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Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy

Abstract

In 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education released a report called A Nation at Risk, which as the name would suggest, painted a grim picture of education in America. The report opened ominously: “Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world.” And the dismal tone only intensified as the report’s authors placed the blame for the nation’s troubles squarely at the foot of its educational institutions:

We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, 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.

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Education Commons

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