I'm the author of the ASHFALL three-and-a-half-ology: ASHFALL, ASHEN WINTER, SUNRISE, and DARLA'S STORY.
Fascinating book about the differences between education in the U.S., Poland, Finland, and South Korea. I particularly appreciated the emphasis Ripley puts on learning about each system from its students. Teenagers don't have enough voice in the educational debates raging around the world, and this book is a baby step toward putting that to rights.
I certainly don't agree with all of Ripley's points, and she has an annoying tendency to cherry-pick data in support of her points. For example, it's not fair to make a generalization about all wealthy American schools based on just the Beverly Hills district, or to generalize about all poor Finnish schools based on one Helsinki high school. But, despite its flaws, it's an interesting read and well worth your time if you're even remotely interested in educational policy.