ERIC Number: EJ857643
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Before the "Either-Or" Era: Reviving Bipartisanship to Improve America's Schools
Riley, Richard W.; Peterson, Terry K.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v74 n5 p9-13 Jan 2009
For the last 25 years, American education has been trying to reform itself. This effort has been noble but only partially successful, and too often defined by an "either-or" dichotomy that has led to publicly defined "wars" over reading and math instruction, and even the very existence of the U.S. Department of Education. All too often, people have reached for the next new silver-bullet solution, from open classrooms to "new math" to a four-day school week, only to discover the reality that improving American education does not happen easily. All the while, public schools have been caught in the middle of the larger cultural and values debate that continues unabated in the society. Now, in the year marking the 25th anniversary of "A Nation at Risk," it is worth taking stock of where American education is and what it has learned from two and a half decades of efforts and setbacks. First, the country needs to put an end to the "either-or" dichotomy that too often frames state and national education debates. Second, individuals must get serious about dramatically increasing the high school graduation rate, which now hovers at 70%. Third, they must look to the future and transform the teaching profession, which is about to face an enormous structural dilemma. Fourth, "A Nation at Risk" recognized that children need more time for learning. Fifth, the demand for high standards should not be reduced to standardization. Finally, people need to reclaim the spirit of bipartisanship that defined education progress at the national level for so many years.
Descriptors: Teaching (Occupation), Graduation Rate, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Public Education, Federal Legislation, Public Agencies, Federal Government, Dropouts, Teacher Retirement, Labor Turnover, Teacher Persistence, Baby Boomers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A