Education Overhaul...25 Years Later

It's been 25 years since the U.S. Department of Education reported the nation was at risk academically.

When the report was written it said we needed an academic overhaul and some say the same is true today.

For example, our nation's best students in math now rank 24th when compared to top performers in 29 other countries.

America once had the best high school graduation rate but now its fallen to 21st. Local parents are divided on the effectiveness of today's system.

Standardized testing is a controversial subject and it's a result of the 1983 report. For example one mother says the testing method is beneficial to society.

Cindy Manchester says,"I'm in favor of the standardized testing. These kids deserve an education because they're going to graduate and become a part of the community someday and we want the kids to be productive citizens. They can't do that if they've fallen behind and they're not educated.

An area Superintendent says the nation at risk report has caused curriculum to change for the worst in some cases.

Dr. Billy Howard, Happy ISD's Superintendent says, "In order to comply I think they have watered their content down so as all kids would pass because if kids fail its not always the kids fault we perceive it as something must be wrong with the teacher.

Another parent is happy with his daughter's teachers and agrees the curriculum needs to focus less on the TAKS tests.

Rob Bells says "I would like to see a broader curriculum but it's not necessarily the teachers fault but I just think its a lot of pressure to put on them especially the younger kids, I mean that's what bothers me probably the most about the TAKS test. The stress they go under.

President Bush made efforts to improve the education system with the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2001 but some argue it isn't doing enough.