Spring 2003: Vol. 3, No. 2

Our Schools and Our Future

Assessments of the state of American education on the 20th anniversary of the A Nation at Risk report

Reforms for Whom?

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.

The Chasm Remains

Addressing the unique needs of urban children

Reform Blockers

Why the status quo almost always wins

High Hurdles

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.

Not So Grand a Strategy

A Nation 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.

The Least Common Denominator

The effort to push underprepared students into academic courses has driven the rigor out of many textbooks and classrooms

Accountability Unplugged

Illustration by Stuart Bradford. A Nation at Risk foreshadowed the modern accountability movement. While the...

Ignoring the Market

Photograph by Stephanie Kuykendal. A Nation at Risk's most fatal flaw was its faith in...

Lost Opportunity

Increased economic growth, fueled by improvements in student performance, might have funded the nation’s entire K–12 education budget by now


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