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Teaching America: The Care for Civic Education

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Overview

In Teaching America, more than 20 leading thinkers sound the alarm over a crisis in citizenship—and lay out a powerful agenda for reform. The book’s unprecedented roster of authors includes Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Senator Jon Kyl, Senator Bob Graham, Secretary Rod Paige, Alan Dershowitz, Juan Williams, Glenn Reynolds, Michael Kazin, Frederick Hess, Andrew Rotherham, Mike Feinberg, Seth Andrew, Mark Bauerlein and more.

Their message: To remain America, our country has to ...

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Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education

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Overview

In Teaching America, more than 20 leading thinkers sound the alarm over a crisis in citizenship—and lay out a powerful agenda for reform. The book’s unprecedented roster of authors includes Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Senator Jon Kyl, Senator Bob Graham, Secretary Rod Paige, Alan Dershowitz, Juan Williams, Glenn Reynolds, Michael Kazin, Frederick Hess, Andrew Rotherham, Mike Feinberg, Seth Andrew, Mark Bauerlein and more.

Their message: To remain America, our country has to give its kids a civic identity, an understanding of our constitutional system, and some appreciation of the amazing achievements of American self-government. But we are failing. Young Americans know little about the Bill of Rights, the democratic process, or the civil rights movement. Three of every four high school seniors aren’t proficient in civics, nine of ten can’t cut it in U.S. history, and the problem is only aggravated by universities' disregard for civic education. Such civic illiteracy weakens our common culture, disenfranchises would-be voters, and helps poison our politics.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Journal of Books
David Feith, an assistant editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal and twice recipient of the Robert L. Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal, has brought together an esteemed group of seminal thinkers. These men and women substantially hold to the tenet that America has to give its children a sense of civic identity along with a fundamental understanding of our American constitutional system. The essays collected by Feith address several significant issues, including the democratic purpose of education, assimilation, leadership, civil liberties in the digital age, and indoctrination—all of which are of major concern. The mixture presents a whirlwind—no, a cyclonic vortex—of exemplary thought by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Juan Williams, Alan M. Dershowitz, Senators Jon Kyl and Bob Graham, Admiral Mike Ratliff, and Peter Levine—22 in all. Levine’s comment in his “Letter to President Obama” should make everyone stop and take notice....But Glenn Harlan Reynolds’s closing statement in the preceding essay, “Education vs. Indoctrination” is the real clincher.
Jon Meacham
The past is critical to the future—a commonplace observation that would not be notable if the findings in this important book had turned out differently. As it is, Teaching America chronicles the nation’s civics deficit, arguing eloquently and sensibly for a renewed commitment to education about public life... This book and this project are excellent places to begin.
Geoffrey Canada
We need to heed the voices in this essential book. If America is going to continue to be a powerful force for good in the world, we must repair our public education system and cultivate citizens that have the tools and ideals necessary to ensure the success of our great experiment in democracy. Teaching America tells us how.
Cory Booker
The greatest threat to the future of American democracy is our failure to educate every child. In Newark and cities across this country, the problems described in Teaching America are plain to see: inadequate civic education has left many students on the margins of our democracy, unable to benefit from or contribute to its wealth and growth. Fortunately, Teaching America offers a vital blueprint for how public leaders, educators, and parents can empower our students, help them realize their genius, and strengthen our nation.
Peggy Noonan
It's hard to think of a more important subject than the one this book tackles with such clarity, power, and creativity: how to preserve American history so that all we've been, and all we mean to be, will continue to hold us together as a nation. A generation ago, President Reagan warned of 'an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.' This book both reflects and adds fresh documentation to that warning. And its great contribution is that it offers some bracing suggestions on what to do about it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607098409
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 8/11/2011
  • Series: New Frontiers in Education Series
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Feith is an assistant editorial features editor at The Wall Street Journal and directs the Civic Education Initiative.
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Table of Contents

Preface: Keeping the Republic
Introduction: Civic Education, Devalued
Part I: Making the Case
1. The Democratic Purpose of Education: From the Founders to Horace Mann to Today
2. Safeguarding American Exceptionalism: An Uninformed Citizenry Risks Ceding Excessive Power to Government
3.The Right to Know Your Rights: Civic Literacy, the Miranda Warnings, and Me
4. My Immigrant Tale: Assimilation and the Road to Success
Part II: From the White House to the Statehouse—Policymakers' Lessons Learned
5. Civic Nation: My White House Mission After 9/11
6. Civic Literacy and No Child Left Behind: A Lesson in the Limits of Government Power
7. A Failure of Leadership: The Duty of Politicians and Universities to Salvage Citizenship
8.Forgetting MLK's Dream: How Politics Threatens America's Civil Rights Memory
9. Revolutionary Ignorance: What Do Americans Know of the Original Tea Party?
10. Core Curriculum: How to Tackle General Illiteracy and Civic Illiteracy at the Same Time
Part III: In the Classroom—What Works, What Doesn't
11. Fighting Civic Malpractice: How a Harlem Charter School Network Closes the Civic Achievement Gap
12. The KIPP Approach: Be the Change You Wish to See in the World
13.The Wisdom of 20,000 Teachers: Strengthen State Requirements, Stop Marginalizing the Founders
14. Teaching Political Sophistication: On Self-Interest and the Common Good
Part IV: Among the Ivory Towers—Fighting Civic Neglect in Higher Education
15.Good History and Good Citizens: Howard Zinn, Woodrow Wilson, and the Historian's Purpose
16.Talk is Cheap: The University and the National Project, A History
17.Don't Believe the Hype: Young Voters Are Still Disengaged, and Universities Have Few Incentives to Fix It
18. Donor Intent: Strategic Philanthropy and Civic Education on Campus
Part V: A Vision for the Twenty-First Century
19. After the Digital Explosion: Education and the Threat to Civil Liberties in the Internet Age
20. How School Choice Enhances Civic Health: Vouchers and Informed Politics
21. Education vs. Indoctrination: What Separates Sound Policy from State Overreach?
22. Letter to President Obama: A Policy Approach for the Federal Government
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