, Southern California School "Books LepositoryT
34
the diagnostic and analytical values of such a test would be
of great help to the local school administrators and teachers
after this study had been made.
Definition of terms.
In.order to avoid confusion and
misinterpretation of the test results and to avoid explana­
tions later in the chapter, it was thought to be better pro­
cedure to define the terms to be used in the diiscussion to
follow.
Mental Age (M.A.) The M. A. is a basic concept in the
measurement of capacity to learn. It is derived from
the test score of an intelligence test and is defined
as intelligence or mental maturity which is equal to
the average intelligence or mental maturity of a
particular chronological age (C.A.) group. Thus a mental
age of eighty-four months means mental maturity equal to
the average of those who are eighty-four months old
chronologically.2
Intelligence quotient. (I.Q.) The I.Q. is the ratio
between mental age and chronological age. A. student
eight years old (chronologically) who has a mental age
of twelve years' would have an I.Q. of one hundred fifty
The M.A. indicates the level of mentality while the I.Q.
reveals the rate of mental growth. An I.Q. of one
hundred fifty indicates a rate of maturation fifty per
cent above average.3
Intelligence Grade Placement.
The intelligence grade
placement is the mental age transmuted in terms of grade place­
ment and indicates the grade level in which the childs* mental
age places him.
?
Ernest W. Tiegs, Tests and Measurements in the Im­
provement of Learning (Boston: Hough ton MifTITn Gompanv7T939)
pp. 30 -jr.
3 Ibid., p. 3 1 .
35
Mental Ability.
This is a term practically synonymous
•with mental age and is used herein to indicate the ability
to accomplish school tasks assigned by the teacher.
Wilson
and Hoke, write that:
Mentality may be defined as .the inborn capacity for
acquiring intelligence. Intelligence as commonly under­
stood represents the extent to which an individual can
adjust himself to his environment. The intelligence of
an individual is conditioned on two factors: first, his
mentality, and second, his environment. An appropriate
environment is necessary in order that an individual may
acquire intelligence commensurate with this ability.4
Mental sge grade placement in
mental ages used in this study were
San Luis Obispo.The
obtained from the
California Test of Mental Maturity Form A,.
In order to reduce scores to
a common basis, andto a
form better adapted to comparison, it was decided to convert
the mental ages into intelligence grade placement.
The use
of the term grade placement in this study represents the grade
and the month where the child’s mental ability places him.
Results are shown on the basis of a ten month school year.
Thus, if a pupil has an intelligence grade placement of four
and two-tenths it shows that hfe has an average ability of a
pupil in the fourth grade and second month.
The grade placement of the 528 San Luis Obispo pupils
^ Guy M. Wilson and Kremer J. Hoke, How to Measure
(Hew York: The Macmillan Company, 1928), P.~3T7.
36
•who completed this test is shown in Table III.
It was
observed that there was a distribution of five grades in the
Two B grade ranging from six-tenths to 5*1!-.
Ifl- spite of the wide
distribution the median for the class was 2.4 with a norm of 2.2
It was found that the 65 pupils in the Two A presented a range
in distribution of five and one-half years with a median of 2.8
and a norm of 2.7*
The Three B class included 56 pupils with a distribution
of five grade placements with a median of 3*5 and a norm of 3*2.
The Three A group of 67 children had a distribution of six grades
ranging from 1.2 to 6.6 with a median of 4.0 and a norm of 3*7*
• Both the Four B and the Four A, classes had a range in
distribution of five and one-half grades.
The former had a
median of 4.5 and a norm of 4.2, while the latter presented a
median of 5*0, and a norm of 4.7*
It was observed that except
for a few individuals on either extremes, the majority of the
pupils in these two grades were fairly well grouped.
The Five B included 51 pupils and showed a distribution
of six grades.
Several pupils were considerably below standard
with the result that the median fell one month below the norm
of 5*2.
The Five A class presented a range in distribution
of seven and one-half years caused by three pupils on the
higher extreme and four pupils on the lower extreme.
median for the group was 5.6 with a norm of 5.7.
The
TABLE III
INTELLIGENCE GRADE PLACEMENT OF PUPILS IN THE
SAN LUIS OBISPO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Intelligence
grade
Placement
2 -B
2 -A.
3-B
3 -A
4-B
4 -A
5-B
5 -A
6 -B
1
1
4
2
—
6 -A
1
2
1
2
4
6
-pp.
9-9.9
9.0-9.4
8 .5-8.9
8 .0-8.4
7.5-7.9
7.0-7.4
6 .5-6.9
6 .0 -6.4
5.5-5.9
5.0-5.4
4.5-4.9
4.0-4.4
3.5-5.9
3.0-3.4
2 .5-2.9
2 .0 -2 .4
1.5-1.9
1 .0 -1 .4
0.5-0.9
2
5
7
11
11
9
7
1
1
2
3
8
7
11
8
14
9
1
1
Total
54
65
56
67
42
40
51
39
64
50
2.4
2.2
2.8
2.7
3.5
3.2
4.0
3.7
4.5
4.2
5.0
4.7
5.1
5.2
5.6
5.7
6.6
6.2
6.3
6.7
Median
Normal
1
1
4
10
15
5
8
13
1
4
2
11
11
10
11
7
6
2
1
1
1
1
1
3
9
8
ir~
T “
4
1
l
1
3
3
6
9
T~
“Tf
1
4
1
1
1
1
5
6
5
7
8
4
1
1
2
2
6
1
6
8
2
5
2
1
1
5
8
8
7
7
“F “
2
7
3
3
5
5
7
1
2
2
1
*
Total
6
4
2
8
15
22
33
26
36
53
58
59
55
39
38
43
20
9
3
528
38
The Six B class included 64 pupils who presented
a range in distribution of seven and one-half grades.
This
extreme spread was due to six pupils with very high grade
placements and two with rather low grade placements.
median for the class was 6.6 with a norm of 6.2.
The
The six
A. class presented a distribution of six and one-half grades with
a median which was .4 months below the norm of 6 .7 *
The intelligence grade placement is one important check
used to determine if pupils are working in their proper grade
level.
It was observed from a study of Table III that a
majority of the pupils were well placed.
However, there were
on the extremes enough pupils who of necessity presented
teaching and administrative problems.
Unless these pupils were
given special consideration in the classroom actitities, they
probably could have been more advantageously placed in another
group.
Mental age grade placement in Paso Robles.
The mental
ages used in this study were obtained from scores made on the
California Test of Mental Maturity Form A.
The mental ages
were reduced into intelligence grade placement because it was
felt that these scores would form a better basis for compari­
son and would give a better indication as to proper grade
placement.
In Table IV there is presented the grade placement of
39
TABLE IV
INTELLIGENCE GRADE PLACEMENT OP THE PUPILS
IN THE PASO ROBLES ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Grade
Placements
10.0-10.9
9 .0 - 9.9
8 .0 - 8.9
7 .0 - 7.9
6 .0 - 6.9
5 .0 - 5.9
4.0- 4.9
3 .0 - 3.9
2 .0 - 2.9
1 .0 - 1.9
Totals
Median
Norm
Grades
2
3
4
5
6
Totals
1
1
1
1
10
24
33
44 35
33
9
1
2
9
“T3~
31
2.6
2.2
1
10
13
4
11
9
lo
TT
TT”
5
5
■ 7
4
3
38
37
40
.II"
1
3.3
3.2
4.5
4.2
1
10
_I r
TT~
7
l
3
1
5.1
5.2
45
6.0
6.2
191
40
the 191 pupils of Paso Robles elementary school ■who completed
the test.
This number was considerably less than it should
have been but was unavoidable due to extended epidemics and long
and numerous absences which made it impossible to give the tests
until such a later time as to preclude their use in this study.
Inasmuch as these absences were from all grades it is not
probable that they would have changed the results to any great
extent.
There were thirty-one pupils in the second grades
included in the study and, although there is a distribution
of three grades, the median was .4 higher than the norm of
2.2.
It was also noted with interest that all but six scores
were found to be within one year below or above the class
median indicating that those pupils were well placed in their
present grade.
The third grades presented a distribution in grade place­
ment of four years, but except for four pupils on the extremes,
the class- was well grouped with a median of 3*3 and a norm of
3.2.
The fourth grades of thirty-seven pupils had the same
distribution as the third grades, with-four pupils on each
extreme and the remainder of the class well grouped.
The
median for the fourth grades was three-tenths higher than
the norm of 4.2.
The fifth and sixth grades both had a distribution of
eight years due to four pupils, three with very high grade
placements and one very low.
It was noticed that as the grades
advanced the spread became greater with the result that the
-medians for both grades were slightly under the norm, .1 in
the fifth grade and .2 in the sixth.
Inasmuch as the intelli­
gence grade placement is one criterion used to ascertain if
pupils are properly placed, it was indicated fromthe results
shown in Table IV that except for a very few cases on both
extremes, the pupils were working at the proper grade levels.
The modern school recognizes the wide distribution of mental
abilities within any given grade and attempts to meet the
needs of those pupils below and above the class average by
means of differentiated assignments, projects, and other
activities designed to challenge the initiative and ability
of every pupil in the class.
Summary of chapter.
The mental status of the pupils
in the San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles City Schools was de­
termined by the use of the California Test of Mental Maturity,
Form A, Primary and Elementary Batteries.
These tests were
used because they were easily given and scored, past experience
in using them had proved satisfactory, the tests gave three
mental ages and intelligence quotients instead of one, and
it was felt that the diagnostic value of these tests would be
of great help to the local school administrators and teachers
42
after this study had been completed.
In order to reduce scores to a common basis and to a
form better adapted to comparison, the mental ages were con­
verted into intelligence grade placements.
The intelligence
grade placement was used in preference to mental ages because
it gave a broader view of the entire mental statuscproblemtby
presenting additional information on pupil progress through
school,, educational achievement, and whether the courses of
study were adapted to the needs of the pupils.
It was concluded from this study of the intelligence
grade placements of 528 pupils in the San Luis Obispo ele­
mentary schools, that there was a range in grade placements
in each half gradeoof from five to seven and one-half grades.
The extent of this range seemed excessive in view of the fact
that each grade had an A add B section.
In spite of the
excessive ranges in Intelligence grade placements, it was found
that all grade sections with the exceptions of the Five. B,
Five A, and Six A were above the norm.
There was a general
trend toward a greater range in grade placements in each
succeeding grade section.
It was concluded from this study
that a majority of the pupils in the San Luis Obispo Schools
were well placed in their present grade and that much of the
excessive range in intelligence grade placements was due to a
considerable number of pupils with extremely high and low in­
telligence grade placements.
It has been recommended to the
*3
school administrators in San Luis Obispo that special attention
be given to those pupils with extremely high intelligence
grade placements.
It was felt that many of these students
might profit by a special promotion and in this way the ex­
cessive range in intelligence grade placements with its atten­
dant teaching problems would be reduced.
A study of the intelligence grade, placements of the
pupils in the Paso Robles Elementary Schools revealed; first,
that there was a range in grade placements of from three
grades in the second grade to eight grades in the fifth and
sixth grades; second, the medians for the second, third, and
fourth grades were above the norm and the medians for the
fifth and sixth grades were one and two months below the
norm respectively; third, there was a general tendency toward
a greater dispersion of intelligence grade placements in each
succeeding grade; and fourth, with the exception of a very
few individual pupils on both extremes, the pupils in the
Paso.Robles elementary schools were very well placed in their
present grade.
It was recommended that the two pupils in the
fifth and sixth grades with extremely high intelligence gradeplacements receive special attention to assure that their su- '
perior mental abilities are challenged..-
CHAPTER V
PUPIL ACHIEVEMENT
' Purpose .of the chapter.
It-was'the purpose of this
chapter to' analyze the pupil achievement of the San Luis
Obispo and Paso Robles Elementary Schools as indicated by the
results obtained from standardized achievement tests.
The test
battery used was organized to measure the five major fields
of the courses of study;
namely, reading vocabulary, reading,
comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, arithmetic fundamentals,
and language.
The five major fields are subdivided into
several sub-tests for diagnodtic purposes.
