The United States is built on the idea that all individuals should be free to reach their full potential – the “pursuit of happiness” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as one of the “unalienable rights” all Americans share. And a natural corollary is that society has the responsibility to provide at least the basic tools individuals need to pursue this goal effectively. While many aspects are involved in the accomplishing this goal, our schools clearly have a key role. But it is also clear that the schools have not been doing as much as they could to ensure that all Americans have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the twenty-first century. As a result, school reform is a topic on many people’s minds today – as it should be.