“Without qualification, and immediately, halve the student population of every classroom, from forty to twenty, or from thirty-two to sixteen, it doesn’t matter,” writes Lewis Buzbee in his “Immodest Proposal to Save Our Schools,” part of the epilogue of his new book Blackboard: A Personal History of the Classroom. When he says, “Let us also offer experienced teachers yearlong sabbaticals every five years, for professional development and to forestall burnout,” he seems serious. Or perhaps it’s truer to say the suggestion seems logical, despite the proposal being modeled on Jonathan Swift’s satire. Buzbee’s won numerous awards for his books, including the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Children’s Book of the Year and the Beatty Award from the California Library Association (Steinbeck’s Ghost) and the Northern California Book Award (The Haunting of Charles Dickens). Blackboard is a teacher’s meditation on the abilities of a new and degenerating school system to save at-risk students, comparing the one in which he grew up with that of his daughter.