It is realized that subject achievement is only one of
the goals of the modern school and that no standardized•tests
have been devised which will accurately measure some of the
more desirable aspects of education, such as correct work
habits, proper attitudes, and personality development.
Until
the time that such tests are devised and enjoy widespread
use throughout the schools of the country, the subject tests
will of necessity remain the most important medium used in
comparing scholastic achievements of pupils within a given
grade or' school, or for comparison between school systems.
Purpose of the achievement testing program.
It has
been said that a school is no better than its. weakest teacher.
45
Excellent buildings, high salary schedules, and elaborate
courses of study are only indications that every effort is
being made to give the pupils as. many educational advantages
as possible; but the only accurate method .of ascertaining
the success of a school is through scientific checks such
as standardized tests.
Strayer reports that:
Accurate accounting for pupil needs demands objective
measures of the status of all the boys and girls in the
system both as to their progress through school, and as
to the individual adjustments that have been made for
them.l
Tiegs, in summing up the services of measurement con­
cluded that:
The major purposes of measurement are (1) to aid
the teachers better to direct learning activities by
locating and analyzing learning difficulties, and
(2) at certain points along the way, to make valid
appraisals of the success of pupil-teacher efforts, .
The fact that many measurement devices are not
perfect and that others are relatively undeveloped
does not justify a continuance of traditional atti­
tudes and wasteful practices. Diagnostic and
appraisal testing supplant relatively uncertain and
often erroneous impressions with accurate and useful
information.2
Tests used.
The choosing of a battery of achievement
tests for school use involves the consideration of such factors
as validity, ease of giving and scoring, reliability, number
of forms, cost, and how well it adapts itself to the local
1 George D. Strayer, Educational Opportunities in Holyoke
(New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 19507T P •206.
2 Ernest W. Tiegs, Tests and Measurements in the Im­
provement of Learning:(Boston: Houghton Mil11lin Companv.“T939 ).
pTTin
.
46
school program.
The Progressive Achievement Tests, Form A.
devised by Tiegs and Clark-* were used in this study, the
Primary Battery in grades two and three and the Elementary
Battery in grades four to six. inclusive.
These tests were
chosen-not only because they met the requirements stated above
and in addition offer a profile chart and other diagnostic and
analytical values, but because the intelligence tests used
elsewhere in this study were devised by some of the same
authors.
Therefore, it was thought the two batteries used to­
gether would give more reliable results.
The authors describe
the significant features of the tests as follows:
1. It is organized to test abilities and skills which are
included in the objectives of education for these grades,
and which are of extreme importance as the toold of
further learning.
2. It is based upon the results of scientific studies in
curricula and on the most progressive curricula of these
grades now in use in some of the outstanding educational
systems.
3. It provides for a diagnostic profile which reveals .
graphically the pupil’s actual achievement in relation
to normal achievement for his particular grade placement;
and it provides in addition for those with unsatisfactory
achievement a diagnostic analysis of approximately eightydifferent elements which may be responsible for learning
difficulties. This analysis is accomplished by indicating
which particular test items reveal each type of difficulty.
3 Ernest W. Tiegs and Willis W. Clark, Manual of
Directions, Progressive Achievement Tests (Los* Xhgeles',
California: California Test Bureau, I93TT* p. 1.
^7
4. Its organization and standardization provide for a
variety of information, including the customary survey
or inventory results, both for the test as a whole and
for major divisions of the fundamental skills; for grade
placement in "the skills as a whole, as well as five major
fields; and for relative achievement in nineteen sub­
divisions of the five major fields.
5. While providing the usual survey or inventory results,
the test is intended to be primarily of immediate prac­
tical value to the teacher in revealing which pupils are
ahhieving satisfactorily, and for determining the parti­
cular type of remedial work necessary for those who are
experiencing one or more of the eighty different types
of learning difficulty.1!Time tests were given.
When this study and comparison
of the San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles Schools was decided
upon, it was agreed that to make the results as valid as
possible, the test would be given two months after- the begin­
ning of school.
This plan was followed, although the tests
were not given at exactly the same time due to the fact that
the San Luis Obispo Schools opened three weeks before the
Paso Robles Schools.
The tests in Paso Robles Elementary School were given
by the writer, who has-had. experience in the administration
of tests, especially those used in this study.
It was
arranged that no teacher would score the test results of her
own pupils.
The tests were then rechecked and tabulated, by
^ Tiegs and Clark, op. cit., p. 1.
4&;
clerical help and the principal.
Every effort was made to
avoid any errors in the scoring and tabulation of the- scores.
The tests were administered in San Luis Obispo by
Mrs. Dorothy Francis, who has charge of all the testing in
the schools of that-city and has had wide experience in this
field.
The tests were scored, rechecked and tabulated by
expert statisticians available at that time.
Range in grade placement in San Luis Obispo.
The
range in the total g^ade placement in the San Luis Obispo
Elementary Schools is shown in Table V.
The table showed
a spread in grade placement in the Two B of three years,
with a norm of 2.3 and a median of 2.5.
The Two A class
had a spread of two years with a norm of 2.7, and a median of
2.9.
The Three B had a two and one-half years dispersion, a
norm of 3«2,and a median of 3*4*
The Three A. class indicated
a spread of three and one-half years, and a median two months
below the norm of 3*7*
The Four B had a dispersion of three and
one-half years, a norm of 4.2, and a median of 4.6 while the
Four A showed a spread of four years, the norm was 4.7, the m e ­
dian 5.2.
The Five B and the Five A both had a dispersion of
four years, the norm for the former was 5.2 with a median
of 5.4 and a median of 5.9*
The Six B had a spread of six.
and one-half years, the largest in the schools, the norm was
6.2 while the median was 6 .3 .
The Six A indicated a dispersion
49
TABLE V
COMPOSITE GRADE PLACEMENT OF ALL SAN LUIS OBISPO SCHOOLS
DERIVED FROM PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT TESTS
1939-1940
Grade
Placement 2B
8.5-8.9
8.0-8.4
7.5-7.9
7.0-7 A
6.5-6.9
6.0-6.4
5.5-5.9
5.0-5.4
4.5-4.9
4.0-4.4
3.5-3.9
3.0-3.4
2.5-2.9
2.0-2.4
1.5-1.9
1.0-1.4
Total
Median
Norm
3
10
—34
25
JB
4
11
29
15
14
3
49
72
5
17
~ZT~
3A
Grades
4E
55
5TT
3
2
11
4
5
2
20
14
16 ” 6
7
14 “19
^ . 4
~Y*T~
4
1
3
IT"
5
1
9
15
28
TI
15
4
3
1
48
86
-
55
1
4
5
16
9
' 4
3
1
6E
55
3
1
3
10
5
10
7
16 "17
11
17
'TIT
4
4
' 4
6
3
1
3
2
1
1
4
1
69
2. 5
2. 2
2.9
2.7
3.4
3.2
55
3.5
3.7
69
4.6
4.2
5.2
4.7
5.4
5.2
43
5* 9
5. 7
81
6.3
6.2
58
6. 5
6. 7
50
of five years with a norm of 6.7 and a median that fell below
the norm two-tenths months or at 6.5*
It is evident from the data presented that with two
exceptions, namely, the Three A and the Six A, all the classes
in the San Luis Obispo elementary schools had a median above
the norm, and these two classes only fell below the norm two,
months.
It was noted that with the exception of the Two B
and Six B classes, there was a tendency toward a greater
dispersion in grade placement as the classes progressed through
fechool.
Two pupils in Six B and one in Two B were responsible
for those two classes showing a greater spread than the
following half grade.
Ahhievement in San Luis Obispo elementary schools.
In Table VI is presented a summary of San Luis Obispo achieve­
ment in the five subject tests included In the Progressive
Achievement Battery.
It was noted with special Interest that
the achievement in all grades was well above the norm in
reading vocabulary and reading comprehension and at the norm
or above for all grades in language.
It was obvious that
the poorest achievement /was made in arithmetic, particularly
in fundamentals and to a lesser degree in reasoning.
In
fundamentals there were seven half grades that were below the
norm from one to three months, while there were three half
grades which were from one to four months below the norm in
51
TABLE VI
RELATIONSHIP IN ACHIEVEMENT ABOVE OR BELOW THE NORM
IN SAN LUIS OBISPO SCHOOLS A.S DERIVED FROM
' PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT TESTS
1959
-
1940
— 1
Reading
Grade Vocabulary
6a .
6b
5A
5B
4A
4B
3 A,
J>&
2A
2B
.3 +
•6+
1.2+
1.3 +
1.0+
.9+
•2+
.6+
.5+
.5+
Reading
Arithmetic Arithmetic
Comprehension
Reasoning Fundamentals
•2+
.4+
•9+
.9+
1.0+
■1.0+
•2+
.7+
.3+
.5+
.4.1.3 +
•4+
.3+
.5+
.2.1+
Norm
•2+
.3.3.3.2.3+
.1.3.1Norm
•4+
Total
for
LanguageTests
•2+
.3+
.5+
.5+
.7+
•4+
Norm
.3 +
•4+
.5+
.1.2+
.3 +
.4+
•6+
.5+
.1+
#2+
•2+
•4+
NOTE: This table should be read as follows : The 2B class was
five months above the norm in reading vocabulary, and five months
above the norm in reading comprehension etc., See Table V for
summary of grade placement scores in San Luis Obispo Schools.
52
arithmetic reasoning.
This apparent general lack of
achievement in arithmetic fundamentals was due, it was thought,
to the fact that the tests were given early in the school year
when much of the time was being devoted to a review of the
previous year’s work.
As a result, the pupils were not
sufficiently familiar with the new year’s work to make a good
score on the new fundamentals.
It was shown in the tetal for all the tests that all
grades were above the norm from one to six months, with the
exception of the Six A. which was one month below the norm.
It
was
apparentfrom a study ofTable Cl that the achievement
in
the
San LuisObispo Elementary Schools is well up to or
above standard.
Range in grade placement in Paso Robles.
•in
the
The range
total grade placement ofthe Paso Robles pupils is
shown by grades in Table VII.
The data revealed that there
was a spread in grade two of twenty-three months with a norm
of 2.2 and a median of 2.2.
The dispersion in the third
grade amounted to two years six'months with a median of 3.4.
and a norm of 3.2.
Grade four had a range in grade placement
of two years and three months with a- norm of 4.2 and a median
of 4.0.
The range in the fifth grade extended from 3.9 to 7.4.
The median of the class was 5*6 and the norm was 5.2.
The
dispersion in the sixth grade was the largest of all ranging
53
TABLE VII
COMPOSITE GRADE PLACEMENT OF PASO ROBLES
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DERIVED FROM PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT TESTS
-i$40
-
Grade
Placement
9.5-9.9
9.0-9.4
8.5-8.9
8.0-8.4
7.5-7.9
7.0-7.4
6.5-6.9
6.0 -6.4
5.5-5.9
5.0-5.4
4.5-4.9
4.0-4.4
3.5-3.9
3.0-3.4
2.5-2.9
2.0-2.4
1.5-1.9
1.0-1.4
Total
Median
Norm
2
3
2
10
8
2
6
25"
.E
4
5
5
15
-I T
8
5
1
6
8
15
I T
7
4
1
6
2
6
6
13
~TT.
”'"■11
4
’T
2
1
1
.19
7
2
45
2.2
2.2
52
3.4
3.2
44
4.0
4.2
53
5.6
5.2
63
6.2
6.2
54
from 3.4 to 8.0 with a norm of 6.2 and a median of 6.2.
It was indicated from a study of Table VII that, with
a three month exception in the third grade, there is a gradual
increase in the range of grade placements in each succeeding
grade. ■ The range in the second grade is one year nine months.
In the third grade the range is two years three months.
The
range in the fourth grade decreases to two years three months
and then increases sharply to three years, five months in the
fifth and four years, six months in the sixth.
Achievement in Paso Bobles elementary schools.
The
achievement of the pupils in the Paso Bobles Elementary
Schools in reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, arith­
metic reasoning, arithmetic fundamentals, and language is
shown in Table VIII.
It was Indicated from this table that
in reading vocabulary the fifth grade was above' the norm one
year while the sixth grade was four months above the grade
norm.
The fourth, third, and second grades were three and
two ifcLQhths below the norm.
