1. Gross, Martin L. The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of American Public Schools. NY: HarperCollins, 1999.
In addition to being among the most recent, this is also one of the most readable books for the general public. It also offers nineteen specific suggestions for improving the schools. [See also: Notes & Quotes] [I would like to thank Dr. Sandra Stotsky, of the Harvard Graduate School of Education for referring J. Martin Rochester to me when he turned to her with questions about the teaching of grammar, and I want to thank Dr. Rochester for bringing this book (and Hirsch's) to my attention.]2. Hirsch, E.D. Jr. The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them. NY: Doubleday, 1996.
Hirsch covers some of the same ground that Gross does, but he goes into much more detail in meeting many of the objections of the educational establishment. [See also: Notes & Quotes]3. Sykes, Charles J. Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why America's Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can't Read, Write, or Add. NY: St. Martin's Press, 1995.
This is a very important book for anyone concerned with the state of education [See also: Notes & Quotes]4. Sykes, Charles J. ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education. Washington, D.C. Regnery Gateway. 1988.
Like most of my colleagues teaching in colleges, I worked in my little field, and, although I complained about the poor preparation of students, I didn't do much. ProfScam made me realize that speaking up is my responsibility. [See also: Notes & Quotes]5. Damerell, Reginald G. Education's Smoking Gun: How Teachers Colleges Have Destroyed Education in America. NY: Freundlich Books, 1985.
When I was in high school, almost forty years ago, my English teacher made fun of the education courses that he was required to take. Now I see why. Closing the undergraduate education programs would be a major step toward improving education. Damerell explains why, in great, and understandable detail. [Notes & Quotes]6. Kramer, Rita. Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers. Free Press, 1991.
For those of us who are familiar with what is going on in "schools" of education, this is a dreary book, but for people who are unfamiliar with such schools, this is an excellent introduction. [Notes & Quotes]
This border presents
Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe
1863, Oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris