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Phi Delta Kappan


Interestingly, warnings about the deterioration of America's schoolhouses have generated only limited public reaction. State legislators, governors, federal officials, and corporate executives — all of whom were exceedingly eager to react to earlier education reports such as A Nation at Risk- have been amazingly silent. Where are the legislative proposals to eradicate this problem? Where are the creative ideas from managers in private industry? Where are the calls for establishing a national commission to address this crisis? The most likely response to these questions is that the cost of solving the problem is simply too great. Accordingly, neither those who pass tax bills nor those who pay a large portion of the resultant taxes are anxious to discuss it. However, it is also possible that the apathy toward this issue stems from a limited comprehension of the impact of the physical environment on teaching and learning — and thus on school reform. Both reasons for apathy — the obvious one of cost and the less obvious one, lack of understanding — merit consideration.

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This is the author's version of an article that appeared in Phi Delta Kappan, February 1995, reflecting with permission the editorial revisions made by the publication.

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