Research Paper Proposal on the Dumbing Down of the American Education System

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Patrick Winters 3/20/15 Research Paper Proposal “I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.” John W. Gardner. Since the early 1980’s the United States Department of Education has pushed a mandate that required states to raise the standardized test scores of students in public schools. This headlong rush to improve the “numbers”, that so-called experts have determined is the only true measure of student success or failure, has had the effect of substantially watering down, or “dumbing down” the curriculum being taught in American public schools. So what factors are influencing this decades long trend that has educators teaching a curriculum that is often described as, “a mile wide, and a foot deep”, and will this lowering of standards in order to produce desired statistical outcomes result in American public schools producing students who are significantly less intelligent, both cognitively and content wise, than both American students of past generations and their peers from around the globe? The paper will examine this question from three different perspectives. One will be through the point of view of people like Charlotte Iserbyt, an education specialist who had worked with the department of education. In her book; “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”, Iserbyt contends that this trend towards a curriculum that stresses root memorization over teaching higher order intelligences is not a unfortunate byproduct of the emphasis placed on standardized testing, but rather a premeditated and purposeful attempt by a group of the most influential business leaders and corporations in American, in conjunction with a complicit federal government, to create a generation of citizens who are socially engineered for a

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