So far we have had in our evening educational classes about 5,000 boys and most of them have simply studied mechanical drawing or the commercial branches. There are those who maintain that because the night schools offer opportunities along this line the young men should be compelled to go there, but it is a difficult problem to persuade them to attend such schools.
Futhermore, after they have enrolled, their attendance is very irregular. In one of the large evening schools in New York City 2,000 men were enrolled to attend four class sessions a week during this winter. Ten per cent of them failed to return for the second session, and thirty per cent of them dropped out within three months.
The public evening schools fail to attract students for certain definite reasons. (1) The students van' too greatly in ages: young boys and mature men work side by side. (2) Primarily because of the size of the classes, there is a lack of private instruction. (3) The instruction is too theoretical: it is modeled from the day school plan. A young man enters the evening school for specific knowledge that should be given him in the very shortest time and as practically as possible. To ask a man to spend weeks in preliminary study before giving him the thing he really wants is discouraging.