There are obviously many explanations for our nation's troubled schools, including the persistence of childhood poverty, higher expectations dictated by a changing global economy, and the sheer size and diversity of the country's educational enterprise. But this report examines another explanation that may not be receiving the attention it warrants. Maze of Mistrust explores the human dynamics those individual and community patterns of communication and behavior that can either smooth the way for change or stymie it at every turn. What emerges from this research is the proposition that local politics, distrust, miscommunication, and unhealthy relationships caused by lingering suspicions and old grudges play a surprisingly powerful role in blocking progress. In effect, the political and community milieu of reform has become a major stumbling block.