Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, or Add Paperback – September 15, 1996
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Sykes argues that educators' emphasis on egalitarianism and building self-esteem have caused an eroding of true learning in the American classroom.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I take exception with only two items in what could otherwise be considered the bible of American education: first, he flirts with the benefit of including religious values in the classroom. I strictly believe in separation of church and state. Second, his prescriptions for correction of the ills that plague education include vouchers and charter schools. History has shown that these two options do not work to improve education in our society, but do have the effect of siphoning off both the best students and the cherished dollars while leaving the difficult students and less money for the public schools to manage.
However, Mr. Sykes is near perfect in outlining the myriad reasons why education has declined. What is now most troublesome and worrisome is that our school systems are filled with educators, administrators, and teachers who know only one form of education: the dysfunctional form accurately described by Mr. Sykes twenty years ago. As a result, there is little institutional knowledge about how to teach students with an academic focus. As the older generation that put man on the moon dies off, will there be anyone left to make corrections to our schools? Will Common Core forever change the focus of learning away from the right answer and instead to the process, or will mathematically correct answers, essays that employ good grammar and spelling, and science that creates something useful ever be in favor again?
To seal the deal, I would recommend that you also read Amanda Ripley's The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way. To me, it is so simple: if something works, replicate it. If it doesn't work, get rid of it. No one should make it any more complex than that. Let's make education great. Let's build on what is proven and works, and let's get rid of failed "strategies."
Most recent customer reviews
If I read the book during the 90's, I wouldn't have believed any word of it.Read more