Jon Davies (Chief Executive of Wikimedia UK) gave me a 'Schools Wikipedia' CD which I gratefully accepted along with a Wikimedia UK coffee mug, which I use for my early morning mug (thank you Jon!).
I didn't look at the disc until today, fearing what horrors there might be, but actually it is quite good. It has clearly been edited to remove the worst of the grammatical abominations. The pictures are a more sensible size so there is none of that ugly white space, and, best of all, no footnotes except where necessary. The links to the very worst article have been removed.
Yet there is one more thing of great significance. When I checked the Age of Enlightenment article, it was much better than the version of the article I criticised here. For example, I criticised the current article (permalink) as stating that the Age of Enlightenment was a movement when, as its name suggests, it is a period. The schools article, by contrast, correctly states that it is a period after all.
Sigh of relief that the corruption of our schoolchildren is not imminent, at least in this case. But why the difference? Had the mistakes been edited out by professionals? Well, probably not. A bit of research shows that the school version dates from around October 2005. Which bears out what I have always said. A lot of reasonably good people were contributing to Wikipedia around that time, then left after a wave of vandalism and trolling hit the project in 2006. The vandalism was like 'drinking water from a firehose'. This was countered by a massive increase in the number of vandal fighters, but at the same time and by that very token the project was turning from building into an encyclopedia, which requires certain skills, to protecting against vandals, as well as running a secret intelligence force that would have made Stalin proud, and this requires different skills.
Very significant that the quality of Wikipedia has got demonstrably worse over 2005-12.