The nation is awash in reforms and would-be reforms that promise to improve--or even transform--public schools. In Left Back, Diane Ravitch conveys a sober message: Schooling in the United States has suffered from "a century of failed school reforms."
Ravitch is an influential historian and herself a seasoned school reformer who served as assistant secretary in the Department of Education during the Bush administration. Though a skilled controversialist, she wishes to speak here as the voice of objective history. "If there is a lesson to be learned from the river of ink that was spilled in the education disputes of the twentieth century,"