A “vivid, unpredictable, fair, balanced and . . . very entertaining” look at how education reforms have changed one typical American elementary school over the course of a year (Jay Mathews, The Washington Post)The pressure is on at schools across America. In recent years, reforms such as No Child Left Behind have created a new vision of education that emphasizes provable results, uniformity, and greater attention for floundering students. Schools are expected to behave more like businesses and are judged almost solely on the bottom line: test scores. To see if this world is producing better students, Linda Perlstein immersed herself in a suburban Maryland elementary school, once deemed a failure, that is now held up as an example of reform done right. Perlstein explores the rewards and costs of that transformation, and the resulting portrait—detailed, human, and truly thought-provoking—provides the first detailed view of how new education policies are modified by human realities.