Education: Knocking Non-Responsibles

The nation's urban public schools have lately been subjected to a tide of opprobrious criticism. In dissonant concert, such fiery critics as Robert Coles (Children of Crisis), Jonathan Kozol (Death at an Early Age) and Herbert Kohl (36 Children) have charged that the city schools are guilty of the "destruction of the hearts and minds" of children.

In a Manhattan lecture, Dr. Robert J. Havighurst assailed this angry band of skeptics as "non-responsibles" who were distorting the truth about the urban schools and imperiling reasonable hopes for improving them. A visiting professor of urban...