ERIC Number: EJ911587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 36
"A Nation at Risk" and "Sputnik": Compared and Reconsidered
Johanningmeier, Erwin V.
American Educational History Journal, v37 n2 p347-365 2010
Recent scholarship has suggested that: "A Nation at Risk" had put education on the national agenda," that it "catapulted education near to the top of the national political agenda," and that it started "an ambitious and well-publicized elementary and secondary education reform ... that has already lasted for more than a quarter of a century." The appearance of the 1980s' reports including "A Nation at Risk," is said to have "spurred the greatest national debate on education since the launching of 'Sputnik' in 1957." It proved to be a government report on education that "pave(d) the way for a further extension of the federal role in the nation's school districts." Like "Sputnik," "A Nation at Risk" received attention and credit for that which already obtained when it first appeared. "Sputnik" once again focused the nation's attention to the claims and fears attendant to the Cold War, especially the Soviets' progress in producing scientists and engineers. "A Nation at Risk" focused the nation's attention to the claims and fears attendant to the Global Economy. Like the many 1980s' reports, "A Nation at Risk" was a forceful reminder that the nation's longstanding interest in academic achievement and education standards earlier expressed in the Post-World-War-II Era was being renewed. It signaled the ever-growing federal role in public education characterized by an interest in providing and achieving equality of educational opportunity as well as developing citizens capable of performing effectively in the Global Economy.
Descriptors: Public Education, Excellence in Education, Reports, Politics of Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Change, Mass Media Effects, Government Role, Educational Opportunities, Global Approach, Time Perspective
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A