April 2018 marks 35 years since the National Commission on Excellence in Education, formed by then–Secretary of Education Ted Bell, issued its blockbuster report on education in America entitled A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. It was unlike other studies and analyses in education. Instead of being directed to education experts and others in the field, for example, the Commission called it an “Open Letter to the American People.” In a blog post for EdNext.org, Bruno Manno discusses the short-term political tensions the report caused within the Reagan administration, as well as the report’s long-term outcomes—including the creation of frameworks for today’s choice-based and standards-based reforms.

—Education Next

Last updated April 2, 2018