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The War Against Excellence: The Rising Tide of Mediocrity in America's Middle Schoolsby Cheri Pierson Yecke
Synopses & Reviews
Radical activists do not see the American middle school as an organization to impart academic knowledge, but as an instrument through which they can force social change. Yecke, an experienced teacher and administrator, shows how these activists have implemented their plans and endangered the education of all middle school children—especially those who are gifted.
In 1983 A Nation at Risk declared, If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. How did American educators respond? In their quest to establish a more egalitarian society, middle school activists and social reformers made it clear that the middle school was not just a new educational organization, but a means promoting social egalitarianism by coercing gifted students to be like everyone else. This was nothing less than a declaration of war against gifted children.
Yecke shows that the inadequacies of our systems of research and education pose a greater threat to U.S. national security over the next quarter century than any potential conventional war that we might imagine. The achievement of students in other nations now regularly surpasses that of American students, and it will be impossible to reverse this trend within the confines of the contemporary middle school concept. Yecke asserts that it is time for the American public to reject the radical middle school movement before too much damage is done.
Book News Annotation:
Middle school reformers "viewed public schools as vehicles for covertly implementing a type of social engineering" aimed at social equality at the expense of gifted children, declares Yecke (Director of Teacher Quality and Public School Choice, U.S. Department of Education). She decries the pedagogical practices of co-operative learning that have gained some traction in middle schools and uses journal articles, monographs, and other documentary evidence in order to support her claim that "radical" activists are seeking to engineer an egalitarian society in complete disregard for "American values." Originally announced as The war against gifted children.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Examines how the American middle school was hijacked and made into a vehicle for social change.
Yecke shows how radical activists have endangered the education of all middle school children--especially those who are gifted.
About the Author
CHERI PIERSON YECKE is currently the Commissioner of Education for the State of Minnesota. Dr. Yecke was an award-winning public middle school and high school teacher before becoming a member of the Virginia State Board of Education, Deputy Secretary of Education, and Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth. She also served as the Director of Teacher Quality and Public School Choice at the U.S. Department of Education.
Table of Contents
The Growth of the Middle School Movement
Middle School Curriculum
Analysis of Beliefs and Driving Convictions
Implications for the 21st Century
What Our Readers Are Saying
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