Excellent Article on What’s Wrong with Education in U.S.


The article is lengthy but a couple of significant points can be garnered from the following dialogue and the third to last paragraph.
The dialogue:
Someone knocks at your door.  “Hello,” says the fellow, flashing his card.  “My name is John Smith.  I hear you have a twelve-year-old boy here.”
“Yes, my son Bobby.  Has he gotten into any trouble?”
“Oh no, sir, not yet.  I am simply here to talk to him about sex.”
“I see.”
“Yes, I am licensed by the state and the school district,” he says, flashing another card, “to talk to Bobby about sex.  He is here, perhaps?”  The man elbows his way into the living room, glancing at the titles of the books in your bookcase.
“As a matter of fact, he isn’t.  He’s down by the pond fishing with his little brother.”
“A pond, fishing,” says the man, writing on a notepad.  “Unsupervised fishing at a pond.  Very well.  When may I see him?  My appointments are rapidly filling up.”
“Shouldn’t I first know something about you?” you ask, naively.  “Suppose you don’t believe the same things I believe.”
“My dear sir,” says the man, arching an eyebrow, and smiling ever so slightly, “it is not your place to know anything about me.  If there’s any knowing going on, it will be I who must find things out about you.  But really,” he continues, assuming an academic air, “the subject of sex is as scientific and precise as physics or mathematics, so that what you happen to believe about it is of no more import than what you believe about the composition of the moon, or the area of a circle.  It is a part of my work”—here he lowers his voice to something between a purr and a growl—“to disabuse young people of theprejudices their parents bring to sex.  Now then, when will your son be available?”
You hesitate.  More writing on the notepad.
“Will tomorrow at noon be all right?”
“Tomorrow at three, fine.”
You begin to close the door.  “Not so fast,” says Mr. Smith.  “There’s the little matter of the fee.”
“You mean you are going to charge me money for this?”
“My dear sir,” he beams, “recall, I am an expert.  You wouldn’t want to do your own plumbing, would you?  No, of course not.  Or prepare your own meals, except under duress?  Or provide your own entertainment?  Play your own musical instruments?  Invent your own sports?  Get together with your own neighbors to play cards?  Build your own garage?  Farm your own land?  Read your own old and musty books, and think about them by yourself?  Make love to your own wife without the aid of expert tips from magazines and pornographic videos?  Worship God with your fellow believers?”
“What’s wrong with that?” you stammer, but he snaps the notebook shut.  “I haven’t all day.  Here is my bill.  I make $50 an hour.  Sixty hours with Bobby should about do it.  If he fails, my colleague Ms. Jones will be available for remedial lessons.  Good day.”
And you give in.
The third to last paragraph:  ‘When children are ready to learn a subject, they will learn it. He tells of a group of his school’s nine-year-olds and twelve-year-olds, who suddenly announced that they wanted to learn arithmetic—all of it.  So he dug up a textbook from 1898, full of examples and exercises, and gave it to them.  Addition took two classes, he says, and subtraction another two.  The children memorized the multiplication tables, then tackled the exercises.  “They were high, all of them,” he says, “sailing along, mastering all the techniques and algorithms.”  Then they went on to long division, fractions, decimals, percentages, and square roots.  “In twenty weeks, after twenty contact hours, they had covered it all,” writes Greenberg, “six years’ worth.” 
I believe that applies as well to adults.