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A stroll through the beautiful ruins of American public education

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By Bruce Deitrick Price at Renew America


Q: What is your main feeling about K-12 education today?

A: Sadness. There is a perennial waste of energy and money, both taken in great quantities from millions of citizens. Instruction, if logical and systematic, can teach a great deal in a timely way. Instruction, if incoherent, will leave students worse off than when they started. That is why McKinsey and Company, circa 2007, concluded that American students are measurably worse each additional year they remain in the public schools. Our #1 job is stopping this waste.

Q: So what is the big sin?

A: The Education Establishment concocts new ideas that are presented to the public as panaceas, as the ultimate and final answers to better education. But what we get instead are systemic poisons, things that damage the body politic. Individual citizen sometimes never recover from these poisons. This is not hyperbole. For example, we have more than 40 million functional illiterates. Every one of them has been damaged by the poison known as sight-words. In practice, this means that many children level out when they’re only 10 or 12 or 14. And stay there for the rest of their lives.

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