Polemics & Exchanges

Education Reform

I enjoyed Christopher Sandford’s “It’s a Drag” (Cultural Revolutions, December).  With memories of a teaching career beginning in 1960 in Zion, Illinois, and continuing through Montana, Indiana, Manitoba, Washington, and ending in New Hampshire in 2001, including secondary and elementary school and a passel of college English classes, I have a slightly different take on a possible solution to the problem.

When the increasingly unquenchable need for the young to insert secular festivals and celebrations into their schools becomes uncomfortable for us ancients, let’s go to the voters with our bond issues and divvy up the school money into Academic and Celebratory.  Ballots can allow voters to assign percentages—say, Academic, 25 percent; Celebratory, 75 percent.

A community could vote for any split they want and distribute the money accordingly.  The academic contingent could take their 25 percent, buy an abandoned factory, and hold intense high-school classes between eight and ten o’clock in the morning, then send their students on to the best colleges in three years.  The celebratory folks could do whatever with the rest of the money, with the agreement that they will be politically correct up to the most stringent standards—open-minded, authentic, healthy, nonjudgmental—and...

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