Education Editorial: Nation at Risk

By: Bill Bosher - email

Schools are fighting daily battles. A recent San Francisco article stated that education is under siege from both political camp.

President Obama and Gov Romney are both preaching that education needs to be fixed. This is a cry that has been generating intensity since the publication of a "A Nation At Risk" in 1983.  It suggested that if any other nation had done to us what we have done to the education of our children, we would declare war.

On the 25th anniversary of the report Strong American Schools provided this analysis: "While the national conversation about education would never be the same, stunningly few of the Commission recommendations actually have been enacted."

Content, standards and expectations, time, and teaching were areas of proposed change. Each generates debate. For instance, there is a proposal to spend more time in schools.  Shouldn't we first ask, " how do we use the time that we have?"

Now nearly 30 years after "A Nation at Risk", we seem no closer to mitigation. Is there a direct relationship between a downturn in our economy and the vilification of public education? Remember what the interest rates were in 81. I

believe in school choice, competition and a reward system; however, I also believe in fairness. Many schools have always been strong and don't deserve to be maligned, but some are weak and should be closed.  When did we last shutdown a school or any other public institution because it had failed? Success or failure should be blind to where a school is or what it looks like. The energy that will drive this change will not come from Washington, but from the families of children who expect more than a national conversation.

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