“THE WASHINGTON POST: Why do you think [Osama] bin Laden has not been caught?

THE PRESIDENT: Because he’s hiding.”

“Imagine if baseball were taught the way science is taught in most inner-city schools. Schoolchildren would get lectures about the history of the World Series. High school students would occasionally reproduce famous plays of the past. Nobody would get in the game themselves until graduate school.”

“Democracy is meaningless if the people can’t get accurate information.”

“Activism at its most contagious is always linked to celebration and joy.”

“I believe that the only way to make a major improvement in our educational system is through privatization to the point at which a substantial fraction of all educational service is rendered to individuals by private enterprises. Nothing else will destroy or even greatly weaken the power of the educational establishment–a necessary pre-condition for radical improvement in our educational system.. . .The privatization of schooling would produce a new, highly active and profitable industry. . . .””

“It’s [Harcourt Assessment mishaps] a concern to us on a number of levels. I’ve heard negative press reports on every test publisher we’ve ever done business with. There’s no relationship you can have with a contractor who hasn’t made a mistake.”

“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all–regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.”

“We strongly support the No Child Left Behind legislation because it works to create a K through 12 system that is more competitive with the educational systems of other industrialized nations and will lead to a better educated and more highly skilled American workforce in the future. “

“Armstrong Williams’ $240,000 contract was his cut from the Bush voucher Bagman, Rod Paige.”

“The Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, is not qualified to teach at all in a Chicago public school. Literally with no education qualifications, he can dictate what goes on in the education of 436,000 children and 50,000 employees in 600 different school communities.”

“Chicago Public Schools has embarked on an untested effort to charterize and privatize our schools, while giving them more money. The Daley team has had nine years to turn these schools around. They are now risking the futures of poor and minority students in struggling schools on an untested experiment. Renaissance 2010 will turn over entire schools to groups or businesses with no track record of turning around struggling, high-poverty schools.”

” Overall, the jobs of the future will require only modest skill growth. In fact, the demand for increased skills is increasing more slowly than in the past. School improvement may be a good idea, but we need better reasons than a false skills crisis. If we reform schools for the wrong reasons, we will reform them in the wrong ways.”

“The business man has, of course, not said to himself: ‘I will have the public school train office boys and clerks for me, so that I may have them cheap’;but he has thought, and sometimes said: ‘Teach the children to write legibly, and to figure accurately and quickly; to acquire habits of punctuality and order; to be prompt to obey, and not question why; and you will fit them to make their way in the world as I have made mine.'”

“How quickly they point to the teachers when they wish to cast blame for a failing federal program. It, of course, couldn’t possibly be that the testing program simply doesn’t address the problems of education, could it?”

“Even at the best, mini-schools can provide only a partial solution. Even if all 200 of the new or proposed ones flourish, a vast majority of New York’s high school pupils will still attend large, traditional schools. The Klein and Bloomberg administrations cannot possibly succeed in their ambitious and admirable goals for public education if large high schools remain the stepchildren of the system, whether being closed or being overwhelmed.”

“Of course, Behaviorism works. So does torture. Give me a no-nonsense, down-to-earth behaviorist, a few drugs, and simple electrical appliances, and in six months I will have him reciting the Athanasian Creed in public. “

“People have to remember that Iraq is the size of California and Baghdad is the size of Los Angeles. If the news reported all the deaths in Los Angeles on a daily basis no one would ever go to Disneyland.”

“School takover does not come with pixie dust and a magic wand.”

“Recess retreats from the school landscape, and that is a sin.

You cannot yank the major source of joy from the school day without demoralizing our young. At the least, we are in danger of producing generations of feeble-weenie adults who don’t know an aggie from a steelie or double Dutch from a Dutch oven.

Taking recess from schoolchildren is hideous, cruel, unconscionable, intolerable, mean, detestable, shortsighted, mind-numbing, grotesque, and if I may quote a great American, Daffy Duck, at his loud, indignant, moist, lisping best, it is “des-th-picable! ”

“NCLB usurps the power of local communities to choose their own policies and programs. It represents a power grab on the part of the federal government that is unprecedented in the history of U. S. education”

” Above all, NCLB assumes that neither children, their families, their teachers, nor their communities can be trusted to make important decisions about their schools. It defines such parties as special biased self-interest, whose judgment is inferior to that of the bureaucrats at the Department of Education and the various testing services. “

“If we lived in an alternate universe where income equality really was a goal of federal economic policy and an NCLB-like system of sanctions put pressure on the titans of industry and commerce to attain such a lofty goal, what might be appropriate remedies for such a dismal performance: “corrective action?” to borrow the language of NCLB sanctions, economic restructuring? reconstitution of our major corporations? How about “state takeover”?”

“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. “

“The issue of education is close to my heart and on this vital issue there’s no one I trust more than Margaret Spellings.”

“Every time I hear the news
That old feeling comes back on;
We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the Big Fool says to push on. “

Testing Moratorium. Call for a national or state-by-state moratorium on high-stakes testing until such tests can be established as having predictive value. That is, unless we can link test scores to some measure of success after leaving school they should not be given. Why deny a child a diploma or grade promotion, or teachers their jobs, if the tests used for these decisions cannot predict future success or measure the effectiveness of the schools? So far, no such evidence has been forthcoming, even as we pour bilions of dollars into testing and threaten students, their families, and teachers with dire consequences based on these scores.”

“NCLB is set up to penalize schools that actually do attempt to make a difference for our poor and minority students. . . . Schools with more diverse populations are being punished by NCLB. Called the “diversity penalty,” this phenomenon occurs because the greater the diversity in a school the more likely the school will fail to meet AYP. (Remember that failing to meet AYP means that schools will be punished.) This is because of a specific feature of the legislation which says that if just one so-called subgroup fails to meet the standard, the entire school fails. For example, in one Florida school district a school previously judged to be outstanding suddenly found itself rated as failing even though 80 percent of its students were judged to be proficient in math and 88 percent in reading. The reason for the failing score was that a group of 45 special education students, out of a population of 1,150 students, failed to improve their test scores. But a neighboring school, with 39 special education students, did not have the scores of these students counted–because there have to be 40 students in any subgroup to be measured. Clearly the more subgroups a school tries to serve, groups that are defined by racial or income status, the greater the likelihood that the school will not make AYP.”

“Here are some of the things kids at Garfield/Franklin elementary in Muscatine, Iowa, no longer do: eagle watch on the Mississippii River, go on field trips to the University of Iowa’s Museum of Natural History, and have two daily recesses. . . . Creative writing, social studies and computer work have all become occasional indulgences. Now that the standardized fill-in-the-bubble test is the foundation upon which the public schools rest–now that a federal law called No Child Left Behind mandates that kids as young as nine meet benchmarks in reading and math or jeopardize their school’s reputation–there’s little time for anything else.”