This introduction presents an overview of key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book addresses a number of topical and controversial issues associated with gender and other reforms. It examines the work of those who argue for and support the development of assessment strategies which recognize and value gender differences. The book focuses particularly on the state and on administrative practices. In different ways they all offer a feminist critique of the particular field under scrutiny and suggest modes of thinking and acting which are more amenable to the women's diverse and wide-ranging concerns. The book argues that educational administration has been constructed, since the mid-nineteenth century, as a 'masculinist enterprise', in which a particular type of 'hegemonic masculinity' has become associated with bureaucratic rationality. Finally, it addresses the matter of educational leadership.