Lamar Alexander: Tough Choice

Lamar Alexander claims to have a cure for the sorry U.S. public-school system. Right or wrong, something must be done.

< Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men -- the balance wheel of the social machinery.

-- Horace Mann, 1848

How noble the dream, how ignoble the modern reality. Mann's crowning achievement was the 19th century American common school, a place where children from all backgrounds could nurture democracy through a shared educational experience. Not very long ago, that vision seemed an eternal verity, enshrined in the public-school system. But over the past generation, the balance wheel of the social machinery began to wobble badly. American schools today, as any parent...

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