For the past year I have been working on a book. It’s a wonderful opportunity to look back at the last 40+ years in public education and ongoing efforts to ‘reform’ schools.
I recently came across a blog I posted in early 2012, one that was ‘liked’ by more than 4,700 readers. It’s called “Drowning in a Rising Tide of….” and I wrote it while the latest National Commission was studying the state of public education.
Here’s part of what I wrote back then, followed by what the Equity and Excellence Commission eventually reported, and then by my own observations.
MY BLOG EXCERPTS: “The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.”
Surely everyone recognizes the 5-word phrase. Some of you may have garbled the phrase on occasion — I have — into something like ‘Our schools are drowning in a rising tide of mediocrity.”
But that’s not what “A Nation at Risk” said back in 1983. The report, issued by the National Commission on Excellence in Education, was a call to action on many levels, not an attack on schools and colleges. “Our societyand its educational institutions seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of schooling,” the Report states, immediately after noting that America has been “committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.” (emphasis added) Schools aren’t the villain in “A Nation at Risk;” rather, they are a vehicle for solving the problem.
Suppose that report were to come out now? What sort of tide is eroding our educational foundations? “A rising tide of (fill in the blank)?”