Next month marks the 28th anniversary of A Nation at Risk, notes University of Oregon education school dean (and blogger) Yong Zhao, so it’s only appropriate that we quote from that ground-breaking document:
“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the insane policies that threaten democracy, turn American children into robotic test takers, narrow and homogenize our children’s education, reward grant writing skills instead of helping the needy children and stimulate innovation (e.g., Race to the Top), value testing over teaching, and scapegoat teachers that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
Not the Nation at Risk you knew? That’s because Zhao has taken it upon himself to edit the document in ways that more accurately reflect the state of education, and education politics, these days. Very clever — and revealing.
So how’s that risky nation doing these days? Surprisingly well, writes Robert Pondiscio in the Core Knowledge Blog — not exactly a font of giddy enthusiasm for American schools.
Speaking of how education is taught, Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogger Maureen Downey quotes from a piece called “The Failure of American Teachers.” It’s not what you might expect.
And finally, this:
A Cinderella choice if there ever was one, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy topped Pride and Prejudice, The Grapes of Wrath, Anna Karenina and a little yarn called Moby-Dick in David McCandless’ illustrated “consensus-cloud” of books mentioned most often on “Top 100 Must-Read Books” lists. If only my bizarre March Madness picks were so lucky.
Lawrence Hardy, Senior Editor