Directed at Lustig and boomerang --
I think it is dead on correct as well. My students have not read enough. They do not see fallacies in the essays they read.
I use a simple, 2-page, 2-character short story by Ernest Hemingway at the start of each session of ENG 101; not because I am a fan of Hemingway, but because the story is very short and very "transparent" and a good teaching device. I tell them we will be data mining and that reading fiction is almost the same as reading non-fiction. The story is also bleak and he sets the scene well by mentioning only two colors: black and dusty black.
You would be amazed at how few understand the story. We decode it together as a group -- something they should have done in high school -- which, I tell them, gives them a tool for reading the essays that will follow.
Boomerang -- You reacted to the Texas platform and rick perry just as I did. I am very afraid and think if we recover it will take 3 or 4 generations.
BTW, my daughter applied to Reed the year that Reed and (shoot . . . can not remember the other school . . . in Chicago) were the two top drawing schools in the country. My daughter who was accepted at all her other schools was waitlisted at Reed.