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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide


Summary of results of a three year program testing
the achievement of Indian children in federal,
public and mission schools.


University of Chicago

With a summary chapter by
Ralph W. Tyler and Willard W. Beatty

J. A. Krug, Secretary

William Zimmerman, Jr., Acting Commissioner
John H. Provinse, Assistant Commissioner

Willard W. Beatty, Director
P. W. Danielson, Associate Director

Authorized by Congress

Printed at
Haskell Institute Print Shop
Lawrence, Kansas
September, I 948—3M


Charts and Graphs


  1. What the Tests Proved-A Summary
  2. Methods of Study and Interpretation
  3. Differences in Student Backgrounds
  4. Results on Standardized Tests
  5. Results on Tests Constructed for the USIS Program
  6. Facts Clear the Air
    1. The Problems Faced by Indian Service Schools-by Willard W. Beatty
    2. The Significance of this Investigation to School Administrators, to Teachers and to Students of Education-by Ralph W. Tyler

Appendix A. Construction of Special Tests for the USIS Service-wide Testing Program

Appendix B. Tests Used in the 1946 USIS Testing Program

Sample Questions
Background Information
Tests in Rural Practices
Use of Resources
Home Economics
Health and Safety

Appendix C. Administration of the Service-wide Testing Program

Manual of Instructions for Test Administration
Suggested Administrative Schedule for Grade IV
Specific Instructions
Directions for Scoring the Tests, Grade IV
Suggested Administrative Schedule for Grade VIII
Specific Instructions
Directions for Scoring the Tests, Grade VIII
Specific Instructions, Grade XII
Directions for Scoring the Tests, Grade XII

Appendix D. Scoring and Interpreting the Tests

Free Writing


Status of Children in Indian Schools

1945 Distribution of Students Tested

1946 Distribution of Students Tested

II- 1. Tests Used, April 1944

II- 2. Tests and Materials Used, April 1945

II- 3. Tests and Materials Used, April 1946

III- 1. Indian Blood

III- 2. Education of Parents

III- 3. Language Spoken in the Home

III- 4. Home Stability

III- 5. Age of Students in Relation to Grade Placement

Number of Years of School Attendance in Relation to Grade Placement

III- 6. Characteristics of Students in Different Types of Schools

III- 7. Median Achievement of Indian And White Fourth Grade Students in Public Schools

III- 8. Subject Preference

III- 9. Type of Reading Preferred

III-10. Leisure Time Interests

III-11. Academic Ambition

Evaluation of Test Items:

V- 1 General Resources Test (Southwest Area)

V- 2 General Resources Test (Dakota Area)

V- 3 Health and Safety Test (Southwest Area)

V- 4 Health and Safety Test (Dakota Area)

V- 5 Home Economics Test (Dakota Area)

V- 6 Home Economics Test (Southwest Area)

III- 1. Number of Schools Which Students in the Different Types of Schools Have Attended

Factors Which Affect School Achievement in:

III- 2. Arithmetic Computation, Grade 4, 1946

III- 3. Arithmetic Computation, Grade 12, 1946

III- 4. Reading, (Gates Basic Reading, Type D) Grade 12, 1946

III- 5. General Resources, Grades 8 and 12, 1946

IV- 1. Explanation of Legends on the Norm Sheets

Distribution of Test Scores:

IV- 2. Gates Basic Reading, Form A

IV- 3. Gates Basic Reading, Form B

IV- 4. Gates Basic Reading, Form C

IV- 5. Gates Basic Reading, Form D

IV- 6. Gates Reading, Adv. Primary, Type 1

IV- 7. Gates Reading, Adv. Primary, Type 2

IV- 8. Pressey Vocabulary

IV- 9. Arithmetic Computation

IV-10. Arithmetic Reasoning

IV-11. Pressey English-Capitalization

IV-12. Pressey English-Punctuation

IV-13. Pressey English-Usage

IV-14. Pressey English-Sentence Structure

IV-15. General Science

V- 1. General Resources, Total Score

V- 2. Health and Safety

V- 3. Home Economics

V- 4. Credit

V- 5. Free Writing

V- 6. Thorndike Handwriting Scale

V- 7. Bronxville Manuscript Writing Scale

V- 8. Penmanship-Cursive

V- 9. Penmanship-Manuscript


When the general plans far a study of the achievement of students in Indian Schools were formulated, Mr. Willard W. Beatty, Director of Education for the Office of Indian Affairs, consulted with Mr. Ralph W. Tyler, Chairman of the Department of Education of the University of Chicago, and asked the university to provide assistance in planning this project, in guiding its execution, and in analyzing the data gathered. As a result, the Indian Office contracted with the University of Chicago to furnish a coordinator for this study of educational achievement. The functions of the coordinator were to act as adviser and consultant to those in the Indian Service working on the project. During most of the first year Mr. Vernon Beggs and Mr. R. H. McCurtain worked with Mr. Beatty in outlining the aims and objectives and formulating plans. Miss Hilda Taba, Research Associate and Assistant Professor of Education in the University of Chicago was coordinator.

During the progress of this project, there have been changes in personnel. When Miss Taba joined the American Council on Education in January, 1945, the author of this report became coordinator of the project and continued with it until July 1, 1946, when he assumed full-time duties as Director of Educational Measurements for the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association, though retaining a courtesy connection with the University of Chicago. In the summer of 1945, Mr. Sharon Mote and Miss Frances Cushman took over the responsibilities in the Chicago Indian Office when Mr. Beggs became Superintendent of Education at the United Pueblos Agency and Mr. McCurtain’s other responsibilities forced him to give up direct connection with the evaluation project. From July, 1946, to January, 1947, Mr. Cyril Hoyt, Visiting Assistant Professor of Education, acted as coordinator of the project. Mr. Chester W. Harris, Assistant Professor of Education, has taken over the coordination since then.

It is impracticable to give recognition and credit to everyone who has made significant contributions to this investigation by collecting data, assisting in the construction, administration and scoring of tests and the compilation of results. The author has been particularly impressed by the unusually fine spirit of cooperation on the part of Mr. Beatty and the staff, in fact, of all who have worked directly with the selection and preparation of materials. The administrators and teachers in the Indian, Public and Mission schools, cooperating in this study deserve an expression of appreciation. It is hoped that those who have been so eager to participate in order that they might get a more objective view of the results they are attaining, will find something in this report to assist them in their continued efforts to improve their programs. The author is deeply indebted to Miss Frances Cushman who has helped in the assembly of various data. Special credit is due Mrs. Kruse and Miss Blakeslee, associates at the university, for the construction of tables and charts.

Shailer Peterson.

June 1947.



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Last modified August 14, 2006