We publish this morning very brief reports of speeches made by Presidents Porter and Eliot before the "Massachusetts Classical and High School Teachers Association." The reports are worth reading, for they give evidence of how alive American educators are becoming to the necessity of greater co-operation. In education, as in everything else, co-operation seems to be the key-note of success. The plan which President Eliot proposes of having a general board, representing all the colleges interested, to have charge of the preparation and marking of examination papers in all cases when subjects and limits can be agreed upon, is not without weight, and, if carried out, would in a large measure obviate the present evil of diversity in nominal and actual requisitions for admission. Under the present regime, examinations are more easily passed at one college than at another, either because the papers are easier in themselves or because they are more easily marked. As long as this diversity in admission exists, the value of a degree at one college must be greater than its value at another. This ought not to be, for it obliges the graduate to carry that invidious addition to his degrees, namely the name of the college where he got it; and such distinction, as long as it exists, can hardly be said to be for the best interests of education. The same remarks apply to certificates of admission as well as to certificates of graduation. Of course it is not desirable to lower the present high standard of some college to an equality with the standards of others, but rather to raise the lower standards. While such a change might affect with injury the prosperity of the high-standard colleges, yet to the colleges at large it would be a benefit, and, of course, general good is always to be preferred to particular good.
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May 06, 2017