Education: Joyless, Mindless Schools

"It is not possible to spend any prolonged period visiting public school classrooms without being appalled by the mutilation visible everywhere—mutilation of spontaneity, of joy in learning, of sense of self. Because adults take the schools so much for granted, they fail to appreciate what grim, joyless places most American schools are . . . what contempt they unconsciously display for children."

Such a jeremiad is not the conclusion of a radical school reformer but of a concerned FORTUNE editor who visited more than 100 schools during a 3½-year, $300,000 study sponsored by the...

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