Choice provided a great review of The Pitfalls of Reform. See here and/or below:
"Tanner takes on education reformers in this excellent treatise about why K-12 reform mostly fails and what to do about it. Tanner skewers most of what passes for reform, including the establishment of rigid standards in core subjects followed by teaching focused on test content followed by, ideally, improved test scores. The author turns to a discussion of the major constraints impeding meaningful reform in schools. Those constraints include issue of time, school readiness, attitudes toward teachers, and others. Tanner employs an approach popularized by the business writer Eliyahu Goldratt to organize schools around the constraints. For example, time is universally considered to be a major problem in schools due to the fact that the time devoted to learning is essentially the same from school to school and student to student. To organize schools around this constraint might mean permitting schools to add time for learning in innovative ways. This may take the form of extending calendars, rejecting the notion that most students graduate in 12 years, etc. The author's use of the Goldratt strategy provides interesting paths to improve schools. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels."