Sol Stern has a very interesting piece at City Journal discussing educational philosophy in general and reading comprehension specifically. Stern champions the work of E. D. Hirsch, Jr. and spotlights the achievements of his work as implemented in Massachusetts. This article supports a lot of what I've been reading recently at D-Ed Reckoning, where it is frequently argued that higher level skills -- such things as reading comprehension, problem solving, and critical thinking -- cannot be taught independent of robust content. The case is also well made by cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham in a recent Washington Post piece.
Good stuff all around. Maybe there's some hope on the horizon for our education system.