Thomas Ultican left a good job in Silicon Vally to become a teacher of high school math and physics in a school where half the students are English learners. He discovered that teaching was much harder than anything else he had ever done.


In his reading, he was struck by the long-standing charge that American public education is failing. He remembered hearing about this in the 1950s, the 1960, and so on until “A Nation at Risk” in 1983. Since then, the drumbeat of criticism has been unending, and is still untrue. He never understood how a nation whose schools were always “failing” could rise to become the most powerful nation in the world.


He came to the conclusion that the claims of the reformers are a myth, an illusion. Teachers and schools are facing steep challenges, then blamed for the challenges they are working to overcome. None of this makes any sense.