Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

Notable Quotes

"As a mentor, I cook with student & see a zillion benefits. But we "measure" flour, not things that go bump in PR fog"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 1, 2016

"There is a monotony about the injustices suffered by the poor that perhaps accounts for the lack of interest the rest of society shows in them. Everything seems to go wrong with them. They never win. It's just boring.

Our Invisible Poor"

—Dwight Macdonald, New Yorker, Jan. 19, 1963

"In The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death, Jill Lepore uses Milton Bradley's the Game of Life as a jumping off point for an engrossing and entertaining discussion of American values. From a history of breast-feeding to Scientific Management as promoted by Frederick Winslow Taylor to the battle over E. B. White's Stuart Little to the 'Can This Marriage be Saved' column to the Cryonics Institute warehouse --and much much more--Lepore offers a fascinating history of American attitudes and obsessions.

Highly recommended."

—Susan Ohanian, jan. 22, 2016

" I just can't imagine prioritizing homework with my 5-year-old son when I feel it's more important we spend time together as a family, nurture our children, or let the kids play together. I am not an early childhood education expert, but it seems to me that social skills and emotional intelligence are the most critical things to teach. I see my children absorb valuable lessons from interacting that they would never learn from me alone: sharing, conflict resolution, leadership (our son teaches his sisters yoga), teamwork, praising others, and more. As a parent of multiple children, sibling bonding is one of my highest priorities. At the very least, higher than kindergarten homework.

No, My Kindergartner Will Not Be Doing Your Homework Assignment "

—Cara Paiuk, Role Reboot, Jan. 7, 2016

"In their rush to prevent the quiet disappearance of literature and languages, philosophy and the arts, poetics and musicology from college course offerings across the country, the champions of the humanities have failed to realize that the humanities are not the true target.

Everywhere, exploration for its own sake is under siege. . . .

The sustained denigration of the humanities and the fixation on STEM fields is an obsession with tangible, knowable benefit, with instant gratification, with short-term, short-sighted gain--and that's an obsession that affects not just anthropology, but also astronomy."

—Devan Kreisberg, Killing the Bard, Pacific Standard, 1/15/16

"'Philanthrocapitalists' can't resolve the problems created by capitalism. "

—George Joseph, In These Times website, Dec. 28, 2015

"Turn public schools back to their communities. It worked for some 200 years until we decided to turn them into human drone development and detention centers where the young are taught to pass tests rather than to learn things.

How to Jumpstart the Progressive Movement "

—Sam Smith, Undernews/Progressive Review, Jan 6, 2016

"My mother insists that she sent me to school as a lefthander, but noticed in second grade I was writing with my right hand. She asked me what was up and I told her that I'd learned that in first grade. She asked me why I hadn't told her what was happening.

How could I? A kid only knows how school is 'spozed to be by attending one. As a first grader, I figured school was where they made you do things their way. Or else.

Resisting the Specter of Fierce Neatness "

—Susan Ohanian, NCTE Voices from the Middle, May 2005

"We must learn to honor excellence in every socially accepted human activity, however humble the activity, and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity. An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. "

—John Gardner, 'Excellence,' Sec Health, Education, Welfare 1960ies

"And so it appears that most and perhaps all of industrial agriculture's manifest failures are the result of an attempt to make the land produce without husbandry.

And so it appears that most and perhaps all of corporate education reform's manifest failures are the result of an attempt to make public schools produce people who obey."

—Wendell Berry and Susan Ohanian

"The best among the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient and rebellious. They are quite right to be so....Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table? They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it."

—Oscar Wilde,'The Soul of Man Under Socialism & Other Essays,' 1891

"Wealth can be bad for your soul. That's not just a hoary piece of folk wisdom; it's a conclusion from serious social science, confirmed by statistical analysis and experiment. The affluent are, on average, less likely to exhibit empathy, less likely to respect norms and even laws, more likely to cheat, than those occupying lower rungs on the economic ladder."

—Paul Krugman, 'Privilege, Pathology & Power, New York Times, Jan. 1, 2016

"NYT Eduction Truthiness: Kids from money get free-play in woods. Preschoolers who live in poverty need time on task.


—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 1, 2016

"The frenzied worship of Big Data squashes any pursuit of Big Ideas. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 24, 2015

"No one should approach the temple of science w/ the soul of a money-changer--Thomas Browne (1605-82) Nor dominate the temple of teaching "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 1, 2015

"The continual introduction of special services and innovative programs serves to maintain the notion that something is being done and that the school is changing and experimenting with educational policy. During a period of six months, three major new programs were added and five specialists hired. The school becomes so involved in incorporating new programs and experts, learning new techniques and vocabularies, advertising them over the media, and selling them to parents, that hardly anyone notices that nothing has changed. By constantly switching into new programs before the previous innovations have run their course, the larger picture of stagnation and failure need not be faced .... Chronic crisis that are marginally bearable can be permanently withstood as long as the images of innovation and alleviation can be held in mind. "

—Gerald E. Levy, Ghetto School: Class Warfare in an Elementary School, 1970

"Feds won't label genetically engineered salmon but use a mangled ESEA to apply unhelpful labels to kids, teachers, and schools #StopESEA"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 1, 2015

"My mother's mother was the first single parent I knew. She trekked from Oklahoma to California with three children--sleeping under the car at night. I heard stories about that journey from my grandmother. My mother would never talk about it--except to forbid me to read 'Grapes of Wrath.' I've always wondered how people with those experiences could be Republicans, but these days even Democrats are Republicans and we can't count on anybody's political party for much. . . .

One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards"

—Susan Ohanian, One Size Fits Few, 1999

"Let's quit calling it public EDUCATION. It's more like compulsory public 'Jeopardy.' "

—Prof. David A. Gabbard, Assessment Reform Network, April 2005

"While cleaning out the attic last year, we found storage boxes with 130 letters my father had written to me over the years. They are so loving and so supportive and so beautiful. I've read all but 30. Iâm saving these because I know that when I finish them, my father will truly be gone.

Family Secrets"

—Susan Cheever, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2015

"Good teaching is grounded in generosity of spirit.

My Writing Education: A Timeline "

—George Saunders, as learned from Tobias Wolff, New Yorker, Oct. 22, 2015

". . . There is nothing more pathetic than caution
when headlong might save a life,
even, possibly, your own, "

—Mary Oliver, 'Moments,' in Felicity, 2015

" [A]s our foreign budget shrinks, more and more of it will have to be converted from traditional grants to 'Races to the Top,' which Duncan's Education Department pioneered in U.S. school reform. We will have to tell needy countries that whoever comes up with the best ideas for educating their young women and girls or incentivizing start-ups or strengthening their rule of law will get our scarce foreign aid dollars. That race is the future of foreign aid.

My Secretary of State [Arne Duncan]"

—Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Nov. 27, 2012

" What is a hypotenuse?
a) A very graceful hypot
b) An overweight chanteuse
c) The French word for profound boredom

Diagnostic Exam: Do You Have Math Anxiety?"

—Paul Rudnick, The New Yorker, Oct. 26, 2015

" I am not a manager of 600 schools. I'm a portfolio manager of 600 schools and I'm trying to improve the portfolio.--Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan, President-elect Obama's nominee for Secretary of Education

Obama's Betrayal of Public Education? Arne Duncan and the Corporate Model of Schooling "

—Henry Giroux & Kenneth Saltman, Truthout, Dec, 17, 2008

"When WB Yeats thought his poems too flowery he slept on a board. When teachers' work is nonstandardized Gates will supply bed of nails."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Oct. 8, 2015

"The Responsibility of Teachers as Public Intellectuals In the age of irresponsible privatization, unchecked individualism, celebrity culture, unfettered consumerism, and a massive flight from moral responsibility, it has become more and more difficult to acknowledge that educators and other cultural workers bear an enormous responsibility in opposing the current threat to the planet and everyday life by bringing democratic political culture back to life. Lacking a self-consciously democratic political focus or project, teachers are often reduced either to technicians or functionaries engaged in formalistic rituals, absorbed with bureaucratic demands, and unconcerned with the disturbing and urgent problems that confront the larger society and the consequences of one's pedagogical practices and research undertakings. In opposition to this model, with its claims to and conceit of political neutrality, I argue that teachers and academics should combine the mutually interdependent roles of critical educator and active citizen. This requires finding ways to connect the practice of classroom teaching with issues that bear down on their lives and the larger society and to provide the conditions for students to view themselves as critical agents capable of making those who exercise authority and power answerable for their actions. The role of a critical education is not to train students solely for jobs, but also to educate them to question critically the institutions, policies, and values that shape their lives, relationships to others, and their myriad of connections to the larger world.

The Curse of Totalitarianism and the Challenge of an Insurrectional Pedagogy"

—Henry Giroux, CounterPunch, Sept. 29, 2015

"The celebrated and sugary Disney film adaptation (1940), by which most people outside Italy have come to know Pinocchio's story, announces itself as an example of how, if sincerely desired, even the greatest of wishes can come true: a reassuring message. Nothing could be further from the acid spirit of Collodi's 'Story of a Puppet.' The question with a puppet is: Who will manipulate him? When the puppet turns out to have a stubborn and stupid will of his own, that question becomes: Whom will he allow himself to be manipulated by?

Knock on Wood"

—Tim Parks, NY Review of Books, April 2009

"[M]achinery has greatly increased the number of well-to-do idlers. "

—Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 15

"[Sherry Turkle's] new book is straightforwardly a call to arms: Our rapturous submission to digital technology has led to an atrophying of human capacities like empathy and self-­reflection, and the time has come to reassert ourselves, behave like adults and put technology in its place. As in 'Alone Together,' Turkle's argument derives its power from the breadth of her research and the acuity of her psychological insight. The people she interviews have adopted new technologies in pursuit of greater control, only to feel controlled by them. The likably idealized selves that they've created with social media leave their real selves all the more isolated. They communicate incessantly but are afraid of face-to-face conversations; they worry, often nostalgically, that they're missing out on something fundamental.

Sherry Turkle's Reclaiming Conversation"

—Jonathan Franzen, New York Times, 10/04/15

"Collecting data on human learning based on children's behavior in school is like collecting data on killer whales based on their behavior at Sea World.

A Thousand Rivers"

—Carol Black, Schooling the World

"... American schools are not only assuming the normal developmental window for reading to be too narrow, they're also placing it too early. In other words, it's not like expecting all children to take their first steps at the average age of twelve months: it's like expecting them all to take their first steps at the precocious age of ten months. In doing this you create a sub-class of children so bewildered, so anxious, whose natural processes of physical and neurological development and organization are so severely disrupted, that you literally have no way of knowing what they would have been like if you had not done this to them.

"Grade level standards," please recall, do not exist in nature; they are not created scientifically, but by fiat. And there has been almost no serious study of cognitive development in children whose learning has not been shaped by the arbitrary age grading of the school system. Finland simply sets its standards at a place where most children will succeed. The U.S. sets them at a place where a really significant percentage will fail. This is a choice. In making it, we may be creating disabilities in kids who would have been fine if allowed to learn to read on their own developmental schedule.

A Thousand Rivers "

—Carol Black, Schooling the World

"The point about TFA is not whether they're ready to teach on Day 1. The point is whether they're around, w/ added wisdom, on Day 1,000"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 26, 2015

" General Motors is homicidal fugitive from justice but NYT edit screams 20% of 8th graders not in algebra. What sane person decrees algebra 4 all?"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 20, 2015

"Public education has been under constant attack for more than three decades as conservative corporate, intellectual, and political reformers have devised policies and practices to dismantle and privatize the profession. These well-funded efforts have increased dramatically as the racial makeup of public school students has become decidedly minority and low-income. At the beginning of the 2015 school year, more than fifty-one percent of all K-12 pupils are African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American. . . .

A perfect storm appears to be emerging that is systematically downsizing public education as we know it. RTTT and Common Core are the main policies that many view as contributing to an evolving crisis in K-12 education. They have been fostered by the five most recent U.S. presidents with the most significant contributor being the Obama Administration. . . .

President Obama continued in the tradition of his four immediate predecessorsâPresidents Ronald W. Reagan, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush, but he escalated the dismantling of traditional public education by making privatization much easier with his signing of the odious RTTT.

Dismantling Public Education from Reagan to Obama"

—Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, Black Commentator, 9/17/15

" @POTUS Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great. 1"

—President Obama, Twitter, Sept. 16,, 2015

"The best thing we teachers have to take to our students is not our copy of international-class students. The best we have to take to our students is ourselves, who we are as people. This is what is so scary about teaching. We don't teach standards; we teach our selves. . . . In 'Self-Reliance,' Ralph Waldo Emerson tells us that character teaches above our wills, that 'virtue or vice emit a break at every moment.' This is scary stuff. If we take Emerson to heart and believe that with every breath teachers send out rays of virtue or vice, then why aren't we more worried about the character of the people running our schools than about finding a test that will show us if students in Alaska are ahead of those in Vermont in apostrophe acquisition? "

—Susan Ohanian, Standards, Plain English, & the Ugly Duckling, 1998

"Corporate school deformers chant, 'I'm OK, you're OK, it's the people in public schools who stink'"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 12, 2015

"The worst damage isn't from the Walt Disney World Resort itself. . . or even from the tourists. . . .The absolute worst thing Disney did was to change how people in Florida thought about money; nobody had ever dreamed there could be so much. Bankers, lawyers, real-estate salesmen, hoteliers, restaurateurs, farmers, citrus growers--everyone in Mickey's orb had to drastically recalibrate the concepts of growth, prosperity, and what was possible. Suddenly there were no limits. Merely by showing up, Disney had dignified blind greed in a state ppioneered by undignified greedheads."

—Carl Hiaasen, Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World, 1998

"The silence is what is killing us.

Relay Graduate School of Indoctrination"

—Peg with Pen blog, Sept. 7, 2015

" US Dept of Education â@usedgov: Education is a lifelong path & every child should have access to affordable early learning http://1.usa.gov/ZncBJM #ReadyforSuccess

@susanoha: "Affordable early learning" begins in home with every family receiving a living wage."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 8, 2015

"Eskimo Wisdom
There is no Eskimo word for National Standards."

—Susan Ohanian, The Eggplant, Sept. 7, 2015

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. "

—Edward Abbey, 'The Second Rape of the West,' Playboy 1975

"I love to discover potential in people who arenât thought to have any. "

—Dr. Oliver Sacks, quoted in NYT obituary, 8/30/3025

"The only way to test the legality of an unjust policy or law is to break it. The classic examples are from our nationâs civil rights struggles. In order to fight segregated busing in Montgomery, Alabama, for example, Rosa Parks had to test the law by deliberately breaking it. So let me state it clearly: I am deliberately testing the legal soundness of a policy that forces educators to violate parental choice, and prevents us from meeting our professional obligation to advise parents and students regarding the wisdom and need for them to subject themselves to an increasingly onerous load of unnecessary testing.

My Statement on CPS' 'Warning Resolution'"

—Troy LaRaviere, Principal, Blaine Elementary, 8/28/15

"NYT says Apple shipped 3.6 million watches in last quarter--price range: $349 to $12,000 I own dumb watch & dumb phone but my cat is smart"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 28, 2015

"CPS makes it imposs to find a school b/c they alphabetize listings by FIRST NAME. (Chicago has 37 schools named 'John,' 28 'Williams,' etc."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 27, 2015

"Unless yr sending out for pizza at a fac mtg, the word 'delivery' is always troubling in the context of schooling."

—Alfie Kohn, Twitter, Aug. 85, 2015

"There is also growing evidence that the reforms have come at the expense of the city's most disadvantaged children, who often disappear from school entirely and, thus, are no longer included in the data. The Myth of the New Orleans School Makeover"

—Prof. Andrea Gabor, NY Times, Aug. 23, 2015

"If any educator . . . encouraged optouts, I think it's unethical."

—MaryEllen Elia, NY State Education Commissioner, Keynote E4E, 8/20/15

"Big news: Starbucks will now put some pumpkin in their Pumpkin Spice Latte. I hope @usedgov will take note & put kids' needs in ed policy"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 20, 2015

"blogger (n.): An invasive species with no natural predators. "

—The New Devil's Dictionary, The Verge, 2015

"If you put a lot of photographers in one place, they'll all take different pictures."

—Sebastiao Salgado

"Excrement. That is what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard. We're not laying pipe. Weâre talking about poetry."

—John Keating (Robin Williams) Dead Poets Society

" I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance."

—Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me, 2015

" Laws mandate that those who work with children report any sign of abuse or neglect because if a child suffers harm, and it goes without reporting, there can be a great liability. Many teachers ask, 'To whom do we report the abuse when the abuse is a direct result of legislated policy?'

Testimony at ESEA Reauthorization Hearing"

—Ruth Rodríguez-Fay, UOO Administrator, July 7, 2015

"A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know. "

—Judge Murray Gurfein, Pentagon Papers case, June 17, 1971

"As Chris Hedges writes in his book Wages of Rebellion, 'The citizen has become irrelevant.' Since the American Federation of Teachers' leadership has publicly endorsed Hillary, teachers should know that they, too, have become irrelevant to the powers-that-be and nothing short of a real revolution is going to give any of us a chance. "

—Doug Martin, Hoosier School Heist blog, July 22, 2015

" Play is often talked about as if it is were a relief from serious business. But for children, play is serious business. "

—Fred Rogers

"Very little of the schooling at the elementary and secondary levels is oriented to developing actual skills, much less knowledge--which, to the extent that they are needed for later employment, can be obtained on the job or in post-secondary education (vocational-training institutes and colleges). Schools are, then, less about education than a kind of behavioral modification, preparing the vast majority of students for a life of routinization and standardization, in which most will end up employed in essentially unskilled, dead-end jobs. Indeed, most jobs in the degraded work environment of monopoly capitalist societyâeven those set aside for college graduatesârequire precious little formal education.

Education and the Structural Crisis of Capital: The U.S. Case"

—John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review, July 2011

"Throughout their history. . . the SAT's "A" has stood for "aptitude," "assessment," and "achievement," and today SAT, like KFC, stands only for itself."

—Anya Kamenetz, The Test, 2015

"I am an adjunct professor who teaches five classes. I earn less than a pet-sitter.

US Income Inequality "

—Lee Hall, The Guardian, June 22, 2015

"At times, the scoring process [of PARCC] can evoke the way a restaurant chain monitors the work of its employees and the quality of its products.

'From the standpoint of comparing us to a Starbucks or McDonald's, where you go into those places you know exactly what you're going to get' said Bob Sanders, vice president of content and scoring management at Pearson North America, when asked whether such an analogy was apt.

'McDonald's has a process in place to make sure they put two patties on that Big Mac,' he continued. 'We do that exact same thing. We have processes to oversee our processes, and to make sure they are being followed.'

Grading the Common Core: No Teaching Experience Required"

—Motoko Rich, New York Times, June 23, 2015

"The most extensive proof---and certainly the most poetic--that NCLB has been a 'massive failure' resides in Susan Ohanian's When Childhood Collides with NCLB."

—Gerald Bracey, Substance, Nov. 1, 2008

"There is no cost to being wrong if the policies of the power elite are lauded. "

—Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class

"We look at teaching literature as teaching particular concepts and skills. So we maybe aren't teaching an entire novel, but we're ensuring that we're teaching the concepts that that novel would have gotten across.

English Class In Common Core Era, New York Times, June 20, 2015"

—district administrator for secondary curriculum & instruction, NY Times

"My daughter was asked by another child today why she didn't have to take the test. She said "I'm not for profit." @UnitedOptOut"

—@bubenny5, Twitter, May 28, 2015

" Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.

--R.W. Emerson

Reminded of this by Iron String, poems by Annie Lighthart "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 24, 2015

"What do you call Common Core test items?

a. McGraw-Hill Manure
b. Pearson Poop
c. Gates jumpshot
d. Business Roundtable wet dream"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 17, 2015

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. . . . Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived."

—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

"The Broad Leadership Academy is where public education and democracy go to die.

In L.A., Deasy gone but leaves in his wake, feds, grand juries, and litigation"

—Schooling in the Ownership Society, 5/13/15

"There are between 10 and 17 million children under eighteen living in poverty in America today, depending on how you measure it. If we take the measure most often used in international comparisons, up to 20 percent of the young population--one in five children--is poor. This is a far higher proportion than in any other developed country except Romania.

http://tinyurl.com/kxbpb65 "

— Jeff Madrick, The Cost of Child Poverty, NY Rev of Books blog, 5/8/15

"What we have here is a lot of white guys calling a lot of white guys to talk about a lot of white guys.

State of the Media: Building a Better Punditocracy "

—Andrea Grimes, Texas Observer, May 4, 2015

"Al Capp spent five years at Bridgeport High School without ever receiving a diploma. The cartoonist liked to tell how he failed geometry for nine straight terms.

Bridgeport High School"

—Bridgeport High School Al Capp page

"[A]ll sorts of generalizations are made possible by dealing with populations--but one needs the concrete, the particular, the personal too, and it is impossible to convey the nature and impact of any neurological condition without entering and describing the lives of individual patients."

—Oliver Sacks, On the Move: A Life, 2015

"The chief staff psychologist said that a well-organized and successful behavior modification program had been set up and that I was undermining this by my notions of 'play,' not conditional on external rewards or punishment. I replied, defending the importance of play and criticizing the reward-punishment model. I said I thought this constituted a monstrous abuse of the patients in the name of science and sometimes smacked of sadism."

—Oliver Sacks, On the Move: A Life, 2015

"Hell, I don't even need you to believe EVERYTHING I do works, I just can't have you assuming that NOTHING I do works just because I'm a teacher.

All Teachers Are Assumed To Be Bad, But What If Everything You Do Works? "

—Matt Amaral, Teach, March 19, 2015

" Isn't giving free e-books to low-income students rather like giving TV dinners to people w/o electricity?

Obama Aims E-book, Library Initiative Toward Low-income Students "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 1, 2015

"Why not stop judging fish on how they climb trees?

Toxic culture of education"

—Joshua Katz , h. s. teacher, TED talk,

"If Obama were not Black, and if his supporters had not been busy getting drunk in a wishing-well, he would have been widely recognized as a stylistically updated Reagan Democrat."

—Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report, 12-15-2010

"I'm a big supporter of the Common Core. I wrote the best-selling book about it. "

—Lucy Calkins, Washington Post, 4/30/13

"David Coleman is innovative and an excellent choice for the College Board. He's put the common core on the map and he's very respectful of the teacher voice."

—Randi Weingarten, president AFT, NY Times, 5/16/12

"I stayed with him [Bill Clinton] until the summer of 1996. That's when he signed the welfare 'reform' bill. My expectations of Democratic politicians exceed my expectations of Republicans only by the smallest of margins; but real Democrats don't hurt children. Clinton did."

—Mollly Ivins, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You

"The first Success graduating class, for example, had just 32 students. When they started first grade in August 2006, those pupils were among 73 enrolled at the school. That means less than half the original group reached the eighth grade.

Students of much-touted Success Academy charter school score too low on entrance exam for top city high schools"

—Juan Gonzalez, NY Daily News, 6/18/14

"The entire structure of high-stakes testing in New York crumbled Tuesday, as tens of thousands of fed-up public school parents rebelled against Albany's fixation with standardized tests and refused to allow their children to take the annual English Language Arts state exam."

—Juan Gonzalez, NY Daily News, 4/14/15

" When a profession as large and necessary to society as teaching is insulted by state and federal Secretaries of Education, judged negatively by the nation's presidents and governors, see their pensions cut, receive salaries that do not keep up with inflation, often cannot afford to live in the communities they work in, cannot always practice their profession in ways that are ethical and efficacious, are asked to support policies that may do harm to children, are judged by student test scores that are insensitive to instruction and more often reflect social class differences rather than instructional quality, see public monies used to support discriminatory charter and private schools, yet still have a great deal of support from the parents of the children they teach, then there is a strategy for making teachers' lives better. It is called unionization. The reasons for unionization could not be plainer. New and veteran teachers should band together and close down school systems of the type I have described. It will be difficult, of course, and some teachers will no doubt be fired and jailed. But if teachers do not fix this once noble profession, America may well lose its soul, as well as its edge. "

—David Berliner, The Teacher Educator, January 2015

"Healthcare's path to computerization has been strewn with land mines, large and small. Medicine, our most intimately human profession, is being dehumanized by the entry of the computer into the exam room. While computers are preventing many medical errors, they are also causing new kinds of mistakes, some of them whoppers.

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age, published by McGraw-Hill Education"

—Robert Wachter, The Digital Doctor 2015

"Why not put the Obama Library in one of the 50 closed school buildings [in Chicago] that remain vacant and boarded up? "

—Mike Klonsky, Twitter, April 10, 2015

"The ugliest thing in America is greed, the lust for power and domination, the lunatic ideology of perpetual Growth -- with a capital G. 'Progress' in our nation has for too long been confused with 'Growth'; I see the two as different, almost incompatible, since progress means, or should mean, change for the better -- toward social justice, a livable and open world, equal opportunity and affirmative action for all forms of life. "

—Edward Abbey, Postcards from Ed . . .

"'I watch the game,' said Bruce Bochy, the manager of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. 'You don't see me writing down a lot of things or having to look down at stats. They're important, but there are some things that you can't see on a spreadsheet.'

Don't let statistics ruin baseball"

—Steve Kettman, NY Times, 4.8.15

" Aren't 'philanthropreneurs' just 'plunderpreneurs' with good PR? "

—Evgeny Morozov, Twitter, April 2, 2015

"The highest form of pleasure for me was eating a Sugar Daddy while reading a new Nancy Drew book. I'd put that Sugar Daddy in my mouth against my cheek and read for hours."

—Fran Lebowitz, Wall Street Journal, 4/3/15

"@usedgov @arneduncan

Yes Arne has visited 50 states--and left NCLB, RttT, & CCSS litter behind for teachers & kids to wade through. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 1, 2015

"@DebDuncanOwens Origins of Common Core: How the Free Market Became Public Educ Policy.

War Report on #CommonCore"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 29, 2015

" How to say 'the fool that comes tumbling down the hill' in Mohawk?


—Nicholast Thompson, New Yorker editor, Twitter, 3/25/15

"@AchieveInc Big Lie of Day: #CCSS were developed at the local level.

When? In dark of night? In underground bunker? While eating mushrooms?"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 25, 2015

"Each time a teacher, parent, or child stands up against Test Tyranny, there is hope for the survival of public schools. #PARCC #SBAC"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 24, 2015

"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; that is all we can expect. We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die."

—George Washington, July 2, 1776

"Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you don't help us, who else in the world can help us do this?"

—Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death

"I feel compelled to make it clear to all readers that I am not a neutral observer in the CCSS effort. I was a member of the Validation Committee that, in the year before the release of the CCSS in June 2010, was charged with the task of reviewing several drafts, providing feedback to the writers of the Standards and the sponsoring agencies (the NGA Center for Best Practices and the CCSSO. . . and ultimately blessing the release of the published version of the Standards with our vote of confidence. So, in a sense, I have placed my signature of approval on them as they currently exist. Even more important, I have--while continuing to criticize them for shortcomings that I hope will be fixed in a "revised edition"--championed their cause as vastly superior in concept and execution to any of the myriad of state standards that preceded them. I am not an innocent bystander in this effort; to the contrary, I have high hopes and high expectations for these Standards. . . ."

—P David Pearson, Research Foundation of the CCSS in Eng Language Arts

"1775 Patrick Henry declared 'Give me liberty or give me death.' Today's corporate politicos lock up kids in spiritual death of #CommonCore"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 23, 2015

"I applied to a nursery school in a narrow townhouse on 92nd Street. I took her up there for testing. The test, for a two-year-old, consisted of a variety of puzzles and wooden cutout games, but it seemed to be taken every bit as seriously as the SATs and law boards my friends and I had taken years earlier. A teacher administered the test in carefully controlled conditions. One was a puzzle of vegetable and fruit pieces. 'Which of these would a guinea pig be most likely to eat?' the tester asked in a low, intense voice. Liley paused for a moment. 'Do guinea pigs eat puzzle pieces? she asked. "

—Susan Cheever, As Good as I Could Be:A Memoir of Raising Wonderful Children

"I went to the University of Rochester, and I have a B.A. in Mathematics. Go figure."

—Janet Maslin, RockCritics.com Interview

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. "

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

"I challenge you to take the 4th grade #SBAC Eng LA test--and then tell me it doesn't signify the death of childhood.

Smarter (sic) Balanced"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 16, 2015

"You can give false information on web forms or when asked. . . I got in the habit of giving the address of "9800 Savage Road, Columbia, MD 20755": the address of the NSA. When I told this story to a colleague some years ago, he said that he always gave out the address "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC." He insisted that no one recognized it. . . .

Politicians like the same data that commercial advertisers do: demographic data, information about individual consumer preferences, political and religious beliefs. They use it in their campaigns, and won't want to give it up."

—Bruce Schneier, Data and Goliath, 2015

"Kurt Vonnegut once proposed that anybody running for the school board should be hooked up to a lie detector and made to prove that he'd read a book--all the way through--since graduating from high school. I'd like to propose a similar sort of test for Literature teachers. Ask yourselves, 'What piece of literature have you read for the first time in the last year that knocked your socks off?' It is important for your students that you encounter such literature. It is even more important for yourself. "

—Susan Ohanian,Who's In Charge? (Heinemann)

" Teacher evaluation is NOT science; it's corporate profit traveling as pseudo-science



When A Teacher's Job Depends on a Child's Test"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 11, 2015

"Without homework, what would kids do with their time? Sex? Drugs? Corporate tax reform?"

—Justin, math teacher, Twitter, March 7, 2015

"The idea of these foundations, so ordinary now, was in fact a leap of the business imagination. Non-tax-paying legal entities with massive resources and an almost unlimited beliefâwholly unaccountable, wholly nontransparent--what better way to parlay economic wealth into political, social, and cultural capital, to turn money into power? What better way for usurers to use a minuscule percentage of their profits to run the world? How else would Bill Gates, who admittedly knows a thing or two about computers, find himself designing education, health, and agriculture policies, not just for the US government but for governments all over the world? "

—Arundhati Roy, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, 2014


"Secretary of Defense Gates announced the Minerva Consortium, a Defense Department program designed to further link universities to Defense's prescribed views an analysis, in a speech to presidents of researched universities assembled at a meeting of the Association of American Universities (4/14/08). The comments of these university presidents reported in the press described them as pleased beyond measure by the relatively paltry funds that Gates promised."

—David H. Price, Weaponizing Anthropology, 2011

"SkyDrive, which allows people to store their files online and access them from various devices, has more than 250 million users worldwide. "We believe it's important that you have control over who can and cannot access your personal data in the cloud," Microsoft's SkyDrive website proclaims. Yet as an NSA document details, Microsoft spent "many months" working to provide the government with easier access to that data. . . . In late 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype, the Internet-based telephone and chat service with over 663 million registered users. . . This data, too, was readily available to the government. By early 2013, there were multiple messages on the NSA system celebrating the agency's steadily improving access to the communications of Skype users. . . . In 2012, Microsoft began upgrading its email portal, Outlook.com, to merge all of its communications services--including the widely used Hotmail--into one central program."

—Glenn Greenwald, No Place to Hide, 2014

" 1966 Dav Pilkey b. Holds record for time spent in principal's office. Capt Underpants based on stories he wrote while banished to hallway "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 4, 2015

"You can't really trust anyone in power.

Cleese: Being a Teacher"

—John Cleese, New York Times, Nov. 4, 2014

"What after all does formal equality amount to if only a select few possess enough by way of education, health, time, and technology (not to mention more mundane creature comforts) to ensure their own dignity and self-development?"

—Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence, 2015

"Frank Baum began his series of Oz novels, which allegorized the titanic confrontation between Wall Street and the ordinary folk of town and country, reserving his hope not for the chimera of free silver but rather for the good common sense of heartland America."

—Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence, 2015

"If the teachers refuse to give #CommonCore tests, we don't have to worry about bureaucrats blocking opt outs."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 25, 2015

"The whole [school] system should be blown up & a new one put in its place.I feel like a prophet today.

New York Daily News"

—Mayor Rudi Giuliani, NY Daily News, 4/23/99

"[E]ducators might stop worrying about how to transmit information, and concentrate instead on how to make learning enjoyable, because only when going to school becomes a flow activity will students be motivated to learn on their own, and grow in the process. Otherwise, education becomes just another alienating experience. . . ."

—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Reed Larson, Being Adolescent, 1984

"If you cannot commit to this, then please leave the room."

—Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

"They were poor because they were lazy, they were lazy because they were Catholic, they were Catholic because they were Irish, and no more needed to be said. This was the transatlantic consensus about Irish Catholics, and it was preached from the finest pulpits and most polite salons in London and uptown Manhattan. "

—Terry Golway, Machine Made:Tammany Hall & Creation of Modern Amer Politics

"In 2004, Gates was one of the prime movers and the lead funder of a citywide initiative called Renaissance 2010, a program that was supposed to transform Chicago's public schools in just six years. Lousy teachers would be fired, failing schools would be closed, and charter schools would blossom. . . . Ad the school system's CEO, Arne Duncan was responsible for designing and implementing the initiative, which was popularly known as Ren 10.

The enthusiasm was misplaced. Like Gates's 'transformative' small high schools initiative, Ren 10 was a flop. . .The architect of Renaissance 2010, former schools CEO Arne Duncan, is now the US Secretary of Education--and he's taking the Daley-Duncan model national as part of his Race to the Top reform plan.

Renaissance 2010 never delivered the promised goods, but Duncan was not hurt by its failure, and neither was Gates."

—Bob Herbert, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

"There used to be a running joke in the sports world about breaking up the Yankees because they were so good. Gates felt obliged to break up America's high school because they were so bad. The smaller schools were supposed to attack the problems of low student achievement and high dropout rates by placing students in a more personal, easier-to-manage environment. Classes wouldn't necessarily be smaller, but students, teachers, and administrators would be more familiar with one another because the schools themselves would be smaller. . . . That was Bill Gates's grand idea. He spent $2 billion and disrupted 8 percent of the nation's public high schools before acknowledging that his experiment was a flop. The size of a high school proved to have little or no effect on the achievement of its students. . . .

There was very little media coverage of this experiment gone terribly wrong. A billionaire had had an idea. Many thousands had danced to his tune. It hadn't worked out. C'est la vie."

—Bob Herbert, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

"Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson summed the matter up best in their book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class when they wrote, 'Step by step and debate by debate, America's public officials have rewritten the rules of American politics and the American economy in ways that have benefited the few at the expense of the many.'

The corporations, banks, hedge funds, and other wealthy interests had powerful armies of special pleaders--lobbyists, lawyers, fund-raisers, public relations executives--fighting day and night to shape government policies to their liking. Those armies and the endless billions of dollars in campaign contributions and other favors so lavishly distributed by the elites have corrupted the democratic process to the extent that ordinary individuals have virtually no say in how the nation and its economy are run."

—Bob Herbert, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

"The New York Times quotation of the day was from a young man named Jordan Golson. He had sold three-quarters of a million dollars' worth of technological wizardry at the Apple Store in Salem, New Hampshire. 'I was earning $11.25 an hour,' he said. 'Part of me was thinking. 'This is great. I'm an Apple fan. the store is doing really well.' But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it's kind of tough.'

Tough and unsustainable. Few companies have ever been as successful as Apple. Its retail stores at the time of Golson's comments were earning more money per square foot than any other retailer in America--nearly twice as much as the second-place company, Tiffany. Apple's top executives were lavishly compensated. But most of apple's emloyees in the US were members of the low-wage service economy, typically earning about $25,000 a year. . . they might have been working for the highest of the highfliers when it came to retail, but their own economic condition was hardly robust."

—Bob Herbert, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America

" I'm often asked, 'What do you hope readers take from your books?' I have a hard time answering that question, because I never write toward a purpose or moral. I just hope that a reader takes whatever she needs."

—Shannon Hale, Newbery Honor novelist

"Even infant phonemic awareness training may not be enough. There is now evidence from twin studies that phonemic awareness may be inherited. Those born with deficient phonemic awareness will be at a clear disadvantage when tested just after birth. To make sure these PA-poor babies have a chance to compete with their age-mates, we urgently need to encourage research in genetic engineering and prenatal phonemic awareness along with eugenics: Couples considering marriage may want to have their prospective partner screened for defective phonemic awareness."

—S Krashen 3 Arguments Against Whole Language & Why They Are Wrong

"@usedgov boasts '1-to-1 devices allow students to provide real time feedback.' Without devices, we called this conversation. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 13, 2014

"The word 'government' should no longer be spoken without the word 'corporate.' as a modifier. "

—Poverty Inc. Directed by Gary Null & Valerie Van Cleve

"Evidence based medicine is not 'cookbook' medicine. Because it requires a bottom up approach that integrates the best external evidence with individual clinical expertise and patients' choice, it cannot result in slavish, cookbook approaches to individual patient care. External clinical evidence can inform, but can never replace, individual clinical expertise, and it is this expertise that decides whether the external evidence applies to the individual patient at all and, if so, how it should be integrated into a clinical decision. Similarly, any external guideline must be integrated with individual clinical expertise in deciding whether and how it matches the patient's clinical state, predicament, and preferences, and thus whether it should be applied. Clinicians who fear top down cookbooks will find the advocates of evidence based medicine joining them at the barricades.

