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October 2009

Cushing Academy, RIP

Cushing Academy, in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, looks like a traditional New England prep school. It boasts the ivied halls, the well-kempt playing fields, a venerable pedigree dating back to 1865. Like the unhappy scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, however, this bastion of respectable secondary education evidently lacks a brain.

That, as any rate, is what we surmise from the academy’s decision to do away with its library and all of its books.

Yes, you read that aright. Thomas Parkman Cushing, who originally endowed the school, was careful to stipulate that it be provided, in addition to other accoutrements befitting an educational establishment, with a “suitable library.” James Tracy, the current headmaster, finds the whole idea of a library, and the objects they traditionally contain, positively quaint. Speaking to The Boston Globe, he actually said, apparently without embarrass ...

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 28 October 2009, on page 1

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