978-0-312-13474-7 / 9780312134747

Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves But Can't Read, Write, or Add


Publisher:St. Martin's Press



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About the book:

Nowhere has the flight from quality plaguing American life these days been more obvious than in our primary and secondary schools -- on the whole, the graduates seem less well-read and less well-spoken, less knowledgeable and less able to compute. In this book, Charles Sykes asks why, and lays most of the blame at the feet of the trainers of teachers, the writers of textbooks and the educational policy wonks who influence them. He convincingly shows that in many different school systems, and in many different academic fields, with the help of goofy text-books, watered-down requirements and "recentered" test grade scales, American students have come to value feeling good about a subject over being good in it. Sykes's recommended reforms include abolishing the federal Department of Education and its state counterparts, abolishing undergraduate schools of education, establishing more alternative routes to teacher certification and merit raises for good teachers. Good ideas all -- now if we can only get politicians to put them into action!

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