How Curricular Censorship and Textbook Selection Are Dumbing Down American Education
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Despite concerted efforts from our educators, administrators, and government, American education continues to struggle. The author of this work argues that the decline can be traced to censored curricula, inaccurate textbooks, test-driven evaluations, and increasing poverty among the student population.
Under the definition of "failure" specified in the No Child Left Behind Act, more than 80 percent of American schools could currently be labeled as failing, while the quality of American education overall and our students' performance continue to rank unfavorably against international competition. This book examines the crisis in American education and identifies how weaknesses in textbooks, teaching, and testing have created the crisis facing American education—a topic that dramatically affects students, teachers, and parents.
Author Herbert N. Foerstel exposes the textbook "wars" that began a century ago and rage on with even more venom today. His book traces the legal basis for curricular censorship that dates back 75 years; identifies the bizarre process by which shoddy textbooks have been written, published, and come to be widely accepted; and documents the disastrous effect that reliance on these materials has had on the curriculum. Foerstel also supplies a careful assessment of the current political debate over education reform and of the proposed solutions to these problems.
- Explains why weaknesses in American teaching, the history of curricular censorship, and the current political debate over education reform makes it unlikely for self-respecting authors or scholars to write a textbook
- Identifies state textbook adoption procedures that produce the "dumbing down" of curricular materials
- Describes how special interest groups wage aggressive, even violent, textbook "wars" where the students always lose
- Examines why both Democrats and Republicans embrace the worst of "education reform"