David L Sackett, William M C Rosenberg, J A Muir Gray, R Brian Haynes, W Scott Richardson Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't,BMJ: Helping Doctors Make Better Decisions, Jan. 13, 1996"

—David L. Sackett, et al, BMJ, 1/13/1996

"@usedgov @StopBullyingGov Following your imperative to respond when I see bullying: US DOE, stop your unremitting bullying of teachers!"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 3, 2014

"Q: If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

A: Although I suspect he's already read it, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum. Then he needs to keep in mind that virtually no politician he has to wrestle with has ever read this book, or if they have read it they have obviously completely forgotten its contents.

By the Book"

—David Baldacci, New York Times, Nov. 30, 2014

"Fed Trade Comm accuses Gerber of making false claims abt baby formula. Fine. When is investigation of false claims made abt #CCSS & testing?"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Oct. 31, 2014

"Like lonely kids everywhere, I entered into books as if into a conspiracy--for company, of course, and for narrative and romance and advice on how to be decent and brave and sexy. But also for transcendence, a zap to the synaptic cleft; for a slice of the strange, the shock of an Other, a witness not yet heard from, archeologies forgotten, ignored, or despised; that radioactive glow of genius in the dark: grace notes, ghosts, and gods. "

—John Leonard, Reading for My Life, Viking, 2012

"Reports that say something hasnât happened are always interesting to me because as we know, there are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: that is to say we know there are some things [we know] we do not know. But there are also unknown unknownsâthe ones we donât know we donât know. "

—Donald Rumsefeld, Known & Unknown: A Memoir xiii

"People are so used to thinking of issues as right wing and left wing that they often miss the business wing. Go to the Business Roundtable (BRT) website and you can download the NCLB Business Leaders Toolkit. In the name of preparing students for "the 21st century workplace," CEOs are urged to deliver the BRT-crafted messages to public officials, taking advantage of this "exceptional window of opportunity...[to] act strategically and with a common voice." The Roundtable cannot have missed the fact that this law, which will declare nearly all public schools failures, greases the skids for vouchers and privatization (though that danger appears to have escaped the law's Democratic supporters). NCLB also paves the way for school-to-work plans that have been sitting on the back burner ever since Clinton failed to get the national test he wanted. When school-to-work, which is a technology-based learning model training students for their place in the global economy (meaning school ends for some kids after tenth grade), is combined with NCLB-type open enrollment (in which kids revolve constantly from school to school), a marketplace model determines the relationship of people to schools. Which is exactly what business wanted in the first place.

http://www.thenation.com/article/bush-flunks-schools?page=0,1 "

—Susan Ohanian, The Nation, Dec. 1, 2003

"From the hand-holding embraces at the 1989 corporate-politico education summit in Charlottesville through the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in January 2002, the Business Roundtable has been turning up the volume on its long-playing message that pounds out the beat for systemic school reform. Corporate fat cats are determined to deform the schools, to poke a huge hole in the very notion of what it means to live in a democracy. In the name of preparing workers for the global economy, we get hyperacademics: kindergarten twisted from a childrenâs garden into a high-skill zone, with blizzards of worksheets and threats of failure; we get third graders vomiting on the tests that will determine whether they move on to fourth grade. . . "

—Kathy Emery & Susan Ohanian, Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Sc

"The sad truth is that schools are not organized to be either productive or efficient, even by assembly-line standards, and certainly not be the standards of modern, high-performance organizations. Indeed, looking at them leaves one inescapable conclusion: Schools are organized to be inefficient. Grossly inefficient. Schools are low-tech, labor-intensive organizations with poorly articulated goals, low standards, and weak to nonexistent measures of performance. If someone--as in a case study done by a business school, for example--set out to design as inefficient an organization as could be conceived, it would be a modern public school."

—Lou Gerstner, IBM, Reinventing Education: Entrepreneurship...1994

"[I]deal tests will need to be embedded in teaching tools and administered by computers in relatively short periods of time. For example, a computerized test can select from thousands of test items--questions to quickly probe the limits of a student's knowledge and provide a highly accurate picture of skill development in many areas. Regular, brief tests in such a system can provide accurate and useful scores--in various competencies--for each student. Once the testing data is on the computer, it is relatively simple to provide comparisons, benchmarks, and instructional guidance to the student, to his or her parents, and to teachers. . . . As more instruction is delivered via interactive computers, the computer tracks how well and how fast each student masters the material. The computer becomes a diagnostic and reporting tool, not just a teaching machine."

—Lou Gerstner, IBM, Reinventing Education: Entrepreneurship...1994

"Making the teacher manager of instruction is more than a change of titles; it is a profound change in the way teachers work and in the way they should be paid and regarded. A manager orchestrates work effort, bringing together technology (physical capital) and (human capital) to produce a product or service. In this case, the outcome is learning. The manager creates the environment in which learning can occur. The manager establishes incentives and disincentives, offers rewards and penalties to motivate workers. . . It is up to the manager to see that the environment is conducive to work and that work occurs.. The worker who can't or won't work is retrained, reassigned, or if necessary, fired. . . . The manager in the effective firm is "benchmarked": A high discharge rate is a sign that the manager is not doing his or her job."

— Lou Gerstner, IBM, Reinventing Education: Entrepreneurship...1994

" [We won't] use Common Core scores for at least five years, and then only if our children are ready.

Governor Andrew Cuomo "

—Political ad paid for by Cuomo Hochal 2014, Inc

"The rise of what has been termed 'venture philanthropy,' as exemplified by initiatives such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million 'gift' to the Newark, New Jersey public school system. These lordly dispensations have an inevitably coercive element because they are carrots offered amidst the sticks of chronic and, in more and more cases, emergency levels of underfunding by states and localities of public schools, especially those in poor urban minority areas. The premise of venture philanthropy in education is that public education policy is not to be seen as a matter of public deliberation among ordinary citizens but rather should be directed by the mega-rich, who are presumed to be experts not just in Microsoft and Facebook but in all policy matters, merely on the grounds that they are rich. . . .

[T]hese initiatives tend always to amount to pushing some corporate structure as panacea, including efforts to make over school leaders into CEO-like 'managers,' provide various Pavlovian material 'incentives' for teachers to 'add value' to their student-products, 'empower' parents to act more like 'customers,' and the like. . . [T]he result is a philanthropic sector that is inseparable from the business sector, advancing school reforms that cannot help but to be framed by corporate profitability. "

—David J Blacker, The Falling Rate of Learning & the Neoliberal Endgame

"The biggest 'shock' of all may be that capitalism no longer works as advertised. . . . We seem to face an economic future in which there is a decreasing need for an increasing proportion of the population. An understanding of the dynamics of the TRPF (tendency of the rate of profit to fall) helps explain the peculiar perniciousness and durability of this unemployment crisis and, among other things, decisively gives the lie to the dream we have been sold of educating ourselves into prospierty via schools' fabrication of 'knowlege workers' and their enhanced productivity. The utopian vision of the 'high tech, high wage' service economy stands revealed as a false promise. This latter was always a product of willful ignorance concerning the confluence of capitalism, technology and education."

—David J Blacker, The Falling Rate of Learning & the Neoliberal Endgame

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there."

—William Carlos Williams, from 'Asphodel, that Greeny Flower'

"The testing with which America is obsessed is stupid testing. It tells us nothing of how children learn or how they think about what they know."

—Gerald Bracey, Reading Ed Research: How to Avoid Getting Statistically Snoo

". . . The Aztecs thought they
had to sacrifice lots of people to keep the sun coming
up every day. And it worked. The sun rose every day. "

—Louis Jenkins, Regret from Tin Flag: New & Selected Prose Poems

"I do not see the computer as a 'cause' of change--certainly not of this change: much thinking about the computer goes in the opposite direction, strengthening the idea of teaching as technical act, supporting centralization in organization of institutions and of ideas. I've seen models of a school of the future in which there's a computer on every desk wired up to the teacher's computer, so that the teacher can see what every child is doing. And then the teacher's computers are wired up to the principals computer, so the principal can see what every teacher is doing. And all the principals are wired up to well, you know where. Nothing could be more hierarchical.

Perestroika and Epistemological Politics"

—Seymour, Papert, Ph.D. , July 1990

"There simply are no standardized tests available that measure student performance accurately and no way of parsing out the achievement attributable to individual teachers. Such a technology does not exist, nor is it likely to exist soon."

—Ernest R. House, Schools for $ale

"[Leon Botstein, president of Bard College] fulminating about the iniquities of the college ranking system. In U.S. News & World Report's current ranking of liberal arts colleges, Bard comes in forty-fifth.

'It's one of the real black marks on the history of higher education that an entire industry that's supposedly populated by the best minds in the country--theoretical physicists, writers, critics--is bamboozled by a third-rate news magazine.' He shook his head in disgust. 'They do almost a parody of real research,' he continued. 'I joke that the next thing they'll do is rank churches. You know, 'Where does God appear most frequently? How big are the pews?'

Pictures from an Institution"

—Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, Sept. 29, 2014

"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power. "

—Prof. Judith Butler, winner Bad Writing Contest 1998

"Standardization robs life of its spice. To deprive every ethnic group of its special traditions is to convert the world into a huge Ford plant. I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture. "

—Albert Einstein, Saturday Evening Post 10/26/1929

"The pompous vocabulary. . . makes me suspicious. Truth tends to present itself modestly and in simple garb."

—Albert Einstein, to Hans Wittig, May 3, 1920

"The Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion. "

—Albert Einstein, Some Notes on My American Impressions,1931

"Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it."

—Albert Einstein, Saturday Review obituary, 4//30/55

"I am opposed to examinations--they only deter from the interest in studying. No more than two exams should be given throughout a student's [college] career. I would hold seminars, and if the young people are interested and listen, I would give them a diploma."

—Albert Einstein, Conversations with Einstein, 1/20/1955

"The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship material success as a preparation for his future career."

—Albert Einstein, Why Socialism? in Montly Review May 1949

"Ugly word of this century is a Gates invention: Teacherpreneur"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 26, 2014

"A picture on Tuesday with a report in a roundup of news about the potential threat to animals and plant species around the world because of warmer global temperatures was published in error. It was a photograph of a carpenter bee, not a bumblebee.

Needed correction: It was a photograph of a Teacher for America inductee, not a teacher."

—New York Times correction, Sept. 25, 2014

"We were obstruktiv Mitlaufere. We went along. We went along, we went along with, doing all we could to drag our feet . . . but we went along. There were hundreds of thousands like us, maybe millions like us."

—Martin Amis, The Zone of Interest, 2014

"'when schools raise the bar, students jump higher.'--Arne Duncan, Lawrence, MA, 9/22/14

This is US Department of Education corporatized pedagogy in a nutshell"

—Susan Ohanian Twitter, Sept. 23, 2014

"Pumpkin Spice Latte contains no pumpkin.

Computer-Delivered Personalized Instruction contains no teaching persons. "

—Susan Ohanian Twitter, Sept. 17, 2014

"They say that if you give a chimpanzee a screwdriver, he'll break it; if you give a gorilla a screwdriver, he'll toss it over his shoulder; but if you give an orangutan a screwdriver, he'll open up his cage and walk away.

The Problem-Solving Ape"

—Michelle Desilets, Ex Director, Orangutan Land Trust

"In an unguarded moment, Boti expressed surprised at what he termed our faculty's 'docile disengagement.' I informed him that we are like oxen accustomed to the yoke: our hides thick from insult and whippings, we have forgotten how to do anything other than trudge dully along."

—Julie Schumacher, Dear Committee Members: A Novel, 2014

"Q. Can you think of any reasons why the Pentalion Corporation should not hire the applicant?

A. Yes. Pentalion is a subsidiary of Koron Chemical, a government contractor known to be a major producer of weaponry used overseas. I would not wish any current or former student to be employed by Pentalion; once its leadership masters the basics of punctuation, it should be closed down."

—Julie Schumacher, Dear Committee Members: A Novel, 2014

"You and your colleagues have nothing to fear from otherworldly teens, who will not spell the demise of Wordsworth and Coleridge: they are dead anyway."

—Julie Schumacher, Dear Committee Members: A Novel, 2014

"Be reassured: the literature student has learned to inquire, to question, to interpret, to critique, to compare, to research, to argue, to shift, to analyze, to shape, to express. His intellect can be put to broad use. The computer major, by contrast is a technician--a plumber clutching a single, albeit shining, box of tools."

—Julie Schumacher, Dear Committee Members: A Novel, 2014

" Ever wonder why the foreign policy authorities never seem to change, keep coming back, despite racking up shattering failures like the Iraq War? It's because of the way Washington worships expertise, and the way these authorities have perched themselves atop a professional structure that basically does not acknowledge criticism from the outside.

Ever wonder why the economic experts never seem to change, keep coming back, despite racking up such shattering failures as the housing bubble and the financial crisis and the bank bailouts? Ever wonder why a guy like Larry Summers gets to be chief economist at the World Bank, then gets to deregulate Wall Street, then gets to bail Wall Street out, then almost gets to become chairman of the Fed, and then gets to make sage pronouncements on the subject of--yes-- inequality? It's for the same bad reasons: Because D.C. worships expertise and because Summers, along with a handful of other geniuses, are leading figures in a professional discipline dominated by what a well-informed observer once called a 'politburo for correct economic thinking.'

Some people are ignored in this town even though they are often right while others are invited back to the Oval Office again and again even though they are repeatedly wrong--and the reason is the pseudo-professional structure of the consensus.

All these effing geniuses: Ezra Klein, expert-driven journalism, and the phony Washington consensus "

—Thomas Frank, All these effing geniuses...Salon, 9/14/14

"[I]t is not such a good idea to bring ECE and schooling closer together. Initiatives like prek-3rd will provide one more opening for downward pressures on early childhood providers. The schools (as a whole) have a history of failing to respect the integrity of other institutions that join them in efforts to better meet children's needs.

Tying Early Childhood Education More Closely to Schooling: Promise, Perils and Practical Problems"

—Robert Halpern, TC Record, 2013

"Common Core lit analysis is like dissecting a frog. Few kids are interested and the frog dies. (apologies to EB White)"

—Susan Ohanian Twitter, Sept. 11, 2014

"Why is cover story on Bill Gates' latest EDUCATION invasion assigned to DealBook guy? This is education scam not hedgefund deal."

—Susan Ohanian Tweet to New York Times, Sept. 8, 2014

" If Carnegie is working kids at ten cents per hour and then building libraries, well, though the libraries are a good thing we still have to hold him accountable for the exploitation of children. . . .

Literature is a theater of choices, values, and the way in which one's character takes shape and in turn shapes one's life. Those are the questions that literature brings to dramatic life, and, I hope, awakens something in my students.

An Interview with Tobias Wolff"

—Tobias Wolff, Boston Review, Aug. 25, 2014

" It is not necessary to remind you that the fact that your voice is amplified to the degree where it reaches from one end of the country to the other does not confer upon you greater wisdom or understanding than you possessed when your voice reached only from one end of the bar to the other.

speech to Radio and Television News Directors Association audio"

—Edward R. Murrow, convention speech, Oct. 15, 1058

"Novelist Erik Christian Haugaard has said that the fairy tale belongs to the poor, never taking the part of the strong against the weak. The same could be said of children's books. The thought that children might be able to upset the rules laid out before them is hugely enticing to them.

Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature"

—Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature, 21014

"Kristof, of course, gets around to blaming the schools: "As an escalator of mobility, the American education system is broken." The economic system is what's broken. The mobility escalator doesn't exist in places where over 90% of public school students live in poverty. That's not an excuse; it's reality. You have to start with a living wage, not with the public school teacher.

Times Pick at New York Times, recommended by 183."

—Susan Ohanian, New York Times, 7/24/14

" Wowser! NYTimes correction on color of bird poop. Can Staples/Friedman/Brooks/Nocera/Kiristof/Bruni ed offal be next?


—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 20, 2014

"Half the jobs in the nation pay less than $34,000 a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. A quarter pay below the poverty line for a family of four, less than $23,000 annually. . . .The census tells us that 20.5 million people earn incomes below half the poverty line, less than about $9,500 for a family of three -- up eight million from 2000

Why? A substantial reason is the near demise of welfare â now called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. In the mid-90s more than two-thirds of children in poor families received welfare. But that number has dwindled over the past decade and a half to roughly 27 percent. "

—Peter Edelman, New York Times, July 28, 2012

"If you collect a lot of data and you look at it, you recognize that some metrics fit certain institutions better than others. Graduation rate is much more about the demographics of your student population than it is anything about your efficiency or performance."

—Diana Natalicio, U Texas El Paso president, NYT, 3/2/2012

"Barack Obama can barely bring himself to say the word 'poor.'

Obama, Romney both shy away from the plight of poor kids "

—Bob Herbert, The Grio, 5/21/12

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. "

—Robin Williams

"We won't know for years where whether the new Common Core approach will produce more capable readers, but if this national experiment works, at the very least, our children should emerge knowing a whole lot more than they can learn from books like 'Curious George' and 'Clifford.'

Boosting Reading Skills John Merrow PBS May 14, 2012"

—John Merrow, PBS, May 14, 2012

"'David Coleman is innovative and an excellent choice for the College Board,' said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. 'He's put the common core on the map and heâs very respectful of the teacher voice.'

Backer of Common Core School Curriculum Is Chosen to Lead College Board "

—Randi Weingarten, New York Times, 5/16/12

"Think of Mary Oliver's take on jobs in the Westward Expansion (See The Riders). She points out that when pony Express needed riders, they looked for orphans: "that way, no one was likely to ask questions. . . ."

from 'And They Call It Ecucation Reform' by Susan Ohanian in School Reform Critics: The Struggle for Democratic Schooling, ed. DeVitis and Teitelbaum" "

—Susan Ohanian, in School Reform Critics

"Make no mistake: we who care about the survival of public education are at war. The failure to step up and make clear who is right and who is wrong in the current education reform (deform) war is the horrific failure of our professional organizations, our teacher unions, academia, and teachers themselves. This silence puts education for the common good, the very fabric of democracy, at risk.

from 'And They Call It Ecucation Reform' by Susan Ohanian in School Reform Critics: The Struggle for Democratic Schooling, ed. DeVitis and Teitelbaum"

—Susan Ohanian, in School Reform Critics

"We all need to stand up and send a strong message up to Washington, D.C. and tell them where they can take common core."

—Don Armstrong, Lee County School board member

"It's easy for the AFT to tell teachers not to shop at Staples. It would take guts to tell teachers, 'Don't give the tests!' How can you condemn the tests--and continue giving them? Wasn't 'just following orders' soundly discredited long ago? "

—Susan Ohanian, Hemlock on the Rocks, July 14, 2014

"If you want to get people to believe something really, really stupid, just stick a number on it."

—Charles Seife, Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception

" Just know that Paris Hilton has 12.8 million followers on Twitter.

Twitter, one more diversion, is NOT the way to change the world. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, July 2, 2014

"Polls are the corporate media's standardized tests to determine how well we have learned what it has taught us.""

—Sam Smith, Progressive Review

"We all have about five things to say in our lives, at most, and you try to keep primping them up so that they look new.

What Does a Poet Laureate Do, Anyway? "

—Charles Wright, US Poet Laureate, WSJ blog, June 13, 2014

"Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

—Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes to Watson, A Scandal in Bohemia

"By some reckonings, the biggest threat to real progress in our schools is Arne Duncan. The education secretary has bought hook, line and sinker the argument that the key to pedagogical competitiveness for America is to equip every child with a laptop or tablet. As we've pointed out before, this is a policy that benefits no one but the shareholders of Apple Inc. The company has stood foursquare with Duncan in his fatuous technology campaign, which is likely to impoverish the neediest school districts by diverting their scarce resources into wasteful hardware while skimping on--here's a surprise!--teachers.

You want an example? Look no further than the Los Angeles Unified School District, where Supt. John Deasy has presided over an unbelievably ill-conceived and wasteful program of buying Apple iPads at inflated prices.

Why that ruling against teacher tenure won't help your schoolchildren "

—Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2014

"Education is a playing with fire, not a taxidermist's stuffing of dead animals, and until we choose to acknowledge the difference between the two pedagogical techniques, we do ourselves no favors. Awaken the student to the light in his or her own mind, and the rest of it doesn't matterâneither the curriculum nor the number of seats in the football stadium, neither the names of the American presidents nor the list of English kings. In college commencement speeches, as with the handing out of prizes for trendsetting journalism, I often hear it said that the truth shall make men free, but I notice that relatively few people know what the phrase means. The truth isn't about the receipt of the diploma or acceptance into law school, not even about the thievery in Washington or the late-breaking scandal in Hollywood. Itâs synonymous with the courage derived from the habit of not running a con game on the unique and specific temper of one's own mind. What makes men and women free is learning to trust their own thought, possess their own history, speak in their own voices. It doesnât matter how or when the mind achieves the spark of ignitionâin an old book or a new video game, from a teacher encountered by accident in graduate or grammar school, in the course of dissecting a frog or pruning an apple tree, while looking at a painting by Jan Vermeer or listening to the Beatles sing 'A Hard Day's Night.'

Playing with Fire, Ways of Learning, Lapham's Quarterly"

—Lewis H. Lapham, Lapham's Quarterly, Fall 2008

"Nothing in the brain is strictly localized. Everything your brain does depends on many different parts working together--there's no 'language spot,' no 'memory spot,' no 'fear spot,' no (heaven help us) 'God spot.'"

—Sam Kean, The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, footnote

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no sense being a damn fool about it. "

—W.C. Fields

"We have to have fun while trying to stave off the forces of darkness because we hardly ever win, so it's the only fun we get to have. "

—Molly Ivins, The Nation.,November 17, 2003 RIP

"I've always regarded teaching as an act of love--love combined with skill, intuition, and stamina. Because I've run a website of resistance ever since No Child Left Behind was passed, I get a lot of mail from desperate teachers who say that the love, skill, and intuition no longer count; they're actually a detriment. As the data storm troopers take over, all teachers have left is stamina and desperation. It is with these teachers in mind that I listened to Chris Hedges end a talk at the University of Vermont in March, 2013:

Living truth keeps the narrative alive. The Powers will keep ratcheting up the horror and our voice keeps the door open, keeps truth alive.
,br> We must tell our stories to keep that door open. Hedges quoted Daniel Berrigan, who said, "We are called to do the good," adding, "Faith is the belief that this good goes somewhere. Buddhists call it karma.""

—Susan Ohanian, School Reform Critics: Struggle for Democratic Schooling, 27

"In a video produced by the Council of Great City Schools ($8,496,854 from Gates), self-proclaimed Common Core architect David Coleman offers an ultimatum to the student who reads "several grade levels below" the complex text assigned to his class: "You're going to practice it again and again and again and again. . . so there's a chance you can finally do that level of work."

Reverence for fetishistic one-size-fits-all procedure and refusal to allow alternative resources reveal a lack of classroom experience as well as anal retentive personality traits. Offering a refried new Criticism, Coleman and his Common Core acolytes present reading as ritualistic analysis, absent of personal imagining.

David Coleman and his band of marauders are set on embalming fiction and dumping it in a pauper's field of isolated skills, stripped bare of emotional response. "

—Susan Ohanian, School Reform Critics: Struggle for Democratic Schooling, 25

"In 2011, Schott's Vocab, which ran as a blog in the for nearly three years, offered this definition of Sheening: 'To behave like Charlie Sheen--partying, questionable decision making and public humiliation.' You can bet they'll never offer Gatesing: To behave like Bill Gates--voractious funding, questionable decision making, and teacher humiliation."

—Susan Ohanian, School Reform Critics: Struggle for Democratic Schooling, 18

"I confess. . . I am put off by critics who tell the world with full confidence exactly what you were up to in writing what you wrote, as though they kept a booth at the fair in the middle of your soul."

—Saul Bellow, Letters, 2010

"The Common Core is promoted as a state initiative; but this radical, untried, peculiar curriculum overhaul, which is an excuse for nonstop national teating, was paid for by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation without public--or teacher--advice and consent. Although there is a flurry of outrage in the blogosphere, there has been no institutional pushback; not from professional organizations, not from unions not from colleges of education. And teachers, whose profession's most common innate quality is that of people pleasing--people who are acculturated to get along and be helpful--figure they must obey. "

—Susan Ohanian, School Reform Critics: Struggle for Democratic Schooling, 22

"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.

Assessing the Impact of Planned Social Change "

—Donald T. Campbell, 1976

"Oh, please don't use the word training. We educate teachers. We don't train them. We train dogs. And I love dogs."

—Barbara Madeloni, Pres. MA Teachers Assoc, Boston Globe, 6/6/14

"The function of the university is not simply to teach bread-winning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization."

—W.E.B. Du Bois, Of the Wings of Atalanta, Chapter V

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.

Teachers must form the Hell-in-the-Classroom gang.--Susan O."

—Julia Child

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. . . . I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who are not even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you and have a lot more fun while doing it. . . .

Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. "

—Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p. 28

"I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want and get it."

—Eugene Debs, 1912 Socialist Party Almanac

"People tend to overlook how much you lie when you're famous."

—Martha Grimes, Belle Ruin

"I can imagine a doctoral thesis commissioned by the Kennedy School of Government and meant to determine which of the country's leading institutions of higher learning over the past fifty years has done the most damage to the health and happiness of the American people. . . .

[T]he universities accepted their mission as way stations on the pilgrim road to enlightened selfishness. As opposed to the health and happiness of the American people, what is of interest is the wealth of the American corporation and the power of the American state, the syllabus geared to the arts and sciences of career management--how to brighten the test scores, assemble the résumé, clear the luggage through the checkpoints of the law and business schools.
Achievetrons "

—Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, March 2009

"Books are personal, passionate. They stir emotions and spark thoughts in a manner all their own, and I'm convinced that the shattered world has less hope for repair if reading becomes an ever smaller part of it.

Read Kids, Read"

—Frank Bruni, New York Times, May 13, 2014

" VT now requires food with genetically modified ingredients to be labeled. But corporate modified Common Core curriculum passes as home grown "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 12, 2014

"What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.

George Saunders's Advice to Graduates "

—George Saunders, New York Times, July 31, 2013

"[M]odern inequality isn't about graduates. It's about oligarchs. . . . Last year, those 25 hedge fund managers made more than twice as much as all the kindergarten teachers in America combined.

Now that's rich"

—Paul Krugman, New York Times, 5/9/14

"i know [about CTU vote against Common Core];and other locals support it...that's democracy in our union"

—Randi Weingarten, AFT president, Twitter, 5/9/14

"I agree with educators and parents from across the country, the Common Core mandate represents an overreach of federal power into personal privacy as well as into state educational autonomy. Common Core eliminates creativity in the classroom and impedes collaboration. We also know that high-stakes standardized testing is designed to rank and sort our children and it contributes significantly to racial discrimination and the achievement gap among students in America's schools."

—Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union president , 5/7/13

"@NateSilver538 CNN refers to Flight 370 almost as many times as Arne Duncan refers to training students for the global economy"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 7, 2014

" We received a letter from the Writers' War Board the other day asking for a statement on 'The Meaning of Democracy.' It presumably is our duty to comply with such a request, and it is certainly our pleasure.

Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don't in don't shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat. Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is a letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn't been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It's the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the rationed coffee. Democracy is a request from a War Board, in the middle of a morning in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy is."

—E. B. White, The New Yorker, July 3, 1943

"[I]n an age of advanced technology, inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost. A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors, and schoolteachers. "

—Aldous Huxley, Foreword to Brave New World, 2nd edition

"If you use your smart toothbrush, the data can be immediately sent to your dentist and your insurance company, but it also allows someone from the NSA to know what was in your mouth three weeks ago.

Many apps are built to solve the problems of well-off 22-year-olds. How do you hail a cab? How do you get your laundry done? That's fine, but people in Silicon Valley have some kind of false consciousness. They believe they are changing the world by building all of those laundry apps, and they aren't. Silicon Valley itself -- it's not as if Google or Facebook have done much there. East Palo Alto is as bad [off] as it was 20 years ago. They say, "Why should we be doing more? We're already changing the world for the better." They're doing something trivial; they're presenting it as revolutionary. . . .

Silicon Valley is not stupid. They're building tools that are addictive for a reason. They enforce a certain idea of yourself. [We need] to get an outside perspective, to transcend the Pavlovian dog!"

—Evgeny Morozov, Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2013

"Calmly and clearly she illustrates the courage necessary to live an ordinary life. She is not concerned with fantasy heroics but with falling down and getting up, being ill and slowly recovering. What is important, she says, is to continue. In persevering, you will discover triumph."

—Maurice Sendak, on reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books

"Having worked out how to manage governments, political parties, elections, courts, the media and liberal opinion, the neoliberal establishment faced one more challenge: how to deal with the growing unrest, the threat of 'people's power.' How do you domesticate it? How do you turn protesters into pets? How do you vacuum up people's fury and redirect it into a blind alley?

Arundhati Roy on Corporatism, Nationalism and World's Largest Vote

Capitalism: A Ghost Story"

—Arundhati Roy, Democracy Now, April 9, 2014

"[W]e are struck by the absence of comments on what constitutes literary study in the schools from organizations that might be expected to have a professional interest in the school curriculum (e.g., National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Developers) and from higher education sources that might be expected to have a discipline- based interest in the topic (e.g., American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Modern Language Association).

Study Finds Poetry Slighted in Common Core English Standards"

—Esolen, Highfill, & Stotsky, Pioneer Institute, 4/29/14

" After she's measured out her life /w test prep
Pinned & wriggling
Then how can she begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of her days & ways?

apologies to T. S. Eliot "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 3, 2014

"1904 Hubert Davis born. His book A January Fog Will Freeze a Hog does not appear in the #CommonCore canon at any grade level "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 30, 2014

" Recovery Has Created Far More Low-Wage Jobs Than Better-Paid Ones

Our economy replaces good jobs with bad ones

A Link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy

Oh well, just blame those fidgety boys & their teachers "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 29, 2014

"[My father] grew up on a Lower East Side straight out of Hester Street. He had little formal education, having left school in the eighth grade to help support his family. But you wouldn't know it to talk to him. Impressed with his erudition on a wide range of topics, people would often ask him where he'd gone to college. He always answered, wryly and proudly, 'The New York Public Library.'"

—Bob Mankoff, How About Never--Is Never Good for You? My Life in Cartoons,20

"InBloom's implosion is a cautionary tale for the nearly $8 billion business of prekindergarten-through-12th-grade education technology software. Some education veterans told me that inBloom's demise indicated that the industry had been rushing to sell data-driven concepts before establishing evidence that automated data-mining of students improved their success in school.

A Student-Data Collector Drops Out"

—Natasha Singer, New York Times, April 26, 2014

"Any form of standardization rests on hidden assumptions about what it means to be human. And the assumptions that standardization rests upon are reductionist, behaviorist, and economically motivated.


—Bill Boyle, April 18, 2014

"New York Times Question: What kind of reader were you as a child? And what were your favorite childhood books?

Michael Lewis Answer: The first books I really ripped through were the Hardy Boys mysteries. Around age 11, I began to resist the books that my teachers required me to read, in favor of books I suspected my teachers would disapprove of. I read "Rosemary's Baby" before "To Kill a Mockingbird." I learned of the existence of masturbation from "Portnoy's Complaint"-- which I read only because I sensed my parents had tried to hide it. Philip Roth still occupies an unusual place in my heart.

Sunday Book Review"

—Michael Lewis, New York Times, April 13, 2014

"New York Times Question: What are your literary guilty pleasures? Do you have a favorite genre?

Michael Lewis Answer: I've never felt guilty reading a book.

Sunday Book Review"

—Michael Lewis, New York Times, April 13, 2014

"When Arne traveled to New Zealand, 5 aides & 3 security agents went with him. 3 security agents!?

Who's he afraid of?"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 6, 2012

"The new teacher is a facilitator. The new teacher is the last link in a program delivery system. The new teacher's job is to unpack the curriculum materials that somebody (state, district, feds) bought from some reputable corporate source (Pearson et al). Once she has unpacked the program, she's to deliver it as scripted, on schedule.

The new teacher is better than old teachers. For one thing, he doesn't keep saying, "This not what I signed up for," because product-- I mean, curriculum implementation is exactly what he signed up for. If the new teacher does get unhappy with being an animatronic tool, that's okay, because he's easy to replace. In fact, turnover is desirable, because if he sticks around too long, he might want a raise or something. . . .

Endgame: Changing the Profession"

—Curmudgucation, Oct. 5, 2013

"I hated high school. I spent a great deal of every class period imagining myself jumping out the first-floor window and running and running until no one in high school could ever find me again. Part of this had to do with my frustration at the one-question, one-answer, no-discussion method of education that was deemed appropriate for southern girls in a Catholic school. Part of it was feeling misunderstood, alone, and vaguely persecuted, a state fairly common among teenagers."

—Ann Patchett, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

"If I were a woman, I'd simply refuse to speak to any man or do anything for men until I got the vote... Women should have a revolution! They should shoot, kill, maim, destroy -- until they are given the vote. Interview, George Bernard Shaw The Tribune, March 12, 1906"

—George Bernard Shaw, Interview, The Tribune, March 12, 1906

"S Ohanian is right: 'teachers desperately need to figure out the difference between whining and resisting.' "

—Stephen Krashen, Twitter, March 22, 2014

Didnt drink the tea
Didnt ride the bus
But we give the tests because we're told to. End it now

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 21, 2014

" Global Roundtable of Sustainable Beef is kissin' kin of US Dept of Ed--run by and for corporate America


—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 20, 2014

" I'm compiling a dictionary of current education terms. See, for example, DIBAVEC "

—Susan Ohanian, first Tweet, June 29, 2009

"When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front"

—Wendell Berry, Spring 1991

"Teachers need 100,000 signs to get White House ear. How many signatures do BusinessRoundTable members need?


We petition the Obama administration to: Direct the Department of Education & Congress to Remove Annual Standardized Testing Mandates of NCLB and RttT"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 18, 2014

"Until the lions have their own historians, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.

The Art of Fiction No. 139"

—Chinua Achebe, The Paris Review, 2014

"Maybe, instead of commending to teachers and their students a corporate-committee model of collaboration, we should tell them about General John E. Hull. He was in charge at the American Air Force base at Iwakuni, Japan, on a May morning in 1955 when 25 Japanese women badly crippled and disfigured by the atomic blast at Hiroshima were to begin their trip for medical help in America. They were already aboard the U.S. Air Force plane when an aide dashed up to General Hull with an urgent cable from Washington. Not wishing to risk repercussions should the Hiroshima women encounter medical complications, a committee at the State Department had ordered the flight canceled. For a long moment, General Hull said nothing. When he handed the cable back to his aide. 'Unfortunately, I don't have my reading glasses with me,' he said. 'Be sure to remind me to read this later.' And the plane took off.

I want my students to know such stories, stories of conscience, stories of one person standing up and obfuscating bureaucracy and group-think, one person refusing to take time for a committee vote.

Against 'Collaboration': Reading and Writing Are Not Social Acts"

—Susan Ohanian, Education Week, Feb. 13, 1991

"Murdoch's new $43 million penthouse not big enough 4 art trove so he bought entire floor below. Thank U public schools

New York Times"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 16, 2014

"Note to LA Times editorial: Put down your STEM-as-savior magic wand & think about beekeeping alternative to calculus. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 14, 2014

"Amplify will ship new/improved tablet in Fall. Goal is to grab $$$$$$$$$ from $500 billion K-12 market & put it in Murdoch Newscorp pocket."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 13, 2014

"Two-thirds of what we see is behind our eyes."

—Chinese proverb

"It is the theory that determines what we observe.

Physics and Beyond "

—Albert Einstein in conversation with Werner Heisenberg

"Today's general surgery residents are increasingly perceived by the surgical community to be less confident and less competent on graduation than previous generations of residency graduates. General surgery residents substantiate this lack of confidence in survey: only 72% of residents believe their operative ability is "level appropriate," and 26% report concern that they will not feel confident enough to perform procedures independently before residency completion.

Are Today's Surgical Residency Graduates Less Competent or Just More Cautious?"

—Snyder, MD, MPH; Terhune, MD; Williams, MD, JAMA Surgery, 4/5/14

"My kids never believed me when I told them some kids start studying for the SAT in middle school. I told them about Tony Hsieh, the founder of Zappos and the author of a book I'd just read, Delivering Happiness. His parents had him start studying for the SAT in the sixth grade and take practice SATs throughout middle school and high school--and now he's a millionaire!

'I'd rather be happy,' [my son] would say. 'And studying for the SAT doesn't make me happy.' "

—Debbie Stier, The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT

" Someone once said to Dr. Seuss at a cocktail party: 'I'm a neurosugeon and I'm about to retire, and Iâm planning on writing children's books!'

Without missing a beat Dr. Seuss replied: 'That's amazing! I write childrenâs books and Iâm about to retire and I'm planning on becoming a neurosurgeon!'"

—from Thacher Hurd homepage

"I am David Effing Coleman. I'm an education amateur, but I'm a well-connected one and I have personally redefined what it means to be an educated person in America. No more of this namby-pamby reading and writing about thoughts and feelings and ideas and the rest of that shit. From cradle to grave, you'll focus on the only thing that matters-- practical, literal stuff that helps people make money. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty"-- what the hell was that Keats character smoking, anyway? The liberal arts?? Who in the bloody blue hell needs the liberal arts???!

