Latin Grammar in Public Education (Back to School Week)

Alston Hurd Chase, Time Remembered 2.1:

“One of my first projects was the raising of the standards of the first year course. It had been cut back repeatedly with less and less of the essential Latin grammar being covered; yet each cutback had been followed by increasing failures in the course. It was my contention that if in Revere Junior High School in 1919-1920 an ordinary Latin I class could successfully absorb the basic grammar it was absurd to act as though the select group of students at Andover could not do as much. So I decreed that we should complete the entire fundamental grammar in Latin I. We did so, and our rate of failures at once went down. This confirmed my belief that the students had been bored by having too little asked of them and I am convinced that one of the basic factors in the decline of public education in the United States since the 30’s is its underestimation of the capabilities of normal students and its failure to challenge and thereby interest them.”

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