Steven Greenhut on the Real Crisis in California's Public Schools


Credit: Hakan Dahlstrom / / CC-BY

Journalistic curmudgeon H.L. Mencken once remarked that the main purpose of modern politics was to keep the public alarmed and eager to be led to safety "by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." Steven Greenhut says that a cynic might hear the echoes of Mencken after California Attorney General Kamala Harris this week released a report calling attention to an elementary-school truancy "crisis" – and asking for far-reaching measures to deal with parents who let their kids repeatedly skip school.