An indictment of the American educational system criticizes the fact that the system has discarded the traditional goals of transmitting knowledge and fostering cognitive skills in favor of building self-esteem and promoting social harmony.
Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina and grew up in Harlem. As with many others in his neighborhood, Thomas Sowell left home early and did not finish high school. The next few years were difficult ones, but eventually he joined the Marine Corps and became a photographer in the Korean War. After leaving the service, Thomas Sowell entered Harvard University, worked a part-time job as a photographer and studied the science that would become his passion and profession: economics.
Thomas Sowell graduated from Harvard University, received his Master's in Economics from Columbia University and his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.
In the early '60s, Sowell held jobs as an economist with the Department of Labor and AT&T. But his real interest was in teaching. Sowell began the first of many professorships at Cornell University, and his other teaching assignments include Rutgers University, Amherst College, Brandeis University and the UCLA, where he taught in the early '70s and '80s.
Thomas Sowell has a large volume of writing including a dozen books, and numerous articles and essays; covering a wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to civil rights and judicial activism, even choosing the right college. Much of his ground-breaking writing will outlive the great majority of scholarship done today!
Though Thomas Sowell had been a regular contributor to newspapers in the late '70s and early '80s, he did not begin his career as a newspaper columnist until 1984. In 1990, he won the prestigious Francis Boyer Award, presented by The American Enterprise Institute.
"George F. Will's writing," says Sowell, "...proved to him that someone could say something of substance in so short a space (750 words). And besides, writing for the general public enables him to address the heart of issues without the smoke and mirrors that so often accompany academic writing."
Sowell's very timely book,The Housing Boom and Bust: Revised Edition attempts to determine whether what is being done to deal with America's 2009-2010 housing boom and bust problem is more likely to make things better or worse. His examination of racism and Liberalism in Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a classic from a daring perspective rarely heard in the Black Community. Nowhere else will you read about the co-dependent relationship between "..black rednecks.. and white liberals.."
Currently Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, Calif.
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One of many in a plethora of books on this subject. Oct 25, 2009
Sowell is enjoyable to read, and offers insights that can helpful in seeing things in a new light. I appreciated this book, but since I read it a year ago I have noticed just how many books there are that say the exact same thing in just another way... too many to count. Though books like this are basic and set up somewhat of a charicature of education and public schools, Sowell's book is one of the better I have read.
This book is Thomas Sowell's indictment on the state of education in America. He is a black man that rips on affirmative action, preferential admissions, and various racial policies that became popular in the 70's and linger on today. The book was written a while ago, as you can tell by the way the discussion is framed. But Sowell provides telling insights that call the reader to question: Are the good and sincere intentions of individuals enough to compensate for the heinous consequences which result from those?
In addition to this, he talks a lot about various learning and education techiniques within our government public schools. Typically of a conservative writer of the 80's Sowell addresses "values clarification", classroom brainwashing, death education, sex education, moral relativism, etc.
He also talks about the sick and twisted schemes that college's use to dispense "financial aid". Financial aid amounts to little more than a method of basic microeconomic "Price discrimination" that sets a sliding price for students to maximize the dollar amount that the college can extract from each student. He questions the answers that college's typically give for ever raising tuitions, "Increasing Costs" "Tuition doesn't pay for the full price of an education" and also gets on the case of schools that emphasize faculty research (or also, a chapter on college athletics) over and at the expense of undergraduate education (for "prestige").
A broad and encompassing book that addresses a whole array of issues that deal with education in America. It doesn't bring you to the "inside" but it definately provides a telling, and chilling, look into the shenanigans that take place within the walls of academia.
Dangerous Source for Lay People May 17, 2009
It would be nice if there were an updated version of this book, but that might change the entire scope, given so much has changed since 1993. Most professional publishings and journals must be within 5-years of publishing to be used in thoughtful, research-based writing, so it's not likely that Sowell's book is even being used for academic purposes.
I'm not sure all of these opinions are grounded, especially since American education is blamed for just about every family problem in the world. Thank God extreme conservatists who believe public schools are the root of all evil can teach their children at home or through private schools. How do their scores compare?
SAT scores have risen drastically since the 80's, and the test itself has actually changed. Interestingly enough, universities have found through research, not just opnion, that the SAT doesn't predict success in college. Oh, wait, I forgot colleges are part of the brainwashing scam.
In addition, America educates all students, not just the intellectually elite, so we are comparing apples and oranges when we compare scores from Asian countries.
This book presents information with data that isn't exactly correct. The book could use an update. Don't believe everything you read.