Yes, the SAT was a biased test. It still is-- but now it's biased the right way. My way. We've got the CCSS and the SAT lined up. Next we'll get your three-year-olds properly rigorized, and once that's happening colleges won't be able to keep from becoming the proper vocational training centers they're supposed to be. Quality of life? Quality of life comes from money, baby. Education has something to do with a greater understanding of our world and our humanity and how we make sense of them, how we express our deepest connections to each other and the universe in a process of discovery, expression and wonder that continues our whole life? You're killing me.

Coleman Speaks Out (sort of)"

—Curmudgucation channeling David Effing Coleman, 3/5/14

"People believe almost anything they see in print."

—Charlotte in Charlotte's Web, E. B. White

"My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one's actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century."

—Noam Chomsky, On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures

"News Item: '. . . bar tab from a 1787 farewell party in Philadelphia for George Washington just days before the framers signed off on the Constitution. . . 55 attendees drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, eight of whiskey, 22 of porter, eight of hard cider, 12 of beer and seven bowls of alcoholic punch. . . .'

Which helps explain the Second Amendment."

—Zay N. Smith, QT, Feb. 26, 2014

"1942 Cynthia Voigt b. Teaching inspired her to write. Dicey is child she would like to have been. Advises teachers to read out loud--as gift to students. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 25, 2014

" Q: Does the media do its job?

A: Of course not. Itâs hard for me to talk about the media without getting angry. Because if the United States or the world goes down in disaster, I would blame the media first of all, because the people running it are intelligent people. They know very well how evil they are. And when they say, 'Oh, I'm just giving the people what they want.' Sure--so do the drug pushers. "

—Pete Seeger, WAMC public radio interview

"The rich got so goddamn rich, in other words, because the signature policies of the Great Right Turn were designed to make them rich. And, as the world knows, these policies werenât limited to Republicans; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obamaâplus, of course, their resident economists and cabinet membersâall more or less endorsed the basic tenets of the free-market faith. They are all implicated.

Paul Krugman won't save us: We need a new conversation about inequality "

—Thomas Frank, Salon.com, Feb. 23, 2014

"Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago,
'Once is happenstance.
Twice is coincidence.
The third time it's enemy action.'"

—Ian Fleming. Goldfinger

"The best gift we can give to our newly minted educators, many of whom will be working in our public school systems, is a society that gives the parents of the children they teach jobs that pay fair wages and provide basic benefits. That would be the best gift to give our new teachers and administrators.

The Teacher as Sisyphus"

—David Berliner, Keynote, Manhattanville College, 5/16/13

"He loved Big Brother."

—George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

" NY Times invites students to write 'evidenced-based editorials.' Why not ask Brent Staples & T Friedman to do same?

Student Contest"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 7, 2014

"If you are reading The Jungle Book for any other reason than to enter the jungle with Mowgli, Bagheera, and Baloo, then you had best stay out of the world of art, keep to your little cubbyhole, cram yourself with pointless exercises preparatory for the SAT, a job at Microsoft, creature comforts, old age, and death.

How Common Core Devalues Great Literature"

—Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine, 2/6/14

"1938 John Guare born. Wrote 'Six Degrees of Separation.'

There's .00038 of a Degree of Separation between Bill Gates & #CommonCore"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 5, 2014

" @susano: There has to be a point in this destructive policy when teachers refuse to cooperate.

@KarenLewisCTU: It is time for testing revolt. "

—Karen Lewis, Chicago Teachers Union, 2/1/14

"Every year the Democrats promise all sorts of stuff. Then they go to Washington and serve corporate interests. . . The function of the liberal class is to save capitalism. . . . I think we're so far down the road that we have to start thinking about self-sustaining communities to survive. . . . We're going to have to reach the point where we break the law.

Q&A The Death of the Liberal Class"

—Chris Hedges, Sanctuary for Independent Media, Oct 18, 2010

"I'd hammer out danger,

I'd hammer out warning,

I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,

All over this land.

If I had a hammer

(Music by Pete Seeger; lyrics by Lee Hays)"

—Peter Seeger, RIP, Jan. 28, 2014

"I do not know if we can build a better society. I do not even know if we will survive as a species. But I know these corporate forces have us by the throat. And they have my children by the throat. I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists. And this is a fight which in the face of the overwhelming forces against us requires us to embrace this sublime madness, to find in acts of rebellion the embers of life, an intrinsic meaning that lies outside of certain success. It is to at once grasp reality and then refuse to allow this reality to paralyze us. It is, and I say this to people of all creeds or no creeds, to make an absurd leap of faith, to believe, despite all empirical evidence around us, that good always draws to it the good, that the fight for life always goes somewhere--we do not know where; the Buddhists call it karma--and in these acts we sustain our belief in a better world, even if we cannot see one emerging around us.

The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies"

—Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Jan. 26, 2014

" Big Data has not even made sort of an attempt to create a rosy picture of our datafied future that would be enticing.

What is the appeal supposed to be? Am I supposed to imagine that I am sitting in my classroom, I am holding my head in hands thinking, 'Damn, but after months of seeing these students face to face, I haven't the faintest clue what they have and have not mastered. If only there were a test I could send off to some super-cool data place far from here, and then they would send me back a report, and then I would know how my students are doing. Because what that job needs is somebody who is not in the room with them and never sees them and spends no time with them and is not actually a human being.

Why Big Data?"

—Curmudgucation blog, Jan. 12, 2014

" Jan. 25, 1533: Ann Boleyn married Henry VIII. Teacher pacts with Power are no less disastrous."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter

"I'd like to see the NGA, the CCSSO, the Fordham Institute, Achieve, Student Achievement Partners, and the Foundation for Educational Excellence issue a ferocious public statement torching the Obama administration for overstepping when it comes to the Common Core, declaring that federal officials have no business touching it, threatening to censure the Secretary if he doesn't cease and desist, and announcing that they will bitterly fight federal efforts to interfere in any way with state decisions regarding the Common Core. If they can't be bothered to act, they'll have to excuse me for doubting their sincerity... and for reacting accordingly."

—Rick Hess, EdWeek Straight Up blog, 1/23/14

"Thou shalt not answer questionnaires
Or quizzes upon World-Affairs,
Nor with compliance
Take any test. Thou shalt not sit
With statisticians nor commit
A social science."

—W. H. Auden, Under Which Lyre, Phi Beta Kappa Poem, Harvard,1946

"Interviewers and students of literature like to ask poets to reveal the secrets of their trade, as if they were famous chefs on television cooking shows eager to share their recipes, and say something like: Buy an Oxford English Dictionary, featuring 600,000 words and 3 million quotations at a reputable bookstore. Have your butcher trim a 4-5 pound roast from its pages and place it in a roasting pan, etc⦠And are disappointed and visibly annoyed when informed by the poet that he hasn't the vaguest idea how or why his poems were written.

Short Days and Long Nights "

—Charles Simic, NY Review of Books blog, 1/21/14

"A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves--an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that's a problem because privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be."

—Edward Snowden. radio message, 12/25/2013

" Data isn't information, any more than fifty tons of cement is a skyscraper. "

—Clifford Stoll, Silicon Snakeoil: 2nd Thoughts on the Information Highway

"Because of our tendency to expect individuals to overcome their own handicaps, and teachers to save the poor from stressful lives, we design social policies that are sure to fail since they are not based on reality."

—David C. Berliner, Teachers College Record, Vol 115 #12, 2013

"The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can't handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn't stay in the government at that level, or you're made aware of it, a week. ... The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truthâessentially, never say the whole truthâof what they expect and what they're doing and what they believe and why they're doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters."

—Daniel Ellsberg, Conversations with History, 7/29/1988

"Education cannot stand yet another lie in miracle's clothing.

The Etymology of 'Miracle': On the Politics of Lies "

—P. L. Thomas, Schools Matter 12/26/13

"God damn it, you've got to be kind."

—Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

"[T]eachers already work hard for low wages because they are dedicated to improving the lives of their students. Do we really believe that giving them $50 more, or even $500 more, as incentive pay will induce them to work harder? What we should do is increase teacher salaries generally because we recognize the value of their contributions and trust in their professionalism. . . .

In No one We Trust"

—Joseph Stiglitz, Nobelist economics, NY Times, 12/22/13

" I'm afraid I know all 156 of them. [Shakespeare's sonnets]are my life companion. They're at the side of my bed. They travel with me. I pick them up, and I read them all the time. I find them endlessly informing, endlessly beautiful, endlessly -- they say, they hit the spot so many times on so many things.


—Peter O'Toole, NPR, 2007

"And why shouldnât love be made here, meals cooked and
consumed, fires stoked,
Children born who would have the boundless
woods to learn from,
who would feel freedom
In their footsteps and taste the calm thrill of dawn.
Werenât all of us
Young and able to split, hammer, haul,
plant, saw, push,
carry, lift, and
At the end of the physical day simply and
sublimely sit?

Building a House in the Woods, Maine, 1971
Read at the inauguration of Governor John Baldacci, January 2003 "

—Baron Wormser, 'Building a House in the Woods'

". . . constantly consummating their marriages to their computers."

—Daniel Menaker, My Mistake, 179

"Those humanities courses--demanding, deep, wide in their scope--constitute not only an intellectual but an emotional preparation for the work I will later do and the losses I will suffer. If you are lucky enough to be educated well in an ivory tower, it will help to prepare you to descend from that tower and deal with un-ivoried reality. When your heart is broken, Yeats will give the heartbreak a grand context. When there's a death in the family, Hans Bol's painting of a plowman with Icarus falling in the very distant distance may help to comfort you about the necessity of life to go on. . . ."

—Daniel Menaker, My Mistake, pp 39-40

"@susanoha: NYTimes ritual: Every columnist say something good abt #CommonCore. Bruni made pathetic attempt today. Is obituary writer next?

@TeacherReality: Yeah, the obituary writer for the teachers...'She died while creating curriculum to meet the new 'rigorous' Common Core standard'

@EduShysterDid u check Sunday Styles 2 see if Modern Love column is on Common Core? Or maybe couple did close reading of info text in Vows :) â"

—Twitter exchange, Nov. 24, 2013

" Rush to Judgment, aka Immediate Feedback, may be most destructive element in 21st Cent Ed deform. Discourages thinking--kid & teacher"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Nov. 17, 2013

"New York Times Question: If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Amy Tan: I would never require anyone to read any book. That seems antithetical to why we read -- which is to choose a book for our personal reasons. I always shudder when I'm told my books are on required reading lists.

Amy Tan: By the Book"

—Amy Tan, New York Times, Nov. 17, 2013

"Common Core means 5th graders analyzing NY Times pieces rated Grade 12 by Flesh Kincaid.

Who's On First?"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Nov. 11, 2013

" 1647 Massachusetts passed compulsory attendance law. NCLB, RTTT, CCSS have convinced me school attendance shouldn't be required. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Nov. 11, 2013

"For more information on the self-destructiveness of the hustling, techno-driven way of life, read Thoreau, read Moby-Dick, read Morris Berman's Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline. Read anything by Matt Taibbi or Chris Hedges. I mention these writers because you can't consider seventh graders without considering the world they live in. Youâd have to be insane to hold these truths to be self-evident--that all children are created equal, that they should all be subjected to the same complex text at the same time. Insane."

—Susan Ohanian, English Journal, November 2013

"After I read 'Charlotteâs Web,' I became so obsessed with pigs that my stepfather got me one for my ninth birthday. It was because of that pig that I became a vegetarian. That's impact.

Interview Nov. 3, 2013"

—Ann Patchett, New York Times,

"It is important to distinguish between digits, numerals, and numbers. Numbers and numerals are essentially the same; numerals are the written form of the idea of the number. Digits and numerals are not the same. When we are imprecise about digits and numerals, we lose an opportunity to reinforce the workings of the base-10 number system. 7 is not a number when it is contained in 73. It does not mean 7 in the number sense. It means 7 in the digit sense and must be multiplied by a power of 10 to be fully understood. . . ."

—Valerie Faulkner, Why the Common Core Changes Math Instruction, PDK 10/13

"This association is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning...

Join Us!!"

—Bad Ass Teachers Association

"Safety is all well and good: I prefer freedom."

—E. B, White, The Trumpet of the Swan

"They were careless people, Bill and Melinda. . . They smashed up public schools and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let teachers clean up the mess they had made."

—Susan Ohanian revision of The Great Gatsby

"3. The targets are what some people call 'stretch goals' -- unless you stretch to reach them, you won't be able to reach them.

JB and BBB demand that principals set Stretch Goals, Substance News 10/15/13"

—John Barker, Chicago Public Schools Chief Accountability Officer

" For baseball games, Yankee Stadium seats 50,287. If all the homeless people who now live in New York City used the stadium for a gathering, several thousand of them would have to stand. . . .One child out of every hundred children in the city is homeless. . . . More than twenty-one thousand children. . . .

No change in personal behavior is going to make rents cheaper.

Hidden City"

—Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, Oct. 28, 2013

"As more information is gathered, that's more information that can be leaked or stolen;

The Risks of Big Data for Companies"

—John Jordan, Wall Street Journal, 10/21/13

"Can I see a student's woe,
And not be in sorrow too.
Can I see Common Core grief,
And not seek for kind relief.

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrows share
Can a teacher see her student
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd."

—adapted from William Blake

"The great thing about Bill and Melinda is that they're in this for the long haul, and they know how challenging the work is. So what happens is we work across administrations because we know we want to be in this for the long run, and you use the synergy and the acceleration where you can get it.

Race to the Top was a great accelerant, and that momentum is going to continue. Now, it's about how do you build the support system to make that feedback fall on great fertile ground in terms of their professional development.

Melinda Gates Talks Teacher Quality"

—Vicki Phillips, Gates Foundation, Education Week, 10/17/13

" [T]here's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.)

The Sydney Peace Prize lecture"

—Arundhati Roy, Sydney Peace Prize lecture, Nov. 2004

"Common Core Standards are idiots' solution to a misunderstood problem. The problem is an archaic, useless curriculum that will prepare no child for life in 2040 and beyond."

—Gene Glass, comment on Yong Zhao's Facebook page

"We will be spending much of this year dealing with the implementation of Common Core Standards. They put teachers back in control of crafting and tailoring the education of their students. Critical thinking skills can now be part of our studentsâ educational foundation, and we can decide how to best teach that.

Where We Stand"

—California Teachers Association website, 2013

"I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.â

September 1, 1939 "

—W. H. Auden

"Our job [as journalists] is to find out ourselves, our job is not just to say -- here's a debate-- our job is to go beyond the debate and find out who's right and who's wrong about issues.

Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the pathetic American media "

—Seymour Hersh, The Guardian, 9/27/2013

"1930 Shel Silverstein b. When reading inspector from NY DOE asked me what text I used, I handed her Where the Sidewalk Ends."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 25, 2013

"Years after his death, when the World Trade Center towers were brought to the ground, traumatised New Yorkers faxed each other copies of a poem W. H. Auden had written for an earlier and greater crisis, September 1, 1939. They took comfort in his words even if many of those who received them must have had no idea who he was.

Teach Us Not to Be Afraid "

—Alexander McCall Smith, The New Republic, 9/20/13

"Many of us admired the New Criticism and learned a lot from it, even if we did not find it as much fun, finally, as the old criticism. But when the New Criticism was joined by French deconstruction, like two huge storm systems uniting, they obliterated everything in their path, text and author both. To the eyes of deconstruction, the harder you looked and the smarter you were, the less of a text was there. An author was the tool of his language. The author didn't count. The critic was the truly creative person.

Examined Lives"

—Phyllis Rose, The American Scholar, Autumn 2013

"Compare texts (a text can be any piece of information you can extract information from.

A 10-step plan to teach rigorous texts to reluctant readers. . . .

The teacher reads the text. Pick a challenging text at the recommended lexile level of your age group, even if the students are not reading at this level."

—Mary Arevalo, AFT Share My Lesson, Aug. 27, 2013

"If students aren't crying, vomiting, dissolving into a catatonic state, then are you sure real Common Core is in place?

Wisconsin being led astray"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 11, 2013

"1954 Jon Scieska born. Asked where he gets ideas, he gives long list, including 10 years as a teacher, Green Eggs & Ham & Robert Benchley. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 8, 2013

"Book review The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey.

This book is
fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

—Book reviewer at Barnes and Noble website, 2/16/02

"The higher education mantra is possibly the greatest cliché in American public life.

Academy Fight Song "

—Thomas Frank, The Baffler, No. 23, August 2013

" In tennis match,16.4% time ball is in play; baseball = 10%; NFL football = 5.9%. Thinking about how much of teaching is waiting --& watching "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 4, 2013

"Herbert Spencer wrote that 'Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom,' and I think this is what makes me nervous about teachers' current desire to have a hero. Hero worship destroys any chance of a Revolution because people spend their energy in shouting 'Hurrah!' 'Hurrah!' -- instead of organizing for freedom. One act of disobedience is worth 1,000 hurrahs! If you must have a hero, then consider following Henry David Thoreau, who took John Brown for his."

—Susan Ohanian, blog announcement, 8/30/13

" In education, as in gardens, a monoculture is doomed to decay and eventual failure.

'Grow faster!' is the experts' motto. Well, children are not cornstalks. . . .

David Coleman, chief architect of the Common Core curriculum, now heads the College Board. That's worrisome, and so is Coleman's background as a consultant at McKinsey & Co., the firm that so ably advised Kmart, Enron, Swissair and Global Crossing.

Common Core standards are 'curriculum upsidedownia' "

—George Ball, San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 19, 2013

"In my school, we had to input more than 2,000 data points a week. Not just for attendance, homework, class participation and such, but also whether the students exhibited 'unity of being' and 'reflective living.' With so much data and so much of it subjective, it's easy to prove anything, good or bad. Read the data one way, and it says a kid who never comes to class should pass. Or twist the data another way, and it is easy to prove that a teacher is incompetent. We have let spreadsheets hijack American education."

—John Owens, Confessions of a Bad Teacher, 2013

"Anyway -- because we are readers, we don't have to wait for some communications executive to decide what we should think about next -- and how we should think about it. We can fill our heads with anything from aardvarks to zucchinis -- at any time of night or day."

—Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

"The America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."

—Kurt Vonnegut, The Man Without a Country

"'Shut up,' he explained."

—Ring Lardner, Alibi Ike

"Melville remains one of the best American examples of how every important writer is foremost an indefatigable reader of golden books, someone who kneels at the altar of literature not only for wisdom, sustenance, and emotional enlargement, but with the crucial intent of filching fire from the gods.

The Writer as Reader "

—William Giraldi, Los Angeles Review of Books, 8/18/13

"We're living in a world in which we're all surveilled, targeted, herded, and indoctrinated to an unprecedented degree. Our fallen, debased state is ghastly. Our bodies have been transformed into profit-optimized enterprise zones, our minds have been hacked and neutered, our social milieus have been completely leached of authenticity.

The Art of Fiction 219"

— Mark Leyner, Paris Review

"When you close the schools, it moves people off the land and allows real estate speculators to buy land at cheap prices. All of these properties will eventually be banked and bought for little or nothing."

—Rev. Marshall Hatch, pastor, New Mount Pilgrim MB Church, 3/27/13

"Does your school ensure every poor child leaves school every day with at least three books they can read or have someone read to them? I ask because we have good evidence that low-income parents will typically rise to the occasion when they are provided with books, educational games, and such that they can use with their children. Unfortunately, in schools enrolling low-income children, those children encounter schools with few books, period -- much less books to lend children to take home. I also am confronted with negative attitudes about the abilities of low-income families to provide useful home support.

I think we have good research suggesting that virtually all kids benefit more from reading approachable texts than from reading hard ones.

There isn't much good to write about computerized instruction. The large-scale federal study of five popular reading and five popular math computerized programs found that one math program at one grade level (out of 30 possible comparisons) showed a positive effect for computerized lessons. If I had my way, computers would be banned from any instructional role. That is simply how bad the research suggests these programs are.

The Road to Literacy Instruction: An Interview with Richard Allington"

—Richard Allington, SAASNYS Vanguard Winter 2013

"1971. After 1 week Stanford psychologists ended jailer-prisoner experiment. Jailers enjoyed it too much. Today Common Core takes everybody prisoner "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 21, 2013

"Skeptics who might doubt that replacing Brown Bear, Brown Bear with a Wikipedia entry on Ursus arctos will stave off our nation's economic woes might wonder: Why, if fiction is no more vital than leftover turnips, is there a Nobel Prize in Literature and not in lawyers' briefs or material from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Web site (listed as a Common Core exemplary text).

Daily Censored, Oct. 18, 2011 and

Substance News, Oct. 19, 2011 (with pix)."

—Susan Ohanian, Daily Censored, Oct. 18, 2011

" Children who walk at 9 months do not become better runners than children who walk at 15 months. 'Standardizing' the expectation of reading, and setting curricula and tests around this expectation, is like expecting a child to walk on her first birthday. If she doesn't, shall we get our national knickers in a knot, develop a set of walking tests, prescribe walking remediation, and, perhaps inadvertently, make her feel desperately inadequate? In the current climate, Pearson is ready to design walking curriculum and its companion tests. The Gates and Broad Foundations will create complementary instructional videos.

Deck Chairs on the Titanic Failure of American Education "

—Steve Nelson, Huffington Post, 8/19/13

" NYT: You're in charge of setting a college student's freshman-year curriculum. Your list of required reading . . .

Penn Jillette:
I'm not big on requirements. I would suggest dropping out of school to have more time to read, and then read.

Penn Jillette: By the Book"

—Penn Jillette, New York Times Book Review, 8/16/13

"In Vermont, an osprey 130 feet above Lake Champlain can spot its prey. Across USA, Pearson's prey is delivered by @usedgov & @BillGates"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 15, 2013

"Advice to parents to support #CommonCore: Push your kids to read nonfiction-- Patrick Daley, Sr VP Scholastic


—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 11, 2013

"We superintendents should apologize to the nation for our role in legitimizing the punitive accountability racket that has taken over. br>
Supes held tongues about clay feet of ed reform bc we trusted pols who said we needed 2B accountable. We were teamplayers. They were crooks."

—John Kuhn, Twitter, Aug. 11, 2013

"If the rise in test scores happened when a powerful person's 'reforms' were in effect, they would mean improvement. If they happened when the powerful person's reforms were not in effect, they mean the test is too easy. "

—Stephen Krashen, Professor Emeritus USC 8/9/13

"Anyone who imagines that all fruit ripens at the same time as the strawberries knows nothing about grapes."

—Paracelsus, born Philippus Aureolus. . . von Hohenheim, 1493

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call my life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. p. 19

As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile. p. 37

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. . . p.49

Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant's truce between virtue and vice. Goodness is the only investment that never fails. p. 141

A living dog is better than a dead lion. p. 210"

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden

" Walmart makes nearly $35,000 in profit every minute and, as of 2012, its average annual sales stood at $405 billion dollars.

According to Mother Jones, the six Waltons, whose money comes from Walmart, control an estimated $115 billion dollar fortune. In total, that's more than a staggering 42% of Americans combined.

If a Business Won't Pay a Living Wage, It Shouldn't Exist "

—The Thom Hartmann Program, Aug. 8, 2013

"I've never known where I'm going until I've gone and come back, and then it takes me ages to see what the trip was about. I've never truly planned a book ahead of time. I know that works for others, and to paraphrase Frost, it might work for me, but it hasn't yet. "

—Philip Levine, interview with Edward Hirsch, 1999

"@usedgov Stop showboating:Dump common core, support food programs, school nurses, medical care & libraries/librarians for children of poverty"

—Stephen Krashen, Twitter, Aug. 2, 2013

"may my heart always be open to little
birds. . . ."

—e. e. cummings

"In danger of extinction because of predators: elephants, whales, polar bears. . . and kindergartners"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 2, 2013

"Teachers attend mandatory #CCSS PD by consultants who are intimate with PowerPoint but couldn't tell a kid from a grasshopper #StopCommonCore"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter

"US Ed Policy mirrors NY Times, which has Wealth Matters column but no Poverty Matters column, a Business Section but no Labor Section. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 2, 2013

"In US, 1.6 million homeless kids need homes filled with books. Politicos give them #CommonCore rigor & blame teachers for standardized test scores"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter

"Do ed deformers buy cars same way they bought the Common Core? Hear sales pitch, sign contract & look at bill a few years later. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, 7/22/13

"NYT edit board rejoices at Napolitano departure from Homeland Security. Have they no pity for Univ of California?

University of California Appoints the Standardistos' Standardisto as Leader"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, 7/20/13

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

The Summer Day"

—Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

"The congressional hunger games began when Senate Democrats voted to cut $4.1 billion from food stamps, or SNAP. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said it was a matter of slicing 'waste, fraud and abuse' from the program.

This Week in Poverty: Confronting Congressional Hunger Games "

—Greg Kaufmann, The Nation blog, July 15, 2013

"David Coleman is a salesman hired by Bill Gates. He's never taught nor done enough research to see if these 'standards' are appropriate or worthy.

If Coleman were a doctor he'd be referred to as a quack and count Charlotte Danielson as his nurse.

Reading Closely For Connection In The Common Core"

—Reader Comment, Gotham Schools, 7/15/13

". . . dogs don't seem to lend themselves to verse quite so well, collectively, as cats.

I think nothing is worse than to try to form people in your own image.

Paris Review "

—T. S. Eliot, Paris Review, interviewed by Donald Hall

"There's a dark underside to philanthropy. People who give a bunch of money are deferred to, even when they are wrong. The emperor cannot be shown to have no clothes. "

—Michael Eric Dyson, Is Bill Cosby Right?

"The thing being made in a university is humanity. . . . [W]hat universities, at least the public-supported ones, are mandated to make or help to make is human beings in the fullest sense of those words--not just trained workers or knowledgeable citizens but responsible heirs and members of human culture. If the proper work of the university is only to equip people to fulfill private ambitions, then how do we justify public support? If it is only to prepare citizens to fulfill public responsibilities, then how do we justify the teaching of arts and sciences? The common denominator has to be larger than either career preparation or preparation for citizenship. Underlying the idea of a university--the bringing together, the combining into one, of all the disciplines--is the idea that good work and good citizenship are inevitable by-products of the making of a good--that is, a fully developed--human being. This, as I understand it, is the definition of the name university."

—Wendell Berry, Home Economics, 77

"The notion that great literature can help you with reading and thinking clearly is also a chimera. One page of Henry James's clotted involutions or D.H. Lawrence's throbbing verbal repetitions will disabuse you of any conception of literature's value as a rhetorical model. Rather, the literary masterworks of Western civilization demonstrate the limitations of so-called clear-thinking. They present their meanings in patchwork-clouds of associations, intuitions, impressions. There are sonnets by Shakespeare that no living person can understand. The capacity to transfix you with their language while hiding their meaning in folds of mind-altering imagery is their rare quality. . . .

Who Ruined the Humanities? Of course it's important to read the great poets and novelists. But not in a university classroom, where literature has been turned into a bland, soulless competition for grades and status"

—Lee Siegel, Saturday Essay, Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2013

"What we're seeing isn't the rise of a fairly broad class of knowledge workers. Instead, we're seeing the rise of a narrow oligarchy: income and wealth are becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small, privileged elite.

Graduates vs Oligarchs"

—Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov. 1, 2011

"Who knew that we needed the Common Core State Standards before David Coleman sold policymakers on the idea that changing the curriculum, rather than taking on the more real and relevant challenge of addressing poverty, is the panacea for our times? Like any good salesman, Coleman pitched the idea that schools are failing and that his new vision -- unproven but plausible in the rhetorical world he spun around it -- provided the value toward which we as a nation must aspire.

Common Core State Standards: A lesson in shrewd marketing"

—Peter Smagorinsky, AJ Constitution Get Schooled Blog, 7/8/13

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

The Politics of Education Culture Power and Liberation"

—Paolo Friere, The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, & Liberation

"The most prescient portrait of the American character and our ultimate fate as a species is found in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Melville makes our murderous obsessions, our hubris, violent impulses, moral weakness and inevitable self-destruction visible in his chronicle of a whaling voyage. He is our foremost oracle. He is to us what William Shakespeare was to Elizabethan England or Fyodor Dostoyevsky to czarist Russia. . . .

We Are All Aboard the Pequod"

—Chris Hedges, We Are All Aboard the Pequod, truthdig, 7/7/13

" [J]ournalists should question authority, right from the beginning, when their first tasks are digging up hidden local police reports and crooked city hall contracts. From there, those who stick with it will go on to try to open up the secrets of the highest levels of government, an unpopular but honorable task. . . .

Obama's Elitism on Full Display "

—Bill Boyarsky, Obama's Elitism...Truthdig, 5/31/13

"When I run the world, librarians will be exempt from tragedy. Even their smaller sorrows will last only for as long as you can take out a book."

—Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, 273

"Our classrooms have become intellectual deserts where students are not allowed to use their imagination and their natural curiosity in order to learn new tasks and explore new ideas. Teachers who dare to be innovative and creative are more often than not viewed as a threat to the testing regime and its priorities.

Life is not a multiple-choice test"

—Ron Maggiano, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 6/24/13

"Ii believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture. . . . Such men [as Henry Ford} do not always realize that the adoration which they receive is not a tribute to their personality but to their power or their pocketbook.


—Albert Einstein, Saturday Evening Post interview, 10/26/1929

"Being both a father and teacher, I know we can teach our children nothing. We can transmit to them neither our knowledge of life nor mathematics. Each must learn its lesson anew


—Albert Einstein, Saturday Evening Post interview, 10/26/1929

"Washington Post editorial supporting Common Core: Liar, liar pants on fire. http://www.susanohanian.org/core.php?id=511"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter June 22, 2013

" Secretary Duncan needs to give a speech in which he pleads 'mea culpa' and acknowledges that federal involvement and money played a nontrivial (and perhaps, in hindsight, an unfortunate) role in the early stages of the Common Core. Doing so will allow the conversation to move off that sticking point, and reassure the skeptics that the proponents are finally speaking to their fears of slippery slopes.


—Rick Hess, Straight Up blog, June 20, 2013

"#CCSS claims 'careful use of a large & growing body of evidence, including: scholarly research.' Where's the research? Name the researchers. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter June 16, 2013

" [I]t's a law of the universe that 87% of all people in all professions are incompetent"

—John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist, 70

"Education, then, is no longer the answer to rising inequality, if it ever was (which I doubt).

Sympathy for the Luddites "

—Paul Krugman, New York Times, 6/14/13

"This bloated Pig masters Wall Street,
This little Pig owns your home,
This war-crazed Pig had your brother killed,
. . . And this greedy Pig shouts "More!"
This Pig in Congress shouts "War, War!"
All the day long. . . ."

—Ned Donn, Pioneer Mother Goose

"Without some 'false and damaging' certainty, no writing on any subject is humanly possible. The writer, like the murderer, needs a motive."

—Janet Malcolm, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

" [A different idea] is ignored by those whose assistance it most needs--creative, original thinkers. Always unhappy with the status quo, they devise alternatives. But immersed in their creations, they often suffer from what's sometimes called the NIH (Not Invented Here) Syndrome. They've little or no interest in someone else's idea."

—Marion Brady, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 6/12/13

"Who decides what's taught? Generally speaking, nobody. What's being taught is taught because it's what's long been taught -- and serious efforts to change it are up against bureaucracy and institutional inertia, lobbyists for test manufacturers and education publishers, millions being spent by the Gates, Walton, and Broad Foundations to reinforce the curricular status quo, the naiveté of policymakers, and wishy-washy teacher unions."

—Marion Brady, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 6/12/13

"We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished."

—Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

"Trying to fix an urban school without fixing the neighborhood in which it is embedded is like trying to clean the air on one side of a screen door."

—Jean Anyon, Ghetto schooling: A political economy of urban education reform

"I don't think there is a conspiracy in which drug companies pay doctors to create diseases for which they can then sell the cure. But who needs conspiracies when you have capitalism? Every medical disorder, psychiatric and otherwise, is a market, and drug companies, no more or less than any corporation, are beholden to their shareholders to exploit that market. But that doesn't mean the relationship between the two industries isn't a problem."

—Gary Greenberg, The Book of Woe, New York Times, 5/29/13

" Author donates 28,000 books to FL students. data collection monstrosity inBloom. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 31, 2013

"Tyranny is always better organized than freedom. "

—Charles Peguy--1873 - 1914

"Accelerated Reader "utilizes...verified measure of quantitative text complexity for #CommonCore" & they'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter May 30, 2013

"It's just like going to a long funeral and no one will close the casket yet. The fate of your position, the fate of your job, the fate of your children are up in the air, and they're based on a few people making a decision."

—Sonya Williams, on Chicago School Closings, NPR, 5/24/13

"Janet Frame felt herself to be an outsider, and was treated as one for many years. She was institutionalized, mislabeled as a schizophrenic, subjected to more than 200 rounds of electric shock treatment and was on the verge of undergoing a lobotomy when 'The Lagoon,' a book of short stories, won a local literary prize, prompting the hospital superintendent to remove her from the surgery list. "

—Allison McCullough, Sunday NY Times Book Review, 5/26/13

"In their first trip to a public school since the Inauguration, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Capital City Public Charter School in northwest Washington, D.C. There, they read The Moon Over Star, by Dianna Hutts Aston, to a second-grade class and met with fifth-graders who told them about their learning expedition on voting rights. 'We're very proud of what's been accomplished at this school, and we want to make sure that we're duplicating that success all across the country,' the president said. 'Nothing is going to be more important than this.' "

—U. S. Department of Education Press Release, 2/4/09

"That hunger and malnutrition should persist in a land such as ours is embarrassing and intolerable.

Special Message to the Congress Recommending a Program to End Hunger in America"

—Richard Nixon, May 6, 1969

"Herman Melville's 'Moby-Dick' grasps the dark soul of global capitalism. We are all aboard the doomed ship Pequod, a name connected to an Indian tribe eradicated by genocide, and Ahab is in charge. 'All my means are sane,' Ahab says, 'my motive and my object mad.' We are sailing on a maniacal voyage of self-destruction, and no one in a position of authority, even if he or she sees what lies ahead, is willing or able to stop it. Those on the Pequod who had a conscience, including Starbuck, did not have the courage to defy Ahab. The ship and its crew were doomed by habit, cowardice and hubris. Melville's warning must become ours. Rise up or die.

Rise Up or Die"

—Chris Hedges, TruthDig, May 19, 2013

"Having an enemy is important to not only define our identity but also to provide us with an obstacle against which to measure our system of values and, in seeking to overcome it, to demonstrate our own worth. So when there is no enemy, we have to invent one."

—Umberto Eco, Inventing the Enemy; Essays

"A man not satisfied with seven acres must be deemed a dangerous citizen."

—Pliny quoting Maniuis Curius Dentatus, Historia Naturalus

"Schools do not like an eccentric or lively child. Schools--any school, a public school, the most prestigious private school, the school with the reputation for having great concern for the inner life of the child--are all interested in the same thing: tractability. None of them want a child who does not do what he is told. It's nice if your three-year-old plans the cello or speaks Hebrew or can ride a horse, but if he can't perform according to commands, if he is willful or resistant, you will have difficulty placing him in the school you might most wish he would attend, unless of course you are fortunate enough to have sound public schools in your neighborhood. . . .

I have no interest in being the kind of parent whose child takes lessons in cello and horseback riding and French and modern dance. Too great an involvement in these activities suggests parents who are social climbers or who have too little time to spend with their children."

—Alec Wilkinson,Mr. Apology

"Common Core Standards are idiots' solution to a misunderstood problem. The problem is an archaic, useless curriculum that will prepare no child for life in 2040 and beyond."

—Gene Glass, Regents' Professor Emeritus from Arizona State University

"If there is hope, you are it. You are motivated to find truth. You can think outside the box. You can see through propaganda. You are the remnant with the common sense that once was a common American virtue. You come to this site, because you get explanations that are not agenda-driven, that are not BS, that are not right-wing or left-wing, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat. You get explanations based on my lifetime of unique education and experience. Some of you are young enough to be equipped with the energy and courage to organize whatever resistance there may be to the Gestapo State that is descending on the United States of America.

You Are the Hope"

—Paul Craig Roberts, website, May 1, 2013

"Do not accept directives from or pay consulting fees to people who have never in their lives been shut up in a room with 28 seventh graders. . . .

Count how many times the phrase 'joy in learning' is used in any proposal to 'fix' any school. . . ."

—Susan Ohanian, Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2003

". . . fund ideas about personnel systems. . . ."

—Bill Gates, US Education, Biggest Challenges,TheGatesNotes.com

"John [Legend] cares a lot about improving education and is investing a lot of his own time on the issue. I first met him when we were both involved with the documentary Waiting for Superman, and I could tell right away that he was an impressive and well informed guy, in addition to being a super-talented musician. It's great that he's using his fame to draw attention to the need to improve our schools.