The failure of the second, third,
and fourth grade,pupils to attain the norm was due, in part,
to the fact that Paso Bobles has a ls,rge rural union school
district with many children living so far from town and
library facilities that practically all their reading exper­
iences are received at school.
This handicap can be partially
overcome if the children in the primary grades are given as
55
TABLE VIII
RELATIONSHIP IN ACHIEVEMENT ABOVE OR BELOW THE NORM
IN THE PASO ROBLES SCHOOLS AS DERIVED FROM
PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT TESTS
1£3'§-1^ 0>
Total
for
Reading
Arithmetic Arithmetic
Reading
Grade Vocabulary Comprehension Reasoning Fundamentals Language Tests
6
5
k
3
2
•4+
1.0+
•3.2.2-
•2+
•9+
•2+
•9+
Norm
.3.4+
.3.3 +
Norm
•3-+
Norm
.1.6+
.3+
.3.6+
.2.2Norm
NOTE: This table should be read- as follows:
the second grade
was two months below the norm in reading vocabulary and at the
norm in reading comprehension, etc., See Table VII for summary
of grade placement scores in Paso Robles schools.
Norm
A+
.2.2*
Norm
56
many easy books to read as time permits.
The additional
reading experiences gained in this way should help bring these
grades up to grade norm in reading vocabulary.
It was noted with'satisfaction .that in reading compre­
hension all grades were at or above the norm.
The third and
fifth grades were nine months above the norm, the fourth and
sixth grades were two months above the grade norms, and the
second grade was at the norm.
The achievement in arithmetic reasoning was fairly
satisfactory with the second grade at the norm, the third and
fifth grades three and four months above the norm respectively,
and the fourth and sixth grades three months below grade norm.
The failure to achieve in arithmetic reasoning in the fourth
grade might be explained by the fact that there is very little
arithmetic given before the third grade and less in the third
grade than formerly, with the result that fourth grade children
at the beginning of the year have so many fundamentals to learn
and re-learn that they have difficulty doing any problem that
does not clearly indicate the process to be used.
This
difficulty could be minimized if more thought problems were
given and the problems were correlated with the children's
experiences in the classroom, playground and in the home.
In arithmetic fundamentals the situation was much better.
The third grade was six months above the norm, the second
grade three months above, the sixth grade one month above,
and the fifth grade at the norm.
The fourth grade was one
month below the norm for the grade.
As stated before, achieve­
ment slightly below or at the norm may be due to the fact that
the tests were given two months after school started and review
work may have prevented much progress on the new processes.
This is particularly true in the fifth grade where long division
is the new fundamental for the first semester.
This is often
a stumbling block for many pupils until they have become
familiar with the new processes involved.
The language achievement was the least satisfactory
of all the tests with the fifth grade six months above and the
second grade at the norm.
The third and fourth grades were
two and the sixth grade three months below the norm.
While
the degree below the norm for these three classes was not
excessive, it was indicated that perhaps a larger time allot­
ment should be given to language study with special emphasis
given to correct language usage.
The pupils are only in school
five or six hours out of the twenty-four and their, language.
usage outside the classroom largely determines their achieve­
ment in this field.
The stressing of correct language usage
in school may bring a greater carry-over in playground, home,
and out of school activities.
The achievement for the battery of tests was on the
whole satisfactory. - The fifth grade made the best score
being four months above standard, the third grade was two
months above grade norm while the second and sixth grades
58
■were at the norm.
The fourth grade was the only on& to fall
below the norm, being two months below.
The fact that this
class was slightly below the norm in every test but reading
comprehension indicated that either the class as a whole had
a lower mental status, a large number of pupils were not achiev­
ing up to their ability, or that during their school experiences
the fundamentals as measured by these tests had not been
properly learned.
This problem is discussed further in
Chapter VI when the relation between mental ability and
achievement are analyzed.
Summary of chapter.
The achievement of the pupils
of the elementary schools of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles
was determined by the use of the Progressive Achievement Tests,
Form A.
These batteries of tests were used because of
previous successful experience with them and because the
intelligence tests used in connection with this study were
devised by some- of the same authors.
The primary Battery was
used in grades two and three and the Elementary Battery in
grades four to &x inclusive.
Every effort was made to make
the test results as reliable as possible.
The range in grade placements in the San Luis Obispo
Schools ranged from two years in the Two A class to six and
one-half years in the Six B.
There was a tendency toward a
greater range in grade placements in each succeeding grade.
I
59
The medians for all classes were above the norm for the grade
with the exception of the Three A and Six A classes.
Both of
these groups were two months helow the norm.
Pupil achievement, as revealed by the tests used,was
indicated to be satisfactory in the' San Luis Obispo elementary
schools.
It was noted that achievement in all grades was well
above the norm in reading vocabulary and reading comprehension
and at the norm or above, for all grades in language.
The
poorest achievement was made in arithmetic, particularly in
fundamentals and to a lesser- degree in reasoning.
There were
seven half grades below the norm from one to three months in
fundamentals and three grade sections which were below the
norm from one to four months.
It was shown in the total for
all tests that all grade sections, with the exception of the
six A, were from one to six months above the norm.
The Six A 1
class fell one month below the norm for the grade.
The range in grade placements in Paso Robles was found
to be two and one-half grades in the second grade, three in
the third, two and one-half in the fourth, four in the fifth,
and five and one-half grades in the sixth.
With the exception
of the fourth grade there was a greater dispersion in grade
placement in each succeeding grade.
The median for all
classes was at or above the norm except in the fourth grade
which fell two months below the norm.
So
It was indicated from the test results that pupil
achievement in Paso Robles was satisfactory.
The results of
all the tests disclosed that the fifth and third grades were
well above the norm, the second and sixth grades were at the norm
and the fourth grade two months below the norm.
In reading vocabulary the fifth grade was one year
above the norm, while the’ sixth grade was four months above
the norm.
The fourth grade was three months below the norm
and the second and third grades fell tw:o months aunder the
norm for their grades.
It was pointed out that Paso Robles is
a large rural union district with many pupils living so far
from library facilities that practically all their reading
experiences are gained in school.
It was thought that this
factor might partially account for the scores made in reading
vocabulary in the second, third, and fourth grades.
All grades were at or above the norm in reading compre­
hension.
The scores on this test seem .to substantiate the
point made regarding the low scores made in the reading vocabu­
lary test, i.e., more easy reading.
The achievement in arithmetic reasoning was fairly
satisfactory with all classes at or above the norm except the
fourth and sixth grades which fell below the norm three months.
In arithmetic fundamentals the achievement was much
better with all classes at or above the norm with the exception
of the fourth grade which fell below the norm one month.
61
It was revealed that the achievement in language was
tie least satisfactory of all the tests.
The fifth grade
was six months above the norm, the second grade was at the
norm, the third and fourth grades were two months below the
norm, and the sixth grade fell three months below the norm.
While the degree below the norm for these three classes was
not excessive, it was indicated that a larger time allotment
should be given to language study with special emphasis
given to correct language usage.
CHAPTER VI
PUPIL PROGRESS PROBLEMS
Purpose of chapter.
It was the purpose of this
chapter to present some principles of promotion policies in
the United States, some general causes of school failure, the
causes of non-promotion in the San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles
Elementary Schools, the relation of educational achievements
and mental abilities in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles and a
comparison of pupil progress in the two school systems.
Principles of promotion policies.
The beliefs of
administrators regarding the policies which should govenn
pupil promotion range from rigid application in each grade
of highest subject matter standards of achievement, to one
hundred per cent promotion and the thought that failure and
non-promotion for any child are tragic experiences and should
not be tolerated.
The criteria on the basis of which it is decided whether
a pupil shall or shall not be promoted to the next higher
grade at the end of the semester or year vary from subjective
ratings of deportment and effort, to objective measures of
academic achievements and mental abilities.■
The problem of non-promotion has been one of first
magnitude for many years.
The practice of failing pupils
comes down to us from early colonial times when the underlying
philosophy of the schools was mastery of subjest-matter.'
Up to about 1890 the schools were, for the most part,
very formal, and the courses of study were constructed to
teach facts add knowledge.
The schools were interested mainly
in the transmission of accumulated knowledge of the past to
the next generation.
It was felt that the mere process of
acquiring such knowledge was good mental discipline.
Soon after 1890, some educators began to realize that
the curriculum should be constructed to meet the needs of the
pupils, and that individual differences had to be taken into
consideration.
The courses of study had been made to suit
the average child.
Educators became aware that under this
plan, the gifted children on one side, and the slow children
on theoother, were being penalized under such a system.
Individual differences and promotion of pupils have been
recognized as a problem for these many years, but the movement
to solve the problem has been slow.
Although much has been
done, recent studies indicate that promotion practices vary
widely not only in the United States, and within states, but
within systems themselves.
Casewell’s survey-1- of non-promo­
tion in seven states and thirty-seven cities found that
^ H. L. Casewell, "Non-Promotion in Elementary Schools,”
Elementary School Journal, May 1935, PP* 644-47.
64
non-promotion varied from 4.9 per cent in Utah to 16.7 P©r cent
in Virginia*
The non-promotion in varied from 2 . 3 per cent in
Long Beach, California, to 16*7 In. Nashville, Tennessee.
Non­
promotion practices in New York City were found to vary 32
per cent between schools.
In one study Otto2 found seventeen different criteria
or bases were used for promotion*
These measures were used
singly or in combination in one hundred twenty-two different
arrangements.
Approximately two hundred promotion plans were
found in operation in the United States.
In a survey of eight year elementary schools containing
116,651 white pupils, Blose and Segel3 found that approximately
twenty per cent failed the first year.
Of those'pupils failing
in the first grade only thirteen per cent were expected to
graduate from the eighth grade.
Of those failing in the second
grade only fourteen per cent were expected to graduate.
Failing pupils in the third grade had a graduation expectancy
of fifteen per cent; fourth grade, sixteen per cent; fifth
grade, twenty-two per cent; sixth grade, thirty-one per cent;
and seventh grade, only fifty per cent.
Robinson^ reports the average failure rate in the
2 Henry J. Otto, "Pupil Failure as an Administrative
Device,” Elementary School Journal, 34:576-89, April, 1934.
3 D. T. Blose and D. Segel, "School Life Expectancy of
Failures in the Elementary School,” American School Board Jour­
nal, 86:29-30, March, 1933*
^ B.B.Robinson, "Failure is Too Costly to the Child,”
Parent Magazine 11:22-3, January 1936.
65
elementary schools throughout the United States to be ten
per cent.
The average failure rate in the first grade is
twenty per cent.
Ayer and Ulrich studied the school progress of 15,846
pupils.
Five years after these pupils had entered the first
grade they found fifty-four were still in the first grade and
only 8,910 or fifty-six per cent had made normal progress and
entered the sixth grade.
School administrators throughout the United States not
only have had a difficult time in determining who shall be
promoted, but have had considerable difficulty in deciding
how often these promotions should occur.
Various promotion
plans have been used as administrative devices with indefinite
results.
Most school systems now use the traditional annual
or semi-annual promotion plan.
Many studies have been made
regarding the merits of the annual and semi-annual promotion
plans without establishing either as having outstanding’ su­
periority over the other.
f.
Lindsayu found that neither the annual or the semi­
annual promotion plan was strong enough to cause distinct
superiority in those schools in which it was used.
Chism,^ in a survey among four hundred ninety cities
5 F.C.Ayer and F.H.Ulrich, "School Progress," Review of
Educational Research, 6:164-68, April, 1936.
6 j#
Lindsay, "Annual and Semi-Annual Promotions,11
Columbia Teachers College Contribution, No.570, 1933.
7 L. L, Chism, "Classification and Promotion. Practices
in the Elementary School," Elementary School Journal, 33:89-91
October 1932.
-
66
in the United States found that fifty-five and seven-tenths
per cent of the elementary systems promoted pupils on an
annual basis.
D. P. Eginton made an important contribution to the
whole problem of promotion when he said:
The value of the various kinds of traditional
promotion plans as administrative devices cannot be
determined apart from the changes that have been
made in the curriculum. It is high time for adminis­
trators and parents to recognize that the basic
problem is not how often pupils are promoted but
rather, what adjustments follow that will ensure
more satisfactory pupil growth.8
General causes of non-promotion.
