Before I take off for Iceland this week and check out their penis museum (no seriously, check this out), I have to recommend you read The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch.
This book provides an excellent history of the education system in the United States and offers some critical analysis on the new direction reform is taking. Honestly, reading this book was an eye-opener at times: I have seriously begun to question some of the people and things Teach for America supports (Joel Klein for one).
Anyone in the trenches of teaching can appreciate this book's critique of teacher accountability and high stakes testing movements. Ravitch herself admits that she was once on the testing and accountability bandwagon; she then explains why she changed her mind and why she hopes it's not too late for others to do so either. It's a book for both sides of the debate to read.
If you're even interested somewhat in education, get this book. Or borrow it from me. Whatevs.