"We must destroy America's children..." NEA lobbyist 1993 Mar 10, 2009
By 1993 I'd gotten so fed up with Atlanta's failing schools that I started a process to get rid of the hideous Government School Systems in GA by using a strategy to get Board of Education members elected who were not pawns of the Teachers' Unions but were committed to giving Georgia's children 'LEXUS QUALITY EDUCATION AT LOW, low, Wal-Mart prices.'
I developed campaign literature to find out if candidates for BoE positions really cared about quality schooling or whether they were Union thugs in disguise.
I was handing this literature to people at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation in Atlanta in early 1993 and had a very enlightening conversation with one of the UUCA members.
"Who gave you permission to hand out this filth," said a sweet looking, silver haired, woman who was wearing granny glasses. She looked like a movie version of Ms. Santa Claus.
I was puzzled. "Filth? If people take my literature to heart and elect BoE members who truly want kids to get a quality education in an atmosphere of love, it's Win-Win-WIN for kids, their parents and America."
"Exactly," says Ms. Claus. "We don't want America to succeed. If we destroy children in Public Schools, eventually we destroy America."
Ms. Claus must have noticed my surprised expression and added: "We don't want to destroy America's kids, we must. The US defeated NAZIs and decimated the USSR and its satelites. Trying to confront America directly is a loser. By destroying kids in (Government) Public Schools we hasten the day for change."
We talked a little longer. Ms. Claus hated the US because it was 'Capitalist.' Unfortunately, she didn't know what Capitalism was; BUT, she and many well-education, fellow UUers were willing to slaughter millions of people to achieve their goals...(Gag me.)
---'Ms. Claus' turned out to be named: "Barbara Christmas" ! and was Democratic candidate for Ga State School Superintendent a few years later and was barely defeated by the loathsome Republican Teacher Union thug, Kathy Cox. (this same Ms. Cox recently won $1,000,000 on the program 'Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?' She then donated the $1,000,000 to charity and then she and her husband declared bankruptcy and and stiffed their creditors for millions.)
I've met many other people who think as 'Ms. Claus' does, but, were not as blunt and honest.
When I went to take a break, my 'Choice in Education' literature had disappeared. I found most of it a few minutes later in a trash can.
I've got two copies of Dr. Sowell's 'Inside American Education' where he scholarly exposes what I've seen first hand.
I, also, communicated my thanks to Dr. Sowell for writing this great book.
How would YOU answer the following question:
"If you had the money to send you child to a nurturing, academically superior Private or Parochial School for $5,000 per year per child
send your child to a violent, academically inferior (Government) Public School for $10,000 per year per child,
To which school would YOU send your child?"
Most local BoE members, Barack Hussein Obama, Congressional Black Caucus, most Democrats, some Republicans, NEA, AFT...all chose the violent, academically inferior Government Public School for Your child...IF, you don't have the money to escape the Government Schools, you SOL.
Read years ago; Relevant today Jan 22, 2009
What you hear often when people are talking about education is: "So and so could get better educational reults-- if only they had MORE MONEY!" (This is a notion that has been repeated by the NEA so many times that it has taken on a life of its own.) But, Sowell, ever the person to test statements against empirical evidence has asked the question: "Is that really the case?" And from there he goes on to demonstrate that the US spends more money per capita when it comes to education than almost every place else and gets lesser results. The evidence for this goes on for quite a while (the length of the whole book), and so there is no need for me to restate it here. But the whole book is worthwhile if for no other reason than to deal with what has ACTUALLY happened as opposed to what people ASSUME to have happened in a quest to secure more money for themselves.
Every parent should read this! Nov 11, 2008
This book is a MUST read for EVERY parent! Regardless of where or how your children receive their education, the information is pertinent. The first thing that I noticed is that Mr. Sowell must provide the most extensive list of sources I have ever seen in a single book not labeled "reference material". There are nearly 50 pages (single spaced) of cited articles, books, studies, and speeches. While some may be turned off by the opening chapters thinking that it only serves to "bash" the public school system, I encourage you to read on and garner the full effect. Anyone recently graduating (since 1960!) will be shocked to recognize some of the "teaching" they received that has nothing to do with education. The invasion of our children's everyday lives by people who have agendas (whether it be shaping their "values" or simply to ingrain brand loyalty) is a serious and pervasive problem. Parents of "minority" children (or those that may be identified by University admissions as minority) should be especially interested in the chapters regarding "New Racism" and affirmative action. All parents should be aware that there are many things going on throughout the education system that undermine core values and are especially destructive to Christians. Ultimately, our children (from pre-school to Graduate school) are being taught WHAT to think, not HOW to think all at the whim of the latest politically active group regardless of forethought to future impact on our children's physical, emotional, or spiritual lives.