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ERIC Number: EJ790547
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Speculations on "A Nation at Risk": Illusions and Realities
Hewitt, Thomas W.
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n8 p575-579 Apr 2008
Magicians present illusions. Commissioned reports and the writers who produce them sometimes do the same. Controversy continues to surround the findings of the Warren Commission report on the Kennedy assassination long after it was completed. And the same has been true of "A Nation at Risk", ever since its publication in 1983. The two most controversial issues have been the report's role in the development and establishment of a new and permanent federal influence in national education policy making and the degree to which the report's recommendations set the direction for subsequent national education reform actions. Overall, the controversies feed into the perception that, at least since its publication, American education has been in a perpetual state of rolling crisis and reform. In this article, the author argues that while it's clear that "A Nation at Risk" had a major impact, at least in the continuing development of federal influence, the reality is that in terms of the curriculum, the report's impact on schools and schooling is the illusion. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001