In any society or intellectual movement there always exist those realities, often embarrassing ones, that are widely acknowledged in private but remain unspoken in public.
Since these are exactly the sort of truths that seldom appear in published books or articles, they may eventually vanish forever with the generation of individuals who recognized them, leaving future scholars grasping for the missing pieces of a historical puzzle.
Consider, for example, America’s recent difficulties with our system of elementary and secondary education, an issue that has grown so prominent on the lips of political candidates and elected officials of both parties and all ideologies. In inflation-adjusted dollars, our schools have dramatically increased their per- student spending since 1965, but the common consensus is that academic quality has sharply deteriorated. What gives here? Read more ›