Gary North, an economic historian, publisher and author, made this observation:
In 1910, only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.” Today, millions have graduated, but is their education equal to sixth grade in 1910? In the best high schools, of course it is. I’m talking about the typical high school. I’m talking about the typical graduate.
My friend Bertel Sparks taught at Duke Law School for years. For his entering students, he passed out an essay on property written by Blackstone. It was from “Commentaries,” published in 1765. It was the law-book for English lawyers. He had them discuss the essay in the following class. They always had great difficulty. The essay was over their heads.
Then he would hold up the source of the essay: the Sixth McGuffey Reader. He said this exercise stomped the arrogance out of them early.
I purchased a copy of the Sixth Grade McGuffey and sure enough the passage from Blackstone is there. The entire article which is filled with interesting comparisons of American now and America in the past is accessible at: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north289.html.