My students today are much less obnoxious [then I was at their age]. Much more likable than I and my friends used to be, but they are so ignorant that it’s hard to accept how ignorant they are. You tell yourself stories; it’s very hard to grasp that the person you’re talking to, who is bright, articulate, advisable, interested, and doesn’t know who Beethoven is. Had no view looking back at the history of the 20th century — just sees a fog. A blank. Has the vaguest idea of who Winston Churchill was or why he mattered. And maybe has no image of Teddy Roosevelt, let’s say, at all. I mean, these are people who — We have failed.And this is at Yale. So you wonder, if they never learned about Beethoven, Churchill, or Teddy, what did they learn?
I would venture to say that this is the best reason to de-fund the Department of Education.