The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: School Days, Then and Now

Ronald Reagan's surprising concern over the education problem in the U.S. is rooted in his own deeply fulfilling school days back in Illinois.

"I don't know how it is today," he said in an Oval Office interview last week. "It [school] was a major part of your growing-up life. Everything about it. The whole atmosphere."

He never had to be forced or enticed to learn. He never got an F. His main problems during 16 school years were diagraming sentences in grade school and trying to take part in too many activities in...

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