An indictment of the American educational system criticizes the fact that the system has discarded the traditional goals of transmitting knowledge and fostering cognitive skills in favor of building self-esteem and promoting social harmony.
The American educational system, from grade school to grad school, is bankrupt, teachers are incompetent and schools cause social maladjustment, moral confusion and alienation, according to this blistering indictment by Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is critical of values education and ethnic studies, claiming that they brainwash students. His critiques of ``research barons,'' athletic scholarships and their toll on black athletes, education fads and academia's publish-or-perish syndrome are well reasoned. But he often goes wildly askew, as when he argues that sex education causes teen pregnancy, or that dependence on federal funds causes hardship to schools, which often waste resources in their attempt to avoid any suggestion of racial discrimination. And certain of Sowell's solutions, such as discontinuing the tenure system, smack of abridgement of academic freedom.