Education: Can You Budge the System?

In the small town of Spencer, Ind. one night last week, Hardware Dealer Richard Lewis dropped in on the school board meeting to raise a point of order. His son Timothy, 10, is an ace speller—according to the 100 grades he gets on fifth-grade tests at school. But when it comes to writing, Timothy can't spell, not even such simple words as had, they and built. Like many a U.S. student, he has learned to memorize only what he needs to know for a quiz. "I don't think I'm getting the benefit of my tax dollar when it comes right...

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