The Problem

Too many American children receive an inferior
education because too many U.S. schools and school systems are dysfunctional or
ineffective. This situation is most dire for our neediest children, who lack
high-quality education options, receive dumbed-down curricula and weak
instruction, and whose school systems are too often held hostage by adult
interest groups, including but not limited to teacher unions. Nor are affluent
youngsters getting the education they require to succeed. As a result, U.S. students
trail our international competitors and many are ill-prepared for college and
career. Particularly galling is that these problems remain even though
we spend more money per pupil than almost every other country. 

In order for young Americans to succeed in college and the
workforce, to participate knowledgeably in our democracy, and for our nation to
maintain its leadership, prosperity, and security in the world, these problems
must be solved. While the U.S. has made modest
progress in some areas since being declared a “nation at risk,” we have a long
way to go to create an education system worthy of our great country.

The Fordham Institute's Mission

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is the nation's leader in advancing educational excellence for every child through quality research, analysis, and commentary, as well as on-the-ground action and advocacy in Ohio.

We advance:

  • High standards for schools, students and educators;
  • Quality education options for families;
  • A more productive, equitable and efficient education system; and
  • A culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and excellence.

We promote education reform by:

  • Producing rigorous policy research and incisive analysis;
  • Building coalitions with policy makers, donors, organizations and others who share our vision; and
  • Advocating bold solutions and comprehensive responses to education challenges, even when opposed by powerful interests and timid establishments.