My fellow educators and I were talking over this the other day. Some of them had taught school since the late 1970s. Most less than a decade (like myself). The general idea was that for as long as any of us can remember, American public education has been considered "poor to average" overall. We were talking about the history of education all the way back to the panic over Sputnik. You know the story. How Americans were supposedly so afraid their schools were falling behind the Soviets that they passed the National Defense Education Act and threw money at schools. But one veteran teacher pointed out that "even in the post Sputnik era, kids routinely failed years of school or dropped out before even completing high school." The same teacher pointed out that the "students they threw money at educating in the 1960s were smoking weed and torching college campuses just a few years later". Another teacher remember President Carter creating the Dept of Education in 1980 and the report three years later "A Nation At Risk" bemoaning public education problems in the U.S. The general idea though is this to me. When people bitch and moan about the state of American public education aren't they in fact wanting to go back to a "golden age" in the U.S. that never existed. Ironic. Conservatives are often accused of wanting to "turn back the clock to the 1950s' (socially, culturally). Yet it seems liberals that want to throw money at schools want to turn the clock back the the supposed glory days (that never existed) for American public schools in the late 1950s early 60s as well.