Bad Students, not Bad Schools

'Can America escape this third-world magical approach? In principle, little can be done -- Detroit schools reflect popular desires, and if residents choose to think magically, they are free to do so, subject to Michigan law. Nevertheless, Detroiters should recognize that if they want first-world benefits -- everything from reliable, clean running water to functioning hospitals -- then first-world education is mandatory. Detroit educators must eschew printing up diplomas to signify learning among semi-literates and insist that all students learn to read and write at least at eleventh grade level before graduating. Also, forget about "new" schools whose names alone signify erudition, nor is there any need to push the unwilling to college in the hope that the third or fourth exposure to English will bring literacy. Basic, inexpensive proficiency tests abound and can be used tomorrow.

In the final analysis, if Detroiters want to acquire prestigious-appearing degrees that signify almost nothing, they should be prepared for the consequences -- living in a third-world city where nothing works.'

- Robert Weissberg, 'Magical Education and the Slide into Third-Worldism.' Read about Prof. Weissberg's book, 'Bad Students, not Bad Schools' here.


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