Some of the reasons
given many times for pupil failure are: lack of mental ability,
poor health, immaturity, family life and social background,
attitudes, interest, social distractions, emotinnal life,
juvenile delinquency, sex difficulties, difficulty of subjectmatter, racial and language difficulties, lack of effort,
illness, lack of funds,-and fear reactions.
Adams^
found that most of the causes for failure as
given by the teachers were factors beyond the control of the
school such as a lack of mental ability, transfers, poor home
conditions, absence, physical and mental defects.
8 D.P.Eginton, "Classifying and Promoting Pupils," Nations
Schools, 14:23, August,1934.
9 ¥. L, Adams, "Why Teachers Say They Fail Pupils,"
Education Administration and Supervision, 18:594-600, November,
1932.
67
Reasons given for failure over which teachers did have
control were found to be: work too difficult, work below
teachers* subjective standards, pupils1 lack of interest, and
careless and indifferent pupils.
The study-.concluded'that:
one-third of the failures were not due entirely to the teacher;
much failure was caused by lack of pupil interest, and teachers
still use fear as an inducement for better work.
Boyer and Cheyney in a survey in Philadelphia report
several reasons teachers give for pupil failure.
The causes
of failure are:
1. Because the teacher believes repetition will
teach them to work harder and thus make more successful
individuals.
(a) Studies in Philadelphia show that most
failures were due to level of mental ability.
(b) They also found that repeating a grade
does not make them successful to the extent that
future failure is avoided. On the contrary,
failure seems to breed discouragement, a sense
' of insecurity and further failure.
(c) The efficiency of a school system,.in so
far as it can be measured by achievement in subject
matter, should be judged by the extent to which each
pupil is led to attain the highest standards of
workmanship of which he is capable. Failure to .
attain this is frequently due to inadequate deter­
mination of individual pupil standards. Results
of standardized tests indicate that standards are
frequently set too low for pupils with high I.Q.
On the other hand, the fact that a pupil with an
I.Q. of ninety- has but one chance in ten in escaping
retardation one or more times in the elementary
school indicates a lack of success in providing In­
dividual goal for pupils with I.Q. below one hundred.
City averages do not constitute real standrads for
most pupils in this group.
2. Certain pupils failed because it is believed
the grade will lay a better foundation for future
progress.
68
(a) In most cases of over-ageness of pupils
in grades four to seven where the teacher specified
reading weakness, a check of the records showed that
the pupils had repeated one or more times in the
first or second grades. Evidently repetition had
failed to .provide adequate basic reading skills.
(b) The average over-age non-promoted pupil
in grades four and five had a level of achievement
on standardized tests equal to that of the average
of the lowest twenty-five per cent -of the pupils
who were promoted. His learning rate is, however,
very low. (I.Q.) It is his low learning rate and
not his low level of achievement which prevents
success whenever new work is attempted. No amount
of repetition will remedy this.situation.
3 . Certain pupils who learn more slowly than the
average are failed because it is believed (by the
teacher) they will just skim over the work of each
grade section and not really master any of it.
(a)
Studies showed first, that failing pupils
did not have mental ability to really master any of
the work no matter how often repeated, and second,
pupils in schools with higher promotion rates and
less retardation learn more in school life.
Achievement should be considered in human
terms, namely, in terms of progress per year of the
pupil’s life rather than in terms of administrative
units or achievement per grade section.
4. Many teachers feel that without the stratifying
influence of uniform requirements for promotion from
grade to grade, the groups in the upper grades would
become so heterogeneous that group methods of instruc­
tion would be impossible.
Actual test results in Philsdelphia show,
however, that even under conditions where promotion
has been based largely on achievement, there exists
a wide range of ability in the upper grades. The
test scores on the middle eighty per cent of all
twelve year olds show a .range of five grade score
units, while the middle eighty per cent of all seventh
grade pupils had a range of three and seventy-five
hundredths grade score units. We should therefore
expect the range of abilities in the seventh grade
under conditions approaching promotion on a chronolo­
gical age basis, to be less than the average of
all twelve year olds and probably not very different
from the range we have at present. Thus the degree
of heterogeneity which would exist if pupils were
69
promoted on a chronological age basis could not be
appreciably greater than if they Fere promoted
on any other basis which permitted a reasonable
rate of progress through the grades.10
A natural conclusion of any discussion of pupil failure
and its causes should be, can failures be reduced or eliminated;
if so, how?
McGinnis,concludes that pupil failures can be
reduced to a minimum if the teaching, supervisory, and adminis­
trative workers will honestly try to find the causes of failures
and attempt to eliminate them.
One of the greatest obstacles
to overcome in the reduction of failures is the tendency to
place the blame for all pupil failure on causes beyond the
control of the school.
Techniques for discovering pupil disabilities, and
programs of remedial teaching, and supervision to meet the
needs of the pupil are necessary in the elimination or reduc­
tion of failure.
Equally, of course, if not more important,
is an educational philosophy that most pupil failures can and
should be eliminated.
Causes of non-promotion in San Luis Obispo.
It has
been the policy of the school administrators of San Luis Obispo
to base non-promotion on: first, social immaturity coupled with
Inability to do the work of the grade; second, lack of reading
10 P.A.Boyer and W.W.Cheyney, "is Non-Promotion a Defen­
sible Policy,” Elementary School Journal, 33: 647-51, May, 1933.
11 W.C.McGinnis, ’’Dodging the Blame for Failures,”
Journal of Education, 117**209-11, April, 1934.
70
readiness in the first and second .grades; and third, language
difficulties.
Social immaturity plus inability to do the work of the
grade section has been the major cause of non-promotion-in
all grades, particularly in grades three to six.
The school
administrators have felt that .their policy of demanding themastery of the minimum essentials has proved successful^
The second most important cause of non-promotion has
been a lack of reading readiness in the first and second grades.
Although a considerable number of pupils are held back by this
procedure, the policy has been defended on the grounds that
reading is the most important fundamental taught in the
schools, and if it is once mastered, normal or even rapid
progress can be expected in the higher grades.
On the other
hand, it was felt that without adequate reading ability slow
progress could be expected as the pupil continued in school.
The third and somewhat minor cause of non-promotion
was language difficulties.
The procedure, where a pupil
had language difficulties and came from a home where a foreign
language was used, has been to hold the pupil in the primary
grades until the language difficulties have been overcome
and then gradually place the pupil at the proper grade level
by means of special promotions.
Causes of non-promotion in Paso Robles.
For the past
seven years it has been the practice in the Paso Robles
71
Elementary Schools to have practically a one hundred per cent
non-failure program.
There have been eight exceptions or
non-promotions in those seven years, four of which occurred
in the 1939-1940 school years
It has been the policy in the Paso Robles Elementary
schools not to have pupils repeat in grades one and two
because they have failed to learn to read.
The administrators
have felt .that, inasmuch as, children do not develop at the
same rate, it is futile to expect them all to learn to read
at the same time.
If a child has not learned to read by the
end of the third year in school, he is considered a reading
problem and all factors involved are carefully considered
before the decision is made as to where the child should spedd
the next school year with greatest profit to himself.
Data
presented later in this chapter indicates that this policy has
been successful in Paso Robles.
There was one case of non-promotion in the first grade.
The boy was mentally and socially immature with an added
physical handicap.
The combined factors made promotion to the
second grade almost an impossibility.
The parents recognized
the problem and suggested that the child be retained another
year in the first grade.
The fact that the problem had been
recognized in the home aided the school in its attempt to
place the child in the proper grade level. . It has been noted
72
with interest that since the boy has been retained in the
first grade, he has shown definite improvement and will no
doubt greatly profit by the non-promotion.
There were two non-promotions in the third grade.
One
was due to the recommendation of a state psychiatrist after
a careful study of the ca.se, which involved mental retardation
due to a severe illness.
The second case involved social
immaturity coupled with physical disabilities.
The problem
had been recognized in the home and it was decided after a
conference with the parents to retain the child in the third
grade for another year.
There has not been sufficient data
collected on these two cases to indicate whether or not the
pupils have profited more from the non-promotion than they
would have been expected to gain from experience in the
succeeding grade.
The other non-promotion occurred in the fifth grade.
This boy was retained because of lack of effort and poor
school attendance.
Here was a case of a boy with above aver­
age intelligence, exceptional reading ability, and excellent
health who refused to put forth the. necessary effort to do the
work or even attend school regularly.
It was decided after
careful consideration of all factors involved and consultation
with the parents to retain the boy.
It has been noted that the
child has been attending school regularly, his effort has
improved, and his social adjustment and general behavior has
73
been much better.
Although the improvement in the quality
of his work has not been commensurate with the other factors
involved, it was concluded that the boy has gained more from
the non-promotion than he would have from a year’s work in
1he next grade with his former hbbits of work and attitude
toward school.
Relation of educational .achievement and mental ability
in San Luis Obispo.
A student’s achievement, as measured by
achievement tests, should equal his mental ability, as measured
by intelligence tests, if he is working to capacity, regardless
of the grade in which he is working.
It was recognized that
while a comparison of the achievement of a class with mental
abilities has its limitations, the relation of the two indi- •
cates to a large degree the success of the school in keeping
the children working up to their capacities.
It was decided
to compare the class medians in achievement, as obtained from
the Progressive Achievement Tests, with the class medians of
mental ability, as obtained from the California Tests of
Mental Maturity, to determine the relationship between the
two and to see if the pupils had been working up to capacity.
In Table IX is presented the comparison between achieve­
ment and mental ability in the San Luis Obispo Elementary
Schools.
It was, revealed from this study that in achievement
TABLE IX
DEVIATION OP SUBJECT GRADE NORMS PROM ABILITY NORMS
IN SAN LUIS OBISPO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Medians in 'terms
of
Grade Placements .
Reading
Vocabulary
Beading
Comprehension
Arithmetic Arithmetic
Reasoning Fundamentals
Language
Total
Grade
Placement
Total
Deviation
6A Mental Ability'
6A Achievement
Deviation
6.3
7.0
+ .7
6.3
6.9
+ .6
6.3 ‘
6.3
0
6.3
6.4
+ .1
6.3
6.9
+ .6
6.3
6.6
+ .3
633 Mental Ability
633 Achievement
Deviation
6.6
6.6
0
5A Mental Ability
5A Achievement
Deviation
6.6
6.8
+ .2
5.6
6.9
+1.3
5.6
6.6
+1.0
6.6
6.1
- .5
5.6
6.0
+4.0 '
6.6
5.9
- .7
5.6
5.4
-2.0
6.6
6.5
- .1
5.6
6.2
+6.0
6.6
6 .4
- .2
5.6
5.9
+3.0
+3.4
533 Mental Ability
533 Achievement
Deviation
5.1
6.5
+1.4
5.1
6.1
+1.0
5.1
5.6
+ .5
5.1
5.0
- .1
5.1
5.7
+ .6
5.1
5.6
+ .5
+3.9
4A. Mental Ability
4A, Achievement
Deviation
5.0
5.7
+ .7
5.0
5.7
+ .7
5.0
5.0
0
5.0
5.0
0
5.0
5.4
+ .4
5.0
5.3
+ .3
+2.1
433 Mental Avility
433 Achievement
Deviation
4.5
5.1
+ .6
4.5
5.2
+ .7
4.5
4.7
+ .2
4.5
4.3
- .2
4.5
4.6
+ .1
4.5
4.7
42
+1.6
3A, Mental Ability
3A Achievement
Deviation
333 Mental Ability
333 Achievement
Deviation
4.0
3.9
- .1
4.0
3.9
- .1
4.0
3.4
- .6
4.0
3.7
- .3
4.0
-3.8
- .2
-1.8
3.5
3.9
+ .4
3.5
3.1
- .4
3.5
3.5.
+ 0
2A Mental Ability
2A-*Achievement
Deviation
3.5
3 .8
+ .3
2.8
3.2
+ .4
4.0
3.5
- .5
3.5
3.3 •
- .2
2.8
3.0
+ .2
2.8
2.7
- .1 .
