In the ""Issues for the 90s"" series, a free-lancer offers a contemporary overview that frequently quotes the national reform panels of the past decade. It's well known that little concrete change has resulted from these national non-events, which rely on talk rather than definitive action. Partly because of the emphasis on them, the book suffers from blandness, which also extends to its tight, journalistic style and even to the dull typeface. Sherrow does touch on many current issues and problems: year-round schooling, immigrants, dropouts, homeless children, etc.; she's objective and evenhanded, but in taking the broad view she misses the excitement of some dynamic reforms that have taken hold--e.g., the writing process and whole language movements. Nor will her too-brief treatment of successful school programs like the Accelerated Schools Project, which gives new dignity to ""remediation,"" do much to ignite enthusiasm. Readers may consult the book for reports, but they won't come away wanting to be teachers, and that's too bad. Bibliography; index.