Wake Forest and the Academies, 1865-1905 443
made: it has been the poor quality of high school work in North
Carolina that more than anything else has up to the present impaired
the quality of college work in North Carolina. There are today, 1943,
about six hundred accredited high schools in North Carolina, with
15,000 graduates a year, any of whom may be admitted on certificates
to the University and most of the other institutions for higher
education in the State. The average training of these students in Latin,
French, English, mathematics and history is of poor quality. An
indication of this is that some of our colleges make a display of the
fact that they receive only students who in average grades are in the
upper third of their classes. But with poor teachers and poor students
in so many of the high schools, grades are no safe criterion of a
student's ability. The result has been that our colleges are furnished
with freshmen whose ability and power to learn are so low on the
average that progress in them is necessarily slow. Being obliged to
mediate his instruction to this low average of intelligence the teacher's
accomplishment with his freshman classes has not been great. There
is possibly some improvement from year to year in the quality of
matriculates but it is slow.
system; certainly the college has its special work also; and the more harmonious the
relations existing between them, the more exact the subdivisions of the work each
shall do, the greater the number of students our academies will furnish to the
colleges. Every reputable academy has a certain definite course of study. Students
who are allowed to enter colleges without a certificate showing the completion of
the course should not have their failure charged against the academy. Those who
have this certificate, and who then fail, are certainly witnesses against the
preparatory school. Let us be entirely just and reasonable in our conduct along this
important line."
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