8. 'The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,' by Diane Ravitch
Author Diane Ravitch is a controversial figure in education reform. An appointee to the Department of Education under President George H.W. Bush who later served Bill Clinton, Ravitch championed contemporary education policy reforms like the proliferation of charter schools and teacher merit pay (based on test scores). Here, she recants many of her former positions. The book became a quick bestseller when its original edition hit bookstores in 2010, and it remains controversial because Ravitch still supports some of the primary aims of reform, such as a one-size-fits-all national curriculum.