My TED Talk: Giving Teachers What They Deserve "

—Bill Gates, TED, May 6, 2013

"Children in Finland go outside to play frequently all day long. "How can you teach when the children are going outside every 45 minutes?" a recent American Fulbright grant recipient in Finland, who was astonished by how little time the Finns were spending in school, inquired curiously of a teacher at one of the schools she visited. The teacher in turn was astonished by the question. 'I could not teach unless the children went outside every 45 minutes!"'

Have American Parents Got It All Backwards? "

—Christine Gross-Loh, HuffPost blog, 5/7/13

"The Business Roundtable, Education Trust, Bill Gates, And New York Times editorial agree: If you can't count it, It doesn't count."

—Susan Ohanian, When Childhood Collides with NCLB

"The standards will tell the teachers what their students are supposed to learn, and the data will tell them whether they're learning it. These two changes will open up options we've never had before."

—Emperor Bill Gates, National Conference of State Legislatures, 7/21/09

"Percentage change since 1980 in California's spending:

on public universities: -13

On prisons: +436 "

—Harper's Index, May 2013

"The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry."

—Dr. Irwin Savodnik, assist, clinical professor of psychiatry, UCLA

"Question: What books did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn't?

Answer: 'Paradise Lost.' Milton is a big stone that teachers put around a student's neck. I can't remember what else I don't like.

Sunday Book Review"

—Robert Bly, interview, New York Times 5/5/13

"It was a damn near riot. Even the psychometricians have come around. "

—Report on Duncan speech at AERA conference, April 30, 2013

"You know more than you think you do."

—Dr. Benjamin Spock, opening of The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care

"When the neighbors complained
the roots of our cypress were buckling
their lot, my landlord cut the tree down.
I didnât know a living thing three stories high
could be so silent, until it was gone. . . .

—Rick Barot, from On Gardens, Poetry, May 2012

"People who believe that 'all children will learn' have watched too many Hollywood movies about teachers. I'm pretty good at what I do and fail all the time. There ARE circumstances that are beyond m control, despite the fact that I normally work 18 hours a day and spend every penny I have on the kids."

—Rafe Esquith, central Los Angeles 5th grade teacher

"Official history has it that Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the first man to see, from a summit in Panama, the two oceans at once. Were the people who lived there blind??"

—Eduardo Galeano, Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone

"Now Tom said 'Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or a decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me.' "

—Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad

"Ask yourself this: Do you know the name of any one of the people killed in the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company disaster? Do you know how many of them there were? Their ages, aspirations, what they looked like, whether they left behind children or what messages they last posted on Facebook? Do you know what the cause of the explosion was? Or if investigators are still searching for an explanation? . . . the blunt and awful truth is that, as a nation, we pay orders of magnitude more attention to the victims of terrorism than we do to the more than 4,500 Americans killed each year while on the job.

Terror in Texas "

—Richard Kim, Terror in Texas, The Nation, May 13, 2013

"Dr. Song turned to Jun Do. 'Where we are from,' he said. 'Stories are factual. If a farmer is declared a music virtuoso by the state, everyone had better start calling him maestro. And secretly, he'd be wise to start practicing the piano. For us, the story is more important than the person. If a man and his story are in conflict, it is the man who must change.'"

—Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master's Son

" When the white flame in us is gone. . . ."

—Rupert Brooke, 'Dust,' Poems 1908-1911

" I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
'It is futile,' I said,
'You can never--'

'You lie,' he cried,
And ran on.

—Stephen Crane, b. 1871

"There are only 2,218 inspectors at both the federal and state level who inspect workplace safety to cover 7.5 million workplaces employing more than 130 million workers. That's one inspector for every 57,984 workers. At this rate, OSHA can inspect a workplace on average once every 129 years and state OSHA inspectors could inspect one every 67 years. . . .

When OSHA does find a problem, its penalties are quite easy to ignore. Since 1970, there have only been 84 cases prosecuted of willful violation of safety rules that resulted in a worker death. During this time, more than 360,000 workers died on the job. The penalty for wrongfully killing a worker on the job is only 6 months. The maximum penalty for a major safety violation is a mere $7,000.

Why Is Earth Day So Much More Popular Than Workers Memorial Day? "

—Mike Elk, In These Times, April 29, 2011

"If Obama ever had a 'philosophy,' it's about power sharing -- that is, sharing parts of his plastic personality with the powers that be -- from the Daley brothers in Chicago who advanced his career, to the bankers and hedge-fund mangers who financed his campaigns, to the lobbyists and party barons in Washington who write his legislative proposals. Never has a leading American Democrat (including the dean of 'New Democrats,' Bill Clinton) done less to promote 'activist government' in support of less-privileged people while getting so much undeserved credit for 'trying' to help them.

Obama's Real Political Program"

—John R. MacArthur, Harper's blog, March 21, 2013

"Percentage change since 1980 in Californiaâs spending on public universities : â13

On prisons : +436"

—Harper's Index, May 2012

"Engineers have made great advances in robotics in recent years. Everyday-robots can vacuum rugs and mop floors. More advanced models can act as secretary of education. Call it the Arne model. Boot it up and it talks and talks and talks. But it appears to lack two functions, the ability to say anything concrete and the ability to link its various sayings with the old human function known as logic.


—Gerald Bracey, Robots in Education, Huffington Post. 6/15/09

"A democratic society is committed to the equality of citizens, but foundations are the voice of plutocracy.

What Are Foundations For?"

—Rob Reich, Boston Review, March/April 2013

" Josie Leavitt teaches standup comedy at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington: 'I never find out what the crime is until after the class. I want to work with the inmates as comics and judge them as comics; I want to help them become better writers and speakers. It helps them with their parole hearings and job interviews. If they can write a joke, they can write a resume.' "

—Chris Bohjalian, Burlington Free Press, 4/7/13

"If school workers continue to fail to recognize that the education agenda is a war agenda--class and empires' wars. and if they do not reject the empire's bribes, nor recognize the reality of the corporate state as well as the need for new forms of organizations, beyond counterfeit American unionism, the future will probably look like Detroit no matter what the accountants say.

Barbarism Rising: Detroit and the International War of the Rich on the Poor "

—Rich Gibson, Counterpunch, March 28, 2013

"A test at day's start
no one to take it
this birth of spring"

—Susan Ohanian, April 2013 National Poetry Month

"People are what they do. Not what they say they do or would do if not scared.... "

—Rich Gibson, EPATA list, Sept. 22, 2010

"Our job is to remain fast around moral imperatives that we do not compromise on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYCvSntOI5s "

—Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class, 10/17/10

"Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. ... [T]hey are not themselves members of 'We the People' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established. "

—Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, dissenting opinion

"Listen. I don't like to preach, but here's some advice. You'll meet a lot of jerks in life. If they hurt you, remember it's because they're stupid. Don't react to their cruelty. There's nothing worse than bitterness and revenge. Keep your dignity and be true to yourself.

Book banned in Chicago by schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett

—Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

"Little that happens in this life is not to some degree explored in Middlemarch--a novel of special psychological acuity (and with high tolerance of ambiguity and paradox)."

—Robert Coles, The Moral Life of Children 1986

"One does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and if she does not like it, asks her to return his letters. The older man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. The book is a test of character."

—A. A. Milne

"Long Live Revolution...Damn It!"

—Andre Vltchek, CounterPunch, March 6, 2013

"VOMIT ALERT: Time needed for PARCC. Grade 3: 8 hrs; Grade 11: 9 hrs 55 min

Protect children. Join UnitedOpt Out

PARCC Claims to Measure Skills Needed for 'Life Beyond High School'"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 6, 2013

"Since the intent is to find any opportunity to attack and discredit me, I would like the opportunity to respond when certain outrageous statements are made. Arne Duncan would not be qualified to be superintendent in this district. (Former New York City Schools Chancellor) Joel Klein would not be qualified. States have archaic laws. That is like saying Michael Jordan can't coach basketball because he doesn't have teacher certification. CtPost.com "

—Paul Vallas, acting Bridgeport superintendent, 3/4/13

"One of the things that has frightened me most about the Obama administration is its egregious assault against civil liberties, which are actually worse were than the Bush administration's. If we have to date the final act of the corporate coup d'etat, it's probably 2010 with Citizens United. The corporate state is fully aware of what is happening, and they are rapidly criminalizing dissent, as Rahm Emanuel did in Chicago, because they know that as--they harvest the country--it's a business term where you take over a business, you know it's not going to last, and you just squeeze it for short-term profit--that eventually there will be a backlash. So that's why Obama has not restored habeas corpus. That's why he supported the FISA Amendments Act, which retroactively makes legal what under our constitution has traditionally been illegal, the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring and eavesdropping of tens of millions of Americans. Now we all know where your information is stored--in supercomputers in Utah. That has permitted him to radically, I think, misinterpret the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act to call for the assassination or carry out the assassination of American citizens and then two weeks later their 16-year-old son.

That's what has caused Obama to use the Espionage Act six times against whistleblowers, including Jeffrey Sterling, who purportedly gave information about war crimes to The New York Times. The Espionage Act was never designed to silence whistleblowers. In between 1917, when it was passed, and the Obama administration, it was only used three times against whistleblowers, the first being Daniel Ellsberg. I have many friends who are investigative journalists, and they all will tell you that essentially no one within the structures of power will speak to them anymore because Obama has essentially delivered the message that if you talk, you're probably going to go to prison.

The only hope that we have now of challenging these corporate forces is by rebuilding mass movements. It is not going to come by placing a naive faith in the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, or the judicial system. That corporate coup is over. For me, that's why Occupy was so important. It articulated the fundamental problem, which is that corporate power has seized control of our economy, control of our political system, and control of our systems of information, not to mention our systems of education. It's only by a mass movement that we have any hope of bringing them down.

Read more on Alternative Radio"

—Chris Hedges, Corporate Coup d’Etat , Seattle 7/12

"In March, Parliament knocks back the new poor law. It was too much for the Commons to digest, that rich men might have some duty to the poor; that if you get fat, as gentlemen of England do, on the wool trade, you have some responsibility to the men turned off the land, the labourers without labour, the sowers without a field. England needs roads, forts, harbours, bridges. Men need work. It's a shame to see them begging their bread, when honest labour could keep the realm secure. Can we not put them together, the hands and the task?

But Parliament cannot see how it is the state's job to create work. Are not these matters in God's hands, and is not poverty and dereliction part of his eternal order? To everything there is a season: a time to starve and a time to thieve. If rain falls for six months solid and rots the grain in the fields, there must be providence in it; for God knows his trade. It is an outrage to the rich and enterprising, to suggest that they should pay an income tax, only to put bread in the mouths of the workshy. And if Secretary Cromwell argues that famine provokes criminality: well, are there not hangmen enough?"

—Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies, pp 204-5

New York Times: If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Garry Wills: Garry Trudeau's Signature Wound, to see what damage Obama has done to thousands of our young people with his stupid wars. "

—Garry Wills, New York Times, Sunday Book Review, 3/3/13

"Put any of our ed policy gurus in a classroom and it'd be like watching a cockroach standing in a puddle of honey.

While Schools Ramp Up for Incessant Common Core Testing, Medical Community Questions Need for Many Tests "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 28, 2013

" Jane (Seymour) is like a little jointed puppet.--Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies

Arne is like a tall jointed puppet."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 28, 2013

" College Board Koan

What is the sound of one test taken?

$$$ "

—P. L. Thomas, Schools Matter, Feb. 28, 2013

"Textbooks are designed to deliver information, but kids aren't designed to receive it.

What's Worth Learning?"

—Marion Brady, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 2/28/13

"Who comes out on top, in any ranking system, is really about who is doing the ranking. Read more: The Order of Things "

—Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, Feb. 14, 2011

"In the way that we have considered food deserts -- those parts of the city in which stores seem to stock primarily the food groups Doritos and Pepsi -- we might begin to think, in essence, about toy deserts and the implications of a commercial system in which the least-privileged children are choked off from the recreations most explicitly geared toward creativity and achievement.

The Great Divide, Now in the Toy Aisle "

—Gina Bellafante, NY Times, Dec. 9, 2012

"Although history has vindicated resistance groups [who distributed anti-Nazi leaflets] such as the White Rose and plotters [to lill Hitler] such as von dem Bussche, they were desperately alone, reviled by the wider public and forced to defy the law, their oaths of national allegiance, and public opinion. The resisters, once exposed, were condemned in vitriolic terms by most of the German public, and their lopsided trials were state-choreographed lynchings. Von dem Bussche said that even after the war he was spat upon as he walked down a city street. He and those like him who made a moral choice to physically defy evil teach us something extremely important about rebellion. It is, when it begins, not safe, comfortable or popular. Those rare individuals who have the moral and physical courage to resist must accept that they will be pariahs. They must live outside the law. And they must be prepared to be condemned.

'Somebody, after all, had to make a start,' one of the White Rose members, Sophie Scholl, said on Feb. 21, 1943, at her trial in a Nazi court. 'What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did. . . . '

Von dem Bussche, 6 feet 5 inches tall and with cobalt-blue eyes and a voice that rumbled like a freight train during the interview, refused to describe what he or the other plotters did as heroism. He detested words like 'honor' or 'glory' when they were applied to warfare. He had no time for those who romanticized war. He said he had no option as a human being but to resist. He acted, he said, to save his 'self-esteem.'

'There was no hero stuff involved, none at all,' he said. 'I thought this was an adequate means to balance out what I had seen. I felt that this was justifiable homicide and was the only means to stop mass murder inside and outside Germany.' Rebels Stand Alone"

—Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Feb. 24, 2013

"I donât read much nonfiction because the nonfiction I do read always seems to be so badly written. What I enjoy about fictionâthe great gift of fictionâis that it gives language an opportunity to happen. What I am really interested in after personality are not philosophic ideas or abstractions or patterns, but this superb opportunity for language to take place.

The Art of Fiction No. 61 "

—Stanley Elkin , Paris Review Interview, Summer 1976

"We have abandoned the common good. We have been stripped of our rights and voice. Corporations write our laws and determine how we structure our society. We have all become victims. There are no politicians or institutions, no political parties or courts, that are independent enough or strong enough to resist the corporate onslaught. Greater and greater numbers of human beings will be consumed. The poor, the vulnerable, the undocumented, the weak, the elderly, the sick, the children will go first. And those of us watching helplessly outside the gates will go next.


—Chris Hedges, 'Profiting from Human Misery,' Truthdig, 2/17/13

"The conditions that cause children to fail in school cannot be found in schools.

They can be found in the 91 percent of each childhood spent outside of school.

They cannot be fixed by schools and they cannot be fixed by preschools.

Children who fail in school don't need better schools. they need better childhoods."

—Rob Bligh, Feb. 23, 2013

"Put any national ed policy maker in a classroom & it would be like watching a cockroach standing in a puddle of honey.

While Schools Ramp Up for Incessant Common Core Testing, Medical Community Questions Need for Many Tests "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 21, 2013

"I'm more worried about Bill Gates hubris than Chinese cyberwarfare.

WhooHoo! Occupy the Schools!


—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 21, 2013

"Finally, the White House press corps is exercised by problems of transparency under the Obama administration. The issue at hand is not, however, secrecy over kill lists or the extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens. No, the journalists who surround the president are up in arms over transparency because they couldn't get close to Obama and Tiger Woods playing golf.

During this President's Day weekend, Obama joined the famed golfer and philanderer for a round in Florida. As the AP noted, 'The White House, which has promised to be the most open and transparent in history, has prohibited any media coverage of Obama's golf outing.'

When the White House press corps cares about transparency"

—Natasha Lennard, Salon.com, Feb. 18, 2013

"They're going to have to pry the crayons out of my cold, dead hands.

Occupy Kindergarten!


—Kurt Schwengel, Kindergarten teacher, May 17, 2012

"I want to put this in context. The minimum wage is around 15% less than it was in the late 1960s. The productivity in the economy is about 100% greater. The workers who are at the low-wage end are far more educated now than they were then. We have an economy that hasn't benefited most people over the last three decades."

—Lawrence Mishel, EPI President, MSNBC, Feb. 17, 2013

"THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General."

—Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Harrison Bergeron, in Welcome to the Monkey House

"We have now done 12 separate studies measuring empathy in every way imaginable, social behavior in every way, and some work on compassion and it's the same story. Lower class people just show more empathy, more prosocial behavior, more compassion, no matter how you look at it.'--Prof. Dacher Keltner

Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm, Current Directions http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/social-class-as-culture.html

'It is the morality of altruism that men have to reject. --Ayn Rand

'If a designer shoe goes up from $800 to $860, who notices?'-- Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at the consulting firm Kurt Salmon, and the former chairman and chief executive of Saks, NYTimes, 8/3/11 "

—The Rich ARE Different. cartoon.www.susanohanian.org

"[W]ith the rise of a strong neoliberal wing over the last several decades and an increasing number of Democrats no longer even feigning to be troubled with placating unions--once seen as a central constituency for the party--or a broader agenda of equality and social justice, unionists and their partisans have grown increasingly exasperated at party policies that look more and more like those of Republicans.

This is particularly true in the case of education reform, where Democrats have swallowed the Right's free market orthodoxy whole. Much of the party appears to have given up on education as a public project.


—Micah Uetricht, Jacobin, Issue 9, 2012

"Bill [Gates]is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think heâs more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

—Steve Jobs in biography by Walter Isaacson

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not money, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not money, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not money, it profiteth me nothing. Money suffereth long, and is kind; money envieth not; money vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. . . . And now abideth faith, hope, money, these three; but the greatest of these is money.

I Corinthians xiii (adapted)"

—George Orwell, Keep the Aspidistra Flying

"Write, if you must; not otherwise. Do not write, if you can earn a fair living at teaching or dressmaking, at electricity or hod-carrying. Make shoes, weed cabbages, survey land, keep house, make ice-cream, sell cake, climb a telephone pole. Nay, be a lightning-rod peddler or a book agent, before you set your heart upon it that you shall write for a living.... Living? It is more likely to be dying by your pen; despairing by your pen; burying hope and heart and youth and courage in your ink-stand. "

—Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, author of 57 volumes of fiction, poetry, & essays

"How could Barack Obama say, in his State of the Union speech, "let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour"?

Back in 2008, Obama campaigned to have a $9.50 per hour minimum wage by 2011. Now heâs settling for $9.00 by 2015! Going backward into the future is the price that poverty groups and labor unions are paying by giving Mr. Obama a free ride last year on this moral imperative. How can leaders of poverty groups and unions accept this back-of-the-hand response to the plight of thirty million workers who make less today, adjusted for inflation, than workers made 45 years ago in 1968?

April: Show Up To Catch Up With 1968"

—Ralph Nader, In the Public Interest, 2/15/13

"His brain obviously went on strike at the start of that sentence even as his lips continued to move. [describing a remark by former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs]

Should the Obama Administration Execute David Sirota by Drone Strike?"

—Simon Dumenco, Ad Age, Feb. 11, 2013

"Interviewer: Did the success of Where the Wild Things Are ever feel like an albatross?

Maurice Sendak: It's a nice book. It's perfectly nice. I can't complain about it. I remember Herman Melville said, 'When I die no one is going to mention Moby-Dick. They're all going to talk about my first book, about fucking maidens in Tahiti.' He was right. No mention of Moby-Dick then. Everyone wanted another Tahitian book, a beach book. But then he kept writing deeper and deeper and then came Moby-Dick and people hated it. The only ones who liked it were Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Hawthorne. Moby-Dick didn't get famous until 1930.

I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence"

—Maurice Sendak, The Believer interview, Nov. 2012

"I hate e-books. It's like making believe there's another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of book. A book is a book is a book.

I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence"

—Maurice Sendak, The Believer interview, Nov. 2012

" Tests deserve not to be derided but celebrated for the crucial role they are playing in our schools. "

—Kathleen Porter-Magee & Jennifer Borgioli, Thomas B Fordham Inst, 2/14/13

"The Obama administration is creating the Teacher Memory Hole. As politically inconvenient personnel,teachers are systematically defiled, disabled, and disappeared. Crippling them serves the propaganda interests of the government, the corporate raiders, and Bill Gates.


—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 14, 2013

"The only interesting thing [about State of the Union speech] was the president again helping Common Core critics depict the whole endeavor as a federal power grab. Despite prohibitions on the feds getting involved in curricula, and repeated declarations from CCSSO and NGA that the Common Core is a voluntary, state-led exercise, Obama asserted, 'Four years ago, we started Race to the Top--a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards.' Whoops. That sure seems to make those who claim the Common Core's not a federal exercise look like dimwits, liars, or apologists. Is the administration that tone deaf or arrogant? Or does the president have a soft spot for the Pioneer Institute?"

—Rick Hess, Straight Up blog, Feb. 13, 2013

"Four years ago, we started Race to the Top--a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards. "

—President Barack Obama, SOTU, Feb. 12, 2013

"Amplify Learning. Amplify is creating new digital curricula that reinvent teaching and learning, beginning with English Language Arts, Science and Math. These classroom-based products combine interactive, rich experiences with rigorous analytics that align to the Common Core State Standards, all driven by adaptive technologies that respond to individual students' needs as they evolve.

CEO, Joel Klein

—Press Release, News Corporation, July 23, 2012

"Shall we keep chasing this murderous fish till he swamps the last man? Shall we be dragged by him to the bottom of the sea? Shall we be towed by him to the infernal world? Oh, oh,--Impiety and blasphemy to hunt him more!"

—Starbuck first mate of Pequod in Moby Dick

"It's not going to matter the ZIP code of where you live. We're going to expect the same out of every student."

—Jaime Aquino, LAUSD deputy superintendent, Daily News of LA, 8/5/2012

"We are at a very dangerous time in the history of American public education. The forces of privatizing profiteering corporatists are moving to undo the foundations of a democracyâpublic education and public spaces. It is within these public spaces that we come to speak, to challenge, to listen, and to create our communities. Teachers and teacher educators work to help students learn how to explore these spaces, engage as citizens and community members. This democratic work is a messy human enterprise, varied, uncertain, fluid, and not contained within the rigors of standardization, rubrics, efficiency, pseudo-objectivity, corporate profits, or commodification.

The Hard Sell and the Educator"

—Barbara Madeloni, The Academe Blog, 9/14/12

"The only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

—Rosa Parks

"The best advice I've ever gotten: Shut up and listen.

Person of Interest: Writer and Storyteller "

—David Harris-Gershon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2/3/13

"Common Core at last;
Common Core at last;
Thank Bill Gates almighty,
We have CCSS at last.--AFT & NEA leaders + ed professional (sic) organizations"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 3, 2013

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

—Walt Kelly, Pogo comic strip, 1971

"An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry."

—George Eliot, Felix Holt, the Radical, 1866. chapter 5, p. 63

"By educating the young generation along the right lines, the People's State will have to see to it that a generation of mankind is formed which will be adequate to this supreme combat that will decide the destinies of the world."

—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1939, p. 357

"Every time we mention #CommonCore we should use the adjectives 'experimental' and 'risky' "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 2, 2013

"I always do double take when I see Twitter DOE acct: @usedgov. They are USED, alright. Used by Bill Gates, by Business Roundtable, etc etc "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 2, 2013

"Common Core video moderator says he's educator; had role in I'm Trapped in House w/ Crazy Lunatic Serial Killer!

from Gates-Financed Common Core Standards Turn Kindergarten into Global Economy Zone"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 1, 2013

"David Coleman wrong-headed Common Core zeal: 'You're going to practice it again & again & again & again. . .

from Gates-Financed Common Core Standards Turn Kindergarten into Global Economy Zone"

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb, 1, 2013

"In US 1.6 million homeless kids need homes filled w/ books. Politicos give them Common Core rigor & blame teachers for standardizd test scores "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 31, 2013

"Bill Gates is a hero to most Americans because they nurture the misguided belief ("hallucination" would be closer to the mark) that they too may some day have $50 billion in the bank, enjoy celebrity status, and entertain on a lavish scale. That there might be something perverse about a system that allows a single individual to accumulate that sort of wealth never crosses their minds. Thus, despite the fact that America does not really provide its citizens with the basic needs for a happy, fulfilling life, in the United States, the rich sleep easily in their beds."

—Morris Berman, Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline

"@BillGates Want to be notified when my Annual Letter for 2013 is available?

@SusanOha No."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 28, 2013

"6,000 known species of dung beetle in the world. They thrive on feces. Only 1 Bill Gates. He thrives on pushing #CCSS into public schools "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 29, 2013

"OF obedience, faith, adhesiveness;
As I stand aloof and look, there is to me
something profoundly affecting in large masses of men,
following the lead of those who do not believe in men."

—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

" [I]n room 44 we're reading Huck Finn right now, and I'm thinking a little too much about Mark Twain's concern that his education might be interfering with his learning.

When I Heard the Learnd Common Core Standards"

—Lisa Moore, teacher, blogger, Jan. 16, 2013

"[W]hen I hear rigor too often it starts to sound more like fear. Sometimes I wonder if maybe the Common Core might be a reaction to a world that is changing all too fast for us -- a last-ditch attempt at control made by an institution called education that is rapidly losing its credibility. An excuse to add more bricks to old walls instead of facing the breathtakingly risky task of creating something entirely new.

When I Heard the Learn'd Common Core Standards "

—Lisa Moore, teacher, blogger, Jan. 16, 2013

"The 'bad teacher' narrative as a way of explaining what's wrong with our school system gets really old. Our union has taken a stance that we will collaborate and compromise and that is shortsighted when the other side seems bent on destroying you. "

—Julie Cavanagh, NYT blog, 1/23/13

"Bourgeois scientists make sure that their theories are not dangerous to God or to capital. "

—Georgi Plekhanov (1856-1918)

"One of the most heartening findings from the [EPI] paper is that Americans are awesome readers. Literally, world-class. Our most advantaged students not only perform better than our European competitors, but also they perform about as well as any top-scoring country in the world.

Why Gloomy Pundits and Politicians Are Wrong About America's Education System"

—Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, Jan. 2013

". . . the standards and testing juggernauts that we are living through ⦠aren't a fact of life to be accepted but a political movement that can be opposed. "

—Alfie Kohn, from BEEMS conference poster, 2/1/13

"I wrote the Smarter Balanced Help Desk, asking why they offered students so many items with no authors and no voice. They replied, 'Authors write the items. For passages, internal authors write some of them and others require external permissions.' They invited me to ask any other questions I might have. The âauthorsâ are work-for-hire freelancers who arenât allowed to exhibit personality. These Smarter Balanced items donât qualify as fiction or non-fiction; they are simply test tommyrot. Putting such artificial passages on tests sends a terrible message to teachers, provoking the use of tons of workbook paragraphsâto get kids ready for an ugly test.

Snookered by Bill Gates and the U. S. Department of Education"

—Susan Ohanian, Daily Censored, 10/18/12

" In 1932, Emerson wrote in his journal, 'Everything is a monster till we know what it is for.' What is so monstrous about computers is that in the hands of bureaucrats, the pencil pushers, and the greedy, they make wrong-headed notions of pedagogy easier to implement. There is evidence abounding that computers can be used as tools for exploration, discover, and invention. But this electronic capability is irrelevant in schools purchasing packets of computer-aided instruction to push the same old skill drill, materials that insist that knowledge is gained in itsy-bitsy pieces of hierarchical process. . . ."

—Susan Ohanian, Classroom Computer Learning, Oct. 1983

"There are two major factors preventing teachers from being even more effective: (1) The high level of child poverty in the U.S., 23.1 percent, second among high-income countries; children who are hungry, have poor health care and little access to books will not do well in school regardless of teacher quality. (2) The unreasonable demands of the Common Core: a tight, inflexible curriculum that crushes creativity, designed by elitists with little idea of what goes on in classrooms, and a massive amount of testing, more than we have ever seen on this planet."

—Stephen Krashen, Seattle Times, Jan. 11, 2013

"So rather than having figured out what makes a good teacher the Gates Foundation has learned very little in this project about effective teaching practices. The project was an expensive flop. Let's not compound the error by adopting this expensive flop as the basis for centrally imposed, mechanistic teacher evaluation systems nationwide.

Understanding the Gates Foundation's Measuring Effective Teachers Project"

—Jay P. Greene, blog, 1/10/13

"My cat knows, and cares, more about Vermont's educational system than does Michelle Rhee. Her vocation is generating indignant, self-righteous noise, if possible insulting someone in the process, but her opinion is worth precisely nothing."

—Karl Riemer, Vermont Digger, Jan. 9, 2013

" I Don't Buy It

I don't buy it, says

the scientist.

Replies the frail

and faithful heart,

it's not for sale. "

—Wendy Videlock, 'I Don't Buy it,' Poetry, Jan. 2013

"I Don't Buy It
I don't buy it, says
the scientist.
Replies the frail
and faithful heart,
it's not for sale.

Source: Poetry (January 2013). "

—Wendy Videlock,

"Dropping Keys

The small person
Builds cages for everyone

Instead, the sage,
Who needs to duck her head,
When the moon is low,
Can be found dropping keys, all night long
For the beautiful,

—Hafiz, 14th century Sufi poet from Persia

"Since I took up carpentry I measure children much more carefully, sometimes to 1/32 of an inch."

—Mark Vonnegut, pediatrician,Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness...

"The process whereby one gets to be a doctor is one where you pretty much have to be a grade-and-approval junky. This eventually has unfortunate consequences--all a hospital or insurer or pharmaceutical company has to do to get doctors to jump through hoops is set up a grading system and put some doctors in tier one and others in tier two or three or four. The courage to do the right thing in the face of disapproval is often lacking. . . .

What doctors should be doing as advocates for their patients--as advocates for change--is grading and reviewing the hospitals and insurers, but instead they cower in fear. Doctors get to be doctors by knuckling under, but at some point, for the good of their patients, they should wake up and insist on being in charge. . . .

The sick have been converted into financial instruments whereby large amounts of money are transferred from one corporation to another. The business opportunities presented by sickness and the threat of sickness have cast into outer darkness the opportunity for medical practitioners to be of help and service. "

—Mark Vonnegut, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So

"'Half of what we've told you is untrue. Unfortunately we don't know which half, and it will be up to you to figure that out.'

Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: a Memoir"

—speaker at Mark Vonnegut's medical school graduation

" Surveys show that PR accounts for anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of what appears as news.

Journalism, Democracy,and Class Struggle"

—Robert McChesney, Monthly Review, Nov. 2000

"Oliver Sacks believes the details and nuances of first-person reports matter in the practice of medicine, not only for making a diagnosis, but for understanding the patient's story as a whole and how it affects both symptom and disease. There are growing numbers of people in science who agree with him. "

—Siri Hustvedt, NY Times Book Review, 12/30/12

"Appropriate & necessary response to any #CommonCore pronouncements: 'Amazingly enough, I don't give a shit.' "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 26, 2012

"When were the good and the brave ever in a majority?"

—Henry David Thoreau, 'A Plea for Captain John Brown' 1859

"From everything we know, high persistent unemployment will do more damage to the educational prospects of low-income students than all the positive outcomes from educational reforms that people talk about.

|Children of working poor caught in pinch of recession"

— Lawrence Mishel, EPI President, Boston Globe,12/17/12

"STANDARSTRATO: A teacher whose professionalism is cut off by the corporate-politico imperative, the latest example being the Common Core follower."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, June 11, 2010

"[C]ongratulate yourself on living in the child-gun-massacre capital of the known universe.

New Yorker Blog "

—Adam Gopnik, New Yorker blog, Dec. 14, 2012

"Common Core State (sic) Standards proponents like answering questions nobody asked them. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Dec. 5, 2012

"It is better to have asked some of the questions than to know all of the answers."

—James Thurber, The Scotty Who Knew Too Much

". . . it is only because miners sweat their guts out that superior persons can remain superior. You and I and the editor of the Times Lit. Supp., and the poets and the Archbishop of Canterbury and Comrade X, author of Marxism for Infants -- all of us really owe the comparative decency of our lives to poor drudges underground, blackened to the eyes, with their throats full of coal dust, driving their shovels forward with arms and belly muscles of steel."

—George Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier

"You get this rage up that we're wasting time testing, and you're making testing shorter and shittier. And then people say the test is all multiple choice and bad. We've worked ourselves into a set of stupidities when really -- I'll say it -- we might want want longer, more thoughtful exams."

—David Coleman, Standardizd Assessments & Common Core, Brookings, 11/29/12

" As I Lay Dying is essentially a road trip with a mother's stinking corpse backward in her pine box, approximately 5,000 narrators, and one chapter that just reads, 'My mother is a fish.'

I Got My children Hooked on Faulkner"

—Nichole Bernier, My children are hooked on Faulkner, Salon, 12/03/12

"Well, once I did a drawing for The New Yorker of a naked woman on all fours up on top of a bookcase--a big bookcase. She's up there near the ceiling, and in the room are her husband and two other women. The husband is saying to one of the women, obviously a guest, 'This is the present Mrs. Harris. That's my first wife up there.' Well, when I did the cartoon originally I meant the naked woman to be at the top of a flight of stairs, but I lost the sense of perspective and instead of getting in the stairs when I drew my line down, there she was stuck up there, naked, on a bookcase.

Incidentally, that cartoon really threw The New Yorker editor, Harold Ross. He approached any humorous piece of writing, or more particularly a drawing, not only grimly but realistically. He called me on the phone and asked if the woman up on the bookcase was supposed to be alive, stuffed, or dead. I said, 'I don't know, but I'll let you know in a couple of hours.' After a while I called him back and told him I'd just talked to my taxidermist, who said you can't stuff a woman, that my doctor had told me a dead woman couldn't support herself on all fours. 'So, Ross,'I said, 'she must be alive.' 'Well then,' he said, 'what's she doing up there naked in the home of her husband's second wife?' I told him he had me there.

The Paris Review"

—James Thurber, interview, The Paris Review, No. 10

"I won't pretend that tests don't matter and there's no anxiety -- but I also tell people there's anxiety with sex. There's anxiety with sex, but there isn't any talk about getting rid of that.

Standardized Testing and the Common Core"

—Gerard Robinson, Brookings Institution panel, 11/29/12

"Grammar Strand K-1 students receive focused instruction on nouns, verbs, question words, prepositions, singular and plural nouns, proper nouns, adjectives, pronouns, sentence structure, sentence order, present tense verbs, and the verb to be.

Example: Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future. CCSS | Literacy.L.1.1e


—Imagine Learning, Cure for the Common Core, promotion, 11/28/12

"The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them. "

—Michel Foucault, The Chomsky - Foucault Debate: On Human Nature

"Crowds have always undergone the influence of illusions. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. "

—Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, 1895


It is clear that alternative educator has thoroughly taught two or more types of thinking, and students are encouraged to utilize the type of thinking that best suits their individual needs. . .

Students are encouraged to self-monitor their thinking and can clearly articulate which learning strategies they are using and why. . . .


—TN Dept. of Ed Observation Guide Alternative Educators Nov 2012

"In TN # of homeless public school students increased 74% between 2007 and 2010. RTTT/Bill Gates answer? Teacher evaluation rubrics & earbuds "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Oct. 31, 2012

"The calamity of the information age is that the toxicity of data increases much faster than its benefits."

—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

"Do what no reporters do & turn over the Gates rock of $$$ to schools and you'll see seething mass of maggots eating children "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter to Washington Monthly, 10/20/12

Not all those who wander are lost.

Nor do they need a map or GPS. Or Standards for walking "

—JRR Tokien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Ohanian addition

"I hope the [MacArthur]award will bring visibility to U.S. Latino letters and inspire young people from similar backgrounds--Dominican, Latino, Caribbean, African Diasporic, food stamp poor, immigrant, ESL, Speech therapy, no one's favorite student ever--to realize that you don't need a lightning bolt on your forehead to be amazing--that you don't have to come from communities or families of ancestral power to be yourself excellent in your art. . . ."

—Junot Diaz, Omnivoracious.com Interview, Oct. 15, 2012

"I would press upon you to read (or, likely more enlighteningly, listen to) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. There is hardly a chapter in it that does not shout out in opposition to David Coleman's corporate and personal 'will to power.' "

—The Comment Errant, 'Jim answers Coleman,' 10/7/12

"We will all swallow our cup of corporate poison. We can take it from nurse Romney, who will tell us not to whine and play the victim, or we can take it from nurse Obama, who will assure us that this hurts him even more than it hurts us, but one way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered. Corporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history's most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth's ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it. . . .

Obama is not in charge. Romney would not be in charge. Politicians are the public face of corporate power. They are corporate employees. Their personal narratives, their promises, their rhetoric and their idiosyncrasies are meaningless. And that, perhaps, is why the cost of the two presidential campaigns is estimated to reach an obscene $2.5 billion. The corporate state does not produce a product that is different. It produces brands that are different. And brands cost a lot of money to sell. . . .


—Chris Hedges, How do you take your poison? Truthdig, 8/24/12

"Then there's amortization,
the deadliest of all;
of the heart and soul. "

—Vladimir Mayakovsky

"What do our kids need to know today? As far as Thomas Friedman is concerned, whatever will get them hired by Bill Gates.

