Our Schools and Our Future: Are We Still at Risk?

Overview

Twenty years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education delivered a shocking report called A Nation at Risk, which awakened millions of Americans to a national crisis in primary and secondary education. But today, while reverberations from that report are still being felt, solid and conclusive reforms in American primary and secondary education remain elusive. Why?

In Our Schools and Our Future, the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education looks at the response to the ...

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Overview

Twenty years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education delivered a shocking report called A Nation at Risk, which awakened millions of Americans to a national crisis in primary and secondary education. But today, while reverberations from that report are still being felt, solid and conclusive reforms in American primary and secondary education remain elusive. Why?

In Our Schools and Our Future, the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education looks at the response to the commission's report and analyzes why it produced so much activity and so little improvement. Among their findings, the members of the task force reveal how many bold reform proposals have been implemented in limited and piecemeal fashion. They conclude that fundamental changes are needed in the incentive structure and power relationships of schooling itself and offer recommendations based in three core principles: accountability, choice, and transparency.

Accountability, they explain, will mean that everyone in the system will know what results are expected, how they will be measured, and what will happen if results are not attained. Choice will bring freedom, diversity, and innovation. Transparency will yield the information needed to assure both top-down accountability and a viable marketplace of methods and ideas. The results of these three taken together, they assert, will be a reinvigorated yet very different system that will rekindle Americans' confidence in public education.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817939229
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Series: Publication Series, #516
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul E. Peterson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Koret Task force on K-12 Education. Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and the director of the Program on Education, Policy and Governance at Harvard University. His current research interests include educational policy, federalism, and urban policy, and he is currently evaluating the effectiveness of school voucher plans around the country.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Contributors
Preface
Findings and Recommendations 3
1 A Historic Document 25
2 Little Gain in Student Achievement 39
3 What Has Changed and What Has Not 73
4 Minority Children at Risk 111
5 The Importance of School Quality 141
6 The Politics of the Status Quo 177
7 Teacher Reform Gone Astray 211
8 The Curricular Smorgasbord 239
9 Neglecting the Early Grades 281
10 Real Accountability 305
11 Real Choice 329
Index 363
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