Losing The Next Generation

The U.S. has failed to address the pressing needs of its youngsters, argues noted educator David Hamburg

Dr. David Hamburg does not flinch from using strong words. The U.S., he says, is committing "atrocities" on its children. "We've already lost a substantial portion of the generation of kids under age 16," declares Hamburg, president of the Carnegie Corporation, a leading foundation in child- development research. "They're lost to drug abuse, crime and teen pregnancy, but also to more subtle corrosives like malnutrition, illiteracy and poor self-esteem."

The destruction that Hamburg chronicles in his new book, Today's Children: Creating a Future for a Generation in Crisis (Times Books, 376 pages, $25), has been inadvertent, a by-product of the social...