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Dumbing Down Our Kids

Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves but Can’t Read, Write, Or Add

In this book, author Charles J. Sykes addresses what he considers to be the problem with the high pedestal on which self-esteem has been placed in the education system, which sacrifices children’s ability to read, write, add, subtract and compute. He attributes this issue to the way teachers have been trained, and educational policies that have been developed. Sykes says that while today’s children feel good about their abilities, they are in reality much less capable than children from previous generations.

In Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, or Add, Sykes explains that the education system has a growing budget and taxpayers are paying more out of pocket for education. Yet, the quality of education is going down the tubes. Children are having to meet lower requirements for standardized testing, and the system is designed to make everyone pass, but it’s not designed to allow students to master any skills or abilities.

As time goes by, America’s children may have better self-esteem, but they are scoring lower and lower in international math and science tests. How are we to solve this problem, get our children back to focusing on their basic abilities, and restore quality education? Sykes lays out solutions and steps that parents and teachers and students can use to fix all of this.

About the Author

Charles J. Sykes is an accomplished author, editor and talk show host. Hailing from Wisconsin, he had a very highly rated talk show there. After stepping down in 2016 from his talk show, he became a contributor for NBC/MSNBC as well as contributing editor for The Weekly Standard. He has also hosted other podcasts and radio shows. Sykes has written for publications including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Politico, New York Review of Books, Newsweek and, and has made appearances on networks including ABC, PBS, CNN, Fox News, the BBC, and NPR.

Sykes also serves as a sitting member to organizations like Advisory Committee for the Democracy Fund and Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy. Other books Sykes has published include “A Nation of Victims,” “Profscam,” “The Hollow Men,” “The End of Privacy,” “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School, “A Nation of Moochers,” “Fail U” and “How the Right Lost Its Mind,” which is an eye-opening analysis of Trump-era conservatism.


The Boston Globe:

“This intelligent and devastating book…brings together every aspect of the current disaster…all in clear, well-researched detail.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“A spirited call-to-arms…Sykes asks brave questions.”

Kirkus Review:

“A scathing critique that grabs America’s educational establishment by the scruff and shakes it…Parents and visionary educators, if not educrats, should sit up and take notice.”

Washington Post Book World:

“A very important book.”

children's education, children's mental health, school system, self esteem, standardized testing