Quote of the moment: “A rising tide of mediocrity”

“Our nation is at risk. The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity. If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament. History is not kind to idlers.”

Those warnings, grim and intentionally provocative, were issued last week by the 18-member National Commission on Excellence in Education in a 36-page report called A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. Headed by University of Utah President David P. Gardner, the NCEE was set up 20 months ago by Secretary of Education Terrel Bell to examine U.S. educational quality.

– Ellie McGrath, “To Stem ‘A Tide of Mediocrity,'” Time, May 9, 1983.

2 Responses to Quote of the moment: “A rising tide of mediocrity”

  1. […] This is an encore post from 2007 – we probably need to repeat this more often.  Milton Goldberg, the executive director of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, and Commission Chairman David P. Gardner probably wrote that paragraph.  It should be engraved over the doors of the administration buildings of every school district in America, I think. […]


  2. […] Plus, they’ve exposed themselves as genuinely opposed to America’s good health.  David Gardner and Milton Goldstein pegged it, even if we have to paraphrase them a bit:  Had a foreign government tried to do what the birthers […]


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