Vern Gambetta


This is from today’s NY Times Opinion Page. Although the article is about Mexico, it could be about the United Sates. This is a powerful statement that needs our attention as a nation. We are turning out generations of dolts who can check boxes on standardized tests and text like crazy on their so-called smart phones, but they are functionally illiterate.

“We have turned schools into factories that churn out employees. With no intellectual challenges, students can advance from one level to the next as long as they attend class and surrender to their teachers. In this light it is natural that in secondary school we are training chauffeurs, waiters and dishwashers.”

“This is not just about better funding. Mexico spends more than 5 percent of its gross domestic product on education — about the same percentage as the United States. And it’s not about pedagogical theories and new techniques that look for shortcuts. The educational machine does not need fine-tuning; it needs a complete change of direction. It needs to make students read, read and read.”

This does not bode well for the future of our society. As many of you who read this blog regularly know I am a serial bibliophile. Thank God my mother encouraged and facilitated me to read. Any success I have had in my professional life has been due to this. As professionals we need to speak out and get our leaders to recognize the importance of reading.

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