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LIFTING ACADEMIC STANDARDS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The statistical record of Harvard College for the year 1924-25 as tabulated in the reports of Dean Moore and Dean Greenough presents significant variations from the form. For example, whil the percentage of Seniors seeking distinction has increased in one year ten percent and in two years eighteen the proportion actually achieving it has slightly fallen off. The wish is evidently not father to the deed. The much heralded post-war renaissance of study seems at first sight not to go beyond the vaporings of a fatile ambition. If, however, the undoubted fact be weighed that the college's four-year tax on labor has become progressively more severe, then the evidence that distinction that men have held their own and men who want distinction have doubled in two years assumes a more considerable significance.

The college undergraduate apparently has an infinite capacity for doing more work. The class of 1928 provides an impressive demonstration of this new principle of education. Entering Harvard under a scholastic burden almost double that of any of its predecessors, harassed by the dismal prognostications of worried alumni, it has proceeded not only to match the old standard but to establish a new and higher one. The class of 1928 in almost every respect proved itself in the tables of Dean Greenough superior to the class of 1927.

There have been in many quarters forbidding rumblings among members of another Harvard generation who protested that they did not raise their boys to take a Ph.D. not even to enter upon the thorny path that leads to one. Unhappy casualties of the last two years have been attributed to this new, impossible standard. Providing that there be no unexpected relapses in the future, the statistics of the present Sophomore class ought to lay such bugbears forever. Cortainly the record reads plainly enough. The present exactions are not too severe. And more severe exactions, whenever they may come, probably will meet the same heightened response which never yet has failed.

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