The coming decade holds immense potential for dramatic improvement in US education and in the achievement of American children—provided that we seize the opportunities at hand and are not deterred by the obstacles to change. In this volume, members of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education examine both the potential gains and the pitfalls that lie ahead, informed by where US education has been, what changes—some, but not all, for the better—have been made in recent years, and what’s still required for the comprehensive overhaul that this vital enterprise so urgently needs.
Looking backward is infinitely easier than predicting the future, but planning for the future is necessary if anything is to change. By analyzing the recent past and present condition of American primary and secondary school education across a host of key topics, task force members in this volume chart a bold course for the years ahead. Optimistic about the opportunities at hand, they identify essential—and feasible—reforms as well as the barriers that must be overcome if those changes are to occur. They offer high-quality scholarship and thoughtful prescriptions for productive policy alternatives.
Chester E. Finn Jr. is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and chairman of the task force. A former assistant US secretary of education, he also serves as president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Richard Sousa, senior associate director and research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is an economist who specializes in human capital, discrimination, labor market issues, and K–12 education.
CONTRIBUTORS: John E. Chubb, Williamson M. Evers, Chester E. Finn Jr., Eric A. Hanushek, Paul T. Hill, Caroline M. Hoxby, Tom Loveless, Terry M. Moe, Paul E. Peterson, Herbert J. Walberg, Grover “Russ” Whitehurst