Dehumanized: When Math & Science Rule the School"

—Mark Slouka, Harpers, September 2009

"Thank you Upton Sinclair for Pure Food & Drugs Act & the Meat Inspection Act. Maybe someday we'll get a Standardized Test Inspection Act."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 20, 2012

"We did not teach a single reading strategy. We did not teach a single writing strategy. We simply asked the students to read and write about something they loved in their lives. The only 'teaching' we engaged in was 1) asking questions that required students to dig deeper into their chosen topic and 2) asking questions about the best way to present information to others. Our hypothesis, based on readings ranging from early work by John Dewy to the groundbreaking work of Mikahely Csikszentmihalyi to the more recent work of Daniel Pink, was that the autonomy, creativity, sense of purpose, and the mastery required by the project would lead to a genuine desire to read which would in turn require students who wanted to learn more about their chosen topics to become better readers.


—Philip Kovacs & Alanna Frost, Critical Education, 9/15/12

"In Chicago, Hyatt heiress Penny Pritzker (who hates being called an "heiress," so: heiress Penny Pritzker, heiress heiress heiress), the 719th richest person in the world according to Forbes, has been showered with tax breaks by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's government while she sits on the board of the public school system. In fact, she got a $5.2 million tax break for a hotel development while the schools in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development are seeing a proposed budget cut for next year of $3.4 million ( Penny Pritzker's TIF).


—Doug Henwood, Teacher Strike Miscellany, Left Business Observer, 9/14/12

"So it's up to the teachers of Chicago, it's up to the teachers of Los Angeles, New York, Oakland everywhere else to lead from the bottom and that's what teachers in Chicago were doing. And I think there's a lot of us that are really ready to follow them. "

—Anthony Cody, NPR, Sept. 12, 2012

"The CTU's strike, led by a vigorous reform leadership, is quite explicitly about lots more than the wages and working conditions of teachers. It's about fighting the privatization and union-busting agenda of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel--which he shares with other big-city mayors like Michael Bloomberg, as well as his comrade Barack Obama. By circulating bogus stories about the damage the union is doing to the children of Chicago, Matthews is offering cover to this odious agenda.


—Doug Henwood, 'How Much Do Teacher Strikes Hurt Kids?' LBO, 9/12/12

"And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA9KC8SMu3o "

—Senator Barack Obama, Spartanburg, SC, 11/3/2007

"A reporter will go to an NGO and say, 'Tell me about the good work that you're doing and introduce me to the poor people who represent the kind of help you give.' It serves to streamline the storytelling, but it gives you a lopsided cosmos. . . .

[N]obody is representative. That's just narrative nonsense. People may be part of a larger story or structure or institution, but they're still people.

http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/reporting-poverty "

—Katherine Boo, 'Reporting Poverty,' Guernica, 9/4/2012

"No No No No No No No more High Stakes Testing. No Common Core, No VAMs. No NCLB. No RttT. No Waivers. Did I forget anything?"

—Timothy D. Slekar, Twitter, Sept. 3, 2012

"The day we see truth and do not speak is the day we begin to die. "

—Martin Luther King

". . .We live in a time of mental mechanization. From Common Core Standards to common mass media's sometimes inseparable news and advertising to common phrases that are meant to substitute for actually doing something, we have learned how to behave properly and insignificantly. Even the potential changer has a hard time breaking away.

But history tells us it has happened and how it can. It is not about one election, a policy, a strategy, an organization. It is about creating a theatre of possibility, of rebellion and of alternative values, spirit and philosophy. . . . "

—Sam Smith, 'Time for a Movement,' Undernews, 9/14/12

"In more recent years, Mr. Hamlisch also became an ambassador for music, traveling around the country and performing and giving talks at schools. He often criticized the cuts in arts education.

'I don't think the American government gets it,' he said during an interview at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, Calif. 'I don't think they understand it's as important as math and science. It rounds you out as a person. I think it gives you a love of certain things. You don't have to become the next great composer. It's just nice to have heard certain things or to have seen certain things. It's part of being a human being.' "

—from Marvin Hamlisch obituary, NY Times, 8/7/12

"Shhhh! Don't tell State Superintendent Jane Barresi that all students aren't college material. Students have different gifts. Who is going to be your electrician, plumber, and carpenter? She lives in a parallel universe, never having spent a single day as a teacher."

—Oklahoma Observer, Annual Education Issue, 8/10/12

"It used to be that Bill Gates was the most powerful education philanthropist in America. Thanks to the Race to the Top, that mantle has passed to Arne Duncan. Do we want to make that the permanent status of U.S. secretaries of education?"

—Grover Whitehurst, Did Congress Authorize Race to the Top? EdWeek 4/28/2010

"Us: Hard-working, underpaid, put upon, thoughtful, freedom-loving, disenfranchised, ordinary people

Them: Reactionary, stupid, overpaid, greedy, shortsighted, exploitative, power-mad, abusive politicians and corporate executives"

—Ted Rall, The Anti-American Manifesto, Seven Stories Press, 2010

"Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don't want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system.


—Chris Hedges, Why US is Destroying Its Ed System, Truthdig, 4/8/11

"#CommonCore triumph: Under Georgia Standards students were taught pronoun-antecedent agreement in 7th grade. Common Core teaches it in 3rd grade "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, July 26, 2012

"These two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) have been expensive. According to estimates by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, when all costs are counted the Iraq invasion cost US taxpayers $3 trillion dollars. Ditto for the Afghan war. In other words, the two gratuitous wars doubled the US public debt. This is the reason there is no money for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the environment, and the social safety net.


—Paul Craig Roberts, July 8, 2012

"I took a slightly crooked path into education. "

—Joanne Weiss, Duncan Chief of Staff, Washington Post, 7/11/12

"It is not my place to say, but it seems to me that your legal system is designed backward. The root causes of human crime appear to my no-doubt-ignorant-eyes to be poverty and your ability to become addicted to chemicals. But instead of treating these, you devote your energies at the other end, to punishing.

Hask, one of seven Tosoks from a planet in the Alpha Centauri system that landed on Earth. "

—Robert J. Sawyer, 1997. Illegal Alien, p. 91.

"Human imagination, the capacity to have vision, to build a life of meaning rather than utilitarianism, is as delicate as a flower. And if it is crushed, if a Shakespeare or a Sophocles is no longer deemed useful in the empirical world of business, careerism and corporate power, if universities think a Milton Friedman or a Friedrich Hayek is more important to its students than a Virginia Woolf or an Anton Chekhov, then we become barbarians. We assure our own extinction. Students who are denied the wisdom of the great oracles of human civilizationâvisionaries who urge us not to worship ourselves, not to kneel before the base human emotion of greedâcannot be educated. They cannot think.

Read more."

—Chris Hedges, How to Think, TruthDig, July 9, 2012

"First of all, it is time to speak some truth to power in this country: Microsoft Word is a terrible program. Its terribleness is of a piece with the terribleness of Windows generally, a system so overloaded with icons, menus, buttons, and incomprehensible Help windows that performing almost any function means entering a treacherous wilderness of pop-ups posing alternatives of terrifying starkness: Accept/Decline/Cancel; Logoff/Shut Down/Restart; and the mysterious Do Not Show This Warning Again. You often feel that you're not ready to make a decision so unalterable; but when you try to make the window go away your machine emits an angry beep. You double-click. You triple-click. Beep beep beep beep beep. You are being held for a fool by a chip.

When, in the old days, you hit the wrong key on your typewriter, you got one wrong character. Strike the wrong keys in Word and you are suddenly writing in Norwegian Bokmal (Bokmal?). And you have no idea how you got there; you can spend the rest of the night trying to get out.

Read more "

—Louis Menand, The End Matter, New Yorker 10/6/03

"Personal change doesn't equal social change. It's not a significant threat to those in power, nor to the system itself.


—Derrick Jensen, Double-Bind, Vermont Commons, 2/13/12

"There is only one recipe--to care a great deal for the cookery."

—Henry James, letter to his nephew

"One of the recurring comedies of American politics is the rapture with which people elect a shining prince, and then collapse into self-pitying cries of betrayal when the shine comes off once the candidate is in office. A refrain of dismay runs the fairy tale in reverse: 'We elected a prince and he turned into a frog.'

The Curse of Political Purity"

—Gary Wills, NY Review of Books blog, 6/18/12

"As universities become glorified vocational schools for corporations they adopt values and operating techniques of the corporations they serve. "

— Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion, 2009

"There's something really lost in modern medicine--it's so removed and impersonal now, waiting and going back to get tested, you just feel so worked over. It can be so demoralizing and exhausting. The whole medical system is a form of mafia; doctors are afraid to do anything. That's what the beauty of Dr. Lepore is. He's a maverick. He's excited to figure things out. He's not afraid to do things."

—Pam Belluck, Island Practice: Adventures of Nantucket Doctor

"Even though my teacher contract guarantees academic freedom, I'll be required to cite each [Common Core] standard I cover during each lesson every minute of the day.

http://rlratto.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/frightened-to-the-core "

—R. L. Ratto, Frightened to the Core, June 3, 2012

"Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. "

—Ann Patchett, New York Times 4/17/12

"Teachers, use summer to prepare for visitation from bloated, opportunistic blood-sucking Common Core vampire squad. "

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, June 13, 2012

"The silence of our professional organizations plus complicity of the unions has made Common Core a done deal."

—Susan Ohanian, Twitter, June 11 2012

" The amazing thing to me is why anybody takes David Coleman's orders seriously. Remember the old children's rhyme: Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice. If Coleman were to say this, would our professional organizations start searching out ice rinks?"

—Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus, USC, Facebook

"In The Art of Being Unreasonable, my friend Eli Broad lets us in on his secrets to success in business, philanthropy, and lifeâand he asks the right questions, looks for the right answers, and never stops working until he gets results. At a time when our country needs to focus on what works, Eli's book is a blueprint for effective public citizenship. "

—Pres. William Jefferson Clinton, blurb for Eli Broad's new book

"It's the same damn story over and over. The state AFL-CIO chooses litigation and electoral politics over popular action, which dissolves everything into mush. Meanwhile, the right is vicious, crafty, and uncompromising. Guess who wins that sort of confrontation? "

—Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer, 6/6/12


  • Should public schools serve the interests of the state or should they serve the interests of local school communities?
  • Should schools prepare a workforce to meet economic needs identified by corporations, or should they prepare students to construct personally understandings of their world and the knowledge and skills to act on their world?
  • Should schools be an instrument of cultural transmission with the goal of preparing students to adopt (and adapt to) the dominant culture or should schools function as an engine for social and cultural change, reconstructing society based on principles of progress aimed at amelioration of problems?
  • "

    —Sandra Mathieson & E. Wayne Ross, Nature & Limits Of Standards-Based Reform

    "On July 24, 2009, the Obama administration promulgated a new education policy, Race to the Top (RTTT), a $4.35 billion dollar 'competitive incentive program' that is designed to further gut public schooling in the United States, structure schools on market ideologies and practices, and provide the corporate elite an additional avenue to profit off of children. . . . RTTT only exacerbates the testing, accounting, and competitive form of schooling that both political parties in the US have touted as the panacea to eliminate the 'opportunity gaps' plaguing the educational system for the past 2 decades."

    —Paul Carr & Brad Porfilio, Phenomenon of Obama & Agenda for Education

    "One of the seldom discussed characteristics of corporate-driven school testing is that it takes major time away from those former activities in a school that made students good citizens able to function with others. The victims include not only civic education but joint activities - including the performing arts -- that teach the young how to live in a community. Another victim is history. Where does a young person today learn about the role labor unions have played in making America the country it is? Or come to understand the importance of a recall?

    The significance of this in Wisconsin was well described by Daily Kos: 'Young people didn't turn out. Only 16 percent of the electorate was 18-29, compared to 22 percent in 2008. That's the difference between 646,212 and 400,599 young voters, or about 246,000. Walker won by 172,739 votes.'


    —Sam Smith, Undernews, June 6, 2012

    "Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren't just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief. The last two presidents may not have been emperors or kings, but they -- and the vast national-security structure that continues to be built-up and institutionalized around the presidential self -- are certainly one of the nightmares the founding fathers of this country warned us against. They are one of the reasons those founders put significant war powers in the hands of Congress, which they knew would be a slow, recalcitrant, deliberative body.


    —Tom Engelhardt, Assassin-in-Chief, TomDispatch.com 6/5/12

    " [A] whale-ship was my Yale College and my Harvard. "

    —Ishmael, Chapter XXIV Moby Dick by Herman Melville

    "The president who started off with such dazzle now seems incapable of stimulating either the economy or the voters. His campaign is offering Obama 2012 car magnets for a donation of $10; cat collars reading 'I Meow for Michelle' for $12; an Obama grill spatula for $40, and discounted hoodies and T-shirts. How the mighty have fallen. . . .

    Obama's boss at his community organizing job in Chicago, Jerry Kellman, observed: "He was not unwilling to take risks, but was just this strange combination of someone who would have to weigh everything to death, and then take a dramatic risk at the end. He was reluctant to do confrontation, to push the other side because it might blow up -- and it might. But one thing Alinsky did understand was that within reason, once something blows up, to a certain degree it doesnât hurt, it helps."



    —Maureen Dowd, New York Times, June 3, 2012

    "Mira had been overloaded with too much academic rigor and not enough spiritual or emotional substance.

    http://www.yankeemagazine.com/issues/2009-09/features/north-branch-school "

    —Tal Birdsey, Ripton, VT North Branch School, Yankee, 9/2009

    "Learning is messy. Good schools are messy schools... orderly people do not enrich a society. It is the abrasive, disruptive people who made this country great. "

    —Theodore R. Sizer, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 15, 1983

    "I have written aint, dont, havent, shant, shouldnt, and wont for twenty years with perfect impunity, using the apostrophe only when its omission would suggest another word: for example hell for he'll. There is not the faintest reason for persisting in the ugly and silly trick of papering pages with these uncouth bacilli. "

    —George Bernard Shaw

    "In the population at large, apostrophes to indicate either possession or contraction are an anachronism, and without constant pressure from the educational system they would have passed out of usage long ago. The New York Times now frequently misses the apostrophe in possessives on back pages. Outside New York it disappears on front and back pages. In freshman essays it is nearly extinct. Even threats of corporeal punishment could not induce college students to understand the logic or practice the use of the apostrophe. In the evolutionary scheme of the language, the apostrophe is a dodo."

    —Robert Pattison, On Literacy, 1982

    "Most jobs -- 69 percent in 2010, estimates the Labor Department -- don't require a post-high-school degree. They're truck drivers, store clerks, some technicians. On paper, we're turning out enough college graduates to meet our needs.

    The real concern is the quality of graduates at all levels. The fixation on college-going, justified in the early postwar decades, stigmatizes those who don't go to college and minimizes their needs for more vocational skills. It cheapens the value of a college degree and spawns the delusion that only the degree --not the skills and knowledge behind it -- matters. We need to rethink.


    —Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, 5/27/12

    ". . . First floor Juvenile Detention--
    concrete bunks, stainless steel toilets and time
    matching the upstairs accommodations.
    Randell ordered books on prisons.
    Tyler anted pictures of motorcycles
    and big trucks. Linda looked for Christian fiction.
    Some of these kids were battered remnants,
    forgotten until they kill the neighbor;
    some had brothers upstairs,
    most were set adrift without a compass.

    Then there was Kenny, who told me
    he'd stayed up half the night
    reading Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen,
    with the light coming through
    his six-inch cell door window.


    —Gary Lark, from 'Jail Service,' in Getting By

    "Let us remember. . . that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both."

    —Christian Wiman, Editior Poetry Magazine

    " A place is more than the sum of its numbers.


    —Michael Lewis, describing New Orleans, Tulane Commencement address 2005

    "Congressional budget targets call for cuts of $800 billion over a decade in discretionary spending, in areas such as education, food and housing assistance, transportation, and job training -- the kinds of things that help people move up the economic ladder. This category of spending, which used to be 5 percent of the gross domestic product in Nixon's days, is heading down to less than 2 percent.


    —David Firestone, NYT editorial page editor's blog, 5/ 23/12

    "We interrupt reality to bring you Arizona, once known as the Grand Canyon state. So glorious, this home to sublime cacti and ugly javelina, an outdoor stage for the high histrionics of geologic time, but so very, very crazy. Even a spate of recent temperatures in the 105-degree range cannot explain the latest doings of government by crackpots.


    —Timothy Egan, Total Eclipse, NYT, May 24, 2012

    "You want to become a civil rights leader? Become a teacher. You want to get involved in the greatest chapter in the American civil rights movement, dedicate yourself to the education of our young people.



    —Paul Vallas, then-Supt NOLA Recovery School Distrct, PBS film PBS

    Professional autonomy is a prerequisite to professional accountability.


    —P. L. Thomas, Schools Matter, May 18, 2012

    "How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?


    —Robert Frost, quoted by William Meredith, Paris Review

    "Stories, more even than stars or spectacle, are still the currency of life, or commercial entertainment, and look likely to last longer than the euro. There's no escaping stories, or the pressures to tell them. "

    —Adam Kropnik, The New Yorker, May 18, 2012

    "What reading poetry has taught me, I think, is that when meaning gets made associatively, rather than logically or chronologically, we feel it in a different part of our bodies, and, I would argue, we feel it more strongly, like a punch. One of the things Contents is about is memory, the way a killer whale might make you think of a strand of white-heart trade beads, which might make you think of a drink your father used to order called a Negroni. Also, when you are raised by alcoholics, there is almost no such thing as chronology, no such thing as one thing logically following another; and everything that is told is always told slant.


    —Pam Houston, Pam Houston: The TNB Self-Interview, 3/22/12

    "In science a beginner will certainly read or be told 'The scientist this' or 'The scientist that.' Let him not believe it. There is no such person as the scientist. There are scientists, to be sure, and they are a collection as various in temperament as physicians, layers, clergymen, attorneys, or swimming-pool attendants. . . .

    Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. . . . Most people who are in fact scientists could easily have been something else instead."

    —P. B. Medawar, Nobel Laureate,Advice to a Young Scientist

    " I just finished reading 'Henry Huggins' to my third grade class. We stopped and discussed the choice Ribsy had to make and that there was no right or wrong answer, just like many times in life. They broke into applause at the end and begged me to read the sequel. Many of them are now checking out other Beverly Cleary books from the library to read on their own. They not only learned about moral dilemmas, but it has helped inspire a love of reading.

    Crocodile in the Common Core Standards"

    —Third Grade Teacher, Daily Censored, 10/18/11

    A revolution has been unleashed across the globe. This revolution, a popular repudiation of the old order, is where we should direct all our energy and commitment. If we do not topple the corporate elites the ecosystem will be destroyed and massive numbers of human beings along with it. The struggle will be long. There will be times when it will seem we are going nowhere. Victory is not inevitable. But this is our best and only hope. The response of the corporate state will ultimately determine the parameters and composition of rebellion. I pray we replicate the 1989 nonviolent revolutions that overthrew the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. But this is not in my hands or yours. Go ahead and vote this November. But don't waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate--just enough to register your obstruction and defiance--and then get back out onto the street. That is where the question of real power is being decided. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/colonized_by_corporations_20120514"

    —Chris Hedges, Colonized by Corporations, Truthdig, May 14, 2012

    "Children will often write, 'We love your books because there are no adults in them.'


    —Jean Craighead George,NY Times quoted in her obituary 5/17/12

    "If one kid in each high school in the country became a professional mathematician, it would glut the market."

    —Marion Brady, Washington Post Answer Sheet, May 15, 2012

    "Interesting and I think significant that common core is causing headaches for both ALEC and SOS."

    —John Kuhn, Texas principal, on Twitter, May 15, 2012

    "Ray Kroc wanted to build a restaurant system that would be famous for food of consistently high quality and uniform methods of preparation. He wanted to serve burgers, buns, fries and beverages that tasted just the same in Alaska as they did in Alabama.


    —The Ray Kroc Story, McDonald's website

    "I was disappointed at how the woman citizen in the audience was ignored when she raised objection to the Bill Gates' funding of the National Governor's Conference whose agenda of creating a national curriculum is hardly a hidden agenda."

    —someone watching video of VT State BOE meeting, 4/17/12

    "From letter to New York State Education Department

    Pearson is confident that the NYS Grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics assessments have been developed to support valid and reliable interpretations of scores for their intended uses. . . .

    [T]he owl declares that 'Pineapples don't have sleeves,' which is a factually accurate statement. This statement is also presented as the moral of the story, allowing a careful reader to infer that the owl is the wisest animal. . . .


    — Jon S. Twing, Pearson Chief Measurement Officer, 4/22/12

    "I love Roald Dahl. I grew up with Roald Dahl. "

    —Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife, Atlantic interview

    "The House run by John Boehner is stuffed with zealots and intellectual dead-enders who think compromise is a synonym for treason. Americans agree on very little, but there seems to be shore-to-shore consensus on a view of this Congress: We hate you.


    —Timothy Egan, 'Do Nothings & Know Nothings, NYT, 5/3/2012

    "The idea that we can separate the Common Core from high stakes testing is mistaken. The Common Core exists for no other reason than to make such tests possible on a national scale. The Common Core is also closely associated with two big shifts in testing. First, there will be a significant expansion in the number and frequency of tests. There will be more tests, in more subjects, at more grade levels.

    Living in Dialogue blog "

    —Anthony Cody, The Common Core: The Technocrats Re-engineer Learning, 4/27/1

    "Pearson is just one part of the picture, albeit a part about the size of Mount Rushmore. Its lobbyists include the guy who served as the top White House liaison with Congress on drafting the No Child law. It has its own nonprofit foundation that sends state education commissioners on free trips overseas to contemplate school reform.

    An American child could go to a public school run by Pearson, studying from books produced by Pearson, while his or her progress is evaluated by Pearson standardized tests. The only public participant in the show would be the taxpayer.

    A Very Pricey Pineapple "

    —Gail Collins, New York Times, 4/28/12

    "[F]orcing all schools to teach the same thing the same way discriminates against those who may differ, punishes those who are innovative, and deprives local schools and educators of their autonomy and resources to actually help their children.


    —Yong Zhao, Mass Localism for Improving America's Ed, 4/24/12

    "In college and careers, no one cares how you feel. Imagine being asked to write a memo on why your company's stock price has plummeted: 'Analyze why and tell me how you feel about it,'

    http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/04/26/30basal.h31.html "

    —David Liben, Student Achievement Partners, Ed Week 4/26/12

    "First-graders should be able to explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information. "

    —Common school standards debut in Hillsborough first, Tampa Tribune, 4/21/1

    "The development of common standards and shared assessments radically alters the market for innovation in curriculum development, professional development, and formative assessments. Previously, these markets operated on a state-by-state basis, and often on a district-by-district basis. But the adoption of common standards and shared assessments means that education entrepreneurs will enjoy national markets where the best products can be taken to scale.


    —Joanne Weiss, Harvard Business Review, 3/31/2011

    "Inside most public policy wonks is a mini-dictator, waiting to come out. They dream about how things ought to be organized⦠if only they were in charge. The drive for Common Core national standards is built on appealing to these mini-dictator fantasies.


    —Jay Greene, blog, Feb. 15, 2011

    "If your child brings home a text from Glencoe, Macmillan, SRA, Open Court or The Grow Network, among others, then your child is using a McGraw-Hill text. The test preparation materials business surely dwarfs the testing business.

    This is still small beer compared with what's to come. . . ."

    —Michael Moore, Cornering the Ed Market, Savanah Morning News, 5/4/11

    "Bill Gates says: 'Spending has climbed, but our percentage of college graduates has dropped compared with other countries.'

    This is the Bill Gates claim that can properly be called demagogic. It attempts to agitate readers by presenting a positive development in a negative light.


    —Richard Rothstein, Fact-Challenged Policy, EPI, 3/8/12

    "A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.


    —Chris Hedges, Common Dreams, 4/11/11

    "Asking a teacher to choose between Mitt and Arne's boss is like asking a cow to vote for McDonalds or Burger King. "

    —John Kuhn, Twitter, April 23, 2012

    "ETS essay e-Rater's biggest problem is it can't identify truth. Biggest problem of #usedgov is they can't tell the truth.

    Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Mellifluously


    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 21, 2012

    "The test is flawed, so accountability is flawed. We debase teachers based on unscientific methods. The test is the foundation, and it's sand.

    How many other pineapple questions are there? Crazy test security isn't to prevent cheating. It's to prevent scrutiny."

    —John Kuhn, Twitter, April 22, 2012

    "There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financiers and speculators and billionaires."

    —anonymous teacher quoted by Chris Hedges, TruthDig, 4/11/12

    "NGA Center/CCSSO are the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards. © Copyright 2010 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. You can learn more about the Common Core State Standards Initiative at http://www.corestandards.org."


    "As angry as I was before, seeing the tests today (which we are not allowed to quote in any way) has sent me over the edge! I haven't even read all of them yet but the fifth grade test is unbelievable. Easy reading selections and lots of trick questions--more than I have ever seen before--that are absolutely no indication of any kind of 5th grade level reading comprehension. My APs and I can't even figure out what answer they are looking for in some questions! I think we absolutely need to fight that these tests be made public. People will be shocked to see them.


    —New York City principal, Ed Notes, April 18,2012

    "Great moments at the NY Times:

    ' NYTimes invited me to contribute piece. When I wouldn't take out criticism of Thomas Friedman, they wouldn't publish it.'--Susan Ohanian"

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, April 18, 2012

    "I spent today at State Board of Ed meeitng. Their embrace of Common Core is ed equivalent of watching pink slime being put into children's food. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 17, 2012

    "Campbell's Law

    The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor. "

    —Donald T. Campbell, Assessing the Impact of Planned Social Change, 1976

    "Being a good doctor isn't just about understanding science, it's about understanding people.

    NY Times, April 15, 2012 "

    —Darrell G. Kirch, pres. Association of Amer. Medical Colleges

    "I've never known where I'm going until I've gone and come back, and then it takes me ages to see what the trip was about. I've never truly planned a book ahead of time. I know that works for others, and to paraphrase Frost, it might work for me, but it hasn't yet.

    www.poets.org "

    —Philip Levine, interview with Edward Hirsch, 1999

    "Where did your 2011 taxes go? Bombs not books. Of every dollar, 27 cents to military, 2.5 cents to education.

    Institute for Public Accuracy"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 10, 2012

    "The story of competing visions [between Obama and Romney] is a cute fairy tale for people who don't know anything about Washington and American politics. For adults who have not newly arrived from some foreign country, this line is just silly.

    President Obama and Governor Romney are politicians, not philosophers. They have not made it to the top of the political ladder because of their grand visions of the future. They got their positions by appealing to powerful political actors who were able to give them the money and/or votes needed to get ahead."

    —Dean Baker, Truthout, April 9, 2012

    "In January 1829, T. T. Barrow published 480 ways to spell the word 'scissors', noting: I am aware of many others but most of them are objectionable; you may probably be inclined to think those more than sufficient. . . ."

    —Ben Schott, Schott's Quintessential Miscellany, 2011

    "Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful."

    —George Orwell, Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali

    " 'I got a gun under my pillow.'

    'He don't know.'

    'He thinks one is enough, but I don't fee safe with one under just his pillow. Mr. Lowry gave a talk Wednesday night at prayer meeting about secular humanists. He said they were all over the place.'

    'What are they, anyway? I keep reading about them.'

    'Well, they do all those secular things for one thing and you just don't know when one's liable to break in your bedroom and start doing some of it.'"

    —Cllyde Edgerton, Walking Across Egypt

    "It's the job of intellectuals and writers to cast doubt on perfection. Perfection spawns doctrines, dictators and totalitarian ideas"

    —Antonio Tabucchi, interview quoted in NY Times, 4/6/12

    "Teachers must make somewhere around 5,000 decisions a day --so it's no wonder I often cannot answer the question, 'What's for supper?' My feet hit the Mooresville (NC) High School parking lot at 6:45 a.m., and I feel like I'm nibbled by piranhas for the next ten hours: questions needing answers, contributions needing feedback, papers needing evaluations, concerns needing condolences, and annoyances needing reprimands.


    —Nancy Gardner, Why I Teach, April 5, 2012

    "When a hippopotamus is peevish, it's a lot of peeve."

    —Rex Stout, Might As Well Be Dead

    " The hard fact is that maybe you deserve what you accept. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 18, 2012

    "When teachers steadfastly and stoically keep their silence while corporate politicos shovel shit on them, can they really expect that tomorrow they'll get roses? Or even less shit?"

    —Susan Ohanian, When Best & Brightest Are Stealing Your Profession, 6/3/10

    "I remember bringing a small group of 8th grade girls to my quite modest tract home. Luanne opened the refrigerator and then, all the cupboards in the kitchen, exclaiming about the amount of food. Her awe over a sack of flour, a gallon of milk, and some bananas still haunts me."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "History will, without doubt, lay this ruin of a nation at the doorstep of Obama, the corporate Democratic Trojan Horse.

    Black Agenda Report"

    —Glen Ford, Ruin-Nation: The Obama Catastrope, 8/3/11

    "Teachers are the biggest obstacle in the way of the corporate educational coup, which is why the billionaires, eagerly assisted by their servants in the Obama administration, have made demonization and eventual destruction of teachers unions their top priority.


    —Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report, May 25, 2011

    ". . .[T]echnicians working within the political arena are deferring judgment on important technical concerns that have real ethical implications.

    Passing Muster Fails Muster? (An Evaluation of Evaluating Evaluation Systems)"

    —Bruce Baker, NEPC, May 18, 2011

    "Everything that comes out of the Department of Ed is very tightly aligned with Gates, which is aligned with Broad, which is aligned with Walton. . . . If there's one common thread in the history of education reform, it's that top-down policies do not work. We're putting all our eggs in one basket. If it works, great. If it doesn't, our education system is down the toilet."

    —Penn State Professor Ed Fuller, in American Prospect, March 2012

    "I just thank my father and mother, my lucky stars, that I had the advantage of an education in the humanities."

    —David McCullough, Awarded the Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush

    "At the center of our moral life and our moral imagination are the great models of resistance: the great stories of those who have said 'No.' "

    —Susan Sontag, Keynote speech, Rothko Chapel Oscar Romero Award 3/30/03

    "The New York City teachers' union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), decried the ratings and attempted to suppress their publication. Instead, it should have launched a public campaign to discredit the tests. But UFT officials couldn't do this because . . . the state union, which UFT officials control, signed off on allowing 40% of teachers' evaluations to be based on their students' progress on standardized tests and applauded it as a national model. The union's own poll, however, showed that a vast majority of parents believe there is too much emphasis on state testing in public schools.


    —Lois Weiner, MRZine, March 3, 2012

    "This 'value added' stuff is worthless. It has no real predictive value. It doesnât tell us anything we really want to know, even on its own terms. Plus, it's measuring the wrong things -- but that's the subject for many more columns to come, and not just by me.


    —Guy Brandenburg, Regression to the Mean? 3/5/12

    "Obama is the sixth administration that's been in office since I've been doing Freedom of Information Act work. It's kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There's just no question about it. This administration is raising one barrier after another. . . It's gotten to the point where I'm stunned -- I'm really stunned. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73606.html#ixzz1oFVkFu4D "

    —Katherine Meyer, Washington lawyer, Politico.com, 3/5/12

    CCS is creating teaching as a service industry...
    The primary place to look for what you need to teach is THE CLASSROOM OF STUDENTS WHO SHOW UP ON THE FIRST DAY...
    All else is bunk...


    —Paul Thomas, Ed Week, comment on article, 2/24/2012

    "Mother Teresa was in conversation with a reporter one time, and he said, 'You must get very discouraged,' because she's dealing with dying people, and she said, 'Well, he didn't call upon me to be successful, he just called upon me to be faithful.'

    New York Times, Feb. 11, 2011 "

    —Cormac McCarthy, in conversation with Tommy Lee Jones & Samuel Jackson

    "Hi, I'm Robert Jensen, a provider of educational products to consumers at the University of Texas at Austin.

    I used to introduce myself as a UT professor, but that was before I attended a Texas Public Policy Foundation session last week offering more exciting 'breakthrough solutions' to the problems of higher education.

    At that session in a downtown Austin hotel, I learned that these very real problems--escalating costs and questionable quality of undergraduate instruction--can be solved in the 'free market.' You know, the free market, that magical mechanism that gave us the housing bubble/credit derivative scam/financial meltdown. The free market that has produced growing inequality in the United States and around the world. That good old free market. . . .


    —Robert Jensen, Texas Observer, May 2, 2011

    "The point is to strip down, get protestant, then even more naked. Walk over scorched bricks to find your own soul. Your heart a searching dog in the rubble. "

    —Barry Hannah: April 23, 1942 – March 1, 2010

    "Arne says Project RESPECT is abt 'unleashing teacher joy.' Hmph! Where's teacher joy in program that looks like Black Ops attack dog training?"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 1, 2012

    "Kansas added Kdg Lexile ratings to CCSS: 100-500. Old Lexile rate for Grade 2-3 started at 450. It's called getting them college ready

    Kansas Common Core Standards

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 1, 2012

    "Following Orwell, Arne's language makes lies sound truthful & child abuse respectable, giving appearance of solidity to Business Roundtable hotair. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 27, 2012

    "US schoolchildren need Arne Duncan the way a tuna needs:

    a) a 100-ton trawler

    b) Starkist

    c) a sushi bar

    d) a bicycle"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 27, 2012

    "CCSS were developed by the states --Arne Duncan;

    I am the State--Bill Gates;

    I am 45 states + Northern Mariana Islands.--David Coleman"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 27, 2012

    "US DOE 'reform' announcements are so dangerous to well-being of public schools they ought to carry a health warning from surgeon general."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 27, 2012

    "As Democrats hustle to shovel a billion dollars into President Obama's campaign coffers -- making promises to rich people and their corporations every step of the way -- America's billionaires are spending even more money to seize control of the nation's public schools. Although super-wealthy capitalists like Microsoft's Bill Gates, fellow computer mogul Michael Dell, real estate magnate Eli Broad, and the rapacious owners of Wal-Mart, the Walton Family, would like people to think of them as philanthropists, they are nothing more than down-and-dirty investors who hope to reap much more than they sow. This mega-buck mafia's goal is to gain access to the $600 billion per year that taxpayers pump into public schools, and then to profit in perpetuity by shaping the nation's educational system to their corporate needs. The corporate education project has nothing to do with growing new generations of smarter, socially aware, independent-thinking citizens, but is designed to raid public treasuries through wholesale contracting-out of public schooling.


    —Glen Ford, Black Agenda Radio, May 25, 2011

    "How much would it take to bring all the officially poor up to the poverty line? Surprisingly little: about 1% of GDP, or not quite 10% of the Census Bureau's estimate of the income of the richest 5%. It's about half the increase in the military budget since 2000. . . . But the solution to ending poverty is pretty simple: you give poor people money, preferably taken from rich people."

    —Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer #134, 2/17/12

    "By my count, over half of all current DCPS teachers, counselors, librarians, and administrators were hired after Michelle Rhee became Chancellor. In other words, more than half of all DC staff (not counting aides and custodians) were hired in 2007 through today, 2-20-2012. . . .

    What we have here [in District of Columbia] is the inexperienced 'leading' the clueless newbies -- and both end up quitting in droves. It's also called 'churn and burn', and shows the utter ineptitude of the current leadership of DCPS.

    http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/half-of-all-current-dcps-teachers-and-administrators-were-hired-by-rhee-and-henderson "

    —G. F. Brandenburg's blog, 2/20/12

    "I will be 66 in May. I came to teaching in my late 40s. I had planned to stay in the classroom until I was at least 70, perhaps even another 5-10 years beyond that, as long as I felt I could teach with integrity.

    Now? As of now I do not know if I will return for even one more year. I see what is happening in education and I am not sure I can any longer teach with integrity.


    —Teacher Ken, Daily Kos, Feb. 19, 2012

    "The fundamental problem isn't the decline of American manufacturing, and reviving manufacturing won't solve it. The problem is the declining power of American workers to share in the gains of the American economy.


    —Robert Reich, Salon.com, Feb. 18, 2012

    "We know what many of the answers are. But we just have to ask the right questions first."

    —Scarsdale Superintendent Michael McGill, NY Times, 2/16/12

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. "

    —Frederick Douglass, born February 14th, 1818

    "We must approach teaching and learning with a renewed sense of humility and respect. The classroom is a place where students and teachers engage in a highly personal and intimate encounter.


    —Edward F. Pajak, Cultural Narcissism & Education Reform, TC Record

    "Much of education reform ideology seems to be premised on the notion that the quality of teaching and learning can be remotely controlled by experts from a central location and that students and teachers, as unfeeling objects, can be manipulated at will.


    —Edward F. Pajak, Cultural Narcissism & Education Reform, TC Record

    "The 'point and click' reflex that computers engender gives expression to our fixation on satisfying every passing whim while fueling fantasies of control, omniscience, and immediate gratification. At the same time, our lack of concern and responsibility for others and for the future is evident in the decisions we make, individually and collectively, about the use of natural resources and the effect our daily behavior has on the environment, on the world's poor, and on generations to come.


    —Edward F. Pajak, Cultural Narcissism & Education Reform, TC Record

    "#NCTE says it 'supports teachers & teams as they make their own prof. decisions.' HaHaHa. Prof decisions are now made by David Coleman"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 11, 2012

    "True: #NCTE has 'not endorsed' CCSS. Is indifference acceptable? NCTE new book series & online PD sanctifes CCSS dominance"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 11, 2012

    "@usedgov Parents, Keep your children out of early childhood education if its TOTAL curriculum isn't play.

    http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.php?id=9814 "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 8, 2012

    "At last week's dog-and-pony show, Duncan bemoaned how the U.S. is being outpaced in educational technology by countries such as South Korea and even Uruguay. ('We have to move from being a laggard to a leader' was his sound bite.)

