Education: Report Card

¶ In the course of questioning a 16-year-old suspect charged with stealing an automobile, Judge Samuel Leibowitz of New York City's Kings County (Brooklyn) Court discovered something about U.S. education that left him "speechless." Though the boy could spell both "dog" and "cat" orally, he could not write either. As a matter of fact, he could not write at all. Had he never been to school? Yes, indeed—he had had three terms of high school. "This," said the judge, "is unbelievable."

¶ After surveying more than 50 different communities across the nation, the...

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