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remarkable state of affairs and one worthy of the earnest consideration of our high school men.

The point I wish to make, however, is merely that the high schools in looking for teachers had to go to outside sources for them. During the past year Stanford University was asked to name an even score of teachers for commercial work in high schools, but has not been able to recommend a single teacher because it does not fit teachers for this work. It is producing teachers of English, history, the languages, the sciences, but not of shorthand and bookkeeping.

The first teachers of commercial branches in the high schools were graduates of the business colleges. They were brought in on special certificates like teachers of drawing and music. They could teach only their special subjects. They brought the curriculum of the business college along. It was useful, too, because it helped fill in the time of the commercial teacher.

The business college has no entrance standards. Any one who can pay the tuition may receive its instruction. It has no allied departments and no grammar grade foundation to build its work upon. Some of its pupils, most of them in fact, are deficient in the elementary subjects. Spelling,

, arithmetic, geography, history, have been introduced to enable such students to make up their deficiencies. But no business college would expect a high school graduate to take up these subjects in its classes. He would be advised and urged to devote his whole time to the essentials—shorthand, typewriting, and bookkeeping. The elaborate commercial course of the high school is based on an analogy and a false one at that.

We have cut our so-called commercial course down to bedrock-shorthand, typewriting, and bookkeeping. Let us now find a time value for these subjects. If a young man goes to the proprietor of a business college and says: “I have a good general education. I want to be a stenographer. How long will it take?” The answer will be—“ Six months at a maximum. If you are naturally quick and work hard, perhaps five months will do." And it can be done in five months. There are schools which will undertake to do it in six weeks. One of the first commercial teachers Stanford University contributed to the high school work of the state got her training in six weeks in a San Francisco business college while the position waited for her. Judged from reputation she had had a successful career. It is impossible that her work should have been truly successful, and that it is reputed so discloses the low standard by which it is measured. In case the young man should wish bookkeeping also, the maximum limit set by the business college would be eight or nine months. Of course, the business college would take all the student's time. This would represent a high school year, one-fourth of the full high school period of four years. B

But there is no advantage in giving the undivided time to these commercial subjects. They can be taken in conjunction with other subjects quite as well.

We are now prepared to translate this business college requirement of time into high school terins. The subject of bookkeeping should come first, beginning in the second year. Five sessions a week of two hours each, the equivalent of five regular recitations with an hour's preparation for each, will cover this subject in the same way that it would be covered in the business college. In connection with the writing up of the stated books, the teacher in bookkeeping will give brief drills in penmanship, in special computations, in the use of the different forms of commercial paper.

In the third year the subjects of shorthand and typewriting will be taken up. Three recitation periods, with seven additional practise periods, the equivalent of five recitations a week with an hour's study in preparation for each, will cover these subjects in the year.

In the last or senior year there will be a combination course in actual business practise for students of both shorthand and bookkeeping, the work centering in a fully equipped modern business office with all the accessories of such an office. This will take three periods a week of two hours each or the equivalent of three recitations a week for the year. The stenographers will receive dictation; transcribe, file, copy, and mail actual letters—performing all the routine duties of a stenographer. The bookkeepers will keep during brief periods an actual set of books under conditions approximating those to be found in a business office and will perform such duties of a general nature as would be expected of a bookkeeper. There will be drill in the dictating and writing of letters; bills and statements will be prepared on the typewriter. In a word this year's work will aim to make the young stenographer or bookkeeper as nearly fit for actual work as a school can do this.

In the course here outlined we have used just thirteen of the normal hours of the high school course, counting four recitations five times a week thru four years as the normal course. This time is adequate to make the average high school girl or boy competent as an amanuensis or assistant bookkeeper—all that the high school or any school can hope to do.

And here I want to call attention to the fact that it is not necessary for the high school pupil to take both shorthand and bookkeeping. They lead to distinct occupations. Either will open the way to a business career. We may therefore make a further cut in the essential time, reducing it to the five hours necessary for the preliminary year in either shorthand or bookkeeping and the three hours of the finishing year, eight hours in all, just 1-10 of the time of the high school


I am speaking here of ideal conditions. To carry thru the program here proposed would require a high grade of teaching. The teacher who is to do this must be properly trained-university trained, just as the teacher of history or Latin is. If the high schools of the state will demand such training for their teachers of commercial branches, the universities will doubtless undertake it. It is as much a part of their duty as the training of teachers in any other high school subject. The University of California has a department of commerce. It would be necessary only to introduce into it a course in actual business practise such as has been outlined here to make its graduates ready for work as commercial teachers. Such a course—I mean such as would make a stenographer or bookkeeper out of the graduate in commerce -is as essential to the training of a university man for business as the shop practise in the engineering course is to the training of an engineer.

To sum the whole matter up, eight hours out of the eighty of the high school course are sufficient for the technical training of the young business man. He should be encouraged for the rest to take the best the high school has to offer—the classics, history, literature, science, everything that will make for culture and breadth. It is said, and with truth, that the high school course of today is equal to the college course of thirty years ago. The young man who has a high school education is well equipped. But this means the classical, college preparatory course, not the commercialized substitute which is now being offered to the young business man. It is the duty of the high school to see that the young business man gets this broad education with that minimum of technical training which will enable him to find a useful place for himself in the business world.





(NOTE.—The author has had many occasions to work over material on subjects like this one, which are purely technical, and it is his experience that the subject matter is usually packed away under wrappings of verbiage and rhetoric. This article represents an attempt to strip technical facts of extraneous matter, and present them in a logical, definite manner, easy of comprehension. Such a system of presentation, if generally adopted, would greatly reduce the number of book pages devoted to any technical subject, and would, at the same time, greatly facilitate the perusal of an article. At present an author makes a careful outline for an article and then obscures it under a burden of rhetoric. The reader, in his turn, is compelled to tear away the rhetoric in order to get a glimpse of the outline. This hiding of the light under a bushel hinders the work of both parties.

An article like the following can be scanned in two or three minutes. If it contains facts of value to the reader, they can be appropriated at his leisure. If it does not contain any such facts, he may pass on to the next article. The exact character of the article is determinable at a glance.)

Until 1906 Philadelphia had a typical old style Board of Education, composed of one member from each of the 43 wards. The new school law reduced the number of members to 21, thus leaving the form of a large board. The members of the new Board were appointed, as under the old law, by the Board of Judges, so that the most prominent members of the old Board were continued in office under the new régime. As the prominent members of the old Board held over, so did its traditions and practises. The new Board is, therefore, following the general policy of the old Board. The committee organization is maintained; the modes of procedure are the same. The Philadelphia Board of Education represents, therefore, a typical large board of education and a study of its workings should show with some degree of definiteness the character of the work of a large board of education. While the deductions from such a study are not conclusive, they form one link in a chain of facts, which may easily be

From material prepared for the Philadelphia Public Education Association.

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