The Stories Numbers Can't Tell

For close to 35 years, I’ve been writing about a cluster of issues that involve social class, education, and work: literacy, intelligence, academic underpreparation, and the purpose of schooling. Looking back, I realize that I’ve tried to understand and portray the ways opportunity and inequality play out in American life. One challenge I’ve faced is rendering the complexity in the lives of the people I’ve interviewed. They bear witness to