Article Summary: The Age of Educational Romanticism

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Article Summary: The Age of Educational Romanticism Charles Murray discusses the nature of "The Age of Educational Romanticism" in this 2008 article from The New Criterion. The author defines this age as the belief that all children who are not doing well in school have the potential to do much better. Murray characterizes educational romantics as people who believe that the academic achievement of children is determined mainly by the opportunities they receive and has little to do with their intellectual capacity. Educational romantics believe the current K-12 education system is in need of vast improvement. Murray describes two types of educational romantics, one set on the Left and one on the Right, and differentiates between the two thusly: "Educational romantics of the Left focus on race, class, and gender. It is children of poor parents, and girls whose performance is artificially depressed, and their academic achievement will blossom as soon as they are liberated from the racism, classism, and sexism embedded in American education. Those of the Right see public education as an ineffectual monopoly, and think that educational achievement will blossom when school choice liberates children from politically correct curricula and obdurate teachers' unions (Murray)." Both of these accounts fail to take into account the vast differences in intellectual ability that permeates the average American classroom. Furthermore, Murray calls the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002

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