What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools Examines Prospects for Education Reform in the United States

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
What Lies Ahead for America's Children and Their Schools

The Hoover Institution Press released What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools,  an assessment by the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education.  This profound work examines both the potential gains and the pitfalls that lie ahead for primary- and secondary-school education in the United States. 

In this volume, the task force looks to the future in the context of 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 urgently needs.

“The coming decades hold 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,” Chester Finn, Hoover Institution senior fellow and Koret Task Force chair.

Looking backward is infinitely easier than predicting the future, but planning for the future is necessary if things are to change. By analyzing the recent past and present condition of US primary- and secondary-school education across a host of key topics—online learning, financing and changing curriculum—task force authors 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 for those changes to occur. They offer high-quality scholarship and thoughtful prescriptions for productive policy alternatives.

“One of the most important elements in economic productivity growth—if not the most important element—is human capital development. At the foundation of human capital development is a solid footing in K-12 Education. Sadly, that solid footing in the United States is, at best, crumbling and, at worst, barely standing,” states coeditor Richard Sousa.

Knowing that an educated public is necessary for a free society, the task force argues that we must prepare our children to compete in a complex global economy by providing the highest-quality education to tomorrow’s leaders. Such education is crucial if the United States is to maintain its competitive edge and its position as the world’s leading economic power.

Chester E. Finn Jr. is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and chair 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.

For more  information on What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools, visit HooverPress.org. For more information on the Hoover Institution, visit Hoover.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Scribd (keyword: Hoover Institution).