Inside American Education

( 8 )

Overview

Our educational establishment - a vast tax-supported empire existing quasi-independently within American society - is morally and intellectually bankrupt, charges distinguished economist and social critic Thomas Sowell. And in this top-to-bottom tour of the mismanaged institutions, cynical leadership, and tendentious programs of American education, Sowell exposes the numerous "deceptions and dogmas" that have concealed or sought to justify the steep and very dangerous decline in our educational standards and ...
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Inside American Education

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Overview

Our educational establishment - a vast tax-supported empire existing quasi-independently within American society - is morally and intellectually bankrupt, charges distinguished economist and social critic Thomas Sowell. And in this top-to-bottom tour of the mismanaged institutions, cynical leadership, and tendentious programs of American education, Sowell exposes the numerous "deceptions and dogmas" that have concealed or sought to justify the steep and very dangerous decline in our educational standards and practices across the board. Among the more serious ills of American education are the technically sophisticated brainwashing techniques now being applied to children and teenagers in so-called "affective education" programs; the special "peace" and "nuclear" education programs that actively promote "politically correct" attitudes; the "values clarification" and sex education curricula that portray parental and religious authority figures as agents of a repressive and unjust social and political orthodoxy; and the racial "mini-establishments" created on college campuses by minority demagogues and complaisant administrators that enshrine a self-serving ideological double standard, thus betraying the real interests of minority students. Sowell's exhaustively researched investigation draws particular attention to the wide array of textbooks and other instructional materials, promoted with astonishing success by a multi-million dollar industry styling itself a "secular humanist" movement, which fosters these ideas - ideas that are not just anti-American, Sowell maintains, but essentially totalitarian in character. These sinister curricular developments, combined with often cowardly and irresponsible management more concerned about institutional image and ranking than with fiscal integrity or a commitment to educate our youth, will breed disaster unless immediate steps are taken to reform the entire educational system.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The American educational system, from grade school to grad school, is bankrupt, teachers are incompetent and schools cause social maladjustment, moral confusion and alienation, according to this blistering indictment by Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is critical of values education and ethnic studies, claiming that they brainwash students. His critiques of ``research barons,'' athletic scholarships and their toll on black athletes, education fads and academia's publish-or-perish syndrome are well reasoned. But he often goes wildly askew, as when he argues that sex education causes teen pregnancy, or that dependence on federal funds causes hardship to schools, which often waste resources in their attempt to avoid any suggestion of racial discrimination. And certain of Sowell's solutions, such as discontinuing the tenure system, smack of abridgement of academic freedom. (Jan.)
Library Journal
``The purpose of education is to give the student the intellectual tools to analyze, whether verbally or numerically, and to reach conclusions based on logic and evidence.'' With these words begins a treatise on the failure of American education--elementary, secondary, and college levels--to prepare today's students for the future. Among the many causes of this failure are the poor intellectual capabilities of elementary and secondary school teachers; the politicizing of education, especially the emphasis on world-saving agendas; the affective approach to curriculum (striving to reshape the attitudes of students); and the presence of ``assorted dogmas,'' including multicultural diversity, relevance, and educating the whole person. All these causes and more are clearly discussed, with some frightening true-life examples, to illustrate that students aren't learning the basics because the basics aren't being taught. Recommended for public libraries.-- A.R. Huggins, Memphis State Univ. Libs., Tenn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029303306
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/1992
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 550,371
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 Decline, Deception, and Dogmas 1
Pt. 1 Schools
Ch. 2 Impaired Faculties 21
Ch. 3 Classroom Brainwashing 34
Ch. 4 Assorted Dogmas 70
Pt. 2 Colleges and Universities
Ch. 5 Damaging Admissions 103
Ch. 6 "New Racism" and Old Dogmatism 132
Ch. 7 Ideological Double Standards 174
Ch. 8 Teaching and Preaching 202
Ch. 9 Athletic Support 232
Pt. 3 Assessment
Ch. 10 The Empire Strikes Back 247
Ch. 11 Bankruptcy 285
Notes 304
Index 357
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2001

    Time Has Already Told. Sowell Was On The Money.

    Most of a decade has past since Thomas Sowell wrote this book, and he has once again been shown to have been a prescient observer of the lunacies to which we have become subject. Despite a few hopeful signs, little has changed in American education since 1993, and much of that for the worse. Nobody who is familiar with the academic scene today will find anything surprising in this book. Colleges and universities are still dominated by craven administrators and irresponsible and self-serving faculties. Students and parents are still subjected to patently deceptive practices that would never be accepted in commercial transactions. Tuition prices are fixed based on the data collected under the pretence of helping students qualifiy for financial aid. Worst of all, what used to pass for education (and still does in the many parts of the world where students actually acquire educations) has been almost totally replaced with indoctrination in currently fashionable ideologies and 'Dr. Feel-good-ism.' (As Sowell puts it, 'Johnny can't think.') Colleges of Education still continue to pump huge volumes of nonsense into the weak minds that enroll there, while the teachers' unions protect themselves by lobbying legislatures to uphold legal requirements for Bulletin Board Planning 101 and Advanced Barbie Doll Philosophy in order for teachers to be licensed. If you want to know why your children are finishing public school and even college without the ability to formulate a coherent thought, Thomas Sowell explains it very accurately and very thoughtfully in terms of the incentives built into the institutions that we have created. It is at least encouraging to know that we can still produce minds like Sowell's to dissect the problems so deftly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    A must read! Another example of why Thomas Sowell is such a form

    A must read! Another example of why Thomas Sowell is such a formidable adversary of Leftist elites! I highly recommend this volume for the  weight of its ideological analysis  as it tears through the rot of whats become a destructive and pernicious education system!  

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Great book, poorly edited

    Once again, Sowell delivers a solid arguement. Fans of his other books will not be disappointed by this one. However, for some reason, the e-book version I purchased seemed to have been edited by blind monkeys. There are so many typos and visual layout problems that it becomes difficult to read, which, for the work that the author does to make his message understandable to all, makes this version a crime.

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