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The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children

Thursday May 2006


E. D. Hirsch University Professor of Education and Humanities and the Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English Emeritus, University of Virginia & Fellow, Academy of Arts and Sciences

Every day, alarming headlines warn us about the ineffectiveness of our educational system. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy latest findings show that less than a third of college graduates (down from 40 percent a decade ago) can read and understand lengthy passages of writing.

Dr. Hirsch argues powerfully that our schools, while teaching the mechanics of reading, successfully, fail because they do not expose their students to the broad knowledge needed for reading comprehension.

Drawing on classroom experiences, pedagogical history, and current understanding of the patterns of intellectual growth, Dr. Hirsch details how American schools can serve as an antidote to poverty and to our frustrating racial achievement gap.