The Schools We Deserve: Reflections on the Educational Crises of Our Times

By Diane Ravitch | Go to book overview

3
The Continuing Crisis:
Fashions in Education

( 1984)

IN the spring of 1983, unsuspecting American citizens woke up one morning to discover in the morning's headlines that we were "a nation at risk"; that other countries were challenging our leadership in "commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation"; and that "a rising tide of mediocrity" was threatening "our very future as a Nation and a people." The National Commission on Excellence in Education warned, in the kind of flashy prose that commands media attention, that "if an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. . . . We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament."

This was strong stuff, but it was only the first in a series

-58-

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