This timely and important book by a former Commissioner of Education for both New Jersey and Rhode Island, presents a radically different point of view on the role of government in public education. Fred G. Burke effectively argues that education, especially that of the poor, cannot be viewed in isolation of the many factors that contribute to a productive life. With a forceful insight, he discusses many alternative policies and strategies that will alleviate the current crisis in public education. Concluding, contrary to most current studies, that the problems in public education cannot be addressed by the voluntary actions of thousands of near autonomous local school districts, Burke proposes a national policy which will redefine the role of the federal government in public education and address the entire range of child and youth needs. Policymakers and students of public policy and education, as well as the general reader concerned with public education, will find this book a source of stimulating and innovative ideas. The book begins with a chillingly realistic overview of the current status of the educational system in the United States. As the numbers of black and Hispanic students in public education reaches a majority, drop-out rates for both of these communities reaches 50 percent. Burke discusses the serious problems involved in this statistic in a section titled, "A Generation at Risk." He follows this with a discussion of reform strategies and policies, covering the issues of the restructuring of schools, the national tests and national curriculum, and the status of the teaching profession. Finally, the book reviews the national public policy process and examines theelements of a national youth policy.