Ponyboy Curtis is certainly the best student of all the characters mentioned in The Outsiders. In the first chapter, Pony tells the reader that "I make good grades and have a high IQ and everything." Darry scolds Pony that "you must think at school, with all those good grades you bring home, and you've always got your nose in a book." Pony apparently makes mostly A's and B's, since Darry expects him to "make sure they stayed A's."
But after the deaths of Bob, Johnny and Dallas, Pony's grades slide, and he was "lucky if I got home from school with the right notebook." He left his shoes in the locker room at school and was "lousing up my schoolwork, too."
I didn't do too badly in math, because Darry checked over my homework... but in English I really washed out... Now I was lucky to get a D on a composition.
His English teacher, Mr. Syme, took pity on Pony, and promised to give him a C for the final semester "if you come up with a C grade" on a composition theme. Eventually, Pony decided to tell "their side"--Johnny's and Dallas'--and the composition Pony wrote began, "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home..."
He's very smart and educated unlike his brothers. Which changed at the end of the book when he was failing school.
In the book "The Outsiders" we learn that Pony Boy is a smart boy who makes good grades in school. He identifies himself more as a Greaser than a student. He gets frustrated with his brother Darry who wants him to make better grades. He is always having his nose in a book, but Darry accuses him of no having "good sense."(13) Darry is concerned about his safety on the streets but does not seem to be able to relate to Pony Boy's interest in reading.
Pony Boy likes to read poetry which he shares with Johnny when they are in hiding following Johnny's killing of Bob, the Soc. He seems to crave the intellectual part of his life but is surrendering to the demands of his environment in the neighborhood of the Greasers. After Johnny dies and leaves Pony Boy a letter. Pony Boy makes a decision to turn more towards his education. He comes to recognize the power of the pen and begins to write about the experience of the Greasers and the Socs, a long standing battle. His writing is an assignment completed for his English teacher which also demonstrates a new commitment to school.