Review of Berliner & Biddle "The Manufactured Crisis"

Lawrence C. Stedman


In a provocative new book, The Manufactured Crisis, David Berliner and Bruce Biddle make four sweeping claims about U.S. achievement: there never was a test score decline, today's students are "out-achieving their parents substantially" (p. 33), U.S. students "stack up very well" in international assessments (p. 63), and the general education crisis is a right-wing fabrication. As a progressive, I'm sympathetic to their concerns, but as a scholar who specializes in this material, I find their analysis deeply flawed and misleading. They mischaracterize the test score decline data, mishandle the international findings, and fail to acknowledge students' continuing low levels of academic achievement.


Book Review, Academic Achievement; Achievement Gains; Achievement Tests; Conservatism; Educational History, Educational Trends, Elementary and Secondary Education; International Education, International Studies; Performance Factors; Political Attitudes

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