Jonathan Kozol has made a career of documenting in book after heartbreaking book what poor children of color are asked to endure in school. “The massive desolation of the intellect and spirits and the human futures of these millions of young people in their neighborhoods of poverty” is a “national horror hidden in plain view,” Kozol writes, quoting Roger Wilkins. Why, then, is there no national response? This is the question that drives Kozol’s new book and haunts his readers. Peter Sacks has part of an answer. Transforming public education would require us to debunk one of the most fundamental myths of American culture: the myth of meritocracy.