The malaise of education seems pretty obvious to many people and the first half of their short book provides a summary of that common harangue in clear, solid, soundbite-proof language. The authors identify what they call a Trilemma Dysfuntion in schools that has a crippling effect on reform strategies. First, since there are "not enough academically academically able students...being drawn to teaching," the pool of talent and ambition has diminished. Second, "teacher preparation programs need substantial improvement," since their certification and renewal procedures have historically been much less than rigorous. Third, "the professional life of teachers is on the whole unacceptable," that is, professional development and growth opportunities remain stagnant. These three dysfunctions feed into and maintain a malformed culture in schools. What is worse, teachers have operated for so long under this cultural dysfuntion that they regulate themselves with their own myopic, bureaucratic chains (cf. Foucault's Panopticon).