2.8
2.7
'- .1
2.8
3.1
+ .3
3.5
3 .4
- .1
2.8
2.9
+ .1
2B Mental Ability
2B Achievement
Deviation
2.4
2.7
+ .3
2.4
2.7
+ .3
2.4
2.4
0
2.4
2.6
+ .2
2.4
2.7
+ .3
2.4
2.6
+ •2
+1.3
Total Deviation
Bank of Subjects
+5.8
1
+4.8
2
- .2
4
-2.0
5
+2.5
3
+1.4
+12.3
.
+2.3
-1.3
+
»p
+ .8
75
the Two B class was three months above ability in reading,
vocabulary and comprehension, at the norm in arithmetic
reasoning, two months above ability in arithmetic fundamentals,,
three months above the norm in language, and two months above
ability for all the test.
The achievement of the Two A class was four months
above the ability in reading vocabulary, and two months above
in reading comprehension.
Achievement was oneramonth below
ability in arithmetic reasoning and fundamentals, three months
above in language, and one month above ability for all tests.
The Three B class had an achievement three months above
ability in reading, vocabulary, four months above in reading
comprehension, two months below in arithmetic reasoning, four
months below in arithmetic fundamentals, at the norm in lan­
guage, and one month below ability for all tests.
Achievement in the Three A, class was one month below
ability in reading vocabulary and comprehension, five and six
months below in arithmetic reasoning and fundamentals, three
months below in language and the score for all the tests was
two months below the ability median.
The Pour B class had achievement medians above ability
medians in all tests except arithmetic fundamentals which fell
below the norm two months.
Achievement exceeded ability six
months in reading vocabulary, seven months in reading compre­
hension, two months in arithmetic reasoning, one month in
76
language, and two months for all tests.
Achievement in the four A exceeded ability in reading
vocabulary and comprehension seven months.
Achievement was fit
the norm in arithmetic reasoning and fundamentals, four months
above the norm in language, and three months above ability for
the total test score.
The Five B had an achievement one year four months
above the ability norm in reading vocabulary, and one year
above in reading comprehension.
Achievement exceeded ability
in arithmetic reasoning five months but fell one month below
in fundamentals.
Achievement in language was six months
above ability and in total score the class was five months
above the norm.
The deviation of achievement over ability in the Five
A class was one year three months in reading vocabulary, one
year in reading comprehension, four months in arithmetic
reasoning, six months in language and three months on all
tests.
Achievement in arithmetic fundamentals fell two months
below the ability median.
Achievement in the Six B class exceeded ability only
in reading vocabulary by two months.
Achievement was at .the
norm in reading comprehension, five months below in arith-'■
metic fundamentals, one month below in language, and.two months
below ability on the total test score.
77
In the Six A class achievement was at or above the
norm for ability in all tests.
Achievement exceeded ability
seven and six months in reading vocabulary and reading compre­
hension respectively, was at the norm in arithmetic reasoning,
one month above the norm in arithmetic fundamentals, six months
above in language, and three months above for all tests.
It was concluded from this study of educational
achievement and mental ability in San Luis Obispo that: (1)
achievement on the whole was satisfactory and a great majority
of the pupils were working at the limits of their mental
abilities; (2) achievement was best in the Five B class with
the Five A. next; (3 ) ability exceeded achievement in the Three
A. and Six B class. (It was indicated that special efforts
should be made in these classes to enable them to achieve up
to their mental abilities); (4 ) achievement in reading, with
the exception of the Three A,, was outstanding; (5 ) achieve­
ment in arithmetic, particularly in fundamentals, was con­
siderably below ability.
(It has been recommended to the
superintendent of schools that more time be allotted to
arithmetic instruction .in the third, fourth, and fifth grades);
(6 ) excessive achievement above ability in some testa and
classes was due in part to the considerable number of pupils
who have repeated one or more grade sections in the San Luis
Obispo Schools,
(The extra time spent- in a grade or grades
plus the repetition of the work of that grade enables many
pupils to attain an educational age above their mental age);
and (7 ) a ranking of subjects revealed that reading vocabulary
was first, reading comprehension was sedond, language was
third,.arithmetic reasoning was fourth and arithmetic funda­
mentals were fifth.
Relation of educational achievement and mental ability
in Paso Robles.
The relation of achievement and ability in the
Paso Robles Elementary Schools is shown in Table X.
A study of
the table revealed that the achievement medians fell below the
ability median in all tests except arithmetic fundamentals,
in which it equalled the norm.
Achievement fell below the norm
in reading vocabulary six months, and four months below in
leading comprehension, arithmetic reaisoning, language, and on
the total test score.
Achievement exceeded ability in the third grade eight
months in reading comprehension, two months in arithmetic
reasoning, and five months in arithmetic fundamentals.
Achievement fell below the ability norm three months in
reading vocabulary and three months in language.' Achievement
exceeded ability on the total test score by four months.
The fourth grade fell below the ability median in
achievement in all tests.
Achievement was six months below
the norm in,reading vocabulary, one month in reading compre­
hension, six months in arithmetic reasoning, four months in
TABUS X
DEVIATION OP SUBJECT GRADE NORMS PROM ABILITY
NORMS IN PASOROBLES ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Medians in terms
of
Grade Placements
Reading
Vocabulary
Reading
0 ompr ehens ion
Arithmetic Arithmetic
Reasoning Fundamentals
Language
Total
Grade
Placements
Total
Deviation
6 th Ability
6th Achievement
Deviation
6.0
6.6
+ .6
6.0
6.4
+ .4
6.0
5.9
- .1
6.0
6.3
+ .3
6.0
5.9
- .1
6.0
6.2
+ .2
+1.3
5th Ability
5th Achievement
Deviation
5.1
6.2
+1.1
5.1
6.1
+1.0
5.1
5.6
+ .5
5.1
5.2
+ .1
5.1
5.8
+ .7
5.1
5.6
+ .5
+3.9
4th Ability
4th Achievement
Deviation
4.5
3.9
- .6
4.5
4.4
- .1
4.5
3.9
- .6
4.5
4.1
- .4
4.5
4.0
- .5
4.5
4.0
- .5
_
-2.7
3rd Ability
3rd Achievement
Deviation
3.3
3.0
- .3
3.3
4.1
+ .8
3.3
3.5
+ .2
3.3
3.8
+ .5
3.3
3.0
- .3
3.3
3.4
+ .1
+1.0
2nd Ability
2nd Achievement
Deviation
2.6
2.0
- .6
2.6
2.2
- .4
2.6
2.2
- .4
2.6
2 .6
0
2.6
2.2
- .4
2.6
2.2
- .4
—
—2 .2
+ .2
+1.7
- .4
+ .5
- .6
- .1
+1.3
Total Deviation
Rank of Subjects
3
1
4
2
5
80
arithmetic fundamentals, and five months in language.
The
score for all the tests found achievement five months below
the ability median.
■The fifth grade was the only .class in Paso Bobles or
San Luis Obispo in which achievement exceeded ability in all
the tests.
Achievement in reading vocabulary was one year
and one month above the norm, reading vocabulary was one year
above, arithmetic was five months and one month above in
reasoning and fundamentals respectively, seven months above
ability in language, and five months above the ability norm
for all tests.
Achievement exceeded ability in the sixth grade six
months in reading vocabulary, four months in reading compre­
hension, three months in arithmetic fundamentals, and two
months on the total test score.
Achievement fell below the
ability median in arithmetic reasoning and language one
month,
A ranking of subjects found reading comprehension first,
arithmetic fundamentals second, reading vocabulary third,
arithmetic reasoning fourth, and language fifth.
It has been concluded from this study of the relation
of educational achievement and mental ability in Paso Robles
that: (1) achievement in relation to ability was satisfactory
in the third, fifth, and sixth grades; (2) achievement in the
second and fourth grades in relation to ability is unsatisfactory.
81
(it was recommended to the superintendent that steps be
taken at once to ensure achievement more commensurate with
ability);
(3 ) achievement was best in the fifth and sixth
grades; (4 ) achievement was exceptionally poor in
language,
(It was indicated that a greater time allotment should be
allowed for language in all grades with special emphalis on
language usage); (5 ) the poor achievement in the second
grade was due, in part, to the fact that pupils were not
retained in the first grade because they did not learn to read
and many of the second grade pupils were just beginning to read
when this test was given; and (6 ) a ranking of subjects placed
reading comprehension first, arithmetic fundamentals second,
reading vocabulary third, arithmetic reasoning fourth, and
language fifth.
Comparison of pupil progress in San Luis Obispo and
Paso Bobles elementary schools.
A comparison of the pupil
progress in two school systems using different standards as
a basis for promotion shows the difference between the
standards used rather than the difference between the school
systems,
In San Luis Obispo the major causes of non-promotion
have been -social immaturity plus inability to do the work of
the grade and a lack of reading readiness in the first and
second grades.
Of the 630 San Luis Obispo children included
in this study, it was found- that sixty-six or 10.48 per cent
82
experienced non-promotion during the 1939-1940 school year.
A study of the records disclosed that of the sixty-six pupils
who were failed thirty-three, or fifty per cent of those
failing were in ‘the second and third grades.
It was found that during the 1939-1940 school year, in
grades two to six nineteen pupils or 3.02 per cent, made rapid
progress; 545 children, or 86.50 per cent, made normal progress
and sixty-six, or 10.48 per cent, made slow progress.
The
study disclosed that the greater percentage of pupils who
experienced non-promotion were found in the lower grades, and
.the number of failures decreased in’each successive grade
section.
"While comparable data is difficult to uncover and
there is no accepted standard to use as a comparison, it was
felt that the percentage of pupils making accelerated, normal,
and slow progress in San Luis Obispo was an average situation.
The Paso Robles Elementary Schools have been operating
for several years on a virtual one hundred per cent non­
failure program.
During the 1939-1940 school year there were
four pupils who were not promoted.
Of the 255 pupils included in this study, 251 pupils or
93*43 PeP cent made normal progress; and four.children, 1.57
per cent, made slow progress during the 1939- 1940 school .year.
It was noted with interest that only eight pupils had exper­
ienced non-promotion in the Paso Robles elementary schools in
the past seven years.
The four pupils who were failed in the
83
1939-1940 school year were special cases and were held hack
only after all factors involved had been carefully considered.
From data presented elsewhere -in this thesis it was
t
concluded that the non-failure program.as used in the Paso
Robles elementary schools had been successful and more in
line with the latest philosophy of education., It was indicated
that the policy should be continued.
Summary of chapter.
The pupil progress problems may
be summarized as follows:
1.
Principles governing pupil promotion in the United
States vary from highest mastery of subject matter to one
hundred per cent promotion.
2.
Until recently the courses of study had been made
to suit the average child with the result that the gifted and
slow children were penalized.
3.
It was found that approximately two hundred promotion
plans were in use in the United States,
4.
The average failure rate in the elementary schools
throughout the United States was found to be ten per cent.
5.
Most school systems use the annual or semi-annual
promotion plans.
Neither p]aa has been given outstanding
superiority over the other.
6*
Some of the more frequent causes given for non­
promotion have been lack of mental ability, poor health,
84 ■
immaturity, family life and social background, attitudes,
interest, juvenile delinquency, difficulty of subject matter,
and racial and language difficulties.
7.
Studies have been made on the causes of non­
promotion, as given by teachers, -which concluded that most
of the reasons given were beyond the control of the school.
8.
Many educators believe that pupil failures can be
■reduced to a minimum if the teaching, supervisory, and ad­
ministrative workers will honestly try to find the causes of
failures and attempt to eliminate them.
9.
Non-Promotion in San Luis Obispo elementary schools
has been based on social immaturity coupled with inability
to do the work of the grade, lack of reading readiness in
the primary grades and language difficulties.
10.
For several years the Paso Robles elementary
schools have operated on a virtual non-failure program.
There
have been eight exceptions to this in the past seven years,
four of which occurred during the I939-I940 school year.
11.
A comparison of achievement in relation to ability
in the San Luis" Obispo elementary schools disclosed that:
a majority of the pupils were working at the limits of their
mental abilities; achievement in reading with the exception
of the Three A. was outstanding; achievement in arithmetic
was considerably below standard; excwssive achievement in
some tests and classes was due in part to the number of pupils
85
who' had repeated grade sections; and a ranking of subjects
revealed that reading vocabulary was first, reading compre­
hension was second, language was third, arithmetic reasoning
was fourth, and arithmetic fundamentals was fifth.
12.
It was conduced from a comparison of achievement-
in .relation to ability in the Paso Robles elementary schools
that: a majority of pupils In the third, fifth, and sixth
grades were working at a satisfactory rate; achievement in
the second and fourth grades was unsatisfactory; achievement
was exceptionally poor in language; poor achievement in the
second grade was due, in part, to the fact that, pupils had
not been retained in the first grade because they had not
learned to read and many second grade pupils were just
beginning to read when the test was given; and a ranking of
subjects placed reading comprehension first, arithmetic funda­
mentals second, reading vocabulary third, arithmetic reasoning
fourth, and language fifth.
13.
Of the 630 San Luis Obispo pupils included in this
study, it was found that during the 1939-1940 school year nine­
teen pupils or 3*02 per cent made rapid.progress, 545 students
or 86.50 per cent made normal progress, and sixty-six pupils
or 10.48 per cent made slow progress.
It was concluded that this
was perhaps an average situation.
14.
A study of pupil progress in Paso Robles Elementary
Schools revealed that of the 255 pupils included in this study,
86
251 pupils 98.45 per cent made normal progress and four
pupils or 1.57 per cent made slow progress during the I939-I940
school year.
The four pupils who were retained were special cases
which involved physical and mental disabilities.
It was con­
cluded from evidence presented in this chapter that the almost
one hundred per cent non-failure program of-the Paso Robles
elementary schools had been successful and was in keeping
with the newer philosophy of education in regard to pupil
progress.
CHAPTER VII
ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF THE COURSES OF STUDY
Purpose of chapter.
It was the purpose of this
chapter to analyze and evaluate the courses of study used in
the elementary schools of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles.
A. rating scale, prepared by educational experts and 'widely
used throughout the United States, has been used.
The legal
requirements of the courses of study, the length of the
school day, and a comparison of time allotments for each
subject have been examined to determine if adequate safe­
guards have been made for normal pupil needs.
A, list of
suggested recommendations has been included in the summary
of the chapter.
Evaluation of the courses of study.
The cities of San
Luis Obispo and Paso Robles are located in San Luis Obispo
County.
Both school systems have used the county/ courses
of study as a basis for the work done in the schools.
Inas­
much as the county courses of study have not been revised for
quite some time, both school systems have made use of newer
materials to supplement the courses of study.
The courses of
study were rated by three administrators who were familiar
with courses of study in use throughout the United States.
scale and the standard were patterned after those devised by
The
88
Stratemeyer and Breuner^- .of Teachers College, Columbia
University.
Rating.was made on the following main points, namely:
(1 ) recognition of educational objectives; (2 ) what to teach,
organization of subject matter; (3 ) recognition of and adaptation
to pupil’s needs; (^) adaptation to teachers’ needs; (5 ) course
of study itself; and (6 ) the general rating.
made on afive point scale: excellent,
The ratings were
for the upper ten per
cent; very good, for thenext twenty per cent;
good, for the
middle forty per cent; fair, for the lower twenty per cent;
and poor,
It
for the lowestten per cent.
was decided torate only the courses of study in
reading, arithmetic, and language because these were the sub­
jects tested by achievement tests in this study and because all
the courses of study were developed under the same directors
between 1930 and 1932.
It was, therefore, assumed that ratings
given these three courses of study would be approximately the
same as those given the other courses of study bad they been used
in this study.
One of the principal reasons for this assump­
tion was the fact that the courses of study had not been re­
vised since they were devised.
It was noted with great interest
that these courses of study were rated as among the best in the
1 Florence B. Stratemeyer and H.B.Breuner, Rating Elementary School Courses of Study (New. York: Bureau of PublTcations, Teachers’ College, Columbia University, 1926).
89
United States by Teachers* College, Columbia University, when
they were first developed.
However, ratings at the time this
study was made could not be compared with the previous ratings,
because there had been no revisions made to keep the courses
of study up to date.
A summary of the ratings of the reading,
arithmetic, and language courses of study are presented in
Table XI.
That the San Luis Obispo County courses of study do
not now measure up to highest present day standards in the re­
cognition of educational objectives was evidenced by the fact
that this section received five good and four fair ratings by
the judges.
The fact that all ratings were made in the middle
forty or lower twenty per cent indicated the need of immediate
revision.
Subject matter ratings were rated somewhat better by the
judges, receiving eight good and one fair.
The absence of any
ratings above the middle forty percent lead to the conclusion
that, these sections of the courses of study should be modern­
ized.
The third criterion, the recognition of and adaptation
to pupil’s needs, received three ratings of good, four of fair,
and two poor.
It was evident from the judges ratings of this
section of the courses of study that it was unsatisfactory in
its present form.
.It was an obvious conclusion that the sat­
isfactory achievements of the pupils in San Luis Obispo and
Paso Robles Elementary Schools were not due to the present
90
TABLE XI
EVALUATION OP COURSES OP STUDY IN
SAN LUIS OBISPO AND PASO ROBLES
Grades 1-6
judge Read. Arith. Lang.
I. A. Recognition of Educational
Objectives Statements regarding
1. Objectives
2. Standards of Attainment
1
2
3
G
G
F
F
G
F
G
G
F
1
2
3
G
G
G
F
G
G
G
G
G
1
2
3
G
F
G
P
P
F
F
F
G
D. Adaptation to Teachers * Needs
Statements regarding
1. General helps for teachers
1
2. Method ■
2
3 . Illustrative lessons
3
if. Reference materials for teachers
5. Reference materials for pupils
G
G
F
F
F
F
F
G
F.
1
2
3
P
F
F
P
F
F
P
F
F
1
2
3
F
F
F
P
F
F
F
G
F
B. What to teach: Organization
of Subject matter
Statements regarding
1. Content
2. General organization
3. Use of textbooks
C. Recognition of and Adaption
to Pupil!s needs
Statements regarding
1. Recognition of the individual
2. Activities
3 . Projects and.problems
A. Use of tests and measurements
E. Course of Study Itself
Statements regarding
1. Mechanical make-up
2, Course of Study as a whole
III.
General Rating
NOTE: Ex = Excellent; V.G.= very good; G = good; F = Fair;
P
poor.
91
courses of study, but rather to better teaching and use of
more recent materials from other sources.
The fourth criterion rated was adaptation to teachers1
needs.
Inasmuch as, the courses of study are made to guide
the teacher, this section is perhaps the most important part
of the entire courses of .study.
three good and six fair ratings.
The judges gave this section
It was indicated from these
ratings that the teachers in San Obispo and Paso Robles have
not received the help from this source that they had a right
to expect.
The course of study itself and its mechanical make-up
was rated next.
Because of its bulkiness, and poor printing
in some parts, the judges gave this section a rating of six
fair and three poor.
The unanimity of the ratings indicated
that many improvements were necessary to make the courses' of
study of practical value to the teachers.
V ;-
The courses of study received a general rating by the
judges of one good, seven fair, and one poor*
It was con­
cluded from the judges ratings that the courses of study were
not satisfactory in their present form.
It has been recommended
that committees of teachers add administrators be formed to
study the problems involved in the revision and modernization
of the present courses of study.
92
Legal requirements of the course of study.
Section 3.761 of the School Code for the State of California
1937 edition provides that:
The course of study in the elementary schools of
■ each city, county, and city, and caunty shall include
instruction in the following prescribed branches in
the several grades in which each may be required inthe course of study adopted in pursuance of this
Article, Viz: (1) reading, (2) writing. (3 ) spelling,
(4 ) language study, (5 ) arithmetic, (6 ) geography,
(7 ) history of the United States and of California,
(8 ) civics, including a study of the constitution of
the United States, (9 ) music, (10) art, (11) trainfor healthful living, (12) morals and manners., and
such other studies not to exceed three as may be pre­
scribed by the board of education of the city, county,
or ci$y and county.
Section 3.762 of the school code^ also provides that a
minimum of fifty per cent of each school week must be devoted
to the study of reading, writing, language, spelling, and
arithmetic in gradeseone to six inclusive.
Length of school day.
The length of the school day’s
attendance is determined by the local school boards.
However,
minimum school day’s requirements have been established by law.
The School Code of the State of California^ provides that a
minimum school day’s attendance in grades one, two and three
shall be two hundred minutes.
In grades four, five, and six
the minimum school day’s attendance is set at two hundred
forty minutes.
In each case the minimum school day’s attendance
shall be exclusive of noon intermissions and recesses.
ST.^cHooT~CodeTf the State of California (1937 edition) p. 193
3. Ibid pl93
4. Ibid pp236-37
93
The school hoard In San Luis Obispo has established the
length of the school day’s attendance as follows:
in the Two B;
220 minutes
240 minutes in the Two A and the third grade
sections; and three hundred minutes in grades four, five, and
six.
The length of the school day;! s attendance in Paso Robles
has been established by the school board as follows:-
220
minutes in the second grade; 240 minutes in grade three; 270
minutes in the fourth and fifth grades; and 340 minutes in
grade six.
Time allotments in San Luis Obispo.
Years ago in the
old formal type school, the teaching and mastery of subject
matter was all important.
Under such a program the schedule
was very rigid and each subject was.taught for a definite time
period.■ At the end of that time another subject was presented
whether the previous lesson had been concluded or not.
‘
While
it is true that most schools today are run on a schedule and
time allotments for the several subjects are given, to prevent
over or under teaching of any subject, the time allotments are
usually only approximate and there is enough flexibility in the
schedule to allow an efficient teaching-learning situation..
Time allotments for the several subjects vary between
school systems.
The only standard for the State of California
that was available on time allotments was that suggested by the
California Curriculum Study which is presented in Table XII.
94
TABLE XII
SUGGESTED SCHEDULE OF'WEEKLY SUBJECT TIME ALLOTMENTS
(Recommended by the California Curriculum Study)
Grades 2 - 6
Minutes per Week
Subject
Arithmetic
Reading
Music
Art
Healthful living
Writing-Spelling
Language
Recesses
Social Studies
Mi sc ellanenous
Total
II
III
IV
V
VI
140
395
75
90
120
150
125
100
30
215
325
75
90
120
160
165
110
105
215
245
75
90
120
165
170
110.
205
220
190
75
80
125
150
185
110
260
50
220
160
75
75
125
140
190
110
280 ■
75
1,225
1,365
1,395
1,445
1,450
95
While school systems are free to work out their own time allot­
ments, it was found that the time allotments in the San Luis
Obispo Elementary Schools closely approximated or exceeded most
of those suggested by the California Curriculum Study.
The
weekly time allotments for the San Luis Obispo Schools is
presented in Table XIII.
A comparison of the San Luis Obispo time allotments
with those suggested by the California Curriculum Study revealed
that the time allotments in San Luis Obispo in arithmetic in
the third and fifth grades and in langus,ge in the second, third,
and fourth grades were considerably below that recommended,
inasmuch as achievement in arithmetic in relation to ability
ranked fifth in the San Luis Obispo Schools, it was felt that
an increase in time allotment in ibhis subject would be desirable
in those grades whose present time allotment falls below the
recommended standard.
Achievement in language in relation to ability in the
San Luis Obispo elementary schools ranked third in the subjects
tested.
While achievement for the schools as a whole was sat­
isfactory, it was poorer in grades two and three than any other
grade.
It was recommended, therefore, that time allotments in
this very important subject should be increased substantially
in gradessbwo and three, and to a lesser degree in the fourth
grade.
It was felt that the additional time would enable the
teachers in these grades to raise the achievement standard up.
TABLE XIII
WEEKLY TIME ALLOTMENTS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Subjects
Arithmetic
Reading
Music
Art
Healthful living
Writing-Spelling r*
Language
Recesses
Social Studies
Miscellaneous
Total
Grades 2 - 6
Minutes per Week
... TV
. VI
v
11
“T r r
130
300
100
80
100
150
80
100
110
50
180
280
100
80
100
180
150
100
240
140
220
275
123
125
100
125
130
100
225
225
175
240
125
100
100
250
150
100
180
230
275
200
120
120
100
150
130
100
280
175
1,200
1,550
1,650
1,650
1,650
-
97
to
o p
above the norm fop those grades.
