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Education reform does not come easily. Thomas Jefferson was a three-time loser before achieving success in his old age. Nevertheless, several education reform efforts have triumphed over indifference, inertia, and opposition, to alter the face and character of American schooling. This book examines seven reform efforts initiated over the past two centuries. It probes the social and economic forces that pushed them, the motives of the reformers and their opponents, and the strategies used by both. In the final chapters, the author infers lessons from the cases and applies them to three major education reform efforts of the early 21st century, predicting their chances of success and offering suggestions for improving their prospects. The book will be of interest to all who are concerned about improving American education--parents, teachers, administrators, business people, and policy makers.