    Does Duncan ever read his own agency's material? In 2009, the Education Department released a study of whether math and reading software helped student achievement in first, fourth, and sixth grades, based on testing in hundreds of classrooms. The study found that the difference in test scores between the software-using classes and the control group was not statistically different from zero. In sixth-grade math, students who used software got lower test scores -- and the effect got significantly worse in the second year of use.


    —Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 4, 2012

    "Our NCTE dues are paying for our professional destruction.


    —Stephen Krashen, Twitter, Feb. 5, 2012

    "Apple Inc. employs 43,000 people in the United States, but contracts with more than 700,000 workers abroad. It makes iPhones in China because wages are low there and because its Chinese contractor can quickly mobilize workers from company dormitories at almost any hour of the day or night.


    —Robert Reich, San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 5, 2012

    "Paper books may be the only media remaining that don't report your behavior back to anonymous aggregators. "

    —W. W. Norton, Twitter, Feb. 5, 2012

    "The new TerraNova Common Core offers constructed-response, extended constructed- response, and performance task items in the same test, on the same scale. Results are available in seven days or less and reports are designed to show administrators, students, and teachers where they stand on both national and the Common Core standards today and over time.

    TerraNova Common Core is the only field-tested, valid, and authentic measure of the CCSS available to districts today.


    —CTB McGraw-Hill, February 2012

    "Only dead men can tell the truth in this world.


    —Mark Twain, on why War Prayer published only after his death

    "They say shut it down. We say spread it around! No history is illegal!

    http://www.teacheractivistgroups.org/tucson "

    —No History is Illegal Month, February 2012

    "The political landscape has shifted dramatically under Reagan, Clinton and the two Bushes. Budget cuts slashed spending on student financial aid, food stamps, Medicaid, school lunch programs, veterans hospitals, and aid to single mothers. The social safety net is shredded. Most federal tax dollars flow directly into the Pentagon and defense contractors such as Halliburton.


    —Ted Rall, Taxing the Rich Won't Help the Poor, Common Dreams, 1/31/12

    "No great book is explicable. . . An explanation--indeed, any explanation--would defile it, for reduction is precisely what a work of art opposes. Easy answers, convenient summaries, quiz questions, annotations, arrows, highlighted lines, lists of its references, the numbers of its sources, echoes, and influences, an outline of its design--useful as sometimes such helps are--nevertheless very seriously mislead. Guidebooks are useful, but only to what is past. Interpretation replaces the original with the lamest sort of substitute. It tames, disarms. 'Okay, I get it,' we say, dusting our hands, 'and that takes care of that.' 'At last I understand Kafka' is a foolish and conceited remark."

    —William Gass, A Temple of Texts, 2006

    "If you are to remain known while writing books(for the books themselves are likely to have a mayfly's life), you must either court the media and let publicity be your pimp, a la Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, or cling like old ivy to the walls of the Academy, passing your person around from campus to campus like a canape on a party tray. . . . You review. Yes, you do; you descend to your opponents' depths, where you'll be seen as just another shark. You sympose. You give interviews. All of it adding to the stuff about and by you that a student, a critic, or a scholar must consult. For you are as large as your library's catalog entries."

    —William Gass, A Temple of Texts, 2006

    "Assessing teachers based on their students' academic performance is an idea whose time has come."

    —John Merrow to his e-mail list, Jan. 19, 2012


    The drawback to closing and re-opening schools is the displacement of students. Acknowledging that student mobility can disrupt academic performance in some situations, we found a way around it by closing Sherman Elementary School in June 2006 and re-opening it the following fall. We call it our NCLB Turnaround School because it had not made AYP in five years. The school is a collaboration of the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL), the Joyce Foundation, and the Chicago Public Education Fund. The students stayed and a new team of adults came in to lead the school. CPS asked that AUSL to recruit one quarter National Board Certified or Golden Apple-award winning teachers. In this way, CPS has delivered the most effective teachers to the students who need them the most.

    Students were not displaced and the parents are pleased with the new education program and improved school environment. Enrollment has increased from 425 to over 600."

    —Hosanna Mahaley-Johnson, Exec. Officer Chicago Public Schools, Feb. 2007

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers. "

    —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

    "My rabies fear started with To Kill a Mockingbird, the same way my appendicitis fear started with Madeline, and my brain tumor fear started with Death Be Not Proud. On an ideal planet, children's books wouldn't be censored for references to sex, but for illnesses."

    —Roz Chast, What I Hate From A to Z, 2011

    "One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.... It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe that it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry -- especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly. "

    —Albert Einstein, quoted in Paul Goodman, Compulsory Miseducation

    "The No Consultant Left Behind dictum is why NCTE, ASCD, et al like Common Core."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 2, 2012

    "The role of courtiers is to parrot the official propaganda. Shame on courtiers in the media, in professional organizations like NCTE,NCTM, ASCD. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 2, 2012

    " may my heart always be open to little
    birds who are the secrets of living"

    —53 by e. e. cummings

    "Resolved 2012: Abolish NCLB. NCLB is Frankenstein in a good suit."

    —John Young column. Dec. 28, 2011 tinyurl.com/cn389xh

    "Whoever Said There's No Such Thing As a Stupid Question Never Looked Carefully at a Standardized Test "

    —Alfie Kohn, Huffington Post, Sept. 16, 2011

    " I encourage those students interested in becoming TFA corps members to read Paul Goodman's Compulsory Mis-Education (1964), in my opinion the single-best critique of the kind of education that the TFA insurgency seeks to perfect."

    —Andrew Hartman, Jacobin, Winter 2012

    "There are 6.6 million fewer jobs in the US than there were four years ago. Some 23 million Americans who would like to work full-time cannot get a job. Almost half of those who are unemployed have been unemployed long-term. Wages are falling--the real income of a typical American household is now below the level it was in 1997. . . .

    The diagnosis of our condition and the prescription that followed from it were incorrect. First, it was wrong to think that the bankers would mend their ways--that they would start to lend, if only they were treated nicely enough. . . . In the end, bank managers looked out for themselves and did what they are accustomed to doing. "

    —Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Book of Jobs, Vanity Fair Jan. 2012

    "Saturday, March 12, 2011 Tell Them About The Golf Links

    The golf links lie so near the mill
    That almost every day
    The laboring children can look out
    And see the men at play. "

    —Sarah Cleghorn, 1915

    "A report by the Alliance of Childhood found an average of 20 to 30 minutes a day of testing and test preparation among kindergarteners in Los Angeles and New York."

    —Paul Tullis, Scientific American Mind, Nov/Dec2011

    " Two McKinsey reports [How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top, by Michael Barber and Mona Mourshed, [foreword by Michael Fullan, special Advisor on Education to the Premier of Ontario] September 2007 and How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better by Mourshed, Chijioke and Barber, Dec. 2010] which have achieved such global influence within a short time deserve the closest scrutiny. Yet when they are so examined, the first fails for at least four reasons: it is methodologically flawed; selective; superficial; and its rhetoric on leadership runs ahead of the evidence. The second, although it corrects some of the faults of its predecessor and offers a more elaborate explanation of success, still possesses six faults: it has an impoverished view of teaching and learning; its evidential base is thin; its central arguments are implausible; its language is technocratic and authoritarian; it underplays the role of culture in education and it omits any mention of democracy. "

    —Frank Coffield, Journal of Education Policy, Oct. 2011

    "As the police carried off a young protester whose head was covered in a crown of blood, a photographer stood behind a metal barricade and raised his camera. Two officers ran at him, grabbed the barrier and struck him in the chest, knees and shins. You are not permitted, the police yelled, to photograph on the sidewalk.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/nyregion/nypd-stops-reporters-with-badges-and-fists.html "

    —Michael Powell, Reporters Meet Fist of Law, NYT, 11/22/11

    "[W]e are stuck now with this fundamental conflict, whereby most of us are insisting that the law should apply equally to everyone, while the people running this country for years now have been operating according to the completely opposite principle that different people have different rights, and who deserves what protections is a completely subjective matter, determined by those in power, on a case-by-case basis.

    Not to belabor the point, but the person who commits fraud to obtain food stamps goes to jail, while the banker who commits fraud for a million-dollar bonus does not. Or if you accept aid in the form of Section-8 housing, the state may insist on its right to conduct warrantless "compliance check" searches of your home at any time â but if you take billions in bailout aid, you do not even have to open your books to the taxpayer who is the de facto owner of your company. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/uc-davis-pepper-spray-incident-reveals-weakness-up-top-20111122#ixzz1eX3GV3Gl "

    —Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Nov. 22, 2011

    "If a population becomes bullied or intimidated out of exercising rights offered on paper, those rights effectively cease to exist. "

    —Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com 11/20/2011

    "Unless value-added measures can capture the teacher effectiveness construct more consistently and reliably, they cannot be used for much decision-making, especially if high-stakes consequences are to be attached to such decisions. They are not, in fact, good enough.

    The lack of reliability, stability, or consistency researchers are finding across value-added years and between value-added subjects, is quite possibly the biggest problem confronting the practicality and applicability of value-added.


    —Clarin Collins & Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, Education Review, 11/23/11

    "The class was working on word problems, one of which went as such: 'Alyssa has 16 marbles and then lost 9 of them. How many marbles does she have left?' Most students worked through it and said the expected answer. One girl said, 'Alyssa still has 16 marbles, she just doesn't know where 9 of them are right now. But she'll find them soon.'"

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, Nov. 23, 2011

    "'The 0utcome of 2012 campaign will depend not on what I do but on what YOU do.'--President Obama TV ad.

    WHAT?!! Teachers, use this message. Accept no responsibility for outcomes. Not your fault."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Nov. 21, 2011

    "If we don't count something, it gets ignored. If we do count it, it gets perverted."

    —David Boyle, The Sum of Our Discontent: How Numbers Make Us Irrational

    "The only way teachers appear at ed reform table is when they're served up as main course--to be eaten alive. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Nov. 20, 2011

    "The US Congress and the Department of Agriculture have collectively agreed that pepper spray, an inflammatory agent commonly used in riot control and personal self-defense, is now publicly recognized as a member of the vegetable food group."

    —CampusBasement.com, Nov. 19, 2011

    "Hey teachers, if you're a parent who allows your child to take standardized tests, you're part of the problem."

    —Gary Stager, Twitter, Nov. 17, 2011

    "A child who has been boxed up six hours in school might spend the next four hours in study, but it is impossible to develop the childâs intellect in this way. The laws of nature are inexorable. By dint of great and painful labor, the child may succeed in repeating a lot of words, like a parrot, but, with the power of its brain all exhausted, it is out of the question for it to really master and comprehend its lessons. The effect of the system is to enfeeble the intellect even more than the body. We never see a little girl staggering home under a load of books, or knitting her brow over them at eight oâclock in the evening, without wondering that our citizens do not arm themselves at once with carving knives, pokers, clubs, paving stones or any weapons at hand, and chase out the managers of our common schools, as they would wild beasts that were devouring their children"

    —Scientific American, Against Homework, October 1860

    "I don't know which seems more incomprehensible: that we would have had to explain journalism to the publisher of a newspaper or that it didn't matter whether we did or not. "

    —Laurie Winer, Zell to LA Times: Drop Dead, LA Review of Books11/9/11

    "The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers. Among other things, the book is a reminder that whenever you think things can't get worse, they can. They can get much, much worse."

    —Laurie Winer, Zell to LA Times: Drop Dead, LA Review of Books11/9/11

    "[David] Coleman is deluding himself on the joys of objectivity in writing. What employers (corporations) want is not so much an absence of personal opinion and voice, in favor of objective facts, but for their opinions to be cleverly disguised as objective and factual. But, that wouldn't work as a standard, would it?"

    —Alice Mercer, Why Teach Narrative Writing, Nov. 13, 2011

    "Occupy Wall Street was always about something much bigger than a movement against big banks and modern finance. It's about providing a forum for people to show how tired they are not just of Wall Street, but everything. This is a visceral, impassioned, deep-seated rejection of the entire direction of our society, a refusal to take even one more step forward into the shallow commercial abyss of phoniness, short-term calculation, withered idealism and intellectual bankruptcy that American mass society has become. --Matt Taibi, Rolling Stone, Nov. 10, 2011 Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-i-stopped-worrying-and-learned-to-love-the-ows-protests-20111110#ixzz1dPaXsJFO"

    —Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Nov. 10, 2011

    "In republics as in the kitchen, it's the little things, respected for themselves rather than pureed into sameness, that make the finest sauces."

    —Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First, 2011, p. 113

    "I'm from New Jersey
    I don't expect too much
    If the world ended today
    I would adjust . . .

    New Jersey people
    They will surprise you
    Cause they're not expected
    To do too much

    They will try harder
    They may go further
    Cause they never think
    That they are good enough. . .

    If the world ended today
    I would adjust
    I would adjust
    I would adjust"

    —John Gorka, I'm From New Jersey

    "They think they can tame you, name you and frame you,
    aim you where you don't belong.
    They know where you've been but not where you're going,
    that is the source of the songs"

    —John Gorka, Flying Red Horse

    "There's one question that pundits and politicians keep posing to the Occupy gatherings around the country: What are your demands? ['Occupy' protests have spread around the world as discontentment with capitalism has grown. (EPA)] 'Occupy' protests have spread around the world as discontentment with capitalism has grown. (EPA)

    I have a suggestion for a response: We demand that you stop demanding a list of demands.

    The demand for demands is an attempt to shoehorn the Occupy gatherings into conventional politics, to force the energy of these gatherings into a form that people in power recognise, so that they can roll out strategies to divert, co-opt, buy off, or -- if those tactics fail -- squash any challenge to business as usual."

    —Robert Jensen, Occupy Demands, Common Dreams, 10/4/11

    "We have reached a point where measuring things doesn't work any more. When you're in politics or business and you need to measure the unmeasurable in order to make things happen - and your career and our lives may depend on you being able to do so -- then you have crisis. It is a counting crisis, born out of using numbers to distil the sheer complexity of life into something manageable. The closer you get to measuring what's really important, the more it escapes you. Because number-crunching brings a kind of blindness with it. When we measure life, we reduce it. "

    —David Boyle, The Observer, Jan. 14, 2001

    "'Give me your definition of a horse.'

    (Sissy Jupe thrown into the greatest alarm by this demand.)

    'Girl number twenty unable to define a horse!' said Mr. Gradgrind. . . 'Girl number twenty possessed of no facts, in reference to one of the commonest of animals!'. . .

    'Blitzer,' said Thomas Gradgrind. 'Your definition of a horse.'

    'Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely, twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.' . . .

    'Now girl number twenty,' said Mr. Gradgrind. 'You know what a horse is.'"

    —Charles Dickens, Hard Times, 1854

    "Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know. "

    —Groucho Marx in Animal Crackers

    "We have reached a point where measuring things doesn't work any more. When you're in politics or business and you need to measure the unmeasurable in order to make things happen - and your career and our lives may depend on you being able to do so - then you have crisis. It is a counting crisis, born out of using numbers to distil the sheer complexity of life into something manageable. The closer you get to measuring what's really important, the more it escapes you. Because number-crunching brings a kind of blindness with it. When we measure life, we reduce it. "

    —David Boyle, You Can Count Me Out, Observer, 9/13/01

    "Sylvester Stalone has stated, "I could play Hamlet if I wanted to. I just don't want to." Mr. Stallone may be understating his case. He may be able to play Lear.

    Society increasingly encourages individuals to make great claims for themselves as an act of self-affirmation. . . . "

    —John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

    "Level Playing Field: An ideological abstraction adopted as a universal value by the management of large corporations. The level playing field is an idealized vision of the open market. Here the close relationship between corporate mythology and competitive sport is fully consummated. . . . The people who cry loudest for a level playing field fall into two categories: those who own the goal-posts and fools."

    —John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

    "The Global Economy is a nineteenth-century concept dressed up in high-tech and posing as the future. . . . Passive acceptance of the Global Economy as an unregulated international demolition crew would mean a return to the past. "

    —John Ralston Saul, The Doubter's Companion

    "New York Times has Wealth Matters column but no Poverty Matters column, a Business Section but no Labor Section."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Oct. 26, 2011

    " The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum â even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. "

    —Noam Chomsky, The Common Good, 1998

    "Mr. Rambharose goes to college at night, after working from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in a bookstore at La Guardia Airport. One of the best things about the job, he said, is that when the store is empty, he can read the books. Recently he has finished 'Three Cups of Tea,' 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' and 'The Kite Runner.' "

    —Michael Winerip, New York Times, Oct.. 24, 2011

    "I appeal to teachers in the face of every hysterical wave of emotion, and of every subtle appeal of sinister class interest, to remember that they above all others are consecrated servants of the democratic ideas in which alone this country is truly a distinctive nation--ideas of friendly and helpful intercourse between all and the equipment of every individual to serve the community by how own best powers in his own best way."

    —John Dewey, Nationalizing Education, Vol 10 Essays, 210

    "Susan Ohanian, creator of www.susanohanian.org, has won the 2003 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Orwell Award. The award recognizes writers who have made outstanding contributions to the critical analysis of public discourse and is give by the NCTE Committee on Public Doublespeak.

    In the award speech, Rudolph Sharpe, speaking on behalf of the NCTE Committee on Public Doublespeak, said, "The selection of the 2003 recipient acknowledges the influence of electronic media on public perception. For the first time, a Web site has been selected--for its clarity, honesty, and eloquence. As one nominator noted, Susan Ohanian's Web site 'presumes a natural love of the education of children, offers a place for a free exchange of thought on their b3ehalf, but has little sympathy for those who view children as things, as commodities. Her Web site's dedication tosocial and educational justice filled with questions, information, and resources, conflict, and love, exemplify. . . what should be the very best in the heart of public thinking.'" . . . ."

    —NCTE press release, Dec. 4, 2003

    "You have to pedal and keep pedaling. "

    —Bruce Weber, NY Times reporter of his 4,199 bike trip across USA

    "Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."

    —Frederick Douglass, Canandaigua, 1857

    "As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. "

    —William O. Douglas, Douglas Letters, p. 16

    "The bill is 868 pages and we got it yesterday, and I talked to committee members today and said this isn't the way government should work. I thought we'd have hearings. We've had zero hearings on No Child Left Behind. I would think we'd have several significant hearings. Bring in the teachers, bring in the superintendents, bring in the principals and find out more about it. We've had none of that, and I think it's rotten."

    —Sen. Rand Paul, member Education Committee, 10/29/11

    "In America the banks went down but the big shots in them still got rich; in Ireland the big shots went down with the banks. Sean Fitzpatrick, a working-class kid turned banker who built Anglo Irish Bank more or less from scratch, is widely viewed as the chief architect of Ireland's misfortune: today he is not merely bankrupt but unable to show his face in public. . . . When the bank failed Fitzpatrick was listed among its creditors, having (in April 2008!) purchased five million euros of Anglo Irish subordinated floating rate notes. The top executives of all three big banks operated in a similar spirit: They bought shares in their own companies right up to the moment of collapse, and continued to pay dividends , as if they had capital to burn. Virtually all of the big Irish property developers who behaved recklessly signed personal guarantees for their loans."

    —Michael Lewis, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World , 2011, p 102

    "Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in Iceland, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called hidden people--or, to put it more plainly, elves--in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it."

    —Michael Lewis, Boomerang:Travels in the New Third World, 2011, p 31

    "It is Not Just Bankers. It is Capitalism. The core issue of our time is the potential of a mass, activist, class conscious movement to transcend capitalism met by the reality of a corporate state, fascism, conducting perpetual war on workers world-wide.

    We Say Fight Back!"

    —Rich Gibson, Rouge Forum, Oct. 14, 2011

    "Obama should bow to political pressure & replace Arne with new Department of Education: Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy, Happy, Dopey, Doc, & Bashful."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Oct. 15, 2011

    "And the little very very very very very very very old man smiled, and looking at the faerie he said: 'Why?'

    The kind of writing primary graders savor."

    —e. e. cummings, The Old Man Who Said Why 1950

    "If you want to make kids stupid, put them on a computer. Every Federal study shows that the more time kids spend on computers, in and out of school, the dumber they are."

    —Richard Allington, Wyoming DOE Summer Camp, 8/23/11

    "If anyone questions what this president thinks about teachers who teach anything BUT math and science look to the Teacher Loan Forgiveness rules for federal student loans. Highly Qualified elementary and secondary teachers are eligible for $5,000.00 in loan forgiveness. Math or science Highly Qualified? Shave off $17,500.00. Pretty much says it all."

    —Angela on NCTE Connected Community, 10/7.11

    "The lie has failed; now we must help the truth return. "

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, Oct. 4, 2011

    "Most of the great things that teachers do are not seen by adults, and are taken for granted by children. "

    —Michael Winerip, New York Times, Oct. 3, 2011

    "We do not know today whether we are busy or idle. In times when we thought ourselves indolent, we have afterwards discovered, that much was accomplished, and much was begun in us. All our days are so unprofitable while they pass, that 'tis wonderful where or when we ever got anything of this which we call wisdom, poetry, virtue. We never got it on any dated calendar day. Some heavenly days must have been intercalated somewhere."

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson, Experience, 1844

    "Jesus was an itinerant preacher who demanded an immediate redistribution of wealth to the poor."

    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Los Angeles Review of Books, 10/1/11

    "In a wonderful book Remembering Denny, Calvin Trillin notes that a large number of Rhodes scholars commit suicide. He reasons that people who have gone through the first 22 years of their lives without making a mistake or failing are ill equipped mentally to deal with their first setbacks. "

    —Joseph C. Small, letter New York Times, 10/3/11

    "500 pages of specific, grade level standards in reading and math will likely be obsolete before implementation. "

    —William J. Mathis, National Education Policy Center, 9/23/11

    "Mayor Rhambo Emanuel has made a longer school day, where kids can spend even more time doing test prep, out to be the most important innovation to education since the basal reader was implemented a century ago."

    —Norm Scott, The Wave: Mis-Education Nation on NBC, 9/3011

    "My wife and I just did Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer with our two children.[first grader & third grader]"

    —Arne Duncan, NCTE Council Chronicle, Sept. 2011

    "Contrary to any prognostications made by Secretary Arne Duncan and his corporate backers, The Race to the Top must be understood as nothing more than the abdication of the social responsibility of the state in assuring public education by stressing instead, individual freedom through privatized choice, 'free'-markets and personal responsibility in the ruthless and unequal capitalist marketplace of despair. It is being camouflaged as educational reform, when in fact it will serve to deform education and its stakeholders. "

    —Danny Weil, Dissident Voice, Jan. 6, 2010

    "Duncan doesn't want to change the factory style of education; he simply wants to hi-tech it. "

    —Danny Weil, Dissident Voice, Jan. 6, 2010

    "There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. "

    —Chris Hedges, Common Dreams, Sept. 30, 2011

    "Once again the time has come for revolution in America. Instead of a British king we have a ruling class of bankers and billion-aires who control the gov-ernment and all the impor-tant institutions of society. Despite the electoral circus and other trappings of de-mocracy, the big shots call the tune. Politicians serve them, not us. This dictator-ship of the rich has pushed economic inequality to ob-scene levels, has left more and more Americans unemployed or working at jobs that pay too little, has driven homes into foreclosure, deprived families of adequate medical care, saddled young people with huge student loans, caused envi-ronmental disasters like BP in the Gulf, and sent loved ones to kill or be killed in wars based on lies. The future holds misery for the many and privilege for the few. These and other problems. . . .

    Thinking About Revolution "

    —John Spritzler & Dave Stratman, 9/2011

    "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given Georgia $1.3 million to help with the Common Core roll-out. . . . [training teachers]."

    —Nancy Badertscher, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/27/11

    "Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR, and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half our 401Ks, took trillions in taxpayer funded bailouts, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither. Pass it on. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, Sept.. 25, 2011

    " There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there--good for you.

    But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate.... Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along. "

    —Elizabeth Warren, MoveOn.Org, Sept. 21, 2011

    " The best educators get what it means to say that every teacher is inexperienced with each new group of students. They get that prefabricated, content-bloated curriculums, pacing guides and laminated lesson plans are the definitive way to pretend to teach.

    Upon closer inspection, almost every learner is weird and it's time school took the time to address their weird needs."

    —Joe Bower blog, Sept. 27, 2011

    " Incredible leadership by 20 states jointly creating new science education standards to better prepare students for the jobs of the future. @arneduncan As the Feds cut support of science research, just what are these jobs of the future that require new science standards? "

    —Arne Duncan and Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 21, 2011

    "As the Obama administration announced plans for hundreds of billions of dollars more in domestic budget cuts, it late last week solicited bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram, Afghanistan. Posted on the aptly named FedBizOps.Gov website which it uses to announce new privatized spending projects, the administration unveiled plans for 'the construction of Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), Bagram, Afghanistan' which includes "detainee housing capability for approximately 2000 detainees." It will also feature 'guard towers, administrative facility and Vehicle/Personnel Access Control Gates, security surveillance and restricted access systems.' The announcement provided: 'the estimated cost of the project is between $25,000,000 to $100,000,000.'"

    —Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com 9/19/2011

    "The critical question is whether children must be made to work a second shift after spending a full day at school."

    —Vicki Abeles & Alfie Kohn, letter on homework, NY Times, 9/19/11

    "There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and lies funded by the Gates Foundation."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 18, 2011

    "Get with it. Either you're opting out in the many ways we described or you're wasting our time. The corporate reformers love that we still can't form a united coalition. Sh$t or get off the pot. Stop worrying about your stupid jobs. If you don't start kicking some as$, be prepared to be kicked in the ass. The corporate reformers love the fact that we're all trying to be cumbbyya. Rise against! Rage against the machine!"

    —Prof. Timothy Slekar, Opt Out of State Test facebook, 9/17/11

    "Unless Texas has a very progressive way of communicating diseases in their school by way of their curriculum, then there is no government purpose served for having little girls inoculated at the force and compulsion of the government."

    —Rick Santorum on why girls shouldn't get HPV vaccinations, 9/12/11

    "I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance. "

    —e. e. cummings, Collected Poems, No. 22, 1938

    "Academic achievement gaps are well-established long before the first day of kindergarten. "

    —Rob Bligh, robbligh@tconl.com, Sept. 14, 2011

    "16.4 million children living in poverty in this country. Solution: Blame the schools and take away teacher benefits and bargaining rights. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 14, 2011

    "Forty-six million two hundred thousand Americans are poor-- 2.6 million more than two years ago. Poverty = $22,113 for family of four."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 14, 2011

    "Corporate school privatizers feign disgust with teachers that cheat the standardized tests. But big business theft of public education is by far the greater sin. The real cheats are those that pushed high stakes testing under the false pretexts of reform, when the actual goal was union busting and privatization."

    —Glen Ford, Black Agenda Radio, Sept. 14, 2011

    "In real life my heroes are elementary-school band directors."

    —Wynton Marsalis, Vanity Fair Proust Questionnaire, Oct. 2011

    " I was jarred and shocked by the style, the clear, clean, sweeping sentences. . . .[H. L. Mencken] was using words as a weapon, using them as one would use a club. . . . It frightened me. I read on and what amazed me was not what he said, but how on earth anybody had the courage to say it. "

    —Richard Wright, Black Boy

    ". . . [T]he people he's surrounded himself with are not labor people, but stooges from Wall Street. Barack Obama has as his chief of staff a former top-ranking executive from one of the most grossly corrupt mega-companies on earth, JP Morgan Chase. He sees Bill Daley in his own office every day, yet when it comes time to talk abut labor issues, he has to go out and make selected visits twice a year or whatever to the Richard Trumkas of the world.

    Listening to Obama talk about jobs and shared prosperity yesterday reminded me that we are back in campaign mode and Barack Obama has started doing again what he does best -- play the part of a progressive. He's good at it. It sounds like he has a natural affinity for union workers and ordinary people when he makes these speeches. But his policies are crafted by representatives of corporate/financial America, who happen to entirely make up his inner circle.

    I just don't believe this guy anymore, and it's become almost painful to listen to him."

    —Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Sept. 6, 2011

    "Steven Brill's 'Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools' celebrates the improbable consensus among conservative Republicans, major foundations, Wall Street financiers, and the Obama administration about school reform."

    —Diane Ravitch, NY Review of Books, Sept. 29, 2011

    "The Palm Beach County implementation of the Common Core Standards boggles the mind. Teaching kindergartners the ellipses is worthy of a Jon Stewart sketch, though what it really needs is Monty Python. . . or maybe an update of Abbott and Costello's 'Who's On First?'

    The disjunction from reality is hard to grasp. I mean, just what material would kindergartners be abridging?"

    —Susan Ohanian, Aug. 26, 2011

    "Justice Dept investigating Standard & Poor's. I wish someone would investigate CTB McGraw-Hill tests "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 17, 2011

    "The standards movement has become the conventional wisdom of both political parties and all the recent Administrations--Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama. Standards-based accountability trumpets the values of the marketplace--school districts incentivized to manage a portfolio of schools that are opened or closed depending on their test scores--states competing for funding--teachers incentivized by merit pay for production of higher test scores--management efficiency valued over democratic governance."

    —Jan Resseger, United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries, 8/17/11

    "We mega-rich should not continue to get extraordinary tax breaks while most Americans struggle to make ends meet. My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice. - "

    —Warren Buffett, Stop Coddling the Super Rich, NY Times, 8/15/11

    "Blame for financial mess starts with the corporate lobby

    What started as a reasonable attempt at political rebalancing turned into a jihad against all regulation, all taxes and all government, waged by right-wing zealots who want to privatize the public schools that educate your workers, cut back on the basic research on which your products are based, shut down the regulatory agencies that protect you from unscrupulous competitors and privatize the public infrastructure that transports your supplies and your finished goods. For them, this isn't just a tactic to brush back government. It's a holy war to destroy it -- and one that is now out of your control."

    —Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, Aug. 13, 2011

    "Mr. Allbright broadcast 1,500 Brooklyn Dodgers games without seeing a single one. Inspiration for Gates education policy? "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 16, 2011

    "The relationship between poverty and all kinds of academic achievement is one of the best-established and most replicated results in all of educational research. People keep "rediscovering it" and politicians keep ignoring it, or tell people to 'stop whining' (Rod Paige)."

    —Stephen Krashen, e-mail, Aug. 10, 2011

    "I don't read for data, I read for style, force of expression, power of imagination, use of language. So if I find that in looking through pages of a book, then I will stay with the whole thing. Unfortunately, most people are taught to read as if it's homework. They are not taught to read for pleasure.

    Read more "

    —Lewis Lapham, Literary Sage, smh.com.au, Aug. 6, 2011

    "As long as the labor movement (what is left of a labor movement) continues to support 'Democrats' who stab them in the back, the future for the labor movement is nonexistent. And since the Democratic Party can not exist without union financial support, the Party itself, under Obama and the phonies, is committing suicide. http://www.thenation.com/article/158640/labors-last-stand"

    —Jane McAlevey, Labor's Last Stand, The Nation, 3/7/11

    "Let us label our lawmakers like they label teachers. Let us have a hard look at their data. Let us have merit pay in Congress!"

    —John Kuhn, Texas superintendent, SOS March, July 30, 2011

    "Advice for Bill Gates and Arne: Spend one year in Finland as classroom teacher and one year in Detroit classroom. Then, join the conversation. "

    —Andrea McCoy, Twitter, July 24, 2011

    "How should Gates spend next $5 billion? Schools would be better off if he flushed it down toilet."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, July 24, 2011

    "Naked greed is no longer shameful."

    —Deborah Meier, Blog on Education, 7/23/11

    "Who needs a monarchy when you have capitalism? ( commenting on $50,000 kid's playhouse that comes with a flat-screen TV)"

    —Reader Comment, NY Tiimes, 7/21/11

    " No, I don't want a ten minute phone call from Arne Duncan, unless it's the one where he leaks the news of his resignation. "

    — Tim Furman, SchoolTech Connect.com blog, 7/19/11

    "may my heart always be open to little

    birds who are the secrets of living

    whatever they sing is better than to know

    and if men should not hear them men are old"

    —e. e. cummings

    "I am not saying, 'If it feels good, it's good for you. But if we're doing it right, it should feel good. If we're doing literacy and language development right, teachers and students should be having a pretty good time. If there's pain, something's really wrong."

    —Stephen Krashen, Fordham University, July 7, 2011

    "Capitalism defines human beings as primarily greedy, self-interested animals designed to maximize their own position, especially in the acquisition of material goods and status. That instinct obviously is part of our nature, but -- just as obviously -- that is not all there is to human nature; given the long evolutionary history of humans in band-level societies defined by solidarity and cooperation, we should assume the greedy instincts probably are not primary. Yet in capitalism that sociopathic instinct is rewarded and reinforced. With each generation that lives in such a system, our capacity for empathy is undermined. This is not an argument against individuality or for complete subordination to the collective, but merely recognition of one of the ugliest aspects of capitalism -- the belief that we can ignore the fate of others and still make a decent world."

    —Robert Jensen, Energy Bulletin, July 9, 2011

    "Obama is one of the most boring and pedantic presidents we have had. His occasional basketball tosses and silly little jogs up the steps to the podium can't hide the vapid quality of what he has to say.

    Obama has a tin ear. He has a hard time responding to things with any emotion. He can't make anything swing. And thanks to his obsession with teleprompters he rarely even looks his TV audience in the eye.

    In talking to us, he often comes across, at best, as a priggish teacher and, at worse, a scold.

    Like most liberals today, he grossly underestimates the importance of improving people economic lives. By deserting the economic emphasis that underlay the New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society, Obama is donating his own base to the Republicans.

    His handling of the stimulus has been a disaster. There's a widespread understanding the Wall Street has come out of it all miles ahead of ordinary Americans and Obama just doesn't even seem to notice it. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, July 12, 2011

    "[T]he federal drive to use student test scores to grade teachers--came exclusively from the Obama administration."

    —Joanne Barkin, Dissent, June 29, 2011

    "This is a matter of honor, plain and simple. An ocean of blood, sweat and tears has been spent bringing these all-important programs to life, and even more has been spent protecting and defending them. If this president consents to throw all that over [Social Security and Medicare] in an act of political triangulation, he will be marked in my book for all time as a failure, a betrayer, and a disgrace."

    —William Rivers Pitt, Truthout, July 9, 2011

    "The greatest power of the mass media is the power to ignore. The worst thing about this power is that you may not even know it's being used. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, July 5, 2011

    "Dr. Seuss has written more immortal works than any other twentieth-century American author. Think about it. Virtually every child in this country has read, is reading, or will read The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street, The Butter Battle Book, and perhaps a dozen others equally splendid. Consider too that each of Seuss's more than forty titles is read not once, not twice, but scores of times, usually to pieces. . . . And what do we learn from Seuss? The joy of words and pictures at play, of course, but also the best and most humane values any of us might wish to possess: pluck, determination, tolerance, reverence for the earth, suspicion of the martial spirit, the fundamental value of the imagination. This is why early reading matter. At any age, but especially in childhood, books can transform lives. . . ."

    —Michael Dirda, Book by Book 2005

    "What haunts the Obama administration is what still haunts the country: the stunning lack of accountability for the greed and misdeeds that brought America to its gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. There has been no legal, moral, or financial reckoning for the most powerful wrongdoers. Nor have there been meaningful reforms that might prevent a repeat catastrophe. Time may heal most wounds, but not these. Chronic unemployment remains a constant, painful reminder of the havoc inflicted on the bust's innocent victims. As the ghost of Hamlet's father might have it, America will be stalked by its foul and unresolved crimes until they 'are burnt and purged away.'"

    —Frank Rich, New York Times Magazine, 7/3/11

    "I've seen enough 'data.' Next year my classroom is going to be about creativity, projects, and having fun with ideas. The way I look at it now, every year may be my last, and I don't want to go out playing a numbers game that was rigged against me and my students from the start. Rigidly applied standards will fail the kids; that's not my job."

    —Doug, Borderland blog, June 4, 2011

    " This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. "

    —Walt Whitman, Preface, Leaves of Grass

    "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. "

    —Noam Chomsky, The Common Good, p. 42, 2002

    ". . . Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. . . . David and Charles Koch are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industryâespecially environmental regulation. "

    —Jane Mayer, New Yorker, Aug. 30, 2010

    "With charters, choice is a political movement, not an education movement."

    —Norm Scott, Panel for Education Policy, June 27, 2011

    "Due process is one of the hallmarks of a civilized society."

    —David Komljenovic , BC. Teachers’ Federation executive committee

    "I march because of what this war on education will do to my former colleagues and the new teachers with whom I work. I march for change. I march for reform.
    I march for academic freedom.
    I march for curricula and methodologies to develop the best-informed, critical thinking, problem solving students in the world.
    Most of all I march for our kids.

