worth a read, a quote below.
the truth is that reading,
writing and arithmetic only take about 100 hours to transmit as long as
the audience is eager and willing to learn. The trick is to wait until
someone asks and then move fast while the mood is on him. Millions of
people teach themselves these things; it really isn’t very hard. Pick
up a fifth grad textbook in math or rhetoric from 1850 and you’ll see
that the texts were pitched then on what would today be college level.
The continuing cry for “basic skills” practice is a smoke screen behind
which schools preempt the time of children for 12 years and teach them
the seven lessons I’ve just taught you.
We’ve had a society increasingly under central control in the
United States since just before the Civil War: the lives we lead, the
clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the green highway signs we drive
by from coast to coast are the products of this central control. So,
too, I think, are the epidemics of drugs, suicide, divorce, violence,
cruelty, and the hardening of class into caste in the U.S., products of
the dehumanization of our lives, the lessening of individual and family
importance that central control imposes.