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Part 1 of the Bill Bennett Interview with Checker Finn

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“On balance, big picture, I’d say we are a little better than when we were declared to be a “Nation at Risk.” Now that was 1983… But our overall achievement is only barely keeping its head above water.”

I’m excited to announce the launch of a brand new series of interviews about the state of American education. I’ll be talking with experts, lawmakers, parents, and teachers about the reforms needed to improve student performance in America. I begin with a conversation with one of the nation’s preeminent authorities on American education, Checker Finn. Checker is the Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

In this first segment, Checker gives a sobering and eye-opening assessment of American education and student performance today. The news isn’t good, but we need to hear it if we’re going to be able to report our student performance honestly and recognize the areas where we urgently need to improve.


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Part 2 of the Bill Bennett Interview with Checker Finn

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Part 3 of the Bill Bennett Interview with Checker Finn

“The upshot is that on important matters, like standards and testing and accountability, states are now much more in charge than they...

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Part 4 of the Bill Bennett Interview with Checker Finn

“The simplest possible way to look at the politics of education is ‘Does somebody care more about the kids or more about the grown...

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Part 5 of the Bill Bennett Interview with Checker Finn

“Massachusetts not only raised its standards but it took its standards seriously. It made its standards count for kids to graduate from...

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