In recent years, public and professional interest in schools has been heightened by a spate of reports, many of them critical of current school policy. these policy documents have added to persistent and long-standing concerns about the cost, effectiveness, and fairness of the current school structure, and have made schooling once again a serious public issue. As in the past, however, any renewed interest in education is likely to be short-lived, doomed to dissipate as frustration over the inability of policy to improve school practice sets in.
This frustration about school policy relates to knowledge about the educational production process and in turn to underlying research on schools. Although the educational process has been extensively researched, clear policy prescriptions flowing from this research have been difficult to derive.