The newly-formed Commission on English of the College Entrance Examination Board finished its first series of meetings here Monday. Its Chairman, Harold C. Martin, Chairman of the Committee on General Education A, said the Commission, composed of university and secondary school teachers, discussed ways to find out what the quality of English instruction in American secondary schools is, and what improvements must be made.
Martin described the group as "a response to public discontent with the quality of high school English teaching." The member colleges and schools of the C.E.E.B. have also become increasingly dissatisfied with the results of English instruction, he explained. Martin cautioned, however, "There is no proof, only a general impression, that students today read and write worse than students of 25 years ago."
The Commission will undoubtedly propose projects for bringing high school English teachers in closer contact with their subject matter, he said. The effectiveness of seminars, special summer sessions, and weekend conferences will be studied.
Another concern of the study is how new educational devices can ease the burden of teachers in an overcrowded school system. The group will also study current English textbooks and suggest improvements.
Some schools have suggested varying the number of students in different kinds of classes. Very large classes might hear lectures on general subjects, thereby freeing some teachers for courses where small groups are required, he said.
Martin emphasized that the Commission "does not want to impose a standard college preparatory curriculum on the U.S. high school."