Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 12. September 6, 1954
In the second paragraph of his letter, Mr. Beaglehole again uses unnecessary emotive methods in his attempt to state a case. We see the expression "the ill-informed public," and "headmasters too lazy to make the effort accrediting requires of them." Who are the members of this public who are so ill-informed, and about what? Who are the headmasters (If any) who are too lazy, and how does Mr. Beaglehole know this? We are not told, and no reasons are given to support these statements. The expressions would appear to have been lifted solely because of their contemptuous connotations. Later on in the paragraph we read: "Perhaps it should be explained to these gentleman that the Editor does not agree." I wonder, sir, what relation this sentence bears to a purported criticism of your editorial?
The third paragraph indicates a singular lack of common sense on Mr. Beaglchole's part. He says: "It is my impression that the only way of Judging the average person's capacity for benefiting by university study is to try it and see. . . ." This suggestion, sir, is uneconomical and impracticable. There are other ways of discovering whether the "average person" can benefit from university study, than trial and error. The "average person" has, by definition, an I.Q. of round about 100. And it is generally assumed that the aver-age I.Q. of Victoria University College students must be in the neighbourhood of 118 for them to be successful. Therefore, by intelligence tests administered at post-primary schools, and by aptitude tests administered before a university course is embarked upon, one can get a much better idea of a person's capacity to benefit from university study than we could from the method of "try it and see."
Thus Mr. Beaglehole's "impression" as to the "only" way of judging the average person's capacity for benefiting by university study, in both erroneous, unfounded and contrary to common sense. There are other ways than the system of "try it and see" "suggested by T. H. Beaglehole.