“nclb was bound to have bad outcomes. It appealed to people who think the quick fix for education is to threaten people. But the state of education today is a long-term legacy starting with ‘A Nation at Risk’ in 1983, which revolved around our problems with Japan, lower sat scores, and the feeling that teachers were sabotaging America. There’s nothing short-range you can do to fix education directly. It’s labor intensive. You have to change the way people act. You have to convince people, and change people.
“And the president can play a psychological role. When the president is a dummy, putting down smart people, it makes it harder for kids to know he is serious. Bush was a dumbing-down model of what it means to be an educated person. The president can play a role in education by modeling it, by not telling lies and not making up history.”
Read an extended interview with Deborah Meier about the Bush legacy here.