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What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? A Report on the First National Assessment of History and Literature


reviewed by Michael W. Apple 1988

coverTitle: What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? A Report on the First National Assessment of History and Literature
Author(s): Diane Ravitch, Chester E. Jr. Finn
Publisher: John Wiley, New York
ISBN: 006091520X, Pages: , Year:
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One of the most fundamental questions one should ask about the schooling process is "What knowledge is of most worth?" This is a deceptively simple question, since the conflicts over what should be taught have been, and continue to be, sharp and deep. It is not only an educational issue, but one that is inherently ideological and political, one that is caught up in the history of class, race, and gender relations in the United States.1 What Do Our I7-Year Olds Know? is a report based on the testing of a national sample of high school juniors. It focuses on telling us what students know and do not know, and while it is supposedly about an objective appraisal of the lamentable state of our students' knowledge of history and literature, in reality it is a continuation of the conflicts over the multiple answers to Spencer's basic curriculum question. For Ravitch and Finn, our schools are, in essence, a disaster area. The grades they would give... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 90 Number 1, 1988, p. 123-127
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 512, Date Accessed: 12/18/2017 7:55:49 AM

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