While students who attend only a KIPP middle school don’t seem to benefit, those who attend KIPP for both middle and high school experienced large gains.

“I would love us to try to agree on some goals,” said Arne Ducan at a forum on Tuesday. “I don’t have a lot of optimism that it’s going to come at the national level.”

Here’s what we know: high-poverty schools face a bigger cliff, that more federal money won’t be forthcoming, and that school budgets will be shaped both by districts’ own financial decisions and those made by state politicians.

Her book discusses the racial history of school vouchers, the more progressive arguments for school choice, the rise of charter schools, and choice advocates’ recent focus on culture war issues.

This suggests that critiques of American education are making inroads with the public, but don’t appear to reflect most parents’ own experiences.