Education: Nothing Less Than Failure

The U.S. public schools, says Historian Arthur E. Bestor of the University of Illinois, are now in the hands of "a narrow group of specialists in pedagogy [who are] utterly devoid of the qualifications necessary for the task they have undertaken." In a new book, Educational Wastelands (University of Illinois; $3.50), Bestor, a liberal arts scholar, summons his colleagues to take over the schools once again.

However great their contribution to pedagogy, the specialists are slowly throttling the intellectual content of the schools. "As a result . . . the schools are being...

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