Format of Original
This essay questions the commonly held assumption that schools today are worse academically than they were in the past. It argues that schools have seldom been chieﬂy interested in intellectual inquiry. Nor have they ever been committed to providing a quality intellectual education to all students. We argue that if history has anything to tell us about quality education today, it is not that we must try to recapture a lost age of academic excellence but that we cannot create truly excellent schools without addressing the inequities that have long been embedded in them or without understanding how those marginalized by the educational system have struggled to confront inequities.