Ask seven experts about the economy, and you’ll get seven different answers. Same for health care, the war in Afghanistan, and other pressing national concerns that don’t lend themselves to simple “either/or” answers.
The same is true for education policy, as we illustrate this month in Year One, ASBJ‘s assessment of just where the Obama administration is headed with regard to public education and whether that direction is the right one.
To put it mildly, experts differ.
“I think there is more possibility of change today than anytime since A Nation at Risk,” says a cautiously optimistic Jack Jennings, president and CEO of the Center on Education Policy.
Diane Ravitch, by contrast, is resoundingly pessimistic. The university professor, education researcher, and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow says, “We are on the wrong track and headed in the wrong direction.”
The article includes comments from five more experts — with five more positions. And these aren’t partisan shills, preening for a mass audience. They are serious and thoughtful educators and policy analysts who care deeply about the future of the public schools. That they disagree so dramatically on where Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are taking the country may be slightly unnerving to those of you who are equally invested. It underscores the fact that there are no easy answers, and that every initiative and policy position contains at its essence the seeds of success or failure.
Lawrence Hardy, Senior Editor