Education: Firing Wild

Today's high-school graduates are often poorly trained in the three Rs, and many are woefully ignorant of history, geography and science. Is inefficient teaching to blame? Probably not, University of Illinois History Professor Arthur E. Bestor Jr. told the American Historical Association in Washington this week. If educators have missed the target, it is because they have set their sights so low that no possible increase of efficiency can enable them to hit it. They are teaching the wrong courses; they are firing wild.

"The family, the church, the medical profession, the government,...

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