Author: Bruce Deitrick Price   
Publisher: Word-Wise Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4392-3035-0

Click Here To Purchase The Education Enigma: What Happened To American Education

Bruce D. Price, author of The Education Enigma, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, but now resides in Manhattan. (2009, p.136) He was educated at Norfolk Academy, spent two years in the Army, and later graduated with honors in English Literature from Princeton University. Mr. Price has penned five books of various genres and also fancies himself an artist. More information can be found about Bruce Deitrick Price on his personal web site.  

This book is a compilation of essays that Mr. Price has authored for his web site (see above). In the first few pages he speaks about how he became an education activist and what his aspirations are in this endeavor. Over the duration of this book Mr. Price laments how woefully and totally inadequate America’s public educational system is. He sees this problem (“dumbing up”) as growing in magnitude over the past hundred years. He attempts to pinpoint who or what entity he believes is at fault and offers suggestions for how to overcome this dire situation.

Throughout this book Bruce Price views our youth into adult population as largely functionally illiterate and pins this plight squarely on the liberal “progressive” Ph.D’s who administer such programs in our educational system. He contends to trace this unsettling and planned dilemma back to President Dewey where he says that “...Dewey was eager to dilute content and diminish learning.” (2009, p.38) “John Dewey and his gang were all too willing to settle for mediocrity. They were socialists…too much learning and knowledge got in the way of producing the cooperative, interdependent children they wanted.” (p.39)

Mr. Price states that “…educators….deepest desires seem focused on control and coercion.” (2009, p.31) And that the focus of this control is to “….create a New American Child—more uniform, more pliable, with fewer academic skills, and a reduced ability to think independently.” (p.35) According to Price teaching methods that have been recently introduced with regard to reading (i.e., “Whole word or sight reading”) have been the culprits of this debacle. These relatively new, but not particularly innovative, practices have born the crux of Mr. Prices’ anger or disdain toward the educational establishment as a whole. He (Bruce Price) believes that [paraphrase] by implementing these new techniques children are no longer taught to read phonetically and therefore are unable to read even simple literature. He (Price) calls this the “war against reading or intellectual child abuse” and attributes dyslexia and other disorders with this one technique gone awry. (2009, p.69-76 and 84)

Bruce Price believes “the goal of education has always been to achieve critical thinking….and constructing new knowledge.” (2009, p.91, 98) He does not think children (nor many Ph.D’s, p.103) today can read, write, or speak well enough to be pressed through our public school systems let alone move on toward and through college. This planned sabotage of our educational system he (Price) suggests is “…leveling that results when everyone is semi-illiterate.”

Bruce Price arrogantly calls down the Ph.D’s as being “nouveau intellectuals” and states that they use such educational trappings [paraphrase-largely hollow extensive graduate/post-graduate degrees and certifications] to improve their rank within society and little more. (2009, p.105) “These liberals want to tell us how to think, but cannot even write English.” “Today’s liberal educators have drifted across to the dark side. They aid and abet education policies that actually lead to limited education and less universal literacy.” He makes a distinction between educators (the cause of this illiteracy problem) and teachers (the culprits in this plan). (p.123) He says that “…the people at the top are grossly incompetent or actually subversive.” (p.124)  As to the former quote from Mr. Price I do take exception as I am a doctoral student and quite concerned with
education overall and achieving my personal best.

Mr. Price concludes by deriding the newspapers (propagandists) and poet’s inability to write clearly or correctly. (2009, p.115-120) He does offer suggestions for improvement in educating beginning with children in the first grade “…learning the basics in each subject”. ( p.92) Mr. Price  believes that by adding to those things taught in the beginning and building on them from year to year until the children have a complete understanding and are encouraged to “…analyze, to compare, and contrast” our educational facilities would create a more literate and independent thinking person as the end result. Toward this end I wholly agree.

Click Here To Purchase The Education Enigma: What Happened To American Education