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They don't measure, in other words, teaching?
That's right. That's right.
Somebody could have a high IQ, a high intellectual performance,
two degrees and so forth --
-- 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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