Teaching America

Teaching America : The Case for Civic Education

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This book taps the best American thinkers to answer the essential American question: How do we sustain our experiment in government of, by, and for the people? Authored by an extraordinary and politically diverse roster of public officials, scholars, and educators, these chapters describe our nation's civic education problem, assess its causes, offer an agenda for reform, and explain the high stakes at risk if we fail.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 154.94 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • Rowman & Littlefield Education
  • Lanham, United States
  • English
  • 1607098407
  • 9781607098409

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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Review quote

The American experiment in self-governance relies on a citizenry conversant in American history and government process. Feith (assistant editorial features editor, Wall Street Journal) and his knowledgeable group of contributors-public officials, law and education scholars, and educators-sound the alarm with impressive clarity about the current state of American civic literacy. Their case is straightforward and without divisive rhetoric. The included essays explore the historical place of civic literacy within the American education system, look at current and past government programs intended to effect civic literacy, present snapshots of existing civic-education programs in K-12 and higher education, and consider options for the future. Verdict A well-documented case for civic-education reform articulated by policymakers, lawyers, educators, and academics who share their expertise and involvement with government programs and relevant curricula. This collection is distinctive for its breadth of coverage and the first-hand expertise and knowledge of its contributors. Highly recommended for students in education and teacher preparation. Library Journal 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. New York Journal of Books 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. -- Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian 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. -- Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone 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. -- Cory Booker, mayor of Newark 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. -- Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist and former speechwriter for President Reagan
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About David J. Feith

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