The quality of education has indeed improved a lot since the wake up call in 1983, but it is still far from perfection. It will never be perfect in everyone's eyes, but we must still try to make it as good as possible. The real question is how do we improve it? Is the reform or the redesign path the best? We will probably never know. The reform or redesign conflict will likely never end. If the "redesigners" got their way, then the "reformers" would become the redesigners, and the battle would continue.
It is not likely that any system of education is truly superior. Depending on the era, technology, lifestyles, learning ability and style, and every aspect of everyones lives, certain forms of education may be better at different points in history, or even peoples lives, meaning that this is very much an unsolvable problem. Hopefully we can get as close to perfection as possible, but that may take quite some time since there is still too much arguing over what to do, and not enough of actually trying some of the options.
Thus, I conclude that education could be improved by mass testing, probably through entire school districts at a time, and seeing what works the best of the reforms and redesigns over the period of a few years, and alter schools based on the results. Although a standard school, as is used today, should remain an option for some years after for those who do not want to use the new education system.