Education: Mass v. Merit

The teachers of Philadelphia's Central High School had stood about all they could stand. "Students come to us," they angrily wrote the Board of Education, "without fundamental skills. They cannot read simple verse, or a prose paragraph in history and get the sense. They falter in simple arithmetical processes. . . ." The reason, said the teachers, was that "students assume they will be promoted without study."

Carefully Ignored. The Central High report, written seven years ago, had been carefully ignored. Philadelphia kept to its policy of promoting all pupils in its public-school classes, regardless of whether they had made the grade....

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