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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
To enter college, boys and girls take college board examinations that deal chiefly with orthodox cultural subjects.
There are exceptions. A few boys and girls from preparatory schools at East Lemonpeel and South Overshoe, where the standards are low, are admitted without college board examination. Why? Oh, just to sort of make the student body most representative of the entire country.
It is argued that these children did their best under the system available in their towns and even if they were incompetent to pass the college board examinations, college should be open to them. Then it is up to them either to make good or be told to quit college.
Now comes another system. Harvard and Radcliffe and 298 other colleges are admitting without examinations the best pupils from 30 selected preparatory schools.
Neither Boston Latin school nor Girls' Latin or any of many other excellent public schools was on the list. And what a roar went up.
The roar was unnecessary. The new system is not a slight upon any of these schools. Perhaps it is a compliment. The story is this: Educators with a new idea started a new system of education. In the 30 schools on the selected list the pupils are not given the routine and stiff training necessary to the taking of college board examinations. These pupils are educated broadly in the history of man and his achievements, his arts and skills. And considerable emphasis is laid upon current events. The purpose is to turn out an intellectually well-rounded pupil with just enough knowledge of arts and skills to give him background.
The backers asked 300 colleges to take over the best of these pupils and see whether they could weather the college courses. The implication lies that, unprepared for the college board examinations, the pupils may shine as students. Time will fell. They may flop.
Only a few will be taken, and these the best. At Harvard, for example, it will be only about 100 from the entire country. The total admitted to Harvard yearly is 1000.
So nobody suffers. Nobody is being favored. The schools not included will produce their usual number of students who will eat up the college board examinations. They have been prepared to do them.
So that is that. Boston Latin School need not declare war on Harvard. --Herald Traveler.
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