Did students benefit from the “heavy-handed government schemes” endorsed by the technocratic leftists who masquerade as education reformers? Authors of the new book, Getting Education Right, Frederick Hess and Michael McShane answer this important question in their essay on the past and future of education reform. Given the current state of K-12 education, the answer is a resounding no. Conservatives must acknowledge the consequences of faux bipartisanship in the past and take bold action going forward.

Our schools are in freefall. Historically low state, national, and international test scores, devastating learning loss during prolonged COVID-era school closures, and embarrassing chronic absenteeism rates abound. Even if education technocrats could briefly claim credit for narrowing achievement gaps during the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) years, the improvements were a veneer covering a fundamentally broken system.