Education: Prescribed Mediocrity

Has the U.S. high school embarked on a retreat from solid learning? Absolutely, says Classicist John Francis Latimer of George Washington University. Latimer feels that he has evidence to prove his point. Among the results of a poll he took of 104 public-school systems in 44 states:

¶ The number of secondary students studying languages has dropped from three out of four in 1900 to one out of four today. French has dropped from 8% to 5%, German from 14% to 1%, Latin from 50% to 7%.

¶ In 1900 at least four out of five students took mathematics. Today fewer than...

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