This chapter argues that economic, social and political conditions – including growing public dissatisfaction with public schools, the push for strong systems of accountability and systemic reform, and beliefs about the effectiveness of “research-based” decision-making – have all set the stage for the adoption of external reform designs. These events combine to cause schools and districts to look to the possibilities of reform. Hierarchical relations of power strongly impact school reform efforts. Power relations often also influence what information is presented, as well as how much. The politics of representation is the competition that takes place among individuals or factions over the meaning of ambiguous events, people, and objects in the world. One’s perspective is usually influenced by the standpoint from which one sees and experiences the world. Educators’ perspectives and responses to reform can be deeply embedded within a larger societal context.