Winner of AERA Outstanding Book Award in 1998 "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." --Washington Post "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 ReviewOne 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.