"While she recognizes the necessity for school reform and the complexity of implementing it, Darling-Hammond remains optimistic that systemic changes to ensure access to a meaningful education for all children are possible. Her book is positive and hopeful and serves as a fascinating account of American education and its promise of 'the right to learn' for all children."
"Darling-Hammond's central claim is well worth listening to. She argues that American students do so poorly by comparison with students in other industrialized countries not because we don't give them enough work, but because our teaching is less thoughtful, and because we are obsessed with bureaucratic processes rather than educational outcomes."
—New York Times Book Review
One of the nation's most respected educators provides a vision of exceptional, learner-centered schools and describes the policies and practices that are needed to create these schools on a system-wide basis.
To create what Darling-Hammond calls "schools that work," she believes teachers must be prepared to collaborate more often and spend more time "teaching for understanding." This means a less programmed curriculum than the one most American schools currently follow, with more time for in-depth interaction between teachers and students, and students and subject matter. Darling-Hammond believes that educational reform starts with allowing teachers to get back to what they do best: teaching.