Publication date:

11 August 2011

Length of book:

220 pages


R&L Education

ISBN-13: 9781607098409

In Teaching America, more than 20 leading thinkers sound the alarm over a crisis in citizenship—and lay out a powerful agenda for reform. The book’s unprecedented roster of authors includes Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Senator Jon Kyl, Senator Bob Graham, Secretary Rod Paige, Alan Dershowitz, Juan Williams, Glenn Reynolds, Michael Kazin, Frederick Hess, Andrew Rotherham, Mike Feinberg, Seth Andrew, Mark Bauerlein and more.

Their message: To remain America, our country has to give its kids a civic identity, an understanding of our constitutional system, and some appreciation of the amazing achievements of American self-government. But we are failing. Young Americans know little about the Bill of Rights, the democratic process, or the civil rights movement. Three of every four high school seniors aren’t proficient in civics, nine of ten can’t cut it in U.S. history, and the problem is only aggravated by universities' disregard for civic education. Such civic illiteracy weakens our common culture, disenfranchises would-be voters, and helps poison our politics.
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.