    I will march on Washington this July because again we must stop a war. This time it is the war against teachers, students, and education. Over the past 10 years what started as an intervention has become a full-scale assault. The parallels with Vietnam are astounding. "

    —David Greene, Education Notes, June 30, 2011

    "Why does the media always refer to people defending our civil liberties and the Constitution as 'activists' or 'advocates?' Wouldn't 'citizens' do just as well? "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, June 27, 2011

    "[Arne Duncan] is not the nation's superintendent. Unquestionably, Congress gave the secretary way too much authority in the stimulus bill when it said, 'Hereâs $5 billion, go do good things for education.' "

    —John Kline, chairman of the House education committee, NYT, 6/24/11

    "If you read the waiver language in the [NCLB] law, the secretary absolutely does not have the right to arbitrarily think up good reform ideas and require that states do them in return for waivers. That's a violation of constitutional design. "

    —Frederick Hess, American Enterprise Institute, in NY Times, 6/24/11

    "Food, education, housing, jobs, and prisons will become systems of social management. This will enable a small white power elite and their overseers to control the unarmed, uneducated, unhealthy grassroots, working class groups and eliminate a real middle class by subjecting them to extreme social pressures that demean and debilitate them to preclude any thoughts of rebellion by keeping them in a constant basic survival mode from day to day. . . . "

    —Suzanne Brooks, Black Commentator, June 23, 2011

    "There is a ghetto to prison pipeline.

    There is a poverty to prison pipeline.

    But there is no "school to prison pipeline." The pipeline is outside the schools, and anyone who repeats the Boss's wording is doing the boss's work."

    —George Schmidt, ARN discussion, June 16, 2011

    ". . . the pious hope that by combining numerous little turds of variously tainted data, one can obtain a valuable result; but in fact, the outcome is merely a larger than average pile of shit. "

    —David Barash, Book Review: Race, Evolution, & Behavior

    "Public schools HAVE to fail in order to crack open this egg and give these financiers access to the $360 billion they are after (estimates are that it is around $700 billion today). No matter what logic you use to explain the problems or successes of public education, it will be of no avail: public schools HAVE to fail. Whatever it takes."

    —Michael T. Martin, Waiting for SuperFraud, Dec. 20, 2010

    "Teachers don't care about kids. They don't care about classrooms. They only care about their jobs and their pensions."

    — North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, June 4, 2011

    "I've seen enough 'data'. Next year my classroom is going to be about creativity, projects, and having fun with ideas. The way I look at it now, every year may be my last, and I don't want to go out playing a numbers game that was rigged against me and my students from the start. Rigidly applied standards will fail the kids; that's not my job"

    —Doug at Borderland.northernattitude.org, June 4, 2011

    "I said I'd be going with the happiness plan. What's that? It's getting the kids to enjoy reading so that they do it on their own. How does it work? Easy. Give them choices and time to read every day, and then celebrate their accomplishments."

    —Doug at Borderland.northernattitude.org, June 4, 2011


    To promote and preserve the general welfare of testing and its value to society, in all its forms and uses."

    —Association of Test Publishers

    "Power Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.... "

    —Edward Tufte, Power Point is Evil, Wired, Sept. 2003

    "Those who can't teach, pass laws about how to evaluate teachers."

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, May 20, 2011

    "To Mr Obama: it is obvious to most experts that the problems in school are not teachers' fault; it follows that teachers cant fix it either. "

    —Roger Schank, Twitter, May 21, 2011

    " Scantron Tip #8: Every bubble feeds the hydra. "

    —Jo Scott-Coe, Twitter, May 21, 2011

    "WARNING: Close contact with Common Core standards may cause irregular heartbeat, dark urine; dizziness; unusual bruising or bleeding."

    —Susan Ohanian, May 23, 2011

    "Absence of warning label on Common Core should not be construed to indicate they are safe, effective or appropriate for any given classroom"

    —Susan Ohanian, May 23, 2011

    "Re LEARN Act: If I were in charge of the world, politicos would stop passing legislation telling teachers how to teach."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 24, 2011

    "To US DOE: Your promise of more RTTT $$$ sounds like those late night TV ads for set of 17 kitchen knives that glow in dark and whistle Dixie."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 25, 2011

    "Arne says 'We have not and will not prescribe a national curriculum.' And just what do you think the Common Core Assessment will do?"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 27, 2011

    "If you want Race to the Top money for your state, you apparently like the Federal Govt running your life. Take control of your own education."

    —Manatee Spirit, Twitter, May 27, 2011

    "It was only after he left school and joined the army that he discovered he was intelligent."

    —Kate Atkinson, Case Histories

    "Saying schools need more $$ is a dangerous argument, failing to recognize deep problem. Poor people are the ones truly needing more money."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 28, 2011

    "Under 'Similar to Arne Duncan,' Twitter lists 'ASCD.' Is this because of the $3 million Gates gave ASCD to promote Common Core?"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 29, 2011

    "Think I will join the Gates ed reform movement & start manufacturing bunk desks for profit. Twice as many kids per classroom."

    —Stardiverr, Twitter, May 29, 2011

    "Before we can make workers, we must first make people. But people are not made--they are conserved and grown.


    —Martin Haberman, Pedagogy of Poverty, PDK, Dec. 1991

    "Momma, don't let your baby grow up to be a Standardisto."

    —Susan Ohanian, May 31, 2011

    "Refuse all cooperation with the heart's death...."

    —Mary Oliver, More Evidence in SWAN

    "Even a fool, when he is holding a bucket of standardized test scores, is counted wise by the U. S. Secretary of Education."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter May 30, 2011

    "Show me the spreadsheet on skepticism....


    —Mark Slouka, Harper's, Sept. 2009

    "If I had a kid facing the kindergarten skills blitz today, I'd red shirt him until he was 42."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 30, 2011

    "NYC Charter tried to make kid wear a T-shirt with words "Not Yet" on it, meaning not ready for regular classes


    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 30, 2011

    "In 1980 CEOs made 42 times as much as workers, in 1990 they made 85 times as much, in 2000 they made 531 times as much."

    —Injustice Facts, Twitter, May 31, 2011

    "I can't recall a single corporate executive ever making a literary allusion in my 20 years as a business reporter.

    —Thane Peterson, BusinessWeek, June 13, 2000

    "Quote of the day: 'Can't explain it, but just seeing them there smiling and talking makes me want to kill them all'


    —The Onion, Twitter, May 31, 2011

    "Where do books go when libraries close? See Gates/Duncan plan to use them as extra fiber in lunch: http://tinyurl.com/3p3tj7o"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 31, 2011

    "It was only after he left school and joined the army that he discovered he was intelligent."

    —Kate Atkinson, Case Histories

    "Absence of warning label on Common Core should not be construed to indicate they are safe, effective or appropriate for any given classroom.

    WARNING: Close contact with Common Core standards may cause irregular heartbeat, dark urine; dizziness; unusual bruising or bleeding."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 24, 2011

    "STOP apologizing for bad teachers. Doctors ignore. bad medicos, Congressmen crooked politicos, journalists hack scribes, Gates lousy Windows."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 7, 2011

    "When people with wealth and power say they are not acting to protect their wealth and power, you can be pretty sure that's exactly what they are doing. http://tinyurl.com/3qexonw"

    —Robert Jensen, Imperial Delusions, New Left Project, May 5, 2011

    "[W]e can only untangle the classroom level effects, which include different mixes of students, class sizes and classroom settings, or even time of day a specific course is taught, if each teacher to be evaluated has the opportunity to teach different mixes of kids, in different classroom settings and at different times of day and so on. Otherwise, some teachers are subjected to persistently different teaching conditions. . . .

    [T]oo many incentives and pressures exist to use bad measures rather then better ones. . . ."

    —Bruce D. Baker, School Finance 101, April 29, 2011

    "If I hear one more person talk about the 'liberal media' in America, I will probably vomit on them. . . . The [media] made the "Tea Party" into a legitimate political phenomenon by dint of total-saturation coverage. But now, they are trying to disappear the Wisconsin protests by ignoring them entirely. . . . Is it because this national action scares the ever-lovin' crap out of them? I think absolutely yes.. . ."

    —William Rivers Pitt, Truthout, March 1, 2011

    "21st Century Definitions: torture is renamed harsh interrogation; technological fundamentalism is renamed merit pay."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, May 4, 2011

    "America has bought an education pig in a poke peddled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allies, and packaged by Congress. The animal is a freak, shaped by naiveté, political ideology, unexamined assumptions, ignorance of history, and myths. "

    —Marion Brady, WaPo Answer Sheet, April 26, 2011

    "Bill Gates, Sandy Kress & Arne Duncan walk into a bar--and rename NCLB. What's the new name? ('Great Leap Forward' already taken. 大èºé².)"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 21, 2011

    why is algebra important?

    Sit down, he said. . . .

    my heart is falling asleep
    and it wants to wake up.
    It needs to be outside.

    Sit down, he said."

    —Mary Oliver, from The Poet Dreams of the Classroom

    "The children can't learn if they don't play. The children must play."

    —principal of Kallahti Comprehensive School, Helsinki

    "10.You could be fired because of student test scores. The bill contains a new ground for termination. Without any definition, it states that professional employees can now be terminated for 'a consistent or pervasive record of inadequate student achievement or performance under the employees supervision.' In other words, teachers can be terminated by test scores rather than the realities of the particular students they are asked to educate. The failed No Child Left Behind Act has taught the entire nation that judging schools by test scores doesn't work. Now, AASB wants to apply that failed logic to teachers. The fact is that some of the best teachers take on some of the most difficult students. The test scores of those students may be low, but the teaching they receive may be the best in the nation. That doesn't matter under this bill-- only test scores.

    —10 Facts about Alabama SB310, 4/21/11

    "Non-Confidentiality Notice: This email message, including any attachments, contains no confidential or privileged information. It can be shared, and used for any reasonable purpose. It can be posted, downloaded, and shared with anybody, with the following exceptions: Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter.

    If you are not the intended recipient, read it anyway. "

    —Stephen Krashen, e-mail, April 20, 2011

    "Dr/Rev/Prussian Dryasdust, a character in various Walter Scott novels, was revived by Bill Gates/Achieve/Duncan to write the Common Core Standards."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 20, 2011

    "James Popham said testing companies hijacked term 'formative assessment,' using it to mean interim testing."

    —Stephen Krashen, NCTE Open Forum, 4/18/2011

    "Deb Meier asked children questions everybody should ask, 'Why do your parents send you to school?' Think about answers: http://tinyurl.com/3duwscs"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 18, 2011

    "Stages of teacher reaction to Common Core Standards: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression. . . Let's skip 'Acceptance' & move to RESISTANCE"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, April 18, 2011

    "It's easy to forget that before [Bloomberg] spent a fortune buying his job in City Hall, people thought of him as a kind of a jerk. Rich and successful, but a wise guy with a big ego who thought he was the smartest guy he ever met."

    —Mike Lupica, NY Daily News, April 11, 2011

    "Part of the Deweyan ideal of a participatory democratic classroom is that everyone learns together, which does not presuppose that they are learning the same thing, though they are studying the same subject matter."

    —A.G. Rudd & Jim Garrison, Teachers College Record, 9/2010

    "We argue that reverence is central to the kind of teaching and leadership we need in today's schools and that listening is one of the prime activities of reverence. . . . Reverent teachers listen carefully to what the subject matter has to say to them, but they also listen carefully to what their students say to them as well. Teachers must know not only their subject matter, but their students as well. To do this successfully, they must accept the risk and vulnerability of openness to what their students suggest, and what they might not know themselves as teachers. That means that good teachers must have the moral perception and imagination to connect to students, and the intellectual command of subject matter to readily reconfigure it. Both require a kind of learning unique to the practice of teaching. Teaching is not just about the transmission of knowledge, or even its expansion. Its calling is higher than that; it seeks wisdom beyond knowledge alone by applying knowledge to life, especially the life of students and the larger community, and thereby to express life itself. Reverent listening to both students and subject matter greatly aids this kind of teaching and learning."

    —A.G. Rudd & Jim Garrison, Teachers College Record, 9/2010

    "In addition to consistency, scripts offered a degree of control and micromanagement for administrators which consumed every facet of life in the school. Teachers (and students) were exempt from making virtually any decision themselves. This included (but was not limited to) what to teach, when to teach it, how to teach it, how to line our students up, how to have them walk in hallway, when to take our classes to the bathroom, how much homework to give, what homework to give, how to handle classroom management, what to put on our bulletin boards, how to arrange our furniture, when to read a book to our students, how to distribute crayons and pencils, and a myriad of other things. I found it ironic, not to mention insulting, that the same administrators who preached about the virtues of teaching and our high level of "professionalism" seemed to regard us as bumbling idiots incapable of doing anything short of walking upright without a set of detailed instructions."

    —Miss C, teacher at a South Bronx charter school, 4/13/11

    "If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."

    —Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim

    "If I could be the principal for a day I would change a lot of rules. Like, I would allow hugs at school again! "

    —Austin, Huffington Post, April 14, 2011

    ". . . For some reason, though, the New York Times seems to think that giving op-ed space to this mediocre fiction writer (David Brooks) is an apotropaic charm against being accused of liberalism. And for some other reasons, liberals find Brooks to be a tolerable conservative, presumably because he doesn't move his lips when he reads. But, really, never believe anything this guy says without checking his sources. Newspaper editors were once expected to do that sort of thing, but some combination of economic pressure and ideological anxiety earns Brooks a pass. LBO NEWS "

    —Doug Henwood, LBO News blog, April 9, 2011

    "When the children of New York City grow up, they will not remember who the chancellor was when they were in school. They will not remember the name of the secretary of education. But until the day they die, they will remember their kindergarten teachers."

    —Michael Winerip, New York Times, 4/8/11

    "Daniel Ellsberg asked us if we knew the names of the two languages of Afghanistan. Almost nobody in the audience knew. 'The two languages are Dari--which is eastern Farsi, or Persian--and Pashto,' he said. 'In Vietnam, none of us spoke the language, but we knew the language that we didn't speak--that it was Vietnamese. We're fighting in a country now where we don't know the language we don't know. "

    —Nicholson Baker, at DC war protest, NY Review of Books blog, 4/9/11

    ". . . teachers have taught me a lesson that I, like many academics, needed to learn: Don't be so damned superior! Don't look down your nose at people out there teaching real children in real and sometimes dreadful circumstances. Don't question their intelligence, or their commitment, or their motives."

    —Patrick. J. Finn, Literacy with an Attitude, 2009

    "You can't understand problems and fix them unless you create a culture in which employees share information without fear. "

    —Olivia A. Golden, When Blame Isn't Enough, NY Times, 4/8/11

    "The school privatisation movement is one of unparalleled genius. It proposes free-market solutions to a problem created by the free market: wealthy taxpayers refusing to adequately fund poor people's schools and a deindustrialised service economy that has eliminated good jobs for the working class. Once upon a time, in the 1990s, young people who wanted to change education for the better read Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities. Today, they watch the film Waiting for'"Superman', join Teach for America for a couple of years and work for organisations dedicated to attacking teachers' unions."

    —Daniel Denvir, The Guardian, April 7, 2011

    ". . . we also find evidence that teachers may become less effective with experience . . . ."

    —Matthew M. Chingos & Paul E. Peterson, Economics of Ed Review, 2011

    "The department[US DOE] and I will continue to disagree about the whole concept of Race to the Top and the effect it has had on American schools. We'll keep debating that in this space."

    —Valerie Strauss, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 4/6/11

    "Honesty is praised and then left to freeze."

    —Juvenal, Roman poet, late 1st and early 2nd century AD

    "The most striking thing about the sweeping federal educational reforms debuting this fall is how much they resemble, in language and philosophy, the industrial-efficiency movement of the early twentieth century. In those years, engineers argued that efficiency and productivity were things that could be measured and managed, and, if you had the right inventory and manufacturing controls in place, no widget would be left behind. Now we have 'No Child Left Behind,' in which Congress has set up a complex apparatus of sanctions and standards designed to compel individual schools toward steady annual improvement, with the goal of making a hundred per cent of American schoolchildren proficient in math and reading by 2014. It is hard to look at the new legislation and not share in its Fordist vision of the classroom as a brightly lit assembly line, in which curriculum standards sail down from Washington through a chute, and fresh-scrubbed, defect-free students come bouncing out the other end. "

    —Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, Sept. 15, 2003

    "[T]he comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor. "

    —Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire

    "Americans with jobs imagine they now work longer and harder hours than did their forebears on Mark Twain's Missouri frontier; if so, their labor serves a purpose other than the one in hand. Finance accounted for 47% of total U.S. corporate profits in 2007; 58% of Harvard University's male graduates in that same year (the heirs and assigns of Woodrow Wilson's small class of persons deserving of a liberal education) took up careers as high-end traffickers in the drug of debt. It's a lucrative trade, up to the standard of the cotton export from the dear old antebellum South. That it doesn't add to the sum of human happiness or meaning is probably why the gentry on the lawns of Connecticut, together with their upper servants in Washington and the news media, talk about the lost battalion of America's unemployed as a set of conveniently invisible numbers rather than as a body of fellow citizens. "

    —Lewis Lapham, The Servant Problem,TomDispatch.com 4/4/11

    "Everyone must do their share, says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Including the rich? In the old days, corporate income taxes accounted for about one-third of the revenues in the federal budget; today, according to the Tax Policy Center, they provide less than one-sixth of federal tax revenues. One percent of the population possesses the lion's share of our national wealth and mustn't be asked to make it fairer because then they might pack up for foreign shores, to nations with or without democracy.

    While the least advantaged give their lives to protect us "from foreign dictators," that 1 percent make their money in collaboration with such dictators. But, as a nation built on equal opportunity, we proudly hold all children to the same standards at the same age, as though there were no benefit for those who start with enormous and growing advantages."

    —Deborah Meier, Bridging Differences blog, March 31, 2011

    "The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil Disobedience is the only tool we have left. We will not halt the laying off of teachers and other public employees, the slashing of unemployment benefits, the closing of public libraries, the reduction of student loans, the foreclosures, the gutting of public education and early childhood programs or the dismantling of basic social services such as heating assistance for the elderly until we start to carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience against the financial institutions responsible for our debacle. The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation's most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America."

    —Chris Hedges, Truthdig, April 3, 2011

    ". . . The computer is the ultimate weapon of instructional programers, and in many people's minds at least, it is a device to take the place of teachers. Anyone who believes that students learn best from systematic instruction and tests can say goodbye to teachers. For dispensing programmatic instruction, computers are cheaper and more efficient than humans.. . .

    Our schools should not remain places where the enormous potential of the human brain is systematically eroded, and possibly destroyed. The invasion of education by instructional programmers must be turned back now."

    —Frank Smith, Insult to Intelligence, 1986

    "The holy grail of productivity is to do the job without people."

    —John Harlan Underhill, e-mail, 3/31/11

    ". . . Democrats are offering little pushback. The White House, in particular, has effectively surrendered in the war of ideas; it no longer even tries to make the case against sharp spending cuts in the face of high unemployment.

    So that's the state of policy debate in the world's greatest nation: one party has embraced 80-year-old economic fallacies, while the other has lost the will to fight. And American families will pay the price. "

    —Paul Krugman, OpEd, NY Times, April 1, 2011

    "Obama is great at co-opting his critics' arguments even if he doesn't take to heart their policy suggestions. It's an excellent strategy for cornering his critics and closing off the political space that critics of standardized tests have carved out for themselves in the often confounding education debate."

    —Julianne Hing, ColorLines, 3/31/11

    " y = Xβ + Zv + ε where β is a p-by-1 vector of fixed effects; X is an n-by-p matrix; v is a q-by-1 vector of random effects; Z is an n-by-q matrix; E(v) = 0, Var(v) = G; E(ε) = 0, Var(ε) = R; Cov(v,ε) = 0. V = Var(y) = Var(y - Xβ) = Var(Zv + ε) = ZGZT + R."

    —Houston Value-Added Formula for Evaluating Teachers, LA Times, 3/28/11

    "No rational reading of these NAEP data can support Bill Gates' claim that 'student achievement has remained virtually flat' over the last four decades"

    —Richard Rothstein, Economic Policy Institute, 3/8/11

    "We can't do enough to award excellence, incent it, put a spotlight on it and let the country know how much great teaching matters. . . . We need to look at student results to see who's really making a great difference in students' lives."

    —Arne Duncan, Situation Room, March 10, 2009

    "We are very proud of our teachers."

    —Finnish Minister of Education Inter. Summit on Teaching, 3/16/11

    " I find it offensive to read someone like Tom Payzant over at Harvard and Broad say what he thinks my children need."

    —Sue P, Seattle Education 2010, March 23, 2011

    "Every parent should use any means necessary to opt their own children out of standardized testing. I did."

    —Gary Stager, Twitter, March 23, 2011

    "The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, green, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."

    —John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

    " Unemployment has become a trap, one that's very difficult to escape. There are almost five times as many unemployed workers as there are job openings; the average unemployed worker has been jobless for 37 weeks, a post-World War II record.

    In short, we're well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. Why doesn't Washington care? "

    —Paul Krugman, Forgotten Millions, NYTimes, 3/18/11

    "Let's blame
    (1) teachers
    (2) schools of education
    (3) the decline of the US
    (4) lack of a national education program
    (5) parents.
    But not
    the real culprit:
    POVERTY. "

    —Stephen Krashen, March 22, 2011

    "Zone of Proximal Development.
    Noun: 1) Archaic concept which U. S. Department of Education replaced with Zone of Absolute Data"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 19, 2011

    "It used to be Abyssinia; now it's Ethiopia.
    It used to be Mesopotamia; now it's Iraq.
    It used to be Kindergarten; now it's DIBELStan."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 20, 2011

    "Just watched "Kings of Pastry," Surely, THIS is coming next: a red, white & blue collar to be worn by Gates-approved teachers of excellence."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 20, 2011

    " We fired over 100 Tomahawk missiles into Libya this weekend @ over $600K-1M a missile. Each missile would pay for 12-20 teachers in US. "

    —Michael Moore on Twitter, 3/21/11

    " [I]f you've reached the point where you don't pay attention to anything that might disturb your orthodoxy, you're not doing science, you're not even pursuing a discipline. All you're doing is perpetuating a smug, closed-minded sect. "

    — Paul Krugman, Nobodies of Macroeconomics, NYT blog, 3/21/11

    "I don't get paid enough to be perfect."

    —Florida middle school teacher, Twitter, 3/19/11

    "30 years of shopping has had an enormous impact on the population."

    —Rich Gibson, e-mail, March 19, 2011

    "Was this the test that launched 100,000 workers for the Global Economy,
    And exposed those hapless teachers who donât measure up?
    Wealthy Gates, send us to bread lines with your wealth
    Your gold sucks my soul dry as I watch where data lands. "

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Parrots so can learn to prate. . . ."

    —Thomas Campion, d. 1620

    "I am a 62 year old man who grew up in abject poverty, sold blood to go to college, drafted during the prime years of my life, worked three jobs for over 25 years and look what I got out of it.....the privilege to serve 2,500 kids, see their shining, hopeful faces wanting to be their best, working with people I care deeply about and knowing that this work is truly sacred work. Remember the Inuit word for children means the same as their word for sacred."

    —William Shuttleworth, Superintendent of Schools, Bath, Maine

    To behave like Charlie Sheen -- 'partying, questionable decision making and public humiliation.'

    To behave like Bill Gates -- voracious funding, questionable decision making and teacher humiliation. "

    —Schotts Vocabulary with Ohanian update, 3/11/11

    "My child Henry has Down syndrome, and I have plenty to say about how obstetricians could better discuss genetic disability with new or expecting parents. Conversely, many doctors report feeling ill-prepared to face parents who have received a "positive" prenatal diagnosis or have just learned that their newborn has Down syndrome. I was intrigued but dubious about what would come of this meeting. Since Henry's birth, in 2007, I've spent a lot of time with doctors. Thanks in part to excellent medical care, Henry is thriving. Nonetheless, my background in disability studies makes me skeptical of the way doctors tend to focus exclusively on the effects of individual ailments and ignore the overall physical and developmental well-being of a patient. Doctors are good at treating Henry's blocked tear ducts and ear infections, but they never think to ask what he's up to in his integrated preschool classroom, or how we've assimilated his therapy into our family life. . . . "

    —Prof. Rachel Adams, Chronicle Review, 3/6/11

    "James Elliot, astronomer who discovered rings of Saturn.

    Dr. Elliot's penchant for preparation was apparent at home. A few years ago he drew up a list called "Jobs for Grandchildren." When reminded that he did not yet have any grandchildren, he replied, 'They aren't things I need to have done soon.'"

    —from obituary, NY Times, 3/11/11

    "If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labor movement, then hang us. Here you will tread upon a spark, but here, and there, and behind you, and in front of you, the flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put in out. "

    —August Spies, Haymarket martyr, hanged 1887

    "Understand what we do to you. We spend all of our time raising money, often from strangers we do not even know. Then we spend it in three specific ways: First we measure you, what it is you want to purchase in the political marketplace--just like Campbell's soup or Kellogg's cereal. Next, we hire some consultants who know how to tailor our image to fit what we sell. Lastly, we bombard you with the meaningless, issueless, emotional nonsense that is always the result. And whichever one of us does that best will win."

    —Richard Kimball, Arizona state legislator, 1986

    "I agree with Krashen that more skills lessons will not help adolescent struggling readers. The whole field in adolescent literacy is in a sorry state. The federal Striving Readers large scale research study, using approved programs of course, showed that adding a period of Read 180 or some such thing each day to HS days could improve reading about a year. They were disappointed. I wonder what they expected. Add a period get a years growth. that seems reasonable to me. Why would anyone expect 3 to 5 years growth from a single HS period class?

    The one implementation I've been happiest with was done in CA. Kids simply read self-selected books every day for a period for a year. Freshman gains were on average about 2.5 years growth."

    —Prof. Richard Allington, answer to teacher's question, 3/8/11

    "No author has ever captured the great fun of being weird, growing up as a happy mutant, unfettered by convention, as well as Pinkwater has. When I was a kid, Pinkwater novels like Lizard Music made me intensely proud to be a little off-center and weird--they taught me to woo the muse of the odd and made me the happy adult I am today. The NYRB edition of Lizard Music is a beautiful hardcover, a testament to Pinkwater's influence on generations of readers. It's one of those books that, in the right hands at the right time, can change your life for the better and forever. . . . I do believe that Daniel Pinkwater is my favorite writer, living or dead. "

    —Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net; NY Rev. of Books website

    "The outstanding Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is in the house. . . . I am so grateful to have Melinda Gates joining us here today. . . . Instead of pouring money into a broken system, under Arne's leadership, what we've done is we've launched a competition. We call it Race to the Top. (Applause.) We call it Race to the Top, and it's basically a challenge to states and school districts, prove to us that you're serious about reform. We've said to all 50 states, if you show us the most innovative plans for improving teacher quality and improving student achievement, then we'll show you the money. . . . The more innovative you are, the more money you can get for your schools. . . .

    We are looking to make teaching one of the most honored professions in our society. . . . We've got to lift up teachers. We've got to reward good teachers. First, we also have to stop making excuses for bad teachers."

    —Pres. Barack Obama, TechBoston Academy, 3/8/11

    "Last week, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates published an op-ed in the Washington Post, 'How Teacher Development could Revolutionize our Schools,' proposing that American public schools should do a better job of evaluating the effectiveness of teachers, a goal with which none can disagree. But his specific prescriptions, and the urgency he attaches to them, are based on the misrepresentation of one fact, the misinterpretation of another and the demagogic presentation of a third. It is remarkable that someone associated with technology and progress should have such a careless disregard for accuracy when it comes to the education policy in which he is now so deeply involved."

    —Richard Rothstein, National Journal, 3/7/11

    "Saving money by reducing library services is like trying to save a bleeding man by cutting out his heart."

    —Pico Iyer, Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2011

    "The idea that we're testing kids and we're tying teacher salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. . . . We're training them we're not teaching them. "

    —Matt Damon, CNN, March 3, 2011

    "Once we start to measure excellence, we'll unleash the true power of teachers."

    —Bill Gates, speech to CCSSO, Nov. 19, 2010

    "Data systems, of course, will tell us which teachers are getting the biggest achievement gains every year. "

    —Bill Gates, Forum on Education in America, 11--11-08

    "There are more consequences to a shipwreck than the underwriters notice."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod

    "Right now, the Zeitgeist is to beat back the deformers and then take on the Standardistas, which is when certain celebrities may have to duck for cover. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, March 2, 2011

    "[Television] is an industry, it's a business. We exist to make money. We exist to put commercials on the air. The programming that is put on between those commercials is simply the bait we put in the mousetrap."

    —Ted Koppel, when retiring, Washington Post, 11/8/05

    "I can't prove it, but I sure feel it. The Obama administration in recent weeks seems to have stalled out. Right in the middle of the fast lane at rush hour. We've got the Mid East uprisings, the Madison protests, financial disaster - and the self-proclaimed voice of hope and change has turned into a whisper.

    Not that we really need him. After all, most of what he's done hasn't been all that good, but it's hard to think of other times when so much was going on outside the White House and so little inside. My best theory is that Obama got where he is by going with the establishment flow, but now the establishment is under attack from all sides, and in some countries even being toppled. It's a hard time for a poodle of the elite to know where and when to pee.

    Not that Obama is alone. After all, almost all of what was once considered our leadership is now incompetent, ineffective, indifferent or irrational.

    Which leaves a huge space for something new. And which is why what's happening in Madison is so exciting.

    So keep puzzling, triangulating, bipartisaning and other such harmless activities, Mr. President. And keep staying out of the way because the story is no longer yours. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, March 1, 2011

    "If Bill Gates had no money, who would listen to him about education reform? No one--the same as who should listen to him now. "

    —Paul Thomas, OpEd News.com, March 1, 2011

    "The wealth gap in America is the greatest it has been since the Roaring Twenties. In 1928, the top one-hundredth of 1 percent of American families earned 892 times more income than the bottom 90 percent of Americans. That gap declined for decades before it began climbing in the late 1970s. Today the top one-hundredth of one percent of American families earns 976 times more than the bottom 90 percent of Americans."

    —Bruce Murphy, Milwaukee Magazine, 2/21/11

    "I confess. . . I am put off by critics who tell the world with full confidence exactly what you were up to in writing what you wrote, as though they kept a booth at the fair in the middle of your soul"

    —Saul Bellow Letters, p. 345

    "Next month a new set of Florida third graders will be vomiting on their test booklets, losing sleep, reduced to tears and frightened over the fear of failure."

    —Florida moms, FundEducationNow.org, Feb. 2011

    "Maybe the unions that endorsed Gov. Scott Walker will soon realize that not even being a 'Reagan Democrat' will save them from being losers under the boot of the corporate supremacists. "

    —Ralph Nader, 2-25-2011

    "It wasn't that I was stupid (although a lot of teachers thought so when I first entered their classes), or that I didn't like people. It was just that there didn't seem to be a lot to say that someone wasn't already saying. I liked listening."

    —Sharon Creech, Chasing Redbird

    "The current Obama budget is essentially a political package that focuses on the concerns exaggerated by the deficit hawks while countering the harsher proposals by Republicans for cuts in areas like healthcare and education. The budget proposal makes clear that Obama's efforts to reduce the budget in coming years will come from cuts in social programs--including some that assist the very poorest Americans--rather than increases in taxes. . . .

    [T]he Obama 2012 presidential campaign has begun. . . ."

    —Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books blog, 2/18/11

    "Given a time machine or a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone's total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes. "

    —J.K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Address, 6/5/08

    "Using students' test scores as the chief marker of teacher quality is terribly dangerous. . . ."

    —Richard Rothstein, How to Fix Our Schools, 10/14/10

    "[V]ery comfortable reasoning for the very comfortable class identifies "failing" schools and dumb workers for the economic calamity actually caused by a deregulated financial sector following a massive redistribution of income and wealth.

    Blaming inequality and joblessness on worker skill deficits is an old alibi. "

    —Lawrence Mishel, American Prospect, March 2011

    "What we need are teachers who don't make excuses. I don't want to hear about bureaucracy. We have always had bureaucracies. We are looking for people who say 'I can teach a rock to read.' If it is not the right place for you then you should find another place to go."

    —Arlene Ackerman, Philadelphia Superintendent, 1/25/11

    "44.2% of our public school students live in poverty and the Obama administration offers the National Financial Capability Toolkit, lesson plans to teach students about investing & protecting against risk."

    —Susan Ohanian, Feb. 16, 2011

    "[It is] so covered over with the scab of symbols that I had not the patience to examine whether it be well or ill demonstrated. . . . And thus having examined your pannier of Mathematics, and finding in it no knowledge, neither of quantity, nor of measure, nor of proportion, nor of time, not of motion, nor of any thing, but only if certain characters as if a hen had been scraping there. . . .

    Having in the precedentn lessons maintained the truth of my geometry, and sufficiently made appear that your objections against it are but so many errors of your own proceeding from misunderstanding of the propositions you have read in Euclid, and other masters of geometry. . . . "

    —Thomas Hobbes, of John Wallis' algebraic method

    "There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow stripe and a lot of dead armadillos."

    —Jim Hightower, book title

    "We read to know we're not alone."

    —Student in the movie Shadowlands

    "The Aspen Instituteâs Commission on No Child Left Behind commends the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers for undertaking the difficult but vital work of crafting and building support for a set of high, common academic standards for our nationâs students."

    —Aspen Institute, no date

    "Venture philanthropists have been working hard to remake classrooms, school leadership, and teacher education--while teacher unions, professional organizations, and colleges of education take a snooze."

    —Susan Ohanian, Education Review, Feb. 12, 2011

    "'When the team loses,' Duncan, a former professional basketball player is reported to have said more than once, 'you fire the coach.' But every teacher knows the coach recruits the players and no teacher gets to choose which 'players' are going to play on his/her team."

    —Sheila Tobias, American Physical Society News, 1/11

    " Mother Teresa was in conversation with a reporter one time, and he said, 'You must get very discouraged,' because she's dealing with dying people, and she said, 'Well, he didn't call upon me to be successful, he just called upon me to be faithful.'"

    —Cormac McCarthy, NY Times, 2/11/11

    "There are fairly effective teachers in a narrow set of places. So the top 20 percent of students have gotten a good education. . . . Once somebody has taught for three years their teaching quality does not change thereafter. "

    —Bill Gates, TED conference, 2009

    "I went to my nearest middle school and borrowed popular eighth-grade textbooks for math, science, language arts, and social studies. Assuming that the glossaries of the books contained the main ideas the authors and the textbook selection committees thought were important, I counted them. There were 1,465 important ideas. That comes out to a brand new idea about every twenty minutes, and no going back for review."

    —Marion Brady in Kovacs' The Gates Foundation, 2011

    "The examined life is not worth living."

    —Denver schools chief Michael Bennet, New Yorker, 1/1/07

    ". . . it was muchwhat indifferent."

    —James Joyce, Ulysses, Chapter 14

    "Emotions are central to the experience of reading literary fiction, not just during reading but also before and after reading."

    —Raymond Mar, et al, Cognition and Emotion, 10/13/10

    "The Department of Education clearly thinks that weighing the animal more frequently is more important than feeding it."

    —Stephen Krashen, New York Times letter, 2/9/11

    "You see, there is another major factor that makes the [Christmas] season tough in this industry. There are kids--literally hundreds of them in my school--for whom the holidays are the very worst time of year. Their stories make the stereotypical horrid-moments-with-the-in-laws tales sound like "Silver Bells." During the season of giving, many of these kids have nothing to give and will get nothing, including dinner. Many of them will be surrounded by screaming, drunk, violent adults, or they will be the prey of such people. Many will have to act like adults themselves, caring for scared siblings or infirm grandparents. Many will spend Christmas in a cramped car.

    These aren't statistics to us; we can rattle off names. If you're skeptical, stop by two hours after the last bell on Friday and see who's still around. They lurk in the halls, busying themselves by tidying a locker or flipping through a book, but they're actually holding Christmas at bay. I always wonder when their last magical holiday was--the one where they actually believed in someone or something or still had that sense of wonder. Or if they ever had that at all. "

    —FiveSeptembers.com, about-my-job blog from 5th-year teacher, 12/15/10

    "Local schools board members are elected. Who elected Arne Duncan? Duncan's push for faddish reforms without any proof that they actually work should indeed raise the hackles of school board members. These experiments are being forced on the most vulnerable students. Meanwhile, where is the money for counselors, librarians and classroom aids? We know that support staff helps educate kids, but those positions are being cut."

    —Reader Comment, Education Week, Feb. 8, 2011

    "Bill Gates and Hosni Mubarak vie for Sexiest Man Alive."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 8, 2011

    "Duncan is a great example of the 'Peter Principle.' He failed in Chicago; then he was promoted so that he could repeat his failure on a national scale."

    —California Reader comment, NY Times, 2/8/11

    "As any poet can tell you, one often sees better with eyes closed than with eyes wide open. "

    —Charles Simac, NY Review of Books bog, 2/7/11

    "You know, maybe we should try tenure in other professions. Just, you know, mix it up a little bit. Pay newspaper editors by seniority. Have tenure for them and see how that works. Try it for hot-dog making or restaurants."

    —Bill Gates, Washington Post interview Class Struggle, 2/2/11

    "The national academic standards in English and math adopted last year by most states has been a very exciting thing. We'll go from being the country with the most messed-up core curriculum standards to actually having the best."

