Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools is an illustrative work by Berliner, an educational psychologist, and Biddle, a social psychologist, unfolds the the popualr myths about American school education that are prevalent in the American society. It further explain the background of the creation of these myth and refute the popular beliefs on various grounds.He is of the view thatr since the publication of A Nation at Risk (1983), American society has fabricated various popular myths about their scholl educational system.
He further narrates the nature of these beliefs and says that there are several distinct types of popular myths i.e. failure of Aemrican school system in general, declin in the college students’ performance and the comparative failure to keep up with their fallow students in advanced European and Asian countries measured against the developed parameters, better performance of private schools as compared with public schools, too much resource allocation for education but net result is not worth that spending and threat to American future due to the failure of these public school system. Berliner and Biddle consider these allegation as mere speculations and fabrication that has no real grounds.
The arguments provided innthe books are not subjective and indivduals speculation but Berliner and Biddle’s arguments are developed by close analysis and interpretation of the data and decoding high-sounding polemical pronouncements. The pronouncements of these prominent scholars are based on quite fair assumptions and they closely assess the data to prove their points. The strength of their findings can be illustrated by the continuous advice offered to reader to aassess their findings on parameters they used for other contemporary educational critics who created the above-mentioned myths.
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At the very start, the book looks into the hidden agendas and motives of some distinguished educational critics and tries to pocate the reasons for that. The authors depict that by manufacturing some myth about the public sector school system, these scolars and intellectiauals serve the vested interests of pro-privatization groups. Berliner and Biddle further assersts in the past the assualt on public schools came from the same pro-privatization groups. They provide comprehensive data and manifest that all these attacks were repleted with fabricated myths faradulent assertions about the disadvantages of American Public School System.
Berliner and Biddle illustrates that in reality this manufactured viewpoint is an epitome of organized malevolence that only serves the interests of some vested group in the education sector.And this creationof myth has deluded American nation about the true state of public school system and their triumphs for the last two decades. The fabrication of these myths need lobbying abd subtle penetration into the minds and psychology of the Amerrican people.
Berliner and Biddle affirm that this viewpoint has been extensively propogated influential people within the govermental sector and outside, who "were pursuing a political agenda designed to weaken the nation's public schools, redistribute support for those schools so that privileged students are favored over needy students, or even abolish those schools altogether" (p. xii). Berliner and Biddle again reinforce the idea that provision of education to a diverse population on the mass scale is only possible through these public schools amd its structure is far more developed than depicted by the authors of manufactured realities.
The intial chapters reveals the deceitfuil statements about the accomplishments and aptitudes of American students. They further explores the myths associated with huge spendings on the educations and its results. It further narrates the chrateristics of public school systems that are apprehensible to the critics of public schools. These chapter further illustrates the misapprehension in the mind of general public and root causes of prevalent public dissatisfaction with public education. Berliner and Biddle discloses that these critics intentionally disregard the accomplishments of these public schools and only portrays the social and educational problems associted with these institutes.
In the proceeding chapters, the authors analyze the mtives behind these manufactured criticism and dilemmas attributed to public school system. Berliner and Biddle display that this criticism is dine in a subtle way but in response they do not put the blame of the critics and their believers but put social forces under allegations.They further appraise the suggestions of these critics for educational reforms of this system as poorply formulated ideas. The next chapter provide a cpmprehensive assessment of the real dilemmas faced by American educational system.
Considers authtentic and productive criticism beneficial for public school system in particular and American educational sector in general but they further note that criticism to serve particular interets has also long tradition in the education sector. Berliner and Biddle note that there has been a long tradition of criticizing. They not only identifies the manufactured myths but also proves these myths as fake and fabricated with the help of data collected through various means. They further seek solutions to the real problems faced by the public schools in America. This book also considers the five Bracey reports on public education published annually by Phi Delta Kappan since 1991 and the 1994 PDK/Gallup poll as essential indicators of the realities about American School systems.
Berliner and Biddle’s main focus was the manufactured crisis produced by various educational critics to undermine American Public school system and erosion of a sense of loss these manufactured myths has produced in the minds of American citizens about their educational system but thet further eloborated the various authentic criticism and suggested that the recommendation of these studies must be implemented to improve the system. They include their own recommendations in that list and says that the comiited forces together with appropriate educational research and compassion can eliminate this crisis and will mold it into success.
For the above-mentioned reasons and others, The Manufactured Crisis is an well0doumented and illustrative work that can capacitate those who committed for the excellance in American school system to work in a more productive and reponsible way.
Berliner and Biddle.( 1995.) The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools. Addison Wesley.
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