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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

A Weak Compromise

A Weak Compromise.

The sure sign of weakness is compromise. The weak man will not exert himself to get rid of a bad principle, but lie will attempt to satisfy his conscience by working on two principles instead of one, ignoring the wisdom which should teach him that even a bed principle carried out thoroughly is usually belter than two conflicting principles. I make these remarks in view of that extraordinary recommendation of the Conference that, whilst the results of the examination of the upper standards should he indicated as before by a numerical estimate, the same should cease to apply to Standards I. and II. In the name of common sense what is the good of this innovation? If I know anything of the working of the schools, it is in Standards I. and II. that the inconveniences of the present mode of examination are least felt. The work of these classes is both well defined, and, I think, not excessive in amount, so that the results obtained in them under efficient teachers are uniformly high. Moreover, you may be perfectly certain that the examination of these classes will be conducted on the same lines as before. Why, then, if a numerical result is obtained should it not be published? Why should not the class-teacher, the head-teacher, and the school generally get the benefit of it? I suppose this is one of those things that only a conference can understand. Experience has shown that the method can be applied to these classes easily, and, as long as it is applied to those above them, consistency demands that it should be used in these also. Our system is getting more and more complex and piebald with every change.