I congratulate Gerald W. Bracey for helping shatter the myth that American public education is in a steady state of decline (“What Happened to America’s Public Schools?,” November). He offers convincing arguments that we are beginning to turn the corner in education and that there is some real progress to report. Mr. Bracey’s balanced appraisal is a breath of fresh air.
We still have a long way to go, of course. We must challenge all students to meet high standards, and we must encourage all parents to be fully involved in their children’s education. We must connect every classroom and library to the information superhighway; right now only about 13 percent of classrooms are connected (up from 2 percent just a few years ago). And over the next ten years, two million dedicated, qualified teachers will have to be hired to replace retirees and those who will leave the classroom for other work.
It’s a tall order. But Mr. Bracey is right when he says that we can get the job done only if we stay positive and recognize our schools’ many accomplishments. It would be a tragedy if we allowed unwarranted defeatism to rob our children of their right to a good education.