American Educator: Fall 2003

  • Notebook

    The No Child Left Behind Law

    For over a decade, there's been an effort to establish in American education a system of "standards and accountability" in which standards would set forth what students should know and be able to do in each grade/subject; aligned assessments would help measure students' and schools' progress...

  • Education for Democracy

  • In Pursuit of a "Civic Core"

    A Report on State Standards Paul Gagnon

    Alexis de Tocqueville gave us a tall order a century and a half ago. He opened Democracy in America with his plea to American and French leaders alike: "First among the duties that are at this time imposed on those who direct our affairs is to educate democracy." He saw, as we now and...

  • Leaving Reality Out

    How Textbooks (Don't) Teach about Tyranny Diane Ravitch

    In the summer of 2003, I turned 65. I was born in 1938. I have seen a lot of history in my lifetime. I remember World War II. I remember rationing books, blackouts, my family's "victory garden," German prisoners-of-war behind a barbed-wire fence in Galveston, Tx., President Roosevelt's death,...

  • Freedom's Opposite

    Recommended Readings on Totalitarianism and Tyranny Arch Puddington

    To understand and appreciate freedom, it is necessary to gain a familiarity with freedom's opposite. If the 20th century was democracy's century, a time when people in every region embraced liberty and rejected dictatorship, it was also a century of brutal and insidious tyranny. It was a century...

  • Glimpses of Tyranny and Resistance

    Alan Charles Kors writes in Education for Democracy that justice, freedom, peace, and mutual forbearance are not "the normal state of things in human affairs"; they are the exception. What has the more common lot of humanity been? What understanding of the "normal state of things" has...

  • Genocide in Rwanda

    Philip Gourevitch

    For over three decades prior to the genocide of 1994, the Tutsis of Rwanda were subject to periodic massacres by the majority Hutu population. Author Philip Gourevitch explains, "This is how Rwandan Tutsis count the years of their lives: in hopscotch fashion—'59, '60, '61, '63, and so on,...

  • Reading Lolita in Tehran

    Azar Nafisi

    In 1979, Azar Nafisi returned to her native Iran to teach literature at the prestigious University of Tehran. Engrossed in her love of literature and teaching, she slowly came to understand the Islamic revolution that was gripping her homeland. In the mid-1980s, Nafisi was expelled from the...