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Conant Will Begin Study Of American High School


James B. Conant '14, President Emeritus of the University, confirmed yesterday that he had received a grant from the Carnegie Foundation to make a two year study of the American public high schools.

Conant is particularly interested in how the comprehensive high school educates those gifted pupils who are college potential. His study will deal principally with their education in Mathematics, Foreign Languages, and the ability to write clear English.

Talking about the study, he said, "I am proposing to go out myself to see what's going on. I want to supplement my statements of four or five years ago, and find what facts I might find and see the schools that are spoken of as doing a good job in comprehensiveness and in the handling of the talented."

Conant describes the "comprehensive" high school as a school that provides academic and vocational opportunity for all the youths in a given locality while at the same time endeavoring "to create an atmosphere in which respect between different groups is engendered and the spirit of democratic living fostered." He calls it an American invention.

Before becoming High Commissioner for West Germany four years ago, Conant had written about these schools in such books as "Education and Liberty--the Role of the Schools in a Modern Society." He feels that this new study will allow him to learn about the schools' more recent problems brought about by the rising birth rate and the increased demand for engineers.

Amount Undecided

The size of the grant has not yet been decided and will depend upon how large a staff Conant thinks necessary. When contacted yesterday Conant thought that the staff would be "small."

The study will formally begin next fall. In the first year Conant plans to visit a number of high schools in different parts of the country from his headquarters in New York. The second year will be left free for studying and writing.

Conant has not yet planned what he will do with his findings. He said he would certainly use them for speeches and articles, but he did not know if he would write a long report or a book.

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