Two hundred and twenty midshipmen, it is reported, or nearly one-fourth of the total enrolment, are to be asked to resign from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis because of their failure to pass satisfactory mid-year examinations. The failures are reported to be as follows: First, or graduating class, 20; second, 60; third, 60; fourth, 80.
Just what the reason is for this large amount of failure, or for the action of the authorities, is unknown. Many of the midshipmen claim that it is because of the unusually severe examinations. This is denied by the instructors, who state that they were of the customary standard. The real trouble is probably traceable to the fact that the court of inquiry which investigated the scholastic methods of the academy last year recommended abolishment of the "dope" system, as it was called, and an order forbidding the use of any kind of special help followed. This help, it is claimed by many of the midshipmen, is needed by the average youth in order to get by the examinations. Others claim that the midshipmen felt, on account of the special need for officers in the navy, that they would be treated with more than the customary leniency. Moreover, the instructors have been forbidden to indicate in any way the nature of the examination.
The fact, however, that the academic board considers each case separately, gives hope to some of the young men that they will be given a further opportunity to remain in the naval service.