School Choice

Connor Boyack and Corey DeAngelis: Why K-12 Education Sucks and How To Fix It

The authors of Mediocrity say it's well past time to end "factory schooling" and set kids free to learn.


Forty years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education published A Nation At Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform, a scathing indictment of public K-12 schools in America. "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," announced the report's authors, who included Nobel Prize–winning chemist Glenn T. Seaborg and Yale University President A. Bartlett Giamatti. The report catalyzed massive increases in per-pupil spending, standardized testing, and "common core" style curricula. Yet by almost every measure, educational outcomes are no better than they were in 1983.

In Mediocrity: 40 Ways Government Schools Are Failing Today's Students, the Libertas Institute's Connor Boyack and the American Federation for Children's Corey DeAngelis outline what's wrong with the ways our public schools function—and they offer concrete solutions to improve outcomes for children.

In this podcast version of The Reason Livestream, I talk with Boyack and DeAngelis about why they support maximizing parental rights through education savings accounts (ESAs), disagree with conservative Republicans who want to ban critical race theory and other controversial concepts, and believe that the end of "factory schooling" will vastly improve the civic life of the United States of America.