The cultural literacy movement has made a point of excluding knowledge from their list that could safely be assumed to be known by the typical adult. Is this bad? What could be the harm be in making children learn some more stuff that might be good for them to know? What's the fuss about?
Leaving aside the question of children really need to know the odd assortment of things on the cultural literacy list, the issue revolves around how the movement proposes that children learn them.
Though the "how" question is very important, the cultural literacy movement does not directly concern itself with it, probably because how children learn is really of no interest to Hirsch and others. Due to their lack of concern with this issue, the model which actually will get followed is to have children memorize the items on the list. Hirsch implicitly supports this notion by again and again referring to the need for children to "pile up specific information."
Take me to the outline for the book