9780060932602

The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of American Public Schools

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780060932602

  • ISBN10:

    0060932600

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-10-28
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Summary

Never before have public school students been so poorly educated. On national exams, almost 40 percent of fourth graders are reading at "below basic" levels, and in international contests in math and science, our seventeen-year-olds score near the bottom.In a shocking expose of the Educational Establishment, Martin L. Gross describes how the typical teacher is academically inferior and trained in dubious "educational psychology" and faddish "whole language" methods. Indeed, most teachers and administrators come from the bottom third of their class and are outscored on the SAT tests by their own college-bound students. The curriculum is so weak that only one in five students ever take trigonometry, physics, or geography in high school. The usual remedies-from smaller class sizes to federal aid-fail because the Etablishment is intent on maintaining both control and lower academic standards. Lucid, persuasive, and meticulously researched, The Conspiracy of Ignorance asks- and answers--the questions educators are afraid to ask. This book is desperately needed if American schoolchildren are to prosper in today's competitive world.

Table of Contents

An Indictment of the Education Establishment
1(15)
The Decline of Teaching and Learning
A Tale of American Student Failure
16(23)
Domestic Ignorance and International Embarrassment
The Making of a Modern Teacher
39(32)
Weak Selection and a ``Mickey Mouse'' Education
The Debased Reading Curriculum
71(19)
Whatever Happened to Phonics?
Licensing and Certification of Teachers
90(14)
A Nationwide Sham
The Debased General Curriculum
104(25)
Whatever Happened to Geography and Trigonometry?
The Psychologized Classroom
129(20)
Counseling, Personality Testing, and Dr. Freud
Private, Parochial, and Charter Schools
149(26)
Superior Education and a Matter of Choice
Alternate Certification of Teachers
175(10)
Competition from a Brighter ``Untrained'' Cadre
Middle School and High School
185(26)
Legions of Abandoned Minds
The Teachers' Unions
211(15)
Using Schools as a Political Tool
The Establishment and the Community
226(20)
Unscholarly Administrators, Weak School Boards, and Pliant PTAs
Conclusion 246(9)
How to Reform, Rebuild, and Regain Our Public Schools
A Test of Student Achievement 255(16)
Endnotes and Bibliography 271(22)
Index 293

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