The little blue booklet still sits at the of top my bookcase as if I had just put it there yesterday, prominently displayed for fear that it might get lost among the other publications if shelved in the usual fashion. I could hardly believe that this slim document—36 pages in all, without the appendixes—was all that there was to the report that had ignited so much debate on the condition of American education. I was an attentive observer at the time. Just a few months after the report appeared in the spring of 1983, I had published my first book on education, which I wrote after serving for 3 years (1978–1981) as a special assistant to the Chancellor of the New York City public schools.1 I had come into that job straight out of graduate school when my dissertation advisor, Frank Macchiarola, was asked to become head of the school system. Among my duties was to direct the Chancellor ‘s Office of Policy Analysis, Research, and Planning.