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American Educator
Fall 1990


Table of Contents

Emerging from Dictatorship
Teachers Around the World and How We Can Help

In Eastern Europe, Latin America, and South Africa, there is new hope for freedom and democracy. But under dictatorship, teachers in these countries were badly mistreated, their unions forced underground or out of existence, their schools defunded and transformed into ideological mills. What these men and women have faced, what they do face, and how we can help them rebuild make up the contents of this special section.

Ceausescu's Schools

Nicolae Ceausescu was Eastern Europe's most savage dictator. In this interview, Catalin Croitoru, the president of Romania's new independent teachers union, describes how under this dictator Romania's schools were brutalized and ruined.

Teaching Conditions in South Africa

Black South African teachers face class sizes of over 100 and worse.

The Classroom Connection

How your students can correspond with their counterparts abroad.

Rebuilding after Pinochet

What Chile's dictator wrought and what's now ahead.

How You Can Help

You can adopt a teacher, a school, or a local union, or organize book and equipment drives.

'You're Good, but You're Not Good Enough'
Tracking Students Out of Advanced Mathematics
By Elizabeth L. Useem

Some school districts "pump" students into accelerated math sequences. Others "filter" them out. Do these tracking policies help explain U.S. students' poor math performance?

Homeless Children Come to School
By Karin Chenoweth and Cathy Free

Seven children without homes describe their lives and schooling.

A History of Us
A Children's History
By Joy Hakim

Finally, a children's history of the United States, written the way a children's history should be written—with drama, fun, and real substance. One sample chapter relates the debate between Hamilton and Jefferson, the other, a story of Boss Tweed.

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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