Teachers make a difference. As someone who grew up in one of the po- est and rural areas of a poor state and ended up attending elite graduate and professional schools, I have much to credit my public school teachers. My teachers sure struggled much to teach an amazingly wide variety of students from different backgrounds, abilities, and hopes. Given that re- ity, which undoubtedly repeats itself across the United States and globe, one would think that I should be quite hesitant to criticize a system that produces countless grateful students and productive citizens. I agree. The pages that follow surely can be perceived as yet another attack on already much maligned schools that do produce impressive outcomes despite their limited resources, increased obligations, and the sustained barrage of attacks from competing interest groups. Some may even view the text as an affront to the inalienable rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit. Others surely could understand the analysis as another assault on our decentralized legal and school systems that should retain the right to balance the needs of communities, parents, schools, and students. I clearly did not intend, and do not see the ultimate result, as yet another diatribe on the manner teachers, parents and communities treat students.