Our education system is a rousing success — if you want it to produce young people who abhor our traditions. On the other hand, if you think it should educate them about our history and institutions, warts and all, so they can lead lives as productive citizens, it is failing miserably.
A new book addresses that problem — How to Educate an American, edited by Chester Finn and Michael Petrilli. In today’s Martin Center article, Jenna Robinson discusses the importance of this book.
The book has 20 essays. One is by Princeton professor Robert George. Of it, Robinson writes, “A chapter by Robert P. George, entitled ‘What Causes—and What Might Cure—Illiberalism and Groupthink in Education?’ focuses on higher education’s role in creating our current predicament. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. His work promoting civil discourse has given him insight into the particular problems on college campuses.” George argues that colleges must once again teach tolerance, respect, and humility.
What can be done? Various authors advocate philanthropy and the need for governmental policy changes.
Robinson concludes, “Together, the book’s authors and editors articulate the great need for reform at all levels of American education and present a compelling vision of what education might look like if everyone involved — from policymakers to parents — finds the political will to do it.”