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Perhaps the most striking feature connected with the list of scholars announced this morning is the large proportion of their number who prepared for College at public high schools. Last year at this time the CRIMSON pointed out that while on the average one man in ten of the entire College won a scholarship, only one in thirty of those who prepared at certain private boarding schools in New England, of which St. Mark's and Pomfret are typical, reached this rank.
This year the general average for the College is almost one in nine, while among graduates of the seven schools considered last year, Groton, Middlesex, Milton, Pomfret, St. George's, St. Mark's, and St. Paul's, the average is only one in thirty-five this year. Among the graduates of three high schools taken as typical--Boston Latin, Cambridge Latin, and English High--one out of every five qualifies as a scholar.
What must be the deduction from the figures? Obviously, that the graduates of the high schools, man for man, far outshine the graduates of the private schools in scholarship at College. The champions of the private schools may say that their graduates do not make the same effort for high scholastic standing as the high school men, and that their loss in this field is more than offset by success in the so-called "outside activities" of College. After all, this answer does little more than beg the question. "Outside activities" may be of great value in an all-round education, but when they are offered as a substitute for the essential work of College, their value is obviously overestimated.
As a matter of fact the relative success of graduates of public and private schools in scholarship at Harvard is not a very accurate method of judging the ability of these schools even in the field of developing scholars, leaving aside the question of their ability in producing useful and efficient citizens. While from 90 to 95 per cent, of the men at a boarding school usually go to college, the worst scholars along with the best, quite a different condition obtains at the high schools. There, many leave to go directly to work, while those who enter College are men of intellectual ability above the average, if they are not picked scholars. Thus while the boarding schools do not appear to be the equals of the high schools in developing students, still the difference between them is not as great as the figures might suggest.
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