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Number of cities.
in the method of selecting school-board members.
a board appointed by the
For tables showing
District from which elected or appointed.-It is doubtful whether anyone who has made a study of city school administration would advocate the election of school board members by wards. Election at large has in practically every instance brought about a more efficient management of city schools. The ward system has almost disappeared, and will no doubt within a few years give way entirely to election at large. In 1902, 25 of 57 cities elected or appointed school board
members by wards or III. By whom school board members districts. In 1916 there are chosen in 45 cities of 100,000 pop- are in these same 57 ulation and over.
cities only 9 in which the school board is elected or appointed by ward or district.
In practice 86 per cent of the cities of 100,000 or more population electing board members elect them at large; 11 per cent, by wards;
IV. By whom school board members are chosen in 136 cities from 25,000 to 100,000 population.
Number of cities.
and 3 per cent, by a combination of the two
In cities where the school
Graphs V, VI illustrate
Tenure. — The prevailing opinion is that school board members should be elected for a long term, so that there may not be a complete change in the personnel of the board every two or three years. A five-year term would more nearly meet with general approval than a three-year term. In practice the length of term in most cities is less
than five years. In cities of V. District from which board members in 29 cities of 100,000 or more population 100,000 or more population the term ranges from two to are elected.
six years, the median and mode each being four years. In cities of between 25,000 and 100,000 population the term ranges from two to seven years, the median and mode each being three years.
For tables giving length of term of school board members in each of the cities reporting, V1. District from which
are see pages 23–27.
ed in 107 cities, from 25,000 to 100,000 population.
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
These facts are presented in graphs VII, VIII.
Compensation. One of the fundamental principles in school administration is that school board members should not be paid for their services. With a few exceptions this principle has been adhered to by American cities. Two notable exceptions are San Francisco, Cal., and Rochester, N. Y. In the former city each school board member receives a salary of $3,000 a year; in the latter city, $1,200 a year. For the few other cities in which the members of the board of education are paid for their services, see Table 1, pages 23-27.
Standing committees.—Before the advent of professionally trained men and women for executive positions in school systems, standing committees no doubt had a place, but since school boards are employing experts in all departments a committee either has nothing to do or tries to do what the school board employs an expert to do. A business corporation or the board of directors of a city hospital would write ruin over their work if they parceled out matters of detail to standing oommittees to act upon themselves or to report upon to the board with or without recommendations. Clearly the functions of many school board committees, such as those on promotion of pupils, examinations, course of study, instruction, and teachers, must duplicate the functions of expert employees Length of term. 2 3 4 5 6 of the board. A superintendent can VII. Tenure of school board members in 43 make his recommendations to the
cities of 100,000 population and over.
Median, 4; mode, 4. entire board just as easily as he can to a committee, and every member of the board should know what the superintendent's recommendations are. If made to a committee, several plans may be discussed and only one reported upon to the entire board--the one adopted by the committee. If the superintendent makes recommendations to the entire board, each member is given an opportunity to consider the recommendations and to vote according to his own judgment. The board then legislates as a whole and not as a half dozen separate committees. This in substance is the generally accepted opinion of those who have made careful study of committee organizations of city school systems.
In practice, however, nearly every school board has several standing committees. Only 3 cities of 100,000 or more population and
Length of term. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "III.— Tenure of school board members in 133 cities between 25,000 and 100,000 population.
Median, 3 years; mode, 3 years.
only 13 cities of between 25,000 and 100,000 population report no standing committees of the board of education. In the former group of cities the number of standing committees ranges from 3 to 18, the median number being 5 and the mode 3; in the latter group the number ranges from 2 to 16, the median number being 5 and the mode 4.
The number of members on the various committees ranges from 2 to 7. In both groups of cities the median number of members on each committee is 3 and the mode 3.
It is the general practice for the school board to refer new items of business to a committee. This plan is followed by 37 of 39 cities of 100,000 or more population, and 104 of 121 cities of between 25,000 and 100,000 population. The standing committees report with recommendations in 27 of 40 of the former group and 84 of 112 of the latter group of cities. In nearly every city committees are sometimes given power to act; 37 of 40 of the largest cities, and 120 of 127 of the mediumsized cities, report to that effect.
In practically every city the superintendent of schools is required to attend school board meetings, while only 10 of 36 school boards in cities of 100,000 or more population and 24 of 101 in cities having between 25,000 and 100,000 population reporting require the superintendent to attend committee meetings. It will be noted by referring to Table 2, page 28, that some of these cities that do not require the attendance of the superintendent at committee meetings permit the committees to report to the board with recommendations or even give them power to act. Clearly if the superintendent is the executive officer of the school board, he should be required to attend committee neetings, especially where the committees report to the
14 12 13 11 10
9 IX.-Number of committees on school boards in 41 cities of 100,000 population and over.
Median, 5; mode, 3.
8 7 6 5 4 3 2
0 Number of committees.
Number of cities.