Hoover fellow Condoleezza Rice on declining schools

Friday, April 5, 2013
Hoover senior fellow Condoleezza Rice notes that failing schools undermine econo
Image credit: 
L.A. Cicero
Hoover senior fellow Condoleezza Rice notes that failing schools undermine econo
Image credit: 
L.A. Cicero

Condoleezza Rice, the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, talks about the problems afflicting American schools and how education reform “might be our greatest national security challenge.” Rice said “failing schools undermine economic growth, competitiveness, social cohesion and the ability to fill positions in institutions vital to national security, such as the Foreign Service, intelligence and the military.” (Stanford Report)

She also discussed the educational divide in America which creates those who are capable and those who are not. "We can't afford to become a country of two populations," she said. (Stanford Report) Rice emphasized the importance of a need for data in the education reform debate. She stressed the point that what happens to students in a failing school district does have larger consequences for the future of America. For this reason, failing schools pose a national security threat.

Rice believes that “a good education” is one that includes the arts in addition to sciences, and inspires innovation, ingenuity and creativity.

“Theory is important, ideas are important,” Rice stated. “But then going out and transferring those ideas into practical circumstances, testing them, improving the practical circumstances and then bringing that experience back into the academy is important both for the research function and the teaching function.”

Rice and Joel Klein, CEO of the Education Division at News Corp and former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, are leading the Independent Task Force on US Education Reform and National Security, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Click here for more information.

In February, a federal education commission charged with addressing the achievement gap in education in the United States released its first report titled “For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education, Equity and Excellence.” Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, and Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar are commission members.

Click here to read the full article in the Stanford Report on Rice speaking about how failing schools affect national security.

Click here to read Rice and Klein’s piece “A Matter of National Security."

Click here for more information about the federal commission report.