Imitating John Dos Pasos, a commentator on the 1950's might begin U.S.A. Revisited with the following collection of titles and text:
This is the dead land
This is the cactus landEDUCATIONAL WASTELANDS: THE RETREAT FROM LEARNING IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Americans make a distinction, however, between the school learning which increases a man's earning power and the newfangled, dangerous ideas which unsettle his thinking. "Education spoils a good field hand." . . . There's a CRISIS BEFORE US, a CRISIS IN EDUCATION. Much of the elementary and secondary schooling is little more than assemblyline processing with mechanized teaching methods and an intellectual level rarely rising above mediocrity. It's a CRISIS IN AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOLS, A CRISIS OF PURPOSE.QUACKERY IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The New Education, it seems is living, vital, life-related, dynamic, organic, bold, gripping, throbbing, creative, adventurous, rich, significant, forward-looking, thrilling, constructive, child-centered, onward- going, growth oriented, and, of course, democratic, with the variant, democratizing. The Old Education was dead, passive, meager, traditional, abortive, impotent, static, retrogressive, subject-centered, moribund, inorganic, stale, flat, backward-looking, autocratic, Prussian, Alexandrian, bookish, and/on my oath/intellectualized. HARD EDUCA- TION OR SOFT. WE ARE LESS EDUCATED THAN FIFTY YEARS AGO. EDUCATION FOR ILLITERACY.