News

1983: 'Rising Tide of Mediocrity'

April 03, 2016

50 Years of Covers

In November 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education will mark its 50th anniversary. To lead up to the occasion, we’ve chosen front pages featuring some of our reporting on key events in higher education and capturing the zeitgeist of the nation’s colleges and universities over the years.

View the full collection.

The report’s title gave away its warning: In “A Nation at Risk,” a national commission said public schools were “being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people.” Its recommendations for raising academic standards, which gained widespread and sustained attention, led many colleges to develop programs to improve the quality of teacher education. In 2003, The Chronicle Review published a commission member’s 20th-anniversary essay on the report’s lasting significance.