“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might as well have viewed it as an act of war,” wrote T.H. Bell in the 1983 report, “A Nation At Risk.” Now thirty years after this groundbreaking report, the Fordham Institute’s video, “A Nation at Risk: Thirty Years Later” discusses progress in education and what lies ahead.
Experts including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Washington, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michele Rhee, Fordham Institute President Chester Finn Jr., American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess, and several former Secretaries of Education speak about the report’s impact on both yesterday and today.
One of the video’s panelists describes the report as the single most influential document in the history of American education. Before “A Nation at Risk,” most Americans thought our country’s education system was exceptional. The report was revolutionary because it revealed extreme inequality and deficits in student’s learning. The report’s call for choice, increased technology use, and common standards was what one panelist said made the report the “biggest wave in a very wavy ocean.” The research and arguments continue to raise awareness of the big problems facing our education system.