December 5, 1990

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Vol. 10, Issue 14
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Volunteer activity in American schools evokes heartfelt, nearly universal enthusiasm. An estimated 1.3 million adults give time to the nation's schools each year, and their contributions are rightfully hailed. But the realities of educational volunteerism are far more complicated than the images.
One look at a line graph charting national trends in reading or mathematics proficiency since 1971 would show that American schools have made little progress over the past two decades, including the post-1983 "Nation at Risk" reform years. If those lines were an electrocardiogram, the doctor would try something aggressive.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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