News From SLS Watch Founder Peter Downs,
My book, Schoolhouse Shams: Myths and Misinformation in School Reform, has just been published by Rowman & Littlefield Education (

Here are some comments about the book:

"Downs's [book] should serve as a warning to all elected school board members that political considerations and privatization efforts are a threat to democratically elected boards of education. What happened in St. Louis could easily happen in any community." William Purdy, sixteen-year elected member and former president, St. Louis Board of Education

"Peter Downs has written a provocative, informative, and timely book about school reform in St. Louis. Its lessons apply to many cities undergoing similar reforms today." Diane Ravitch, research professor in education at New York University, Brown Chair in Education Policy at Brookings Institution, and author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.

"Peter Downs takes the reader into the heart of the school reform debate–the people, the policies, the decisions–to understand the complexities and contradictions of what is really at stake in the school reform debate. Drawing on a decade of evidence, Schoolhouse Shams provides a serious warning about the costs of neoliberal educational reforms, a critique important for urban school districts around the nation." Rebecca Rogers, associate professor of literacy and discourse studies, University of Missouri St. Louis.