In the interest of working parents (the two-parent-job-holding family
having become ever more common during this period), and in the interest
of social stability and the orderly management of an increasingly rootless
urban population, the schools have developed into immense teen-sitting
organizations, their functions having less and less to do with imparting
to the young those things that society thinks they must learn. In
this situation the content of education deteriorated as its duration lengthened.
The knowledge imparted I the course of an elementary education was more
or less expanded to fill the prevalent twelve-year educational sojourn,
and in many cases school systems have difficulty in instilling in twelve
years the basic skills of literacy and numbers that, several generations
ago, occupied eight. This in turn gave a greater impetus to employers
to demand of job applicants a high school diploma, as a guarantee--not
always valid--of getting workers who can read (304).