Thursday, September 8, 2016


It is not that Chester Finn and others do not “support” student academic expository writing.

It is simply beneath their notice.

Colleges routinely complain about “book virgins” who arrive on campus never having read a book, and about poor writing skills (most have a year of remedial writing now), although the Director of the Harvard Writing Program (Expos) once said she thought HS students don’t have enough time to write about themselves (sic).

But neither Finn, nor Hess, nor Petrilli, nor Loveless, nor Hanushek, nor Peterson, etc., etc., knows, for example, whether American HS students are ever asked to read one complete nonfiction (e.g. history) book or to write one serious (nonfiction) term paper before they graduate and go to college.

Why don’t they know? Because the actual academic work of students (the main point of schooling) is beneath their notice, as they wrestle with the higher issues of politics, legislation, standards for math and basic reading, etc.

No one I could find at the Harvard Ed School reported any research interest in physics, history, literature, languages, chemistry, or any other academic subject, for which we build schools.

Our EdReform Big Domes have simply overlooked the actual academic work of students as not worthy of their attention. IMHO.

Will Fitzhugh

The Concord Review
September 2016