I suppose I began this chapter with a bit of a chip on my shoulderwith an attitude, as my students say. I teach history in a public high school (1,600 students) in Portland, Oregon, a medium-sized U.S. city in the Pacific Northwest (student population: 58,000). Conditions of teaching and learning are eroding. Due in large part to a property tax limitation passed several years ago, there is less and less money available for the schools. Teachers have been laid off, class sizes have ballooned, library budgets have been slashed, and support for professional improvement has declined.