The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of American Public Schools (Paperback)

The Failure of American Public Schools

By Martin L. Gross

Harper Perennial, 9780060932602, 324pp.

Publication Date: September 5, 2000



Never before have public school students been so poorly educated. On national exams, almost 40 percent of fourth graders are reading at "below basic" levels, and in international contests in math and science, our seventeen-year-olds score near the bottom.

In a shocking expose of the Educational Establishment, Martin L. Gross describes how the typical teacher is academically inferior and trained in dubious "educational psychology" and faddish "whole language" methods. Indeed, most teachers and administrators come from the bottom third of their class and are outscored on the SAT tests by their own college-bound students. The curriculum is so weak that only one in five students ever take trigonometry, physics, or geography in high school. The usual remedies-from smaller class sizes to federal aid-fail because the Etablishment is intent on maintaining both control and lower academic standards. Lucid, persuasive, and meticulously researched, The Conspiracy of Ignorance asks- and answers--the questions educators are afraid to ask. This book is desperately needed if American schoolchildren are to prosper in today's competitive world.