In the last generation, almost everything about how we communicate information and knowledge has changed. The mail we received is most likely junk mail since more important communications now are sent by email.
Fewer of us subscribe to printed newspapers because we generally get our news online or Facebook posts.
Everything has changed about transmitting knowledge; everything, that is, except our schools and universities. The classrooms are still much the same as they were in 1970.
It's true that most schools and universities now have computer labs, and some even have private student email addresses and classroom websites, but we have failed to fundamentally rethink learning in a world where information is increasingly free, searchable and available on demand.
Even the most innovative teachers are trapped in an unchanging system that passes along to them unprepared students and expects them to work magic.
The teachers' unions, in particular, are determined to impose the failing present on American students.
They exercise their power to block charter schools, school choice and other reforms that will give millions of students greater opportunity.
They imprudently resist competition, accountability and quality assurance in educating our children.
How else can you explain forcing students to endure a bad teacher for years, rather than allowing the teacher to be fired? Or forcing kids to attend schools that are failing, rather than letting them try someplace where they might have a chance to succeed?
How else could they oppose paying great teachers more than poor teachers? Or teacher evaluations that reveal whose students are learning and whose are not?
David L. Gallagher, Altoona