Time allotments In Paso Robles.
While the- setting up
of a rigid time schedule for each subject is not desirable
from the'point of view of the teacher and pupil, it is neces­
sary to insure the proper teaching emphasis upon all subjects
in the curriculum and as an administrative aid in the operation
of the school.
It was noted with interest that the teachers in
the Paso Robles schools emphasized the fact that the scheduled
times were only approximate because of correlated activities
and projects.
Although the time allotments were only approx­
imate, it was felt that a study of them might disclose a close
relationship between pupil achievement and time allotment.
A. comparison of the weekly time allotments in the Paso
Robles elementary schools with the suggested weekly subject
time allotments recommended by the California Curriculum Study
disclosed that time allotments innPaso Robles were very sat­
isfactory with the exception of reading and language.
It was
found that the reading time allotment in the second, third, and
fourth grades in Paso Robles were considerably less than.the
time recommended by the California Curriculum Study.
The time allotments in language study in the Paso Robles
elementary schools were found to be considerably below the reccommended standards in every grade from two to six inclusive.
The fact that the time allotments in Paso Robles were
less than the time recommended by the California Curriculum
98
TABLE XIV
WEEKLY TIME ALLOTMENTS IN PASO ROBLES/ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Grades 2 - 6
Minutes per Week ,
Subjects
Arithmetic
Reading
Music
Art
Healthful living
Writing-Spelling
Language
Recesses
Social Studies
Miscellaneous
Total
II
III
IV
150
310
80
75
100
125
70
100
40
70
200
300
100
60
100
130
125
150
150
35
225
200
100
60
100
160
150
150
250
10$
250
250
100
60
100
150
120
150
250
70
250
180
100
120
250
125
125
100
250
. 250
1,200
1,350
1,500
1,500
1,800
V
VI
99
Study in reading and language was of greater significance when
it was recalled that achievement in relation to ability was
poorest in language in all grades except the fifth and achievment in reading was considerably below the ability norm in
grades two, three, and four.
It was concluded from this study
that one of the contributing factors involved in the low achievment in readingand language in
schools was due
the Paso Robles elementary
to insufficient teaching time.
It has been
recommended that the time allotments in reading in the second,
third, and fourth grades, and language in all grades be increased
up to or above the standard recommended by the California
Curriculum Study.
Summary of chapter.
In chapter VII has been pre­
sented a rating of the courses of study for reading, arithmetic
and language used in the elementary schools of San Luis Obispo
and Paso Robles.
The rating scale used was that devised by
Stratemeyer and Bruener of Teachers’ College, Columbia University.
Rating was made
on a five point scale, excellent for the upper
ten per cent, very good for the middle forty per cent, fair for
the lower twenty per cent, and poor for the lowest ten per cent.
It was noted that when the courses of study were devel­
oped in 1930-1932 they were rated as among the best in the
United States.
Due to the fact that there had been no revisions
made since that time, the judges' ratings In I939-I940 when this
study was made presented a very different picture.
There were
no ratings given better than good, a majority of the ratings
100
were fair and a few of them poor.
It was indicated from a
critical analysis of the courses of study that when compared
to modern courses of study embodying the newer philosophies
of education and present trends in methods of instruction, the
San Luis Obispo County courses of study in reading, arithmetic,
and language were very unsatisfactory.
It has been recommended
that, the county superintendent, in cooperation with the teachers
aand administrators of San Luis Obispo County take immediate
steps to revise and revitalize the courses of study to bring
them up to modern educational standards.
It was noted that the School Code of the State of
California provided that reading, writing, spelling, language
study, arithmetic, geography, history of the United States and
of California, civics, music, art, training for healthful living,
and manners and morals must be taught in the elementary schools
of the State.
The School Code provided further that a minimum
of fifty per cent of each school day must be devoted to the
study of reading, writing, language, spelling and arithmetic in
grs.des one to six inclusive.
The length of the school day is set by local boards of
trustees; however, the minimum school day, as established by
the School Code, is two hundred minutes in grades one, two, and
three.
The minimum school day’s attendance in gradessfour, five
and six is 240 minutes.
loi
Suggested weekly time allotments recommended by the
California Curriculum Study have been presented.
The approximate
weekly time allotments in the severallsubjects in the San Luis
Obispo and Paso Robles elementary schools have been compared
with the above recommended standards.
'It was found that most
of the time alloments in the San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles
Schools compared favorably with those recommended ~'by the curricu­
lum study.
It was noted with interest, however, that subjects,
in which achievement fell below the ability medians, had time
allotments considerably below the recommended standard.
It was
indicated that the time allotments in theSan Luis Obispo Schools
for arithmetic in the third and fifth grades, and in language
study in the second, third, and fourth grades should be increased
to conform more, closely with the standards suggested by the
California Curriculum Study.
It was hoped that such a change
might enable the pupils in these classes to raise these classes
to raise their achievement to a level more commensurate with
mental ability.
It was found that time allotments in Paso Robles for
reading> in the second, third, and fourth grades and for language
study in £ll grades were considerably below the recommended
standard.
It was also noted that achievement in relation to
ability in these grades and subjects .was below standard.
It
has, therefore, been recommended that the time allotments in
these grades and subjects be increased to approximate more
closely the suggested standard of the curriculum study.
CHAPTER VIII
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The purpose of this chapter is to present a summary of
the findings and conclusions of the previous chapters*
Head-
ings for the chapter follow the study divisions and will in*
elude the conclusions and recommendations made in each section
of the study.
Resume of problem*
It has been the purpose of this
study to present in so far as was possible:
(1) the educa­
tional needs of pupils of grades two to six inclusive in the
elementary schools of San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles, as
shown by the age-grade placement, the mental status, the subject
matter achievement, and the progress through school of the pupil
personnel;
(2) a critical analysis and evaluation of the
courses of study of these cities to determine what provisions
have been made to meet the educational needs of the pupils;
(5) to make recommendations based upon best current educational
practices for the improvement of conditions as fevealed by this
study.
All other administrative problems have been excluded
from this study*
Location and organization of school districts studied.
The City of San Luis Obispo is located on the Coast Hi-way
(United States Hi-way 101) approximately one hundred ninety
miles north of Los Angeles,
The city was started in 1772 or
four years before the American Beclaration of Independence,
The schools of the city are organized on the traditional sixthree-three basis.
There are three elementary schools, one
junior high school and one senior high school.
The average
enrollment for the 1959-1940 school year in the elementary
schools was 826 pupils.
The number of pupils included in
this study was considerably less due to the fact that
kindergartens and first grades were excluded.
The elementary
school population was made up of 85 per cent whites, 7 per
cent Mexican, 5 per cent Swiss-Portuguese, and 3 per cent
Japanese and uhinese.
The city of Paso Robles is located near the lower end
of the Salinas Valley on united States Hi-way 101.
It is
located approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San
Francisco,
Paso Robles grew up around and has long been
famous for its hot sulphur springs.
schools in Paso Robles:
first five grades;
There are three elementary
one includes a kindergarten and the
a second one is an intermediate depart­
mental school comprising the sixth, seventh, and eighth
grades, and the third a small opportunity school for the first
five grades with a special curriculum.
The school*s popula­
tion is made up of 90 per cent whites, 6 per cent Mexican,
and 4 per cent Swiss-Portuguese*
10#
Age-grade placement of pupils.
This study was made to
determine the percentage of pupils making normal, retarded
or accelerated progress through school;
It was found that
for comparative purposes 10 per cent accelerated, 52 per cent
normal, and 38 |>er cent retarded was an average situation in
the United States*
The age-grade study in San Luis Obispo disclosed that
£
6.83 per cent of the pupils were accelerated, 58*73 per cent
were making normal progress, a n d .34*44 per cent were retarded*
It was found that of the £17 pupils who were retarded, fortyr
six or .21 per cent was due to late school entrance or absence
from school.
One'hundred seventy one pupils or 79 per cent
of'those retarded were found to have repeated one or more
semester’s work.
The study revealed that retardation in the
several grades varied from 27.27 per cent in the Five A to
51*72 per cent in the Six A.
Although the per cent of retardation in San Luis
Obispo was not excessive, it has been recommended that:
(1)
the number of pupils repeating grade sections should be
materially reduced by a change to administrative policies
which conform more closely with the present day philosophy
of continued pupils progress through school;
and (2) courses
of study should be adopted which will meet the needs of the
greatest number of pupils, thereby eliminating the cause of
a majority of the retardations.
105
The age-grade study in Paso Robles revealed that 3,53
per eent of the pupils were accelerated, 76.86 per cent were
making normal progress, and 19*61 per cent were retarded.
Re­
tardation varied from 9.09 per cent in the second grade to a
high of 25 per cent in the third grade.
It was found that of
the fifty retarded pupils, fourteen were retarded because of
late school entry or absence from school, twenty-eight were
retarded due to repetition of a grade in other schools before
attending Paso Robles schools, and eight pupils or 3.14 per
cent were retarded because of non-promotion in the Paso Robles
schools.
It was concluded from the age-grade study in the Paso
Robles elementary schools that a great majority of the pupils
were working in or near the proper grade level and that the
per cent of retarded pupils was exceptionally small.
It has
been recommended that the administrative policies which have
made this fine record possible be continued in an attempt to
reduce still further the number of retarded pupils.
Six common causes given for retardation in schools
throughout the United States have been:
ineffective habits
of work, personality difficulties, deficiencies in previous
training, physical defects, mental disability, and psycho­
physical defects.
It has been recommended that, instead of
placing the blame for retardation on causes beyond the
control of the school, every factor involved in retardation
should be studied with a view toward changes which would
eliminate as many as possible.
Mental status of the pupils♦
The mental status of
the pupils in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles City schools
was determined by the use of the California Test of Mental
Maturity, Form A, Primary and Klementary Batteries.
These
tests were used because of ease in giving and scoring them,
past satisfactory experience in using them, the three given
mental ages and intelligence quotients instead of one, and the
fact that the diagnostic value of these tests would be of
great value to the local school administrators and teachers
after this study had been completed.
Mental ages were converted into intelligence grade
placements, a form better adapted for comparative purposes
and one which gave a broader view of the entire mental status
problem.
A study of the intelligence grade placements of the
San Luis Obispo elementary pupils revealed that there was a
range of grade placements in each half grade of from five to
seven and one-half grades.
This seemed excessive in view of
the fact that each grade had an A and B section*
There was
a general tendency toward a greater range in grade placements
in each succeeding grade section*
It was concluded that a
majority of the pupils in the San Luis Obispo schools were
well placed in their present grade and that most of the ex­
cessive range in grade placements was due to a number of
pupils with extremely high or low intelligence grade place­
ments*
It was recommended that the school administrators in
San Luis Obispo give special consideration to those pupils
with extremely high intelligence grade placements.
It was
felt that many of these students might profit by a special
promotion.
In this way the excessive range in intelligence
grade placements with its attendant teaching problems would
be reduced, and the pupils would be more apt to be kept
working up to their abilities.
A study of the intelligence grade placements of the
pupils in the Paso Robles elementary schools lead to the
following conclusions:
first, that there was a range in
grade placements of from three grades in the. second grade to
eight grades in the fifth and sixth grades;
second, there
was a general tendency toward a greater dispersion of in­
telligence grade placements in each succeeding grade;
and
third, with the exception of a very few pupils on both ex­
tremes, the pupils in the Paso nobles elementary schools
were very well placed.
It has been recommended that the two pupils in the
fifth grade and the two in the sixth grade with very high
intelligence grade placements receive special attention to
io8
assure that their superior mental abilities are challenged,
Pupil achievement.
The achievement of the pupils in .
the San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles elementary schools was
presented in Chapter If.
The Progressive Achievement Tests,
Form A were used, the Primary Battery in the second and
third grades and the Elementary Battery in grades four to
six inclusivei
It was found that the dispersion of grade placements
in San Luis Obispo ranged from two years in the Two A class
to six and one-half years in the Six B,
There was a
tendency toward a greater range in grade placements in each
succeeding grade.