    —Bill Gates, Washington Post interview Class Struggle, 2/2/11

    "No Child Left Behind basically forced people to look at the numbers and see how bad the U.S. education system was. That was a good thing. ... And I bet they'll change some of the adjectives. You know, the word 'failing' is no longer as popular as it used to be. ... But as long as they keep measuring and actually look at the inner-city versus suburban district differentials, the racial differentials -- as long as they keep measuring, then you've got this hot potato: 'Oh no -- whose fault is this?' And that's good. It's causing at least some energy to be put in the system to try to improve it."

    —Bill Gates, Washington Post interview Class Struggle, 2/2/11

    "There's almost no profession that you could say that the 2011 practitioner may not be any better than the 1920 practitioner, and teaching I think is the only profession you can say that about. ... If you look at any objective data, [baseball] pitchers are just in another league than they were in 1920, and the batters are a lot better. Baseball players are way, way, way better. But the teachers are just sort of -- if they're good, they're good. If they're not, they're not."

    —Bill Gates, Washington Post interview Class Struggle, 2/2/11

    "Dear President Obama:

    I mean this with all respect. I'm on my knees here, and there's a knife in my back, and the prints on it kinda match yours. I think you don't get it. . . . It's not bad teaching that got things to the current state of affairs. It's pure, raw poverty. We don't teach in failing schools. We teach in failing communities. . . ."

    —Paul Karrer, Education Week, Feb. 2, 2011

    "On tenure, Gates said he understood why it was needed for college professors. But he said he was perplexed by tenure laws and rules that provide school teachers with significant due-process protections in personnel cases after they pass a probationary period.

    'The idea that this one shouldn't be about what goes on with the kids always seemed a little unusual,' he said. 'You know, maybe we should try tenure in other professions. Just, you know, mix it up a little bit. Pay newspaper editors by seniority. Have tenure for them and see how that works. Try it for hot-dog making or restaurants.' "

    —Nick Anderson, Washington Post blog, 2/2/11

    "Let's 'open the market' to all professions, now. Letâs stop messing around with this licensure nonesense and just compete.

    I'll be the brain surgeon. What will you be?"

    —Reader Comment, CBS Minnesota, Feb. 1, 2011

    "Size matters because size brings complexity. Finland, the country that usually ranks in the top five on international tests has 5.5 million people. In the U.S. we call that Wisconsin."

    —Christopher H. Tienken, AASA J of Scholarship & Practice, Winter 2011

    "The fact is China and its continued manipulation of its currency, the Yuan, and iron-fisted control of its labor pool, has a greater effect on our economic strength than if every American child scored at the top of every international test, the SAT, the ACT, the GRE, or the MAT."

    —Christopher H. Tienken, AASA J of Scholarship & Practice, Winter 2011

    " [D]espite Bill Gates's prediction at a press conference to mark Buffet's pledge that there was now âNo reason why we can't cure the top 20 diseases," observers are starting to question whether all this money is reaping sufficient rewards. For although the foundation has given a huge boost to research and development into technologies against some of the world's most devastating and neglected diseases, critics suggest that its reluctance to embrace research, demonstration, and capacity building in health delivery systems is worsening the gap between what technology can do and what is actually happening to health in poor communities. This situation, critics charge, is preventing the Gates grants from achieving their full potential. . . . [T]he foundation's business-like approach has also gained its fair share of detractors. A commitment to results oriented spending ensures that money is linked to measurable and demonstrable outcomes. But although this strategy makes accounting easier to handle, it has perpetuated vertical, disease specific funding strategies that damage health systems in developing countries. . . ."

    —Hannah Brown, Great Expectations, BMJ, 4/26/07

    "The [ State of the Union] speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us: an unabated mortgage crisis, stubbornly high unemployment, and a debt that spiraled out of control while the government wasted trillions making the bankers whole. . . .

    . . . platitudinous hogwash."

    —Robert Sheer, Truthdig, Jan. 26, 2011

    "[B]efore people can mobilize for collective action, they have to develop a proud and angry identity and a set of claims that go with that identity. They have to go from being hurt and ashamed to being angry and indignant."

    —Frances Fox Piven, The Nation, Dec. 22, 2010

    "'Win the future.' That was President Obama's slogan for his State of the Union address, in which he used the phrase (or a variant) 11 times. Not only is Obama courting American business, he's using tag lines from corporate marketing. But as the president spoke, the line sounded more like the title of a self-help seminar, with Obama in the role of Tony Robbins."

    —John Dickerson, Slate.com, Jan. 26, 2011

    "When we ask the time, we don't want to know how watches are constructed. "

    —Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

    "The only gatherings worth attending from now on are acts that organize civil disobedience. . . . "

    —Chris Hedges, Where Liberals Go to Feel Good, Truthdig, 1/24/11

    "Illegal Madagascar radiated tortoise brings $30,000; Spix's macaw $100,000. With Common Core, what will Professor Poopypants be worth?"

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Jan. 24, 2011

    "Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice"

    —Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion, 2010

    "I know a good kindergarten teacher when I see the fingerpaint easels in the room.

    As a sixth grade teacher, I can see that the major force to not reaching academic expectations is not academic: it is social behavior. "

    —Denis O'Leary, EPATA, Jan 14, 2011

    "[T]he funniest thing I ever did was to teach school. For ten years I taught a little bit of everything, from first-grade homeroom to eighth-grade algebra. And it absolutely changed my life. Because it was there in school that I rediscovered how smart and funny kids are. In school I found my true audience. In school my kids taught me about the importance of play. . . .

    Teaching in elementary school, and watching kids in action, I came to appreciate how effortlessly kids learn when they play. Babies learn to talk without taking multiple-choice talking tests. Toddlers learn to toddle without writing toddling essays. How do they do it? By playing around.

    So from teaching I learned to respect kids as natural learners, supply them with the tools to learn, and then get out of the way. I learned to inspire instead of lecture. I learned to trust play. That philosophy is at the heart of everything I write for kids. . . ."

    —Jon Scieszka in A Family of Readers, 2010

    "What was the last funny book to win a Caldecott or Newbery?"

    —Jon Scieszka in A Family of Readers, 2010

    "After two years of watching Obama in action, we can now see him for who he is: Bill Clinton. . . . In terms of our country's 14 trillion debt, the $5 billion to be 'saved' over two years by Obama's wage freeze [on government workers] is chump change--for example, it's less than he's spending per month on his Afghanistan adventure."

    —Hightower Lowdown, January 2011

    "Journalists and commentators who make their living by being skeptical -- David Brooks, Nicholas Kristof, Arianna Huffington -- leave their skepticism at the door when it comes to the topic of education. "

    —Mike Rose blog, Jan. 7, 2011

    "When President Obama visited my home state of California, the person he met with to talk about education was Steve Jobs."

    —Mike Rose blog, Jan. 7, 2011

    "When the Pony Express needed
    riders, it advertised
    a preference for orphans--
    that way, no one was likely to ask questions. . .
    when. . .
    frightened ponies
    stumbled in with their dead. . . ."

    —Mary Oliver, The Riders, in Swan

    "Refuse all cooperation with the heart's death."

    —Mary Oliver, More Evidence in Swan

    "Can you remember another time when education reform has so ignored the realities of public education?"

    —Valerie Strauss, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 12/31/10

    "My military experience provides me a strong academic foundation."

    —Gen. Anthony Tata, new Wake County Schools Superintendent

    "Breathtaking. We continue to go through the worst recession since the depression in which the American taxpayer bailed out some of the most wealthy people who ever lived and it's labor unions who are given the blame. The people who teach your kids take the blame. The people who plow your snow take the blame. The recipients who we bailed out, get richer and richer and they serve no tangible purpose. They exist to create their own wealth. What a country."

    —Reader Comment, New York Times, 1/4/2011

    "The accountabi­lity mantra is a sham. . . but I wonder why we aren't calling for holding ALL politician­s accountabl­e for the test scores in the schools in their districts? Why stop at teachers, who in the last 30 years have been reduced to simply implementi­ng mandates created by politician­s and bureaucrat­s? "

    —P. L. Thomas, Huffington Post comment, 1/4/11

    "It's not worthwhile to go around the world to count the cats in Zanzibar."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Walden

    "It's not down in any map, true places never are."

    —Herman Melville, Moby Dick

    "I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed ... I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines.'"

    —George Orwell, Looking Back at the Spanish War

    "Now that self-proclaimed progressives have passed the point of disenchantment with Barack Obama and entered the stage of active anger at their once-imagined ally, they should quickly take the next step and acknowledge that he is what we at Black Agenda Report have been saying for six years: a right-wing Democrat who has long been aligned with the corporate Democratic Leadership Conference, and whose mission is to expand U.S. empire and put the American state at the service of Wall Street. He has been remarkably successful in both endeavors. The Left and Obama-Trauma"

    —Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report, Dec. 15, 2010

    "When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything --yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than ever."

    —Paul Krugman, When Zombies Win, NY Times

    "There are designations, like 'economist,' 'prostitute,' or 'consultant,' for which additional characterization doesn't add information. . . . A mathematician starts with a problem and creates a solution; a consultant starts by offering a 'solution' and creates a problem."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "They read Gibbon's Decline and Fall on an eReader but refuse to drink Chateau Lynch-Bages in a Styrofoam cup."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "I suspect that IQ, SAT, and school grades are tests designed by nerds so they can get high scores in order to call each other intelligent."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "The calamity of the information age is that the toxicity of data increases much faster than its benefits."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "Many are so unoriginal they study history to find mistakes to repeat."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "If you know, in the morning, what your day looks like with any precision, you are a little bit dead--the more precision, the more dead you are."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "An erudite is someone who displays less than he knows; a journalist or consultant, the opposite."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "Pharmaceutical companies are better at inventing diseases that match existing drugs, rather than inventing drugs to match existing diseases."

    —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

    "I am a teacher who rejects the present system of capitalism, responsible for the aberration of misery in the midst of plenty."

    —Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom

    "We know of course there's really no such thing as the 'voiceless.' There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard. Peace and the New Corporate Liberation Theology"

    —Arundhati Roy, Sydney Peace Lecture, 2004

    "CNN, HuffingtonPost, The Colbert Report, Oprah, Real Time with Bill Maher--these media outlets are not Fox News. They are often charged with being the "liberal media," but they invite and endorse the exact misguided commentary I have identified in three pieces now--and while free speech means Rhee, Duncan, and Gates have every right to make their claims (although I am not sure free speech should encourage dishonesty), free speech and freedom of the press, I believe, allow and even encourage someone somewhere to raise a hand and say, 'That's misleading.' (Or, 'Wait a minute; that's not even true.') Daily Censored"

    —Paul Thomas, Daily Censored, Dec. 17, 2010


    No child left unfed.


    —The standard we need.

    "Activism begins with you, Democracy begins with you, get out there, get active! Tag, you're it! "

    —Thom Hartmann, final words on each radio show

    "I wonder if Harvard researcher Ronald Ferguson's survey, designed as part of the Gates-financed $45 million research project intended to find new ways of distinguishing good teachers from bad, asked kids questions that matter most to learning: Do you think your teacher loves you? Does he/she understand you? Do you laugh with your teacher and the class?"

    —Cindy Lutenbacher, Dec. 12, 2010

    "You may have heard about the schools my friend works for. Oprah loves 'em. Turns out the federal government loves 'em to. I'd be willing to venture neither Oprah nor Sec. Duncan would want to learn there, but they're fine enough for other people's children."

    —Autodizactic, blog, Sept. 28, 2010

    "A library of four hundred books--the number that John Harvard left at his death--was considered so colossal that they named Harvard college after him."

    —Bill Bryson, At Home, 2010

    "I don't write very easily. I just wait until the self-loathing becomes too intense. "

    —Robert Pinsky, Academy of American Poets, Forum, Fall 2010

    "[W]hat's most remarkable is how -- as always -- leading media figures and government officials are completely indistinguishable in what they think, say and do with regard to these [WikiLeaks] controversies; that's why [NY Times reporter] Burns and [Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs during the Clinton administration] Rubin clung together so closely throughout the segment, because there is no real distinction between most of these establishment reporters and the government; the former serve the latter. "

    —Glenn Greenwald, The Crux of the WikiLeaks Debate, Salon,12/9/10

    "It is time to dispense with -- and quickly -- self defeating liberal notions. For example, the election of Barack Obama as president is no more the culmination or fulfillment of the ongoing civil/human rights struggle in this country than was the installment of Clarence Thomas as a Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court. We must dispense with these ridiculously dangerous and absurd liberal notions. Those so-called "changes" were merely cosmetic and represent no real or fundamental systemic change. Indeed, if anything, those said changes represent a psychological strengthening of the (Democratic and Republican) two-party dictatorship -- which is precisely the opposite of much-needed, fundamental systemic change. .

    Obama and the Corporate Two-Party Dictatorship

    —Larry Pinkney, BlackCommentator.com, 12/9/2010

    "One of the major reasons for government secrecy is to protect the government from its own population. "

    —Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, 11/30/10

    "By the way, we have nearly 500 ED employees who have been teachers, totaling almost 3000 yrs of edu experience."

    —Justin & Sandra, U. S. DOE Secretaries, Twitter, 12/7/10

    "Wealthiest .0000001% Hail Tax Deal

    Billionaires Praise Obama Move

    They also like Obama's education scheme.--Ohanian"

    —Andy Borowitz, Dec. 8, 2010

    "In Latest Compromise with GOP, Obama Agrees He is a Muslim

    Place of Birth 'Negotiable,' President Says."

    —Andy Brorowtiz, Dec. 8, 2010

    "We're now at the brink of a new economic disaster that will eventually yank a chicken out of every pot. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that the extended Bush-era tax cuts will contribute by far the largest share to the next decade's deficits --ahead of the recession's drain on tax revenues, Iraq and Afghanistan war spending, TARP and Obama's stimulus."

    —Frank Rich, New York Times, Dec. 5, 2010

    "The creation of a permanent, insecure and frightened underclass is the most effective weapon to thwart rebellion and resistance as our economy worsens. Huge pools of unemployed and underemployed blunt labor organizing, since any job, no matter how menial, is zealously coveted. As state and federal social welfare programs, especially in education, are gutted, we create a wider and wider gulf between the resources available to the tiny elite and the deprivation and suffering visited on our permanent underclass. Access to education, for example, is now largely defined by class. The middle class, taking on huge debt, desperately flees to private institutions to make sure their children have a chance to enter the managerial ranks of the corporate elite. And this is the idea. Public education, which, when it functions, gives opportunities to all citizens, hinders a system of corporate neofeudalism. Corporations are advancing, with Barack Obama's assistance, charter schools and educational services that are stripped down and designed to train classes for their appropriate vocations, which, if you're poor means a future in the service sector. The eradication of teachers' unions, under way in states such as New Jersey, is a vital component in the dismantling of public education. Corporations know that good systems of public education are a hindrance to a rigid caste system. In corporate America everyone will be kept in his or her place. http://www.truth-out.org/happy-a-hangman65703"

    —Chris Hedges, Happy as a Hangman,Truthout, 12/6/10

    "You can't call yourself a think tank if all your ideas are stupid."

    —Bill Maher, New Rule, Oct. 23, 2006

    "Our job is to remain fast around moral imperatives that we do not compromise on.


    —Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class, 10/17/10

    "I wonder why a man of [Gates'] vast wealth spends so much time trying to figuring out how to cut teachers' pay. Does he truly believe that our nation's schools will get better if we have teachers with less education and less experience?"

    —Anthony Rebora, Teacher Magazine, Nov. 29, 2010

    "Never before has the United States looked so much like a country of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich."

    —Andy Kroll, How the Oligarchs Took America, Tomgram, 12/2/10

    "If education reform is truly to be grounded in sound research, it is rather interesting to see so many reforms that focus only on band-aid solutions that research has shown can actually be counterproductive to improving education outcomes."

    —Sara Trubridge, Ed.D, Whole Child blog, 11/29/10

    "In 2008-09, 44.2% of students in U. S. public schools were identified as low income.

    In New Hampshire, it's 20.5%.

    In California, it's 51.7%.

    In New Mexico, it's 61.4%

    In Washington, D. C., it's 67.1%.

    In Mississippi, it's 68.3%."

    —US Department of Education Data Express

    "Freedom to make mistakes and benefit from them is the basis of intellectual growth."

    —Ruth Bettelheim, USA Today, Nov. 10, 2010

    "It takes almost twice as long to find something in your coat pockets when you are not wearing your coat. If you have a flight jacket or parka with more than four pockets, you can usually save time by putting it on just to look through the pockets. "

    — Gerald Gutlipp, mathematician, in Rules of Thumb

    "The choice of what to read is very personal. What I enjoy, is crap to others, and vice versa. Life is too short, and there are too many books out there, for folks to be compelled to read books that they hate."

    —Guy Brandeburg, EDDRA2, Nov. 30, 2010

    "You study for what you know will be on the test and when you show up, no one asks you to make a bundt cake."

    —Dr. Ranelle Lang, Supt, Greeley-Evans Dist., 11/15/10

    "In response to the question, 'Are people born good writers?' 'No. You have to read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, and read. As you read, you unconsciously assimilate the rudiments of style and technique.' "

    —James Ellroy, Time Magazine, 9/20/10

    "We know that standardized testing is here to stay. To improve our scores, we need more instructional time, not more tests. "

    —Mark O'Keefe, DFT Executive Vice President , 11/22/10

    "Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
    I get words all day through;
    First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?

    Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
    Don't waste my time, Show me!
    Don't talk of June, Don't talk of fall!
    Don't talk at all! Show me!
    Never do I ever want to hear another word.
    There isn't one I haven't heard. . .
    Show me now!"

    —Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady

    "There's no word in the language I revere more than teacher. My heart sings when a kid refers to me as his teacher, and it always has. I've honored myself and the entire family of man by becoming a teacher. "

    —Pat Conroy, Prince of Tides

    "We use the word 'academic entrepreneurs.' We are expanding what it means to be a knowledge enterprise. We use knowledge as a form of venture capital."

    —Michael Crowe, president ASU, Chron. of Higher Ed, 2/8/2001

    "The Department of Education should not be treated as a playground for the rich and famous or who are tired of their corporate careers. Cathie Black has not demonstrated any indication throughout her entire adult life of an interest in public education."

    —Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn, Nov. 2010

    "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party...and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt--until recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

    —Gore Vidal, Matters of Fact & of Fiction: Essays 1973–1976

    "Self-styled liberals who defend the Archangel Obama in sickness and in health must no reckon with the realization that their redeemer appears to have moved the Supreme Court farther to the right of where it stood under George S. Bush, at least on the all-important issue of executive power. Obama and his Clintonian advisers now embody the worst traits of both parties. As terrible as the new administration has been with regard to finance and health care, its record on torture, detention, and executive authority is even worse. Obama has institutionalized the usurpations and abuses of the Bush regime; they are now a part of the bipartisan Washington consensus. Our constitutional system may never recover.

    Such insidious governance demands serious, sustained opposition, not respectful disagreement or fanciful apologies or mournful lamentations about the tragedy of Obama's presidency. Principles can be sacrificed to hopes as well as to fears. (pp. 234-5) "

    —Roger Hodge, Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama & Betrayal of Amer. Liberalism

    "The health bill is of a piece with Obama's general approach to governance, which is to make loud, dramatic claims about his purportedly reformist agenda--claims that both his supporters and his enemies almost always take at face value--while working behind the scenes to ensure that no major stockholder in his coalition of corporate backers will suffer significant losses.

    The health bill that was signed on March 23 is best understood as a bailout of the private health industry that seeks to guarantee some 30 million additional customers for insurance companies and continued obscene profits for large drug manufacturers. . . Far from reshaping our patently insane system, ObamaCare merely entrenches its most irrational elements . . . . (p. 132)"

    —Roger Hodge, Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama & Betrayal of Amer. Liberalism

    "[D]espite his vaunted pragmatism and his determination to be 'guided by what works,' Obama chose as his two closest economic advisers men whose understanding of the failed policies of the past could hardly be more intimate--precisely because they bear direct personal responsibility for those policies and thus for the ensuing crisis, which not only destroyed trillions of dollars in fictitious wealth but has also inflicted untold miseries on millions of Americans, who have lost their jobs and their homes and have little prospect of ever recovering their vanished standard of living. . . . With the possible exception of Geithner, Bernanke was the second-worst bank regulator in America--the first rank belonging, without question, to Alan Greenspan, who carefully nurtured one economic bubble after another during his long tenure at the Fed. (p. 82)"

    —Roger Hodge, Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama & Betrayal of Amer. Liberalism

    "There is no one who knows more about the skills our children will need to succeed in the 21st century economy."

    —Michael Bloomberg, of Christie Black new chancellor, 10/9/10

    "Let's see if I got this right... Because standardize testing was unsuccessful at adequately dumbing down public education, many states now plan to develop common core standards --that will inevitably be evaluated with a common core test-- so at least all states will be dumbed down the same?


    —Robert A. Ferrell, www.robertferrell.net

    "Fear seems to be the core emotional value in schools today."

    —Rich Gibson, CounterPunch, 9/7/10

    "I now freely concede that I was wrong to support the expansion of testing and accountability. I believe that this approach has created a major national fraud, as the more we rely on testing, and the more we emphasize accountability, the less interest there is in anything that you [Deborah Meier] or I would recognize as good education."

    —Diane Ravitch, Bridging Differences, Ed Week, 11/2/10

    "Merit Pay linked to test scores is a move toward implementing a 21st century version of Child Labor."

    —Stephanie Jones, Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog, 10/31/10

    "Now we have a new teacher evaluation system where we know who's ineffective, minimally effective and highly effective. We're going to back-map where they came from, which schools produced these people. And if you are producing ineffective or minimally effective teachers, we're going to send them back to you."

    —Michelle Rhee, Washington Post, Oct. 29, 2010

    "'Reform' is anything that makes the wealthy, wealthier, helps to destroy organized labor, and screws the poor and working class. "

    —Guy Brandenburg, Washington, DC , EDDRA2, 10/26/10

    "Researchers headed into their studies wanting certain results--and, lo and behold, they were getting them. We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it's easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously. 'At every step in the process, there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim or to select what is going to be concluded,' says Ioannidis. 'There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded.'"

    —David H. Freedman, Atlantic, November 2010 (Lies, Damned Lies, & Medical Science)

    "The No Child Left Behind Act has already shown that universal standards don't work when applied to real-world education, in which students come from different economic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The way to attract superior teachers is to pay teachers what they are worth."

    —United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, 10/17/10

    "It's all very well planning what you will do in six months, what you will do in a year, but it's no good at all if you don't have a plan for tomorrow.--Thomas Cromwell"

    —Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

    "What is defined can be redefined, yes?"

    —Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

    "Give him a year or two and we may all find ourselves superfluous."

    —Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

    "If they could think up forty-four charges, then--if fantasy is unconstrained by truth--they can think up forty-four more."

    —Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

    "There are some strange cold people in this world. . . . Training themselves out of natural feeling."

    —Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

    "One of the dicta of information theory is that information resides in the unexpected. We gain knowledge when we encounter what we don't anticipate. A stream of data that we can predict with perfect accuracy contains no information; it can't tell us anything that we don't already know. The quest for knowledge is a quest for novelty, a search for a new set of data or a new idea that forces us to look at the world in a slightly different way than we did before. Knowledge-gathering is systematic demolition and reconstruction of our view of the world."

    —Charles Seife: Proofiness: Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception

    "Every time a journalist cites the margin of error as a reason to believe the results of a poll, he's doing the logical equivalent of looking only one way before crossing a two-way street. Sooner rather than later, he'll be clobbered by a bus.

    Indeed, the history of polling is filled with spectacular accidents--and it's littered with journalistic roadkill."

    —Charles Seife: Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception

    "It was all starting to fall into place. So much for the PTA being an advocate for my child, they had become advocates for the Gates and the Broads and the hedge fund millionaires. They had sold our children out for a few shekels, high stakes testing, merit pay, union busting, and charter schools. That was all part of the package. Gates had provided the PTA with all of the "research" material that they would need to sell their ideas."

    —Dora Taylor, Seattle Education 2010, 10/10/10

    "So we know master's degrees have almost no value. We know certifications don't make a difference. We know that after three years, seniority doesn't really matter."

    —Vicki Philips, Gates Foundation, to PTA, 10/8/10

    "If you want to get people to believe something really, really stupid, just stick a number on it. Even the silliest absurdities seem plausible the moment that they're expressed in numerical terms,"

    —Charles Seife: Proofiness: Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception

    "Despite more than 50 years of political noise regarding America's imminent demise at the hands of education systems like the Soviet Union, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, the U.S. economy has remained the strongest and most nimble in the world. What is this infatuation on the part of some education leaders, professional associations, and policy makers with asking how before they ask why? The facts just do not support the rhetoric in the case of Common Core State Standards and should prompt all of us to ask why."

    —Christopher H. Tienken, KAPPA DELTA PI RECORD, Fall 2010

    "The estimated number of people in the United States 25 and over with a bachelor's degree or higher was 56.3 million. Of this group, 20.5 million, or 36.4 percent, held at least one science and engineering degree. "

    —U. S. Census Bureau, 2010

    "This [Michelle Rhee]is a warrior woman! This is a warrior woman! "

    —Oprah, to studio audience, Sept. 20, 2010

    "You won't find much of school life in NCLB or Race to the Top; in fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a single example of a teacher thinking through a lesson or interacting with a child or a child learning a scientific concept or being engaged with a book. What we do have is a technocratic and structural approach to education, and sadly it has become the coin of the realm."

    —Mike Rose blog, Sept. 24, 2010

    " For the last seven years, we have been asking for an expansion to the school. It was rumored that 'La Casita' was to be torn down due to 'structural concerns' and to make way for a soccer field, but [neither] the parents nor the L.S.C was consulted in this. But, Whittier does not have a library and we have books donated already for the desired library and it will be cheaper to renovate than to knock it down. [The parents consulted with an independent building engineer, whose evaluation of the field house was that it is sound and just needed minor repairs...maybe the roof could use replacing.] We approached the Board of Ed numerous times with our concerns and received no commitments nor results, but with the pat 'we'll get back to you.' At 11:00 am on the 17th of September, the police arrived to block anyone from entering the field house. With CPS security and Chicago Police each saying that they were under orders not to allow passage into the field house. We were not intending to start a hunger strike, but it looked like what they were going to force us to do. By doing this, they made us stronger and more united. "

    —Carolina Gaete, police barricade at Chicago school, Substance, 9/22/10

    "There are a lot of things that other schools have that we don't and can be done easily. Basic necessities, like--how about a warm lunch and a library. They are basics, nothing extraordinary. When we heard that they wanted to knock down this place, at $354.000, we all got very very upset, and why not use it to help the kids? And that the new space, (soccer field), is not even for us. We want something from the bottom up and the library should occupy this space. "

    —Michelle Palencia, parent at police barricade, Chicago, Substance, 9/22/10

    "We are fighting together so they let us create a library for our children."

    —Anastacia Hernandez, police barricade at Chicago school, Substance, 9/22/10

    "Fixing Iraq or Afghanistan ends up taking precedence over fixing Cleveland and Detroit. Purporting to support the troops in their crusade to free the world obviates any obligation to assess the implications of how Americans themselves choose to exercise freedom. is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. "

    —Andrew Bacevich, Washington Rules:America’s Path to Permanent War, 9/10

    " People are what they do. Not what they say they do or would do if not scared. "

    —Rich Gibson, EPATA list, Sept. 22, 2010

    "Guggenheim told me that we now know what to do to educate and advance every kid. He said, 'In recent years, we've cracked the code. The high-performing charter schools, like KIPP and others, have figured out the system that works for kids in even the toughest neighborhoods.'

    I echo this. And my mantra is -- it's a mystery? We know what to do. The only question is do we have the will to do it?"

    —Dom Giordano, talk show hostPhiladelphia Daily News, 9/21/10

    "But, meanwhile, teachers continue to administer the tests. They choose to fall on their own swords, but there is no honor in it "

    —David Albert & Ellen Sawislak, EPATA, 9/22/10

    "Even a casual Oprah watcher can name Ms. Winfrey's best friend, favorite actors, party planner, beloved authors, mentors, medical expert, personal trainer, hair stylist, home decorator, chef, financial advisor and spiritual guru. Oprah shares her favorite experts, friends and ideas with her audience. That's her brand. If Oprah thinks it, you might too. If Oprah loves a product, you need to run out and buy one."

    —Gary Stager, Oprah’s Edifice Complex, June 2007

    "[C]raziness has gone mainstream. It's one thing when a billionaire rants at a dinner event. It's another when Forbes magazine runs a cover story alleging that the president of the United States is deliberately trying to bring America down as part of his Kenyan, 'anticolonialist' agenda, that 'the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s.' When it comes to defending the interests of the rich, it seems, the normal rules of civilized (and rational) discourse no longer apply."

    —Paul Krugman, NY Times,, Sept. 19, 2010

    There is a heavy data componentin Race to the Top, or RTT, reforms. There's hope for some real progress to be made, but there are some challenges and some real risks we're just going to flush that money down the toilet. Most of the winning states call for a fairly major rewrite or upgrade of their data systems, and most of those states' systems are not ready for the level of detail required of their data."

    —Alex M. Jackl, Dir. Information Systems, CSS), Ed Week, 9/14/10 (Race to Top Winners Face Data System Challenges)

    Susan Ohanian has pointed out that providing standards to students who do not have the means to meet them is like handing out menus to starving people who have no access to food.

    Debate about the content of the standards is simply discussing what will be on the menu. "

    —Stephen Krashen, SchoolsMatter, Sept. 20, 2010 (The standards movement is a colossal mistake)

    "Common Corerrata: Mistakes thrust on nation's schools by corporate-politico alliance in the name of preparing workers for Global Economy."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Sept. 19, 2010

    "I want everybody to also know that I've got one of the finest Secretaries of Education I think in the history of this country in Arne Duncan. . . ."

    —Pres. Barack Obama, CEOs + Teachers = Change the Equation, 9/16/10

    "The truth is that no institution of American government is more responsible for our inability to address pressing national problems than the Senate, and no institution is in greater need of reform. Another truth, alas: probably no institution is more resistant to reform."

    —Michael Tomasky, New York Review of Books, 9/30/10

    "NEW YORK TIMES: The film 'Waiting for Superman' blames teachers' unions for the failure of public schools because the unions have made it almost impossible to fire lazy teachers. Are you against teachers' unions?

    ARNE DUNCAN: Of course not. I'm a big fan of Randi's."

    —New York Times Sunday Magazine, Sept. 19, 2010

    "Do not fear Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. Do not fear the tea party movement, the birthers, the legions of conspiracy theorists or the militias. Fear the underlying corporate power structure, which no one, from Barack Obama to the right-wing nut cases who pollute the airwaves, can alter. If the hegemony of the corporate state is not soon broken we will descend into a technologically enhanced age of barbarism. "

    —Chris Hedges, Do Not Pity the Democrats, 9/13/10

    "Wallace Stevens is beyond fathoming, he is so strange; it is as if he had a morbid secret he would rather perish than disclose . . . "

    —Marianne Moore to William Carlos Williams, Selected Letters

    " [Common Core]standards reinforce the flawed idea that one shared set of goals suits all students. It conflates the idea of higher standards at the high school level with standardization of high school curriculum. We need curriculum opportunities that recognize the diversity of students, how different they are when they enter high school, their different goals, learning modes, and ambitions. "

    —Paul Barton, senior assoc, ETS, Education Week, 3/17/10

    "Education is a tough issue. Bill and I often joke that maybe it's the toughest issue we've taken on, tougher even than the intractable health problems the foundation has tackled in the third world.

    Things have become pretty entrenched in America's public schools. But the winning communities have shown âextraordinary commitment to tackling tough issues. So this is actually doable."

    —Melinda French Gates, New York Times, 11/19/09

    "Once Vander Ark and Gates shifted their focus from startup schools with proven track records to 'school-within-a-school' academies in large, failing urban high schools, it was no surprise to anyone who understood the small-high-schools movement that results would be underwhelming. Vander Ark and Gates ignored the research; they ignored the advice of the successful practitioners; and they acted with arrogance and contempt toward the existing high school faculties, whom they assumed would do what they were told in the academy model."

    —David Marshak, EducatIon Week online, 2/19/10

    "SIMPLICIO: But donât we need third graders to be able to do arithmetic?

    SALVIATI: Why? You want to train them to calculate 427 plus 389? It's just not a question that very many eight-year-olds are asking. For that matter, most adults donât fully understand decimal place-value arithmetic, and you expect third graders to have a clear conception? Or do you not care if they understand it? It is simply too early for that kind of technical training. Of course it can be done, but I think it ultimately does more harm than good. Much better to wait until their own natural curiosity about numbers kicks in.

    SIMPLICIO: Then what should we do with young children in math class?

    SALVIATI: Play games! Teach them Chess and Go, Hex and Backgammon, Sprouts and Nim, whatever. Make up a game. Do puzzles. Expose them to situations where deductive reasoning is necessary. Don't worry about notation and technique, help them to become active and creative mathematical thinkers."

    —Paul Lockhart, A Mathematician's Lament

    "Question: People criticize standardized testing because teachers have to teach to the test. What do you say to that?

    Answer: Well, I say that it's just wonderful, when you're a teacher, not to have to teach to anything --if you say, 'Whatever I do is going to be okay. It's up to me to decide.' When they were doing that, they were turning out kids without any education.

    Higher ed uses tests all the time, so why wouldn't it be correct to use them in K-through-12 settings? The answer is, you do want teachers to teach to the test if those tests are properly designed and you have the right information on those tests. Why wouldn't you want students to learn wha'âs on those tests? And it's pretty clear that there's plenty of room in the curriculum for teachers that are good to teach what's required on the state standards and have more room to teach other things. 'Teach to the test' sounds like the poor teachers don't have any freedom, and to some extent some freedom is removed, but the really good teachers will tell you, 'I want to do that, and I can do more.' So I think that's more of a lame excuse not to do what is needed than a valid argument against testing."

    —Charles Miller, Texas Tribune, 9/19/10

    "The most fundamental and inherent danger vis-a-vis the Tea Party is the propensity on the part of liberals and 'progressives' to pretend that the Obama / Biden / Rahm Emanuel regime is somehow intrinsically different from the regime of its predecessor George W. Bush; while essentially ignoring their duty to organize with everyday people for real systemic change, which must include unabashedly standing up to and rejecting the policies of Barack Obama, the Democratic Party foxes, and the Republican Party wolves."

    —Larry Pinkney, BlackCommentator.com, 9/9/10

    "No Child Left Behind is part of this global project to deprofessionalize teaching as an occupation. . . . The thinking is that the biggest expenditure in education is teacher salaries. And they want to cut costs. They want to diminish the amount of money that's put into public education. And that means they have to lower teacher costs. And in order to do that, they have to deprofessionalize teaching. They have to make it a revolving door, in which we're not going to pay teachers very much. They're not going to stay very long. We're going to credential them really fast. They're going to go in. We're going to burn them up. They're going to leave in three, four, five years. And that's the model that they want. "

    —Lois Weiner, Democracy Now! 9/3/2010

    "[I]t's just a lot easier to test, test, test children. Our curriculum has narrowed in Chicago. If you look at the average day for an elementary school kid, it's reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, reading, math, math, math, reading, reading, reading, reading, math. I mean, kids are bored to tears. They're hating school at an early age. There's no joy. There's no passion. And the results show that. "

    —Karen Lewis, Pres. Chicago Teacher Union, Democracy Now, 9/3/10

    "Teachers have been a critical voice in the development of the standards. The National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), among other organizations have been instrumental in bringing together teachers to provide specific, constructive feedback on the standards."


    "Common Core literacy standards will seriously damage the 15,783,462 high schoolers who have no inclination to become English majors."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 31, 2010

    "Doesn't "turnaround" remind you of "shock and awe," "blitzkrieg," and other tactics designed primarily to demoralize an opponent? Cost savings are incidental. Collateral damage is integral to the plan. "

    —California teacher, Aug. 15, 2010

    "If new laws or policies specifically require that teachers be fired if their studentsâ test scores do not rise by a certain amount, then more teachers might well be terminated than is now the case. But there is not strong evidence to indicate either that the departing teachers would actually be the weakest teachers, or that the departing teachers would be replaced by more effective ones. There is also little or no evidence for the claim that teachers will be more motivated to improve student learning if teachers are evaluated or monetarily rewarded for student test score gains. "

    —Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper, Aug. 29, 2010

    "If people want higher test scores, they'll get higher test scores. I just hope they don't complain when that's all they get. "

    —Richard Mandl, letter Los Angeles Times, 8/26/10

    "The planned release by the Los Angles Times of the test score standings of individual teachers in your system is one of the worst acts of journalism I've run across in a half century in the trade. It's unfair, cheap and disgusting.

    It is a sort of yuppie version of the anti-gay, anti-Muslim or anti-latino movements, but instead of going after someone because of their gender, religion or ethnicity, you pick on some of the weakest people in the economic system and blame them for your troubles.

    It's mean, ignorant and selfish."

    —Sam Smith, Undernews. Aug. 23, 2010

    "What the children in America's failing schools need is direct policy intervention to reduce inequality, to provide broader public