The Monitor's education editor, Jim Bencivenga, suggests this list of books to interested parents, teachers, and students: The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto, by Mortimer J. Adler on behalf of the members of the Paideia Group. A philosophic rationale on why traditional liberal arts should be taught to all children. 84 pp. $2.95. Available at book stores or through Macmillan Publishing Company, 866 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022. High School: A Report on Secondary Education in America, by Ernest L. Boyer and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Of all the recent reports on schools, this is considered the most comprehensive look at secondary schools. 379 pp. $15. Available at book stores or through Harper & Row Publishers Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022. Against Mediocrity: The Humanities in America's High Schools, edited by Chester E. Finn Jr., Dian Ravitch, and Robert T. Fancher. This study unabashedly proposes standards of excellence and then provides examples of what excellence is and what it can be for students and teachers alike. 276pp. $11.50 paper. Holmes & Meir Publishers Inc., 30 Irving Place, New York, N.Y. 10003. A Place Called School: Prospects for the Future, by John I. Goodlad. This study takes readers inside schools and gives them a ringside seat on just what is going on in dozens of classrooms. 416 pp. $18.95. Available at bookstores or through McGraw-Hill Book Company, Customer Service, Princeton Road, Hightstown, N.J. 08520. The Great School Debate: Which Way for American Education? edited by Beatrice and Ronald Gross. If the current school reform movement overwhelms you, this book provides the most comprehensive synthesis, overview, and critique of what has been occurring during the last three years. 522 pp. $9.95. Available at bookstores or through Simon & Schuster Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. The Good High School: Portraits of Character and Culture, by Sara Lawrence Lightfoot. This journal gives verbal snapshots of urban, suburban, and private high schools. 399 pp. $19.95. Basic Books Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022. Seeds: Some Good Ways to Improve Our Schools, by Cynthia Parsons. One hundred and eight practical ways for students, teachers, administrators, and parents to make schools better. 224 pp. $15.95. Woodbridge Press, Box 6189, Santa Barbara, Calif. 93160. The Troubled Crusade: American Education 1945-1980, by Diane Ravitch. This comprehensive overview gives a scholarly, historical account of the many political, social, and educational crosscurrents running through American schools in the postwar era. 420 pp. $19.95. Available at bookstores or through Basic Books Inc. 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022. Horace's Compromise: The American High School, by Theodore R. Sizer. Of the major education studies, this offers the closest look at the teacher in the classroom. 241 pp. $16.95. Available at bookstores or through Houghton Mifflin Company, 2 Park Street, Boston, Mass. 02108.