AFT - American Federation of Teachers

Shortcut Navigation:

American Educator
Fall 1997


Table of Contents

Passing on Failure
Social Promotion Is Not the Way to Help Children Who Have Fallen Behind
By Sandra Feldman

Social promotion—moving students along to higher grades before they are ready—spells disaster for everyone involved. But traditional retention is not the answer, either. We need a comprehensive approach that will head off failure well before it occurs.

Student Incentives and the College Board System
By Arthur G. Powell

With all the controversy around national standards and assessments, most people will be surprised to learn that a limited, but comparable, system was in place early in this century. Used primarily by elite private schools, the voluntary system was remarkable effective in getting even average students to work hard and aim high.

Move Over, Barney
Make Way for Some Real Heroes
By Dennis Denenberg

Ask kids who their heroes are and they're likely to name a hit parade of popular fantasy figures, movie and TV personalities, or rock stars. It's time we filled their hearts and minds with some real heroes.

Art on the Prairie (PDF)
By Edward B. Fiske

Art education shouldn't focus exclusively on "art making," says a group dedicated to expanding the discipline to include a healthy dose of art history, criticism, and aesthetics.

What Children's Poetry Is For (PDF)
By J. Bottum

What poems to choose for children? And why? And what might we reasonable hope that children may gain?

Setting Limits in the Classroom
By Robert J. MacKenzie

Draw a line—with both firmness and respect—and show your students that there are clear, consistent consequences for crossing it. Then say good-bye to explaining and cajoling, lecturing and threatening.

Articles not posted online are available. To request a copy, please send an e-mail to

Previous Issue

Spring/Summer 1997

Next Issue

Winter 1997–1998


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.

Email ShareThis

Speak Out (GEN)