This article is organized around three major assumptions. First, it argues that the current crisis of American schooling is symptomatic of a broader crisis in the meaning and practice of American democracy. Second, it contends that the dominant approaches to educational reform, particularly America 2000, appear to be at odds with educating students to be informed, critical citizens capable of actively participating in shaping and governing a democratic society. Third, it calls for educators to refashion educational leadership through a language of critique and possibility that expands and deepens the possibility for cultural and political democracy. In short, the article suggests that educational reformers need to expand the purpose and promise of schooling beyond the narrow interests of the marketplace, view multicultural education as central to living in a democratic society, refuse to equate nationalism with monoculturalism, and substitute the language of community, solidarity, and public responsibility for the current emphasis on choice and individual competitiveness.