The Irascible ProfessorSM

Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today

by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro
There's always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible, and wrong. ...  ...H.L. Mencken.

Commentary of the Day - Sept. 30, 2000:  Reflections on Year One:

September 28, 2000 marked the first anniversary of The Irascible Professor.  During the past year we have published more than 75 commentaries on the state of education in America, including a dozen guest commentaries that represented a wide range of views on educational issues.

We have been surprised by how well the enterprise has been received.  Even though our musings attempt to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" within the education establishment in the United States, we have received almost no angry email messages.  Instead, we have received a rather large number of thoughtful comments both from those who have agreed with the points that we have made and those who have not.  We have attempted to answer each one of these messages.

In spite of the fact that our site lacks many of the bells and whistles common to more established e-journals, we seem to have developed a loyal following of intelligent people who have a deep commitment to improving education.  On a typical day we receive more than 200 visits to our home page, and a total of some 400 or more page views.  We are now the top-rated education ezine on InfoJump, and indeed usually rank within the top ten ezines of all types on that survey.  Even though our commentaries are aimed at a relatively small segment of the population, we are pleased to note that our readership figures are strong enough to place us consistently in the top 15% on the daily surveys.

We want to thank all of our readers and our contributors for your continued support.  It is greatly appreciated!  We hope that our commentaries have helped to focus attention on the problems in our education systems, which indeed are complex.  We continue to believe that in a democracy as rich, as strong, and as diverse as ours these problems can be solved.  However, as the quote from H.L. Mencken implies, these solutions will be neither easy nor cheap.

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