In Assigning Blame: The Rhetoric of Education Reform (Harvard Education Press), Mark Hlavacik, assistant professor of communication studies, explores the public discussion of K-12 education in the U.S. since the 1980s.
"Everyone seems to agree that education reforms should be justified using blame," he says.
Who does he say gets blamed the most? "Bureaucrats," though that can mean different things to different people -- from politicians and government agency employees, to principals and district administrators, and even teachers.
"The book cautions that the over-application of blaming undermines the publicness of public education."