cover of the book American Education 20th Edition


From the beginning of schooling, public education has changed drastically. Various circumstances have prompted changes and new realities within education. Despite historical and generational changes, Joel Spring, the author of American Education (Routledge, 2022), has kept readers up to date through 20 editions of his book. Spring is professor emeritus at Queens College and the Graduate Centerof the City University of New York. His research focuses on educational globalization, politics in education, and multicultural education. His extensive study and expertise are reflected in the text, as Spring discusses and challenges current issues related to globalization, politics, and multiculturalism. These discussions help readers understand their role in shaping the American education system.

In American Education, Spring brings to the surface often-ignored issues. He goes so far as to describe some of these issues as being “whitewashed.” One timely issue is the effects of the pandemic on schools, teachers, students, learning, and society. Spring reviews how the pandemic changed learning and social goals. He also compares economic goals before and after the global health crisis. The text provides readers with a valuable understanding of how these various goals were initially developed and changed over time. The text also focuses on equity and equality—issues extensively highlighted in the wake of COVID. Other topics examined include Title IX guidelines, prayer in schools, sexual harassment, and individualized education plans. Additionally, current headline-grabbing issues, including transgender youth participation in athletics and institutional racism, are discussed.

In American Education, Spring does a commendable job of enlightening both novice and veteran educators on current and ongoing issues. After reading the text, all educators will feel equipped with a greater understanding of how the American education system is shaped and organized. Furthermore, educators, and all who are interested, also will gain the knowledge to understand the driving forces that help to create the realities of our current education system. Spring creates a table of contents that is effectively organized to allow readers to identify key areas of interest and read about specific, related issues. This text, as with the other 19 editions, keeps information and topics fresh and updated. The text can be used as a reference for years to come.

American Education is recommended for all who are concerned with the state of the education system, social justice, and equity. It also is for all who would like to learn more about the education system in America. With the depth of information presented, everyone will likely walk away more knowledgeable about education and its relation to politics. Truly, this book should be required in all schools of education.  

Shameka L. Jones ( is a doctoral candidate at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


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2020 State of the Association

Full of challenge and change, 2020 was like no other year. NSBA's State of the Association provides a snapshot of the association's advocacy and member services work as well as our ongoing transformation.