Education Next

A quarterly scholarly journal of the Hoover Institution that explores issues relating to education policy and K-12 education reform in the United States.

Articles from Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring

Accountability Unplugged: The Nation Doesn't Yet Know Whether Accountability-Based Reforms Will Work, Because They Have Barely Been Tried. (Feature)
A NATION AT RISK foreshadowed the modern accountability movement. While the word "accountability" never appears in Risk, its call for higher academic standards and its focus on student achievement as the main barometer of quality laid the intellectual...
Help Wanted: Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Will Mean Little without a New Generation of School-Based Leaders to Light the Way. (Forum)
A Nation at Risk stunned the establishment and captivated the public when it was released 20 years ago. This was something that hadn't been seen before in American education--a startling indictment of a system that most regarded as sacrosanct. Condemning...
High Hurdles: In the Realm of Teaching, A Nation at Risk's Recommendations Lost out to a Regulation-Driven Quest for Teacher Professionalism. Now the Pendulum Is Beginning to Swing toward Market-Based Solutions. (Feature)
THE AUTHORS OF A Nation at Risk recognized a fundamental truth of education: that reforms, if they are to be successful, must reach into education's inner sanctum, the classroom. As a result, changing the ways in which teachers are recruited, trained,...
Honest Abe: Lincoln Taught Himself the Three R's-And More. (Education Matters to Me)
Where did Abraham Lincoln get his moral compass? He certainly did not have parents like those of John Quincy Adams. There was no equivalent of Abigail Adams, reading great history books to her young son and teaching him patriotic poems. The poetry...
Ignoring the Market: A Nation at Risk Virtually Overlooked School Choice, Education's Most Promising Reform Strategy. (Feature)
NATION AT RISK'S MOST FATAL FLAW WAS ITS faith in the American education system's ability to act on its recommendations. The authors of Risk believed that the system was mainly in need of internal reforms: tougher coursework and graduation requirements,...
Leftover Business: That the Nation Is Still Debating-And Has Yet to Address-Many of the Issues Raised by A Nation at Risk Is a Testament to Its Prescience. (Forum)
For someone who was "present at the creation," revisiting A Nation at Risk is at once satisfying and unsettling. Satisfying because this retrospective confirms that, whatever else may be said of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, its...
Lost Opportunity: Increased Economic Growth, Fueled by Improvements in Student Performance, Might Have Funded the Nation's Entire K-12 Education Budget by Now. (Feature)
THE CONCERNS ABOUT SCHOOL QUALITY EXPRESSED IN A Nation at Risk reflected declining trends in performance among U.S. students and their mediocre standing relative to students in other nations. America's failure to address these concerns has led to...
Not So Grand a Strategy: A National at Risk Emphasized the Importance of Learning So-Called "Higher-Order Skills" in the Early Grades. but Even Chess Grand Masters Need to Learn the Basics First. (Feature)
A Nation at Risk was mainly concerned with the high-school years. It wasn't until the report's last pages that it finally alluded to education in the early grades: The curriculum in the crucial eight grades leading to the high-school years should...
Our Schools Our Future Are We Still at Risk? (Forum)
TWENTY YEARS AGO, the National Commission on Excellence in Education delivered a thunderbolt in the form of a report called A Nation at Risk. Risk awakened millions of Americans to a crisis in the nation's system of primary and secondary education....
Reform Blockers: The American Political System Advantages Those Who Prefer the Status Quo, Which Is Why So Little Has Changed in American Education. (Feature)
Twenty years ago A Nation at Risk set off alarms about the quality of America's schools, and ever since our country has been caught up in a frenzy of education reform. But the frenzy hasn't produced much, After untold billions of dollars and lofty...
The Chasm Remains: A Nation at Risk Failed to Address the Unique Problems of Urban Schools and Minority Children, Whose Test Scores Continue to Lag Behind Those of Whites. (Feature)
MINORITY STUDENTS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY CONCENTRATED IN urban school districts, During the 1990-91 school year, 40 of the 57 districts that are members of the Council of the Great City Schools reported student populations in which minority students...
The Erosion Continues: An Education System Soaked in Mediocrity. (from the Editors)
In 1983, a blue-ribbon education commission appointed by Ronald Reagan's first Secretary of Education, Terrel H. Bell, announced that America's "educational institutions seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of schooling, and of the high expectations...
The Least Common Denominator: The Effort to Push Underprepared Students into Academic Courses Has Driven the Rigor out of Many Textbooks and Classrooms. (Feature)
A Nation at Risk argued that much of America's decline in academic achievement could be traced to the "cafeteria-style curriculum" or "curricular smorgasbord" offered to high-school students. The report said that the presence of so many nonacademic...
The Long Haul: It Will Take Prolonged Effort and More Than Just School Reforms to Boos Student Achievement. (Forum)
The members of the Koret Task Force are certainly correct that student achievement in America is not as high as it ought to be. The questions are why, and whether the task force's recommendations will improve the situation. To my mind, there are three...
The Reforms for Whom? the Most Successful of the Changes Proposed by A Nation at Risk Were Those That Enjoyed Backing from Powerful Interest Groups in Education. (Feature)
The core of A Nation at Risk was its concern that America's public schools were not challenging enough to prepare students for a future built on technology and information. Students, Risk said, were not taking enough academic courses. Expectations...
The Test of Time: A Nation at Risk Was an Historic Document-For Its Time. Now We Know That While Its Findings Were Dead on, Its Reform Agenda Relied Too Much on the Existing System. (Feature)
WITH THE PERSPECTIVE OF TWO DECADES, it is now apparent that A Nation at Risk was the most important education reform document of the 20th century. It captured the attention not only of educators and political and business leaders, but also of the...
Ticket to Nowhere: In the Wake of A Nation at Risk, Educators Pledged to Focus Anew on Student Achievement. Two Decades Later, Little Progress Has Been Made. (Feature)
VERY LITTLE IN AMERICAN LIFE HAS REMAINED THE SAME SINCE THE release of A Nation at Risk. Automobiles run cleaner and safer, with the invention of the catalytic converter and the air bag. The Internet, fax, and cell phone have transformed communications....
Unrecognized Progress: Today's Schools Are Undeniably Better Than the Schools of 1983, and a Trio of Recent Reforms Is Making Them Even Better
THE KORET TASK FORCE DOES A VALUABLE SERVICE for American education. Its recommendations are largely on target as we stick with the task of improving our schools and move toward the goal of "leaving no child behind." But I see the events of the past...
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.