E.D. Hirsch

E.D. Hirsch, Jr. is the founder and chair of the Core Knowledge Foundation and professor emeritus of education and humanities at the University of Virginia. His more recent book is The Making of Americans: Democracy and Our Schools.

Recent Articles

There's No Such Thing as a Reading Test

Real literacy involves learning about the world, not just letters and sounds.

It is among the most common of nightmares. You dream of taking a test for which you are completely unprepared -- you've never studied the material or even attended the course. For millions of American schoolchildren, it is a nightmare from which they cannot wake, a trial visited upon them each year when the law requires them to take reading tests with little preparation. Sure, formally preparing for reading tests has become more than just a ritual for schools. It is practically their raison d'etre! Yet students are not prepared in the way they need to be. Schools and teachers may indeed be making a Herculean effort to raise reading scores, but these efforts do little to improve reading achievement and to prepare children for college, a career, and a lifetime of productive, engaged citizenship. This wasted effort is not because our teachers are lazy or of low quality. Rather, too many of our schools labor under fundamental misconceptions about reading comprehension -- how it works, how...