"Seymour Sarason's book is a wake-up call to the American people: it insists that our political leaders remedy 'the cavernous depths of their ignorance' regarding education so as to reverse the record of their failure to successfully promote reform." (John I. Goodlad, codirector, Center for Educational Renewal, University of Washington and president, Institute of Educational Inquiry)
"Seymour Sarason has done it again! In clear, precise prose, he helps us understand how political leadership has failed our schools. He does more than grouse, however. He outlines an agAnda for political leaders who want to improve our educational system. This is must reading for policy makers, especially those who view themselves as opinion leaders." (John E. Cawthorne, assistant dean of students, Boston College School of Education, former vice president for education, National Urban League)
"Educator Seymour Sarason has prepared a powerful indictment of our national political leaders: he details the questions they must ask and the understandings they must secure if our public educational system is to be salvaged." (Howard Gardner, professor of education, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, author of The Unschooled Mind and Multiple Intelligences)
"One of America's seminal thinkers about public education, Seymour Sarason, writes candidly to government leaders, policy makers, educators, and citizens as to why a total overhaul of our educational system must become a national, presidential priority if democracy is to thrive. Sarason tells us why past reform efforts have failed. No president since Thomas Jefferson has clearly understood the significance of education to an enlightened and participatory democracy. For those looking for reassurance that our current efforts to improve education through pilot schools, learning standards, tests, and governmental supervision; [they] should not read this book. However, those willing to entertain the possibility that such reforms perpetuate a history of failure, read on." (Carl Glickman, university professor, professor of social foundations of education, and chair of The Program for School Improvement, Univeristy of Georgia)
"Underlying Sarason's Cassandra-like predications about the inevitable shortcomings of educational reform "solutions" is a deep and abiding belief in the democratic spirit and the concomitant necessity of debate as a means to inform and make change happen, To stimulate this debate he explores the complexity of the issues, using history, research, commission reports and personal experience and, in his characteristic way, helps us gain fresh insights and perspectives into the problems that schools have and the urgent need for the attention they deserve." (Ann Lieberman, visiting scholar, Stanford University and Jointventure's 21st Education Initiative)
"As in his many other books, Sarason remains an astute diagnostician of why things go wrong with school reform." (Teacher)
About the Author
SEYMOUR B. SARASON is professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the Institute for Social Policy Studies at Yale University.