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Chester E. Finn

John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, President and Trustee of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. Mr. Finn was also founding partner and senior scholar with the Edison Project. He is on leave from the faculty of Vanderbilt University where he has been Professor of Education and Public Policy since 1981. Author of The Educated Child: A Parent's Guide From Pre-School Through Eighth Grade (1999, The Free Press, with former U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett) and many other books and articles..

Books by Chester E. Finn
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Choice in Schooling: A Case for Tuition Vouchers
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The Educated Child: A Parent's Guide
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We Must Take Charge!: Our Schools & Our Future
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Click here for an essay by Chester E. Finn
... the combined onslaught of multiculturalism, deconstructionism and relativism [on public education] has left curricular havoc in its wake, all but obliterating the civic-culture mission of public education in favor of bilingualism, individual expressionism, revisionist history and separatist literature. The primal basis of societal responsibility for education is the induction of the young into adult culture. But today's ethnically-whipsawed and politically-correct public schools largely eschew the challenge of cultural transmission, assimilation and cohesion. Though that task defines the singular mission of public education, it is precisely this mission that U.S. public schools now strenuously reject.

Sep. 1996 - from "Can the Schools Be Saved?", originally published by The Fordham Foundation
Progressivism [in education] has its virtues, especially when contrasted to the rote memorization of Mr. Gradgrind's classroom. Children learn best when their minds are engaged, the material is interesting and the teacher is encouraging. But progressivism is hard to reconcile with externally-set standards and hostile to vigorous, teacher-led instruction - the very things that disadvantaged children especially need.

Sep. 1996 - from "Can the Schools Be Saved?", originally published by The Fordham Foundation
Six out of seven [American] eighth graders were not 'proficient' in U.S. history in 1994, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), while 39 percent were unaware of even the most basic aspects of their nation's past. Even more alarming, 57 percent of high school seniors registered 'below basic' in history. These ill-informed young people are now voters.

Sep. 1996 - from "Can the Schools Be Saved?", originally published by The Fordham Foundation