American Author, President and Chief Curriculum Officer at The Institute of Reading
I do not believe young people should be given the freedom not to learn.
For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents.
Consider what a child misses during the 15, 000 hours (from birth to age seventeen) he spends in front of the TV screen. He is not working in the garage with his father, or in the garden with his mother. He is not doing homework, or reading, or collecting stamps. He is not cleaning his room, washing the supper dishes, or cutting the lawn. He is not listening to a discussion about community politics among his parents and their friends. He is not playing baseball or going fishing, or painting pictures. Exactly what does television offer that is so valuable it can replace these activities that transform an impulsive, self-absorbed child into a critically thinking adult?
Each generation of Americans has outstripped its parents in education, in literacy, and in economic attainment. For the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach those of their parents.