Education in America has always been an absorbing domestic issue right from the Republic's early days. This book analyzes the development of the school system as well as the part played in it by various sectors of society. The conclusion reached is that the concept of equal education for all has been diluted by a number of factors, leaving the once-noble dream enfeebled. The authors feel that the common school had as a vital part of its development an idealistic core, that of equality for all. Citizens, regardless of race, wealth or religion, mingling together in a creative ferment would create a stronger, more lustrous republic. Certainly, a noble dream and, as they point out, one now considerably tarnished. The migration and segregation of the poor in ghettoes ringed with affluent suburbs has made equality a difficult; if not impossible goal. Many feel that in a time when business demands competence for its endeavors and the government and others issue reports characterizing the schools as being inadequate in maintaining America's position in the world, equality should take second place to the pursuit of excellence. The authors disagree, although they are aware of the foolishness committed in schools in the name of equality. They believe it is still an important and socially revivifying concept; by abandoning it our society will suffer.