Joan E. Talbert is Senior Research Scholar and Co-director of the Center for Research on the Context of Teaching in the Stanford University School of Education. She received her B.A. from Vassar College, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington. Her books include Professional Communities and the Work of High School Teaching (with Milbrey W. McLaughlin), 2001; and The Contexts of Teaching in Secondary Schools (with Milbrey W. McLaughlin and Nina Bascia), 1990. Recent articles and book chapters include “Professionalism and Politics in High School Teaching Reform” (Journal of Educational Change), 2003; and “Reforming Districts” (in A. M. Hightower, M. S. Knapp, J. P. Marsh, and M. W. McLaughlin, Eds., School Districts and Instructional Renewal: Opening the Conversation), 2002.