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Flunking the Schools

In response to:

The Schools Flunk Out from the April 12, 1984 issue

To the Editors:

…As a member of the National Commission on Precollege Education in the Mathematics, Science and Technology, I found [Hacker’s] analysis most interesting…. Professor Hacker apparently lacks understanding of the purpose for the 2,000 exemplary elementary and secondary schools called for in Educating Americans for the 21st Century. These schools are to serve as models for the much larger number of “magnet” schools desired. Instead of the top 2 percent of the students being enrolled in the schools as stated by Professor Hacker, the number would be much larger. The Houston independent school district, for example, has over 40,000 of 186,000 students enrolled in such schools.

Professor Hacker states that he can detect no visible sentiment for raising the financial outlay for our public schools. His opinion is contrary to the results from frequent public opinion surveys that have shown a willingness to provide additional support but not for the status quo. The public wants to see changes of the kind recommended in the several studies examined by Professor Hacker.

Professor Hacker’s simulataneous review of the several major studies of precollege education is timely. The current high interest in improving our public schools must be sustained and the necessary remedies carried out.

George Burnet

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

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