A few days ago my TAs mentioned that many students have to be “taught” how to read a textbook because they have never read one before. At first I thought this might be the result of a more progressive teaching strategy spreading through our high schools. I thought that maybe students were being asked or inspired to read more original sources as part of some cutting-edge project-based learning initiatives. Instead, they explained that students are not allowed to take textbooks home from high school because the schools are afraid the books will be lost or stolen. Security guards, originally hired to keep drugs and guns out of school, now also keep the books in. As a result, readings are rarely assigned and students are only asked to read what they can read in a few brief moments at school. Depressing. Can anybody confirm or deny this experience? When I went to high school in the early 90′s there were no restrictions on textbooks (and no security guards).