Professor E. D. Hirsch argues that the falling SAT scores reveal the crucial fault (among lots of merely serious faults) in American education: kids aren’t required to develop language skills. Most of them aren’t, anyway. Most schools (public and even some private) have fallen for the “progressive” theories about reading and student “self-esteem” and therefore don’t demand the reading and writing that used to be standard decades ago.

The education blob demands that more students go to college, and demands various sorts of preferences so our so-called elite colleges will have “proper” percentages of students from racial groups and income classes. That won’t solve the problem of weak language skills.