Whose America

Author: Jonathan Zimmerman
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674045446
Format: PDF, Mobi
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What do America's children learn about American history, American values, and human decency? Who decides? In this absorbing book, Jonathan Zimmerman tells the dramatic story of conflict, compromise, and more conflict over the teaching of history and morality in twentieth-century America. In history, whose stories are told, and how? As Zimmerman reveals, multiculturalism began long ago. Starting in the 1920s, various immigrant groups--the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, even the newly arrived Eastern European Jews--urged school systems and textbook publishers to include their stories in the teaching of American history. The civil rights movement of the 1960s and '70s brought similar criticism of the white version of American history, and in the end, textbooks and curricula have offered a more inclusive account of American progress in freedom and justice. But moral and religious education, Zimmerman argues, will remain on much thornier ground. In battles over school prayer or sex education, each side argues from such deeply held beliefs that they rarely understand one another's reasoning, let alone find a middle ground for compromise. Here there have been no resolutions to calm the teaching of history. All the same, Zimmerman argues, the strong American tradition of pluralism has softened the edges of the most rigorous moral and religious absolutism.

Whose America

Author: Jonathan Zimmerman
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780674018600
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Explains how the process of teaching history and morality in twentieth-century America came into its current state, identifying such factors as conflicts between immigrant groups, the civil rights movement, and debates about school prayer and sex education. (Education)

Whose America

Author: Jonathan Zimmerman
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Explains how the process of teaching history and morality in twentieth-century America came into its current state, identifying such factors as conflicts between immigrant groups, the civil rights movement, and debates about school prayer and sex education. (Education)

Seeking Common Ground

Author: David B. Tyack
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674011984
Format: PDF, ePub
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The American republic will survive only if its citizens are educated--this was an article of faith of its founders. But seeking common civic ground in public schools has never been easy in a society where schoolchildren followed different religions, adhered to different cultural traditions, spoke many languages, and were identified as members of different "races." In this wise and enlightening book, filled with vivid characters and memorable incidents that make history but don't always make history books, David Tyack describes how each American generation grappled with the knotty task of creating political unity and social diversity. Seeking Common Ground illuminates puzzles about democracy in education and chronic conflicts that continue to make news. Americans mistrusted government, yet they entrusted the civic education of their children to public schools. American history textbooks were notoriously dull, but they were also highly controversial. Although the people liked local control of schools, educational experts called it "democracy gone to seed" and campaigned to "take the schools out of politics." Reformers argued about whether it was more democratic to teach all students the same subjects or to tailor curriculum to individuals. And what was the best way to "Americanize" immigrants, asked educators: by forced-fed assimilation or by honoring their ethnic heritages? With a broad perspective and an eye for telling detail, Tyack lets us see that debates about the civic purposes of schools are an essential part of a democratic culture, and integral to its future.

Testing Wars in the Public Schools

Author: William J. Reese
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674075692
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Despite claims that written exams narrowed the curriculum, ruined children’s health, and turned teachers into automatons, once tests took root in American schools their legitimacy was never seriously challenged. William Reese puts today’s battles over standards and benchmarks into perspective by showcasing the history of the pencil-and-paper exam.

Justice Justice

Author: Daniel Hiram Perlstein
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9780820467870
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In 1968, a bitter struggle broke out between white New York City teacher unionists and black community organizers over efforts to create community control of the city's schools. The New York conflict reverberated across the United States, calling into question the possibility of creating equitable schools and cementing racial antagonism at the center of American politics. A path-breaking study of teacher organizing, civil rights movement activism, and urban education, "Justice, Justice: School Politics and the Eclipse of Liberalism" recounts how teachers' and activists' ideals shaped the school crisis and placed them at the epicenter of America's racial conflict. Taking into account much of twentieth-century American history to uncover the roots of the school conflict, this book illuminates the dilemmas and hopes that continue to shape urban schools.

A War for the Soul of America

Author: Andrew Hartman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022625464X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, “There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the century’s end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity. Buchanan’s fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of America’s struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life. As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.

Write These Laws on Your Children

Author: Robert Kunzman
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807032916
Format: PDF, ePub
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Explores the elusive world of six conservative Christian homeschooling families from across the country to show what their homeschooling experience looks like, what their political and religious beliefs are, and what the kids learn about democratic citizenship and engaging with people with different beliefs.

The Death and Life of the Great American School System

Author: Diane Ravitch
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465097995
Format: PDF, ePub
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A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America’s best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch—former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum—examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril. Ravitch includes clear prescriptions for improving America’s schools: leave decisions about schools to educators, not politicians or businessmen devise a truly national curriculum that sets out what children in every grade should be learning expect charter schools to educate the kids who need help the most, not to compete with public schools pay teachers a fair wage for their work, not “merit pay” based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores encourage family involvement in education from an early age The Death and Life of the Great American School System is more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.

Reign of Error

Author: Diane Ravitch
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385350899
Format: PDF, Docs
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From one of the foremost authorities on education in the United States, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, “whistle-blower extraordinaire” (The Wall Street Journal), author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System (“Important and riveting”—Library Journal), The Language Police (“Impassioned . . . Fiercely argued . . . Every bit as alarming as it is illuminating”—The New York Times), and other notable books on education history and policy—an incisive, comprehensive look at today’s American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools. ​In Reign of Error, Diane Ravitch argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement but a concerted effort to destroy public schools in this country. She makes clear that, contrary to the claims being made, public school test scores and graduation rates are the highest they’ve ever been, and dropout rates are at their lowest point. ​She argues that federal programs such as George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama’s Race to the Top set unreasonable targets for American students, punish schools, and result in teachers being fired if their students underperform, unfairly branding those educators as failures. She warns that major foundations, individual billionaires, and Wall Street hedge fund managers are encouraging the privatization of public education, some for idealistic reasons, others for profit. Many who work with equity funds are eyeing public education as an emerging market for investors. ​Reign of Error begins where The Death and Life of the Great American School System left off, providing a deeper argument against privatization and for public education, and in a chapter-by-chapter breakdown, putting forth a plan for what can be done to preserve and improve it. She makes clear what is right about U.S. education, how policy makers are failing to address the root causes of educational failure, and how we can fix it. ​For Ravitch, public school education is about knowledge, about learning, about developing character, and about creating citizens for our society. It’s about helping to inspire independent thinkers, not just honing job skills or preparing people for college. Public school education is essential to our democracy, and its aim, since the founding of this country, has been to educate citizens who will help carry democracy into the future.