A Nation At Risk +40 | A Review of Progress in US Public Education — from hoover.org

Forty years ago, the release of A Nation at Risk led to what we know today as the modern school reform movement. With its calls for increased academic rigor, more productive use of instructional time, more effective teaching, and more impactful leadership, A Nation at Risk set in motion policy and practice changes at every level of the education system. But after four decades, what has been the result? And where do we go from here?

Forty years on, significant challenges remain. The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on student learning, and chronic absenteeism remains at alarming rates. Even prior to the pandemic, student achievement, as measured by standardized tests, seemed to have plateaued despite ever-increasing resources—in time, dollars, research, technology, and human capital—being devoted to school reform.

Much has been tried in the effort to improve our schools. Has any of it made a difference?