AMERICAN EDUCATION: A NATIONAL FAILURE by H. G. Rickover

AMERICAN EDUCATION: A NATIONAL FAILURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A continuation of Admiral Rickover's grim and gritty war with those ""series of educational illusions and dogmatic assertions that bind us in a strait jacket of egalitarian idealogy"" and which are usually called ""progressive"" or ""permissive"". The latest deployment includes the Admiral's verbatim testimony before the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, and concludes with a few shaking-everybody-up recommendations for reform. Essentially the Admiral would emulate the English system, rather than the Continental one, though both, of course, are considered superior to our own. First off, Congress should set up a National Standards Committee, a sort of continual reviewing board of our intellectual/technological courses and changes. Secondly, the committee, acting cooperatively with secondary schools and colleges, should sponsor Certificate of Education exams open to anyone caring to take them and all having a higher-pass level than anywhere else. But the real salvo comes with the proposed doing-away of the comprehensive school or what we now have, and the arrangement of multi separate schools, i.e., segregation by I.Q. Throughout the national crisis is stressed with the Admiral cataloguing many half-frightening, half-funny instances of what President Kennedy called our ""8 million functional illiterates"". But like most zealots. Admiral Rickover goes on much too long; further, it's odd to find an ""elitist"" place so much faith in committees. Still as a ""message"" book, and especially as a paperback one, it's formidable, fairly fresh and forthright.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1963
Publisher: Dutton