Larry Cuban

Larry Cuban is a professor of education at Stanford University. He is the co-author of Cutting Through the Hype: A Taxpayer's Guide to School Reforms and the author of The Blackboard and the Bottom Line: Why Schools Can't Be Businesses.

Recent Articles

Why Bad Reforms Won't Give Us Good Schools

S chool reform has become a major industry since the Reagan era, when the 1983 report A Nation at Risk judged U.S. schools to be so mediocre as to endanger the economic future of the country. Mayors and presidents, corporate leaders and small-business owners, parents and taxpayers have said again (and again and again): The primary purpose of public schools is to prepare students academically for a workplace that keeps our economy productive and competitive throughout the world. Responding to scorching and unrelenting criticism, educators established standards-based curricula, monitored test scores, required students to repeat a grade or a subject, and rewarded (or punished) teachers and principals when test scores rose (or fell). These reforms have been compressed into a formula to ensure that urban, suburban, and rural schools produce graduates who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to secure high-paying jobs and help their employers compete in...