Pupil achievement, as revealed by the tests used, was
indicated to be satisfactory in the San Luis Obispo schools.
Achievement in reading vocabulary and reading comprehension
was above the norm in all grades.
The poorest achievement
was made in arithmetic fundamentals.
The scores for all the
tests revealed that all grade sections except the Six A
achieved above the norm.
The Six A class fell one month
below the norm for the grade.
The dispersion of grade placements in Paso Robles
ranged from two and one-half grades in the second grade to
five and one-half grades in the sixth grade.
With the
exception of the fourth grade there was a tendency toward a
greater dispersion in grade placements in each succeeding
grade.
The test results revealed .that as a whole achievement
in Paso Robles elementary schools was satisfactory*
The
third and fifth grades were well above the norm, the second
and sixth grades were at the norm, and the fourth grade fell
two months below the norm for that grade.
Achievement in all the tests was satisfactory with the
exception of language.
In this test three grades, the third,
fourth, and sixth, fell below the norm two and three months.
TOaile the degree below the norm was not excessive, it was
indicated that a greater emphasis should be given this sub­
ject.
Recommendations for changes were made in Chapter ?I.
Pupil progress problems.
The pupil progress problems
may be summarized as follows:
1.
Principles governing pupil promotion in the United
States vary from highest mastery of subject matter to one .
hundred per cent promotion.
2.
Until recently courses of study were made to suit
the average child.
5.
It was found that there were approximately two
hundred promotional plans in use. in the united States.
4.
The average failure rate in the elementary schools
of this country was found to be 10 per cent.
5.
Most school systems use the annual or semi-annual
promotion plans.
Neither plan has been rated as having
outstanding superiority over the other.
6.
Some of the more frequent causes given for non-
promotion have been lack of mental ability, poor health, im­
maturity, family life, and social background, attitudes,
interest, difficulty of subject matter, and racial and
language difficulties.
7.
Most teachers have given as causes of non-promotion,
those factors which were beyond the control of the school.
8.
Many educators agree that pupil failures could be
reduced to a minimum if teaching, supervisory, and administra­
tive workers would honestly try to find the causes of
failures and attempt to eliminate them.
9*
The causes of non-promotion in San Luis Obispo
elementary schools have been:
social immaturity coupled with
inability to do the work of the grade, lack of reading readi­
ness in the primary grades, and language difficulties.
It
was recommended that all non-promotion in San Luis Obispo,
based on immaturity and lack of reading readiness, be post­
poned until the end of the third year in school.
In this way
many of the useless non-promotions would be eliminated with­
out subjecting the children to the questionable repetition of
a grade.
10.
For several years the Paso Robles elementary schools
Ill
have operated on a virtual non-failure program*
11.
A comparison of achievement in relation to ability
in San Luis Obispo disclosed a majority of the pupils were
working up to their ability.
standing.
ability.
Achievement in reading was out­
Achievement in arithmetic was considerably below
A ranking of subjects revealed that reading
vocabulary was first, reading comprehension second, language
was third, arithmetic reasoning was fourth, and arithmetic
fundamentals was fifth.
IE.
It was concluded from a comparison of achievement
in relation to ability in the Xaso Robles elementary schools
that a majority of the pupils in
the third, fifth, and
sixth grades were working at a satisfactory rate.
Achieve­
ment in the second and fourth grades was unsatisfactory.
It
was found that achievement in language was very poor in all
grades but the fifth.
A ranking of subjects placed reading
comprehension first, arithmetic fundamentals second, reading
vocabulary third, arithmetic reasoning fourth, and language
fifth.
13.
Of the 630 San Luis Obispo pupils included in the
pupil progress study it was found that during the 1939-1940
school year nineteen pupils or 3.0E per cent made rapid
progress, 545 pupils or 86.50 per cent made normal progress,
and sixty-six pupils or 10.48 per cent made slow progress.
112
.
14.
A study of pupil progress in.Paso Robles element­
ary schools revealed that of the 255 pupils included in the
study, 251 or 98.45 per cent made normal progress and four
pupils or 1.57 per cent made slow progress during the 19391940 school years.
It was concluded that the promotional
policies in use in Paso Robles had been successful and in
keeping with the newer philosophy of education pertaining
to pupil progress*
It was recommended thet the present
policy be continued.
The cpurses of study.
The courses of study in read­
ing, arithmetic, and language used in San Luis Obispo and
Paso Robles elementary schools were rated by a scale develop
ed by Stratemeyer and Bruener of Teachers* College, Columbia
University.
Rating was made on a five point scale,
excellent for the upper 10 per cent, very good for the next
20 per cent, good for the middle 40 per cent, fair for the
lower 20 per cent, and poor for the lowest 10 per cent.
It was noted that the courses of study in use in San
Luis Obispo County were developed from 1930 to 1932.
At
that time they were rated as among the best in the United
States.
Since that time, however, there have been no r@~
visions with the result that they were very much out of date
when this study was made during the^1939-1940 school year*
The courses of study were rated by three school ad­
ministrators familiar with courses of study throughout the
113
United States.
There were no ratings better than good.
The
total ratings were nineteen good, twenty-four fair, and ten
poor*
It was clearly indicated that the present courses of
study were out of date and therefore, could not meet the
needs of the pupils.
It was recommended that the county
superintendent, in cooperation with the teaching and ad­
ministrative staffs of the schools in San Luis Obispo, take
immediate steps to revise the courses of study so that
apparent pupil needs can be adequately met.
Suggested weekly time allotments recommended by the
California Curriculum Study were presented.
The approximate
weekly time allotments in the San Luis Obispo and Paso
Robles elementary schools were compared with the recommended
standards.
It was found that most of the time allotments in
San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles were satisfactory.
However,
it was noted that subjects, in which achievement fell below
the ability medians, had time allotments considerably below
the standards recommended by the California Curriculum
Study.
It has been recommended to the respective superinten­
dents of schools that time allotments for those subjects, in
which achievement fell below the ability norm, be increased
to more closely approximate the recommended standard.
It was
expected that an increase in time allotment would be an im­
portant step toward an improvement of pupil achievement.
B I B L I O G R A P H Y
115
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Adams, ¥. L., "Why Teachers Say They Fail Pupils,” Educational
Administration and Supervision, 18:594-600, November, 193^ •
An enlightening article on pupil failure from the
teachers point of view and one which contributes much
to help solve the problem of non-promotion.
Ayer, F. C., and F. H. Ulrich, ’’School Progress,” Review of
Education Research, 6:164-68, April, 1936.
A fine report of pupil progress in elementary schools
in the United States.
Blose, D. T., and D. Segel, ’’School Life Expectancy of Failures
in the Elementary School,” American School Board Journal,
86:29-30, March, 1933.
A, fine article that questions the wisdom of too
numerous non-promotions.
Boyer, P. A., and ¥. ¥. Cheyney, ”ls Non-Promotion a Defensible
Policy,” Elementary School Journal, 33 •647-51, May, 1933.
An exhaustive study of non-promotion In the elementary
schools of Philadelphia that presents scientific data
about pupil failures.
J California School Code 1937, Gardiner, Robert A.., editor,
School Code, State of California, Sacramento, California,
661" pp.-—
Casewell, R. L., ’’Non-Promotion in Elementary Schools,”
Elementary School- Journal, 644-47, May, 1933.
A. survey which emphasized the variation in promotional .
practices in the United States.
Chism, L. L., ’’Classification and Promotion Practices in the
Elementary School, Elementary School Journal, 33:89-91,
A. survey of the use of annual and semi-annual promotion
plans in four hundred ninety cities.
116
Cooke, Dennis H., "A Study of School Surveys with Regard to
Age-Grade Distribution,” Peabody Journal of Education,
8:259-266, .March, 1931.A compilation of age-grade data from fifty-nine
school surveys made from 1908 to 1928 including twentyfour rural, thirty-one city, and four foreign surveys.
Egington, D. P., "Classifying and Promoting Pupils,” Nations
Schools, 1^:23, August, 1934.
An article which presents the fundamental problems
involved in the promotion of pupils.
Engelhardt, Nickolaus L., and George D. Strayer, A Report
of a Survey in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Ridgefield Press,
1937.
A recent example of the survey technique as used by
these nationally known educators.
Gilbert, Carl E., "Analysis of Pupil Classification in San
Gabriel, California,” Unpublished Master’s thesis,
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California,
1934, 190 pp.
A. fine allied study which provided valuable aids in
surveys pertaining to pupil personnel.
Heck, Arch 0., Administration of Pupil Personnel.
Ginn and Company, 1929.
Boston:
A thorough study of pupil personnel problems in the
United States. This book was of great help in furnishing
age-grade study material.
Hull, Osman R., and Willard S, Ford, Survey of the Pasadena
City Schools. Los Angeles, California: GalifornTaTaxpayer1s Association, Report 119. 331 pp.
s
-
-
•
A. comprehensive survey and analysis of the Pasadena
City Schools. This survey contributed many helpful
suggestions for the study at hand.
Jespersen, Chris N., editor, History of San Luis Obispo County.
United States of America,“l939. JIB pp.
This recent history of San Luis Obispo County provided
much of the material in this study pertaining to the early
history of the county.
117
Lindsay, J. A., "Annual and Semi-Annual Promotions," Columbia
Teachers’ College Contribution, Number 570, 1955• 170 pp.
An excellent summation of the annual and semi-annual
promotion problem.
McGinnis, W. C., "Dodging the.Blame for Failures," Journal
of Education,.117?209-11, April, 1954.
This article deals with the underlying philosophies
of non-promotion and presents valuable suggested remedies.
j
McKinney, Willie T., "Analysis of the Elementary Pupil
Personnel in Grade Placement in the Washington and
Lincoln Schools in Winslow, Arizona," Unpublished
Master’s thesis, University of Southern California,
Los Angeles, California, 1957* 124 pp.
Otto, Henry J., "Pupil Failure as an Administrative Device,"
Elementary School J ournal, 54:576-89, April, 1954.
, "Promotion of Pupils in Elementary Schools," American
School Board Journal, 87:19-21, July, August, September,
1955.
Henry J. Otto is a nationally known authrotiy on
promotion of pupils and pupil progress in the elementary
school. His writings have added greatly in this study.
Reavis, ,W. C., Adjustment in Junior and Senior High School.
New York: D. 0 . Heath ’and~Company, 1926.
This book presents excellent materials pertaining to
retardation and its many causes.
Robinson, B. B., "Failure is too Costly to the Child," Parent
Magazine, 11:22-5, January, 1956.
This article was of value in this study because it
presented average pupil failure rates in the United States.
j.
Sears, Jesse B., The School Survey.
Company, I925T 455 PP.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin
A valuable book containing recommended techniques for
making school surveys.
_______, Sacramento School Survey, Sacramento: Board of Education, 1928.
vol's-. 572 pp.
An excellent example of school survey technique.
118
iL Stratemeyer, Florence B., and H. B. Bruener, Rating Elementary
i
School Courses of Study. New York: Bureauof Publications,
(Teachers1 College, Columbia University, 1926. 193 PP.
The most comprehensive work to date dealing with the
rating of courses of study. Information from this book
provided the rating scale and other materials used in
connection with- this.study.
f
O
Strayer, George D., Educational Opportunities .in Holyoke.
New York: Teachers' College Columbia University, 1930.
479 PP.
An interesting study of survey technique that con­
tributed much toward the pupil achievement problem.
/
Stewart, L. R.,- "A Study of Pupil Achievement and Ability
In the Rural.Schools of Ventura County,” Unpublished
Master's thesis, University of Southern.California,
Los Angeles, California, 1934, 81 pp.
This thesis was of great help in the present study
because of the similarity between the two studies.
"7
/
Tiegs, Ernest ¥., Tests and Measurements in the Improvement
of Learning. Boston:" Houghton Mifflin Compan^T~^39^
490 PP.
A recent and comprehensive study of tests and measure­
ments which proved an invaluable aid to the extensive
testing program which was Involved in this study.
V
Wilson, Guy E., and Kremer J. Hoke, How to Measure, New York:
(j
The Macmillan Company, 1928. 597 pp. revised e
edition
An excellent reference for any survey involving the use
of standardized tests,.
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