Teachers: Blooming by Deception

Critics of the public schools, particularly in urban ghettos, have long argued that many children fail to learn simply because their teachers do not expect them to. That proposition is effectively documented in a new book called Pygmalion in the Classroom (Holt, Rinehart & Winston; $4.95). The book tells of an ingenious experiment involving several teachers at a South San Francisco grade school who were deceived into believing that certain of their students had been spotted as "late bloomers." Eight months later, the chil dren's academic abilities showed dramatic improvement.

The deception...