This booklet contains the reflections of a lifelong educator. It examines American education over the last 35 years and focuses on those conditions that have most influenced education in the United States. The text opens with an analysis of the family, followed by a discussion of various legislative initiatives that were intended to nurture all children by giving them equal access to health care and education. It asks whether societal values as currently construed will advance the goals of formal education. The need to establish an academic work ethic to underpin a successful school experience is emphasized, along with claims that the content of education, particularly the lack of agreement over what a high school diploma signifies, must be reconstructed so that a common education can be guaranteed. The realization that like-named courses vary widely in content and expectations must be met by imposing some type of standardization, based on a standard of excellence. Teachers should be at the center of such standards, and the public must be willing to provide funds to ensure that all students can succeed. Finally, for the future, schools must accommodate an increasingly diverse population, must reinvigorate democratic education, and must prepare students to compete in a global economy. (Contains 21 references.) (RJM)
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