Public Schools and Educational Inequality: Some Further Thoughts (Part 2)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

With ANation at Risk report issued in 1983 and subsequent shifts in policy such as higher curriculum standards, more testing, and accountability for results at school and district levels, the problem of U.S. students’ poor performance on domestic and international tests was clearly laid at the doorstep of schools. Responsibility for mediocre test scores was solely laid upon schools. As the report stated:

We conclude that declines in educational performance are in large part the result of disturbing inadequacies in the way the educational process itself is often conducted.
Schools, therefore, must reform to produce both excellence and equity. No mention was made of societal inequalities that spill over the schools. Schools, then, must improve in order to defend the nation economically and become prosperous once again. Unless school reform occurred, then inequalities will worsen.
That was then. There are now critics who claim that schools still worsen…

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