David P. Kauick


Gerald Grant's study of an American high school, The World We Created at Hamilton High, attempts to straddle two broad genres of recent writing on education reform. The first genre is exemplified by books by Allan Bloom, Diane Ravitch, Chester Finn, and E.D. Hirsch, and is supported by Reagan-era political pronouncements such as William Bennett's vociferous speeches against Stanford University's decision to replace its Western Culture course with a course entitled "Cultures, Ideas, and Values." The largely ideological arguments made by authors working within this genre tend to take the form of modern-day Jeremiads, heralding the decline of the American Empire. Each contains a revisionist view of the 1960s in which excellence is seen to have been sacrificed to arbitrary student demands, while "the basics" of content were let slide by wishy-washy liberal teachers.

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