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A Nation at Risk

Page history last edited by Melanie 9 years, 5 months ago

A Nation at Risk

Summary Statement

Melanie Allen


Historical Context of Work

On August 26, 1981, Secretary of Education T. H. Bell created the National Commission on Excellence in Education focusing on the quality of education in the United States. The commission called for a new public commitment to excellence and education reform anchored in higher expectations for all students. It encouraged students to work harder and elected officials to encourage and support students' efforts.


The Commission was created as a result of the Secretary's concern about "the widespread public perception that something is seriously remiss in our educational system." Soliciting the "support of all who care about our future," the Secretary noted that he was establishing the Commission based on his "responsibility to provide leadership, constructive criticism, and effective assistance to schools and universities."


Education and Influences

The influences for A Nation at Risk came from the unsecured nation that America has been placed on. Because we lived among determined, well-educated, and motivated competitors such as Japan and Germany, America was not a secured country in industrialization or education, which caused for the Secretary of State to feel that we, as Americans, need to improve our education system and make sure that we are great competitors for our future.


Impact on Best Practices

A Nation at Risk became an eye-opening experience for Americans during the 1980s. Although many Americans wanted change and to be great competitors with other countries, the reform needed to begin with a better education system for the upcoming adults in schools and universities. Although many political leaders backed up the reform,such as Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W.Bush launching  their own education reform initiatives, there is still much more work needed for the education system.After twenty-plus years, the education system in the United States is still being taught at the same level. In reality, the Americans are not at the same level as countries like China  as far as education.Due to high drop-out rates and many students not prepared for college or work force after graduating,  We still are a Nation at Risk.


Problems or Failures

There were problems that the commission faced during their education reform and, to this day, still has created problems for our education system which included:

For the first time, research shows American creativity is declining. Since 1990, Americans’ creativity scores have been on the decline significantly and most seriously among young children.


America spends $1.1 billion dollars per year testing their children under NCLB while many schools have to cut short instructional hours and or lay off teachers due to budget cuts.


As a result of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a significant number of schools in America have narrowed their curriculum by cutting arts, music, physical education, social studies, science, recess, or lunch.


Impact on Others

President Obama addressed concerns for the education system in a 2011 Speech to the Nation stating “We need to out-innovate, outeducate and outbuild the rest of the world.”


Due to low student performance, Educational researcher Paul Hurd concluded that "We are raising a new generation of Americans that is scientifically and technologically illiterate."









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