I spoke at Stanford on September 30, and afterwards there was a panel discussion with Stanford’s Linda Darling-Hammond and Hoover Institution economist Eric Hanushek, moderated by veteran journalist Peter Shrag. There was a commentary afterward by doctoral student Channa Mae Cook, who had been a charter principal in New Orleans.

I have known all of the panelists except for Channa Mae Cook for many years. Rick Hanushek and I became good friends at the Hoover Institution, but not we are on opposite sides of the fence. He thinks the nation is in terrible trouble because of our international test scores; I don’t. From my perspective as a historian, I recall 1983 when “A Nation at Risk” issued dire predictions about the future because our international scores were so terrible. I think our biggest problem is our indifference to poverty. The nations that outperform us have reduced their child poverty rate, and it shows in the well-being of their children, as well as their test scores.

It was a good discussion, and Rick was a good sport, knowing that it was basically two against one. He held his own very well.

Linda is fabulous. She has an amazing grasp of teaching and learning. I have been urging her to learn how to tweet and to start blogging, but thus far to no effect.