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Succeeding In American Education

September 3, 2015 Categories: Uncategorized. Tags: american education, education reform, no child left behind, and success. No Comments on Succeeding In American Education

In the business of quality education, nothing succeeds like failure. Every commission report that rails against the mediocrity of our schools translates into a multimillion-dollar government program for education. Every time the literacy rate or the SAT scores decline we get another batch of reforms to raise teacher salaries and fund innovative techniques. No matter what is wrong with the schools, the response is invariably “more”–more spending, more programs, more reports. In the private sector this is called rewarding incompetence. In public education it’s called “investing in our future.”

America has a blind faith in the melioristic power and perfectibility of its public schools. In her outstanding history of post-world War II education, The Troubled Crusade, Diane Ravitch notes the pattern:

Probably no other idea has seemed more typically American than the belief that schooling can cure society’s ills. Whether in the early nineteenth century or the twentieth, Americans have argued for more schooling on the grounds that

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