“In the early 1990s, after getting a law degree from Harvard, Segal worked for the Manhattan district attorney. She led dozens of investigations in the aftermath of accusations that school jobs in New York City were being sold for sex and cash…Segal thinks the cause of rampant corruption is not bad people but a lousy system that overcentralizes decision-making.”—Forbes
“Anyone who is interested in school reform—this means anyone who pays taxes, is a parent or guardian of a child attending school, and/or who works toward a goal of establishing an education system that puts children first—must read this book.”—ParentAdvocates.org
“Segal proposes a number of sensible reforms: creating an independent Inspector General’s office in all big-city school districts, privatizing custodial and repair services, decentralizing various purchasing decisions.”—Wall Street Journal
Drawing on ten years of undercover work and research in four major school districts, Lydia Segal reveals how systemic waste and fraud siphon millions of dollars from urban classrooms. Segal shows how money is lost in systems that focus on process rather than on results, and how regulations established to curb waste and fraud provide perverse incentives for new forms of both. Calling for renewed powers for principals and a streamlining of oversight, Segal offers a bold, far-reaching plan to reclaim our schools.