Strengths and Weaknesses of American Education

Michael W. Kirst
Stanford University

The public education sys­tem in the U.S. has served this nation well. Today and in the future, it must meet un­precedented challenges. How­ever, arguments about whether the per­formance of our students has declined over time miss the point. The 1990 Olds­mobile was better than any Olds made be­fore. But was it good enough to meet worldwide competition in 1990? A simi­lar question faces U.S. education: Are we good enough to stand up to worldwide competition?

The time is right to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. public edu­cation system. We need to build on its strengths and shore up its weaknesses. We know more than ever about how to do this, but serious questions remain about the resources we are willing to devote to the task and about our political will to get the job done.

This article was originally published in the Phi Delta Kappan by Phi Delta Kappa International and Journal Storage (JSTOR).

Suggested citationKirst, M. W. (1993, April). Strengths and weaknesses of American education [Article], Policy Analysis for California Education.