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A NATION AT RISK In 1983, under the administration of Ronald Reagan, an 18 member panel was put together under the leadership of David Pierpont Gardner.

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Presentation on theme: "A NATION AT RISK In 1983, under the administration of Ronald Reagan, an 18 member panel was put together under the leadership of David Pierpont Gardner."— Presentation transcript:

1 A NATION AT RISK In 1983, under the administration of Ronald Reagan, an 18 member panel was put together under the leadership of David Pierpont Gardner to assess the condition of our nation’s schools.

2 A RISING TIDE OFMEDIOCRITY The secretary of education, T.H. Bell was the initiator of this project. He felt that America’s schools were not preparing their students for the needs of the work force. Later, a member of the commission would make an inflammatory speech saying, "the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.“ This created a media frenzy and put education front and center in the American household as well as in the political world.

3 GOALS OF THE COMMISSION The goals of the commission were to: (1) assess the quality of teaching and learning at all levels including post-secondary and (2) compare American schools to the schools in advanced nations.

4 AND THE SURVEY SAYS….STARTLING STATISTICS The results showed that between 1963 and 1980, SAT scores dropped more than 50 points on the verbal test and nearly 40 points on the math.

5 MORE BAD NEWS Only 1/5 of the students could write a persuasive essay Only 1/3 if the students could solve a multi step math problem 40% of students could not draw inferences from text

6 INFERIOR TO OTHER NATIONS On 19 different tests, the United States NEVER placed first or second and came in LAST 7 times.

7 RECOMMENDATIONS The commission had 38 recommendations to improve performance in 5 major categories.

8 CONTENT They suggested new credit requirements for high school: 4 English, 3 Math, 3 Science, 3 History, 1 ½ Computer Science and new foreign language requirements.

9 STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS Discourage grade inflation in the schools Raise admission standards for colleges Administer standardized achievement tests at major transition points of schooling.

10 TIME Advised extending the school day to 7 hours and the school year to days per year.

11 TEACHING Make teacher salaries professionally competitive, market sensitive and performance based.

12 LEADERSHIP AND FISCAL SUPPORT Provide government aid for key groups. GIFTED AND TALENTED SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS MINORITY STUDENTS DISABLED STUDENTS

13 CONTROVERSY In 1990, the NAR results were challenged by James Watkins, the Secretary of Energy. He called upon the Sandia Lab in New Mexico to validate the data. The study produced an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that the entire report was false and misleading.

14 SIMPSON’S PARADOX a paradox in which a trend that appears in different groups of data disappears when these groups are combined, and the reverse trend appears for the aggregate dataparadox In this case, while the OVERALL scores declined, the SUBGROUPS of students increased ~ the top students were no longer the only students taking the tests!

15 REALITY The reality was, based on Simpson’s paradox, the scores were either steady or improving.

16 “BURY THIS OR I’LL BURY YOU!!” The Deputy Secretary of Education allegedly told the authors of the Sandia Report, “You bury this or I'll bury you!” Education Week published an article on the Sandia report in 1991, but unlike the Nation at Risk report, the Sandia Report critique received almost no attention.

17 30 YEARS LATER….. Very few of the recommendations of the commission were enacted. The validity of the report still remains controversial. However, one thing is certain, the Nation At Risk report stirred emotions in Americans and brought education to the forefront of our Nation’s priorities where it has remained for over 30 years.


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