How to Educate an American

The Conservative Vision for Tomorrow's Schools

Edited by Michael J. Petrilli Chester E. Finn, Jr.

A person of good character, a patriot, a man or woman who practices civic responsibility—these are the hallmarks of a properly educated American citizen. Sadly, however, this vision has been lost. Two decades of bipartisan reforms out of Washington have clouded our understanding of what education in this country should be.  Those on the Right have come to sound like broken records calling for “school choice,” while those on the Left have used schools as vehicles to spread identity politics. The result is a school system beset with problems and divorced from its original purpose.   

In How to Educate an American, twenty prominent conservative writers show how we have gone off course and how we can get back on track. Addressing a variety of issues, they each converge on the belief that the purpose of primary and secondary education is to mold the individual into an integral and productive citizen of the United States. To be truly educated in America means to respect the nation’s history, to revere the sacrifices of generations past, to value a virtuous character above worldly success, and to embrace the responsibility of bestowing a healthy Republic onto posterity. This was yesterday’s vision of education, and it’s the Conservative vision for tomorrow’s schools.    
In addition to essays contributed by editors Michael Petrilli and Chester Finn, How to Educate an American features original essays from:

  • Michael Barone
  • Bill Bennett
  • Arthur C.  Brooks & Nathan Thompson
  • Mona Charen
  • Eliot Cohen
  • William Damon
  • Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Robert P. George
  • Jonah Goldberg
  • Kay S. Hymowitz
  • Yuval Levin
  • Heather Mac Donald
  • Adam Meyerson & Adam Kissel
  • Rod Paige
  • Ramesh Ponnuru
  • Naomi Schaefer Riley
  • Ian Rowe
  • Peter Wehner