Letter to the NY Times editor

Re “A Dead Language That’s Very Much Alive” (news article, Oct. 7):

Latin
is attracting increasing numbers of students who recognize the good
things it does to their minds. The number of high school students
taking Advanced Placement examinations in Virgil or Latin literature
has increased to 8,461 in 2008 from 5,366 in 1998.

Yet in April,
the College Board, without consulting Latin teachers in schools or
universities, announced the elimination of the Latin literature exam.

As one of my seventh graders said: “I like Latin. It feels good in my brain.”

Too
bad the College Board didn’t bother to ask either his teachers or
experts in Latin literature before they made a decision that will make
it harder for American students to take advantage of all the good that
Latin does.

Lee T. Pearcy
Bryn Mawr, Pa., Oct. 8, 2008

The writer is vice president for education, American Philological Association.

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