Cato Unbound is having a discussion on Education. The Lead Essay is by Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute. The thrust of his essay was that "A Nation at Risk" got it wrong and we should approach education with the mindset that we could be doing better in contrast with a "the sky is falling mentality".
Slate has a ten part series called "Fixing It". The education component is written by UVA law professor Jim Ryan and he has some sensible recommendations: amend NCLB to have tests at less regular intervals but in more subject areas, nationalized standards, and use Teach for America or a similar vehicle to transform teaching into prestigious profession.
City Journal had a forum a while back amongst right-of-center education reform advocates as to whether school choice or institutional reform was the proper way forward.