Selection from the report (Foreword by the commission co-chairs):
This report summarizes how America’s K-12 education system, taken as a whole, fails our nation and too many of our children. Our system does not distribute opportunity equitably. Our leaders decry but tolerate disparities in student outcomes that are not only unfair, but socially and economically dangerous. Our nation’s stated commitments to academic excellence are often eloquent but, without more, an insufficient response to challenges at home and globally. The data the commission reviewed make clear that officials, administrators and constituents at all levels of government must attack our education failings as a moral and economic
What steps must we take in the years to come, and toward what ultimate destination? The direction of school reformers over the past 30 years has been guided by the polestar of world-class standards and test-based accountability. Our country’s effort to move in this direction has indeed led to important progress. But it has not been enough. The next stage of our journey will require coordinated reform efforts in all the states, and their 15,000 school districts, together with federal agencies—efforts focused on laying the foundations for far more widespread and equitable
opportunities for students throughout the nation. Out of many efforts, one united effort can create the opportunity that should be the birthright of each and every American child.