"Nobody learning about physics reads the original Newton because there are better ways to phrase the same insights that are easier for students to digest."
I would take issue with that. The way kids are taught calculus in high school ignores everything Newton did because it's not the most efficient way to teach kids how to solve AP problems. But without going back and learning about the questions that Newton was trying to answer, you don't actually understand how calculus works even if you can do it by rote. So at best kids learn it for the test and then forget it because they don't actually understand how it works, and more likely they never really gain any ability to begin with.
Sanger's essay is in praise of school and formal education, but in fact what's taught in school is more often than not just a showy pretense of false economy. It's only when you leave the classroom and have time to really engage with the classics and other substantive works on your own that you can actually start to understand how the world actually works. Don't get me wrong, some form of formal education would be the best way to learn if it actually delivered what people said it did, but it doesn't. This whole essay is intellectually dishonest because high schools and colleges don't even deliver anything remotely close to what Sanger is pretending, at least not for the vast majority of people who go through them. But then again, Sanger has been pretty much full of shit for the better part of the decade. If you actually go through and read his original writing on this topic, it's clear that what he really wants isn't a more intellectual culture, but rather a free pass on being able to make up facts without citing any sources because he has a Ph.D.: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/12/30/142458/25