The Conspiracy of the Good addresses nagging questions that are part of the public debate over schooling. Why do our public schools, especially those in poor and working-class communities of color, fail to live up to the promises of the American dream? Why do reforms, those standard items in political campaigns, fail to create meaningful change? This book argues that «progressive», well-meaning, good-hearted men and women, who often advocate «good intentions» in the name of «helping those in need», have ended up doing more harm than good. The Conspiracy of the Good explores how these «good intentions» go awry. Michael E. James argues that the core value of the American experience is conflict &8211; not consensus &8211; despite what mainstream historians have espoused over the last few decades.