The points I want to make about Conant in the rest of this commentary will not be devoted to the Carnegie philanthropy and its objectives, nor to the acuity of Conant’s observations on Australia or New Zealand. Those matters are best left to scholars from Australia or New Zealand like Craig Campbell. I do, however, want to offer some explanation for why Conant was so concerned with the secondary school in his Australian and New Zealand adventures, and to put that interest in the context of his own slight but meaningful encounter with public secondary education in the US, both prior to and after visiting Australia and New Zealand. Again, hubris seems to have played a role. Conant discoursed on secondary education as if he had an extended background on the topic. The truth was, however, that he had little experience in a high school, and no experience in a public high school.
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