Signed Edition Sweepstakes

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse Education- School Reform & Controversy

More copies of this ISBN

Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling


Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What do we really want from schools? Only everything, in all its contradictions. Most of all, we want access and opportunity for all children--but all possible advantages for our own. So argues historian David Labaree in this provocative look at the way "this archetype of dysfunction works so well at what we want it to do even as it evades what we explicitly ask it to do."

Ever since the common school movement of the nineteenth century, mass schooling has been seen as an essential solution to great social problems. Yet as wave after wave of reform movements have shown, schools are extremely difficult to change. Labaree shows how the very organization of the locally controlled, administratively limited school system makes reform difficult.

At the same time, he argues, the choices of educational consumers have always overwhelmed top-down efforts at school reform. Individual families seek to use schools for their own purposes--to pursue social opportunity, if they need it, and to preserve social advantage, if they have it. In principle, we want the best for all children. In practice, we want the best for our own.

Provocative, unflinching, wry, Someone Has to Fail looks at the way that unintended consequences of consumer choices have created an extraordinarily resilient educational system, perpetually expanding, perpetually unequal, constantly being reformed, and never changing much.

About the Author

David F. Labaree is Professor of Education at Stanford University.

Stanford University

Product Details

Labaree, David F.
Harvard University Press
Educational Reform
Sociology - General
Education-School Reform & Controversy
Education-Philosophy & Social Aspects
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
Political Science : Public Policy - Social Policy
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on...
    Used Trade Paper $10.00
  2. The Flat World and Education: How... Used Trade Paper $17.50

Related Subjects

Education » General
Education » School Reform and Controversy
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Textbooks » General

Someone Has to Fail: The Zero-Sum Game of Public Schooling New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.95 In Stock
Product details 312 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674063860 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at