As for reading, many parents now realize that phonics opens up the rich world of books to their children, and companies such as Hooked on Phonics offer products that make it easier than ever for parents to teach their children at home.

Another powerful and largely untapped resource that parents can use are the many full-time graduate students working toward advanced degrees, not in “education,” but in math, science, literature, history, and every other academic subject. Generally, these graduate students know their field better than many (if not most) teachers. Many do not yet have full-time jobs, so they tend to need money. Parents can use social media and other online sources to find such graduate students in their area and, at reasonable hourly rates, hire them as tutors for their children. Even if a graduate student is not local, he can conference with students anywhere in the world using Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and similar free tools.

At the college level, the influence of Hutchins and Adler has been revived at a few schools.

For example, the Great Books program at St. John’s College provides superb training in the classics of Western civilization at both its Annapolis and Santa Fe campuses. So do the programs at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, University of Chicago, and several other colleges and universities. There is even a Great Books program dedicated to promoting the foundations of freedom and capitalism—the Lyceum program at the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.

Although opportunities for and outposts of intellectual training still exist, the dominance of the same failed educational theories remains a travesty. To fight it, we must speak out at whatever level is open to us, public or private, among friends or among strangers, in person or online, via Twitter or letters to congressmen.