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The Education Issue

In our fear about what will happen if every child doesn't know the quadratic formula by heart, we've created a far more damning problem: We've taken all the fun out of learning.


It's easy to shake your head at the oft-repeated statistics about how many kids don't know what a verb is, or can't find the United States on a map. But in our fear about what will happen if every child doesn't know the quadratic formula by heart, we've created a far more damning problem: We've taken all the fun out of learning. And when learning isn't fun, it's easy for kids to find things to do that are more appealing than sitting in school.There are countless educators across the country doing hero's work. But if they're going to change the prevailing slide in American education, they need more support. We'd all agree that fear is a lousy guiding principle. Yet we have been so afraid of failure, we've stopped trying to succeed. That isn't working. It's time to go back to school.

Education features from this issue:

School WarsPublic education is nearing a breaking point. GARY STAGER assesses the players struggling to revitalize the system, and explains why all of them are failing.The FixerWhy is one black man trying to end affirmative action? ADAM MATTHEWS chronicles Ward Connerly's education crusade.Affirmative Action: A HistoryFrom Kennedy's executive order 10925 to 2006's Michigan Civil Rights Initiative: GOOD chronicles the struggle for fairness in education.Fall Down, Go BoomMORGAN CLENDANIEL rummages through the wasteland of contemporary playgrounds and finds some promising-and dangerous-innovations.
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