The Brookings Institute has said that the materials we give children to read are as important as the teacher. That may be overstating things, but even in the worse inner-city environments, some children, given good books will learn. We don't give them enthralling textbooks. Then we wonder why they don't want to read.
How can we solve the problem? Eliminate adoptions where everyone in a city reads the same book. Those adoptions are windfalls for a few publishers who, even if intentions are good, won't try anything innovative when the stakes are huge. (more…)