The Problem With Generalizing About ‘America’s Schools’

The Problem With Generalizing About ‘America’s Schools’


A teacher and her schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the American flag A second-grade class pledges allegiance to the American flag in Cincinnati in 1970.BETTMANN / GETTY


Thirty-five years ago, in April of 1983, Ronald Reagan appeared before the press to publicize a government report warning of “a rising tide of mediocrity” that had begun to erode America’s education system. Were such conditions imposed by an unfriendly foreign power, the authors declared, “we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

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