Education reform is a topic coverage of which has been largely despairing for the last several years. To be sure, it’s easy to whip up a litany of failures: compared to other developed countries our system is lagging badly, educational outcomes are lousy by international standards, national-level reform has been controversial and slow, and the effort has been plagued by infighting between unions and activists.
But under everyone’s nose an astonishing set of reforms has been clicking into place, coming not from Congress but from quiet compacts between the states, and a bit of money from the Obama stimulus. By 2014 very nearly the entire country will have a national set of standards, with new, computerized tests that will be more challenging than anything most students have faced. Given the reputation of tests in this country, the effort is sure to be controversial. Yet there has been very little national media coverage, which is why in our latest issue we devoted a special section to this reform effort.
No matter what you think of these reforms, it’s unquestionable that they will be enormously important for the future of education in America. Join us tomorrow at 9:00 AM for a free event at the New America Foundation (RSVP here) in Washington, DC where we will discuss these reforms in detail, or watch the livestream on the event page. Hope to see you there!