Horace Mann, From Report of the Massachusetts Board of Education
1. Horace Mann begins with this description to draw a parallel with the functioning of what was at the time the current economic system. Indeed, the reader will automatically see feudalism as an unfair and extreme system. By making this analogy, Horace Mann forces the reader to also view the major flaws of their own economic system.
Leon Botstein, Let Teenagers Try Adulthood
1. Botstein believes the current American high school system is outdated and no longer well suited to adolescents. He says this because he defines high school as “artificial,” says sports in high school are overly important compared to student culture and teachers are not chosen according to the appropriate criteria… Basically, being in the system hurts adolescents more than it helps them.
2. Botstein means that high school is a separate environment that does not follow the rules of life. Everything in high school is superficial, and standards are not the same than in adult life. Popularity, insiders, outsiders… will not be maintained once one enters real life, because high school is a different game and has different rules. The way one was judged in high school will be ultimately irrelevant in life, since values and expectations change from one environment to the other.
3. Botstein wants to reform the system: start the equivalent of high school at seventh grade, and have it last four years. Students would then graduate at sixteen. From there, they could either start working, attend college, or go to a new form of specialized institutions adapted to their interests.
4. Botstein addresses a counterargument when he claims “there is nothing utopian about this idea.” The way he introduces the counterargument automatically refutes it; however, he is not immensely persuasive as he only says his idea is “practical and efficient.”
5. I think the strongest part of Botstein’s