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Is it schools or society failing our students?

LA School Report | November 4, 2015



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Here’s the good news: American schools may not be as bad as we have been led to believe.

Ah, but here’s the bad news: The rest of American society is failing its disadvantaged citizens even more than we realize. The question is, Should educators be responsible for fixing this?

The perennial debate about the state of public education starts with a single, seemingly unassailable fact. American students sorely lag their peers in other rich nations and even measure up poorly compared with students in some less advanced countries.

The lackluster performance has reinforced a belief that American public education — the principals and teachers, the methods and procedures — is just not up to scratch. There must be something wrong when the system in the United States falls short where many others succeed.

But is the criticism fair? Are American schools failing because they are not good at their job? Perhaps their job is simply tougher.

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