So I finally got around to reading The Knowledge Deficit, E.D. Hirsch’s screed against the American educational establishment. I didn’t actually realize that the book was controversial until I mentioned it to a couple of people. I can’t, however, say that I’m surprised it elicited the reaction it did when it was first published; it contradicts pretty much all the received wisdom about what constitutes effective education in the United States, and it does so very, very bluntly. I can’t figure out how it didn’t get on my radar sooner.