The Public Interest

Inside the teachers’ culture

Rita Kramer

Winter 1997

ONE of the clear victories of the Left in its effort to remake American society has been the transformation of the nation’s schools. Once charged with the task of transmitting a common culture and imparting the skills required to understand that culture, participate in it, and extend it, the schools have been redefined as agencies of social change. The emphasis today is on “’self-esteem” and “self-discovery.” Missing from children’s curricula is intellectual challenge, whether in science, mathematics, literature, or the arts. Also missing is the study of what used to be called civics, as well as what used to be called history. They have been replaced by “social studies,” with the emphasis on the social rather than on study.

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