Retired English professor Joseph N. Bell from UC Irvine offered his opinion on Sept. 27. Prof. Bell indicated that he would probably be teaching remedial English to a fair number of "ace" students if he had not retired from the classroom. He then told of an Irvine student who was enrolled in his English class during her senior year in high school.
While Prof. Bell agreed that high school teachers have too many students, too many classes, and too many papers to grade, he also indicated Irvine was "training" rather than "educating" students. He said: "I've been increasingly getting students at UCI who don't know basic grammar, are hard-pressed to write a single clear expository sentence, and tend to think in global generalities rather than tough specifics."
In response to Prof. Bell, I decided to use tough specifics from "First Year Performance of Freshmen Entering the University of California, Fall of 1985," rather than talk in global generalities. According to the report, 23 University High School graduates enrolled at UCI in the fall of 1985. The report revealed that University High School graduates exceeded the UCI freshman class in meeting the Subject A requirement, the Scholastic Aptitude Test verbal and math scores, the English composition test, the UCI freshman grade point average, and scored .37 points higher in their UCI classes. UHS graduates earned 10 A's, 19 Bs, and 13 Cs in UCI English classes. No UHS students earned Ds or Fs.