The High School Failures eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 116 pages of information about The High School Failures.
so that 16.5 per cent of all the failures are contributed by it, without giving even the graduate a mastery of direct, forceful speech, as is so generally testified.  Strangely enough, except in the light of such teaching ends, the pupils who stay through the upper years and to graduate have more failures in certain subjects than the non-graduates who more generally escape the advanced classes of these subjects.  The traditional standards of the high school simply do not meet the dominant needs of the pupils either in the subject-content or in the methods employed.  Some of these traditional methods and studies are the means of working disappointment and probably of inculcating a genuine disgust rather than of furnishing a valuable kind of discipline.  The school must provide more than a single treatment for all cases.  In each subject there must be many kinds of treatment for the different cases in order to secure the largest growth of the individuals included.  This does not in any sense necessitate the displacement of thoroughness by superficiality or trifling, but on the contrary greater thoroughness may be expected to result, as helpful adaptations of method and of matter give a meaningful and purposeful motive for that earnest application which thoroughness itself demands.


The pupil is but one of several factors involved in the failure, yet the consequences are most momentous for him.

The pupils who lack native ability sufficient for the work are not a large number.

The high school graduates represent about a 1 in 9 selection of the elementary school entrants, but in this group is included as high a percentage of the failing pupils as of the non-failing ones.

The success of the failing pupils in the Regents’ examinations, and also in their repeating with extra schedules, bears witness to their possession of ability and industry.

In the semester first preceding and that immediately subsequent to the failure, 72 per cent of all the grades are passing, 20 per cent are A’s or B’s.  Many of them “can if they will.”

The early elimination of pupils, the number that fail, and the notable cases of non-success in school are evidence of something wrong with the kind of education.

The characteristic culmination of failures for Latin and mathematics can hardly be considered a part of the pupils’ responsibility.

Of all the failures 68.5 per cent are incurred by instances of two or more failures in the same subject.

Much maladjustment of the subject assignments is almost inevitable by a prescribed uniformity of the same content and the same treatment for all.

The traditional methods and emphasis probably account for more disappointment and disgust than for valuable discipline.


47.  Maxwell, W.H. A Quarter Century of Public School Development, p. 88.

Project Gutenberg
The High School Failures from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook