Here are some other quotes from the book on issues that resonated with me:
"Sometimes it [the government/society]* wanted children to solve the social problems, such as racial segregation, adults could not handle. Sometimes it tacitly supported some schools as warehouses, not instructional facilities. Sometimes it sought schooling to be the equalizer in a society in which the gap between the rich and the poor was growing... Now the drumbeat demands that all children achieve academically at a high level and the measure of that achievement is tests." - Patricia Albjerg Graham, former director of the National Institute of EducationIn elaboration of the above statement, Millman writes, "The decision to send a child to school is a decision to send a child into an environment with an organization and culture shaped by such seldom articulated assumptions and compromises. It is a decision to entrust a child to an enterprise whose tacit mission and goals may be different from the ones written on the wall. These missions and goals are both political and economic."
Millman discusses the concept of "agency risk - the notion that people who manage an organization [in this case, schools] tend to manage it in their own interest, not in the interest of shareholders or other stake-holders [i.e. the children]."
Personally, I read this book with a silent cheer, because not only does it outline so well the issues and struggles my own family has faced in the public school system in our town, but the Millmans' philosophy toward education and learning is one that I passionately share.
(Let me also clearly state that I support every family's right to choose the educational option that works best for them, be it public school, private school, home school, or even no school. It is not my place to question another family's educational decisions.)
*The words within the brackets [ ] are mine, to make the quote clearer.
The Millman's blog at http://www.homeschoolingafamilysjourney.com/