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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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Session:         Page of 763

Q:

They don't measure, in other words, teaching?

Clark:

That's right. That's right.

Q:

Somebody could have a high IQ, a high intellectual performance, two degrees and so forth --

Clark:

-- and it is a fact that, before the, you know, standards and criteria and the professionalization of the teaching profession, and the proliferation of teachers' colleges and what not, teachers did teach. Teachers taught, who came out of high school or normal school, or what not. And, as far as I know, and I don't know of any evidence to the contrary, and that's a good way of hedging this, the problem of reading retardation, or reading disability, was not a massive problem at that time. I mean, you know, there were always children who took a longer time to learn to read. But what the general public does not know, and probably does not want to know -- it would be too disturbing to handle -- is that reading retardation, to the point of functional illiteracy, if not literal illiteracy, afflicts a significant percentage of our children.

Let me give you some figures. The state Education Department has what they call a PEP program, Pupil Evaluation Program, in which they test every child in public, private or parochial school in New York state, in the third, sixth, and I think nineth grades, throughout the state. And, in our inner city schools, as many as 87 percent, nearly 90 percent of the children are below an acceptable level for their grade in reading.





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