This kind of a study was commissioned in the backdrop of growing concern over the decline in educational standards in USA. Many study reports have been coming out comparing the educational sectors of different nations, those days. It was becoming evident that USA, which used to be the world leader in education and technological development, was on a steep downhill voyage, regarding academic achievements. Earlier study reports had also suggested that the country had been pushed to a position behind, many other less developed countries regarding education.
The National Commission on Excellence in Education accomplished its task in a time bound manner. In the letter of transmittal, which accompanied the study report, to the Secretary of Education, David Pierpont Gardner, Chairman of the Commission, delineated the purpose of this study as to “help define the problems afflicting American education and to provide solutions.” (The National Commission on Excellence in Education ,1983). Apart from the Chairman, the Commission had seventeen other members and they included renowned education specialists like Yvonne W. Larsen, Bartlett Giamatti and Anne Campbell, and Nobel Laureate, Glenn T. Seaborg. Unlike many other official study reports, this research paper had a personal touch in its presentation, which addressed the American citizen with a tint of warmth. The report put equal responsibility on the shoulders of the authorities as well as the general public to create a better education atmosphere.
The report, in its introduction has drawn attention to the background in which this kind of a report was even perceived necessary. This was related to the wide spread feeling that “something is seriously remiss in our educational system” (The National Commission on Excellence in Education ,1983). The major focus areas of the commission have been cited as:
assessing the quality of teaching and learning in our Nations public and private