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Myron Lieberman's latest book: "The Educational Morass"
By David W. Kirkpatrick (August 16, 2007)
Senior Education Fellow
U.S. Freedom Foundation www.freedomfoundation.us

 
        Anyone interested in education, public schools and educational reform would do well to study the works of Dr. Myron Lieberman.  Any of his eighteen books, beginning with Education as a Profession in 1956 and his latest, The Educational Morass, recently published by Rowman & Littlefield, "is about the ineffectiveness of public education in the United States today and why it is unlikely to achieve significant improvement in the absence of heavy external pressure. The reason for these conclusions and what can be done about it are the core of this book." Any of his books could serve as the basis of a for-credit course.  All eighteen of them constitute a major in education that may exceed any other single source.  The following are some comments made about Lieberman and/or his book.  The first is my own contribution:
 
         Perhaps no one has the lengthy, in-depth and varied experience with public education of Myron Lieberman. His writing is pertinent, perceptive, provocative, persuasive and eminently readable.  His unmatched experiences with, and knowledge of, teacher unions merits particular attention to that section of this volume. Some of his prior books were selected as outstanding education books in the years published.  The Education Morass merits similar recognition.
 
         Others include the following:
 
         "Dr. Lieberman stands as good a chance as anyone presently on the scene in education to set in motion some of the reforms American K-12 education so badly needs."  From the Foreword by J. Stanley Marshall, president, Florida State University, 1969-1976 and founding chairman, James Madison Institute, Florida.
 
         "Mike Lieberman is one of the most deeply knowledgeable people in our country about the workings of education today. He analyzes that knowledge from a position of independence. He is a stubborn and fearless critic of the massive follies, both right and left, both Democrat and Republican, that plague us." Larry P. Arnn, president, Hillsdale College, Michigan.
 
         "His critiques of teacher unions, school boards, and many would-be reformers are equally sharp. But he points a way out of the morass: an alliance between reformers who know that educational innovation requires free markets and those whose main interest is equalizing educational opportunity." Fred D. Baldwin, president, Carlisle (Pennsylvania) Area School Board.
 
         "When historians look back on the reform era, Myron Lieberman will stand alone as a voice in the wilderness. The thoroughness of his research, the clarity of his writing, and the objectiveness of his reasoning in the Educational Morass show why he is one of the true intellectual champions of American education. It takes courage to tell the emperor he wears no clothes."  John M. McLaughlin, founder, The Education Industry Report.
 
         "Once again, Myron Lieberman has written a book that asks tough questions and gives even tougher answers. School reform advocates as well as defenders of traditional public education will find a lot of the analysis in this book uncomfortable." Casey Lartigue, president, National Urban Agenda.
 
         "No one demolishes ‘groupthink' about K-12 reform proposals better than Myron Lieberman. This latest, much-needed assault on the false claims and assumptions that pervade much of the debate and research agenda of established K-12 education interests is a must read." Dr. John Merrifield, department of economics, University of Texas at San Antonio and a senior research fellow of the Education Policy Institute and the Sutherland Institute.
 
         "The Educational Morass is a great book which gets to the root cause of why efforts to reform or replace public education are not successful and will not be in the absence of basic changes in the goals, strategies, and tactics of supporters of education reform." Bob Williams, president, Evergreen Freedom Foundation (WA)
 
         Lieberman himself writes, "My thesis in this paper is that the educational deficiencies in U.S. education are not likely to be remedied for several years to come. The deficiencies are poor academic achievement, unacceptable levels of student misconduct, inadequate preparation for higher education or employment, racial and religious tensions, and excessive costs, to cite some of the most prominent. I shall not try to prove the existence of these deficiencies, but will assume their existence in what follows."
 
         An Internet search for "The Educational Morass" already presents more than 100 sites.  One for "Myron Lieberman" provides even more.

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Copyright 2007 David W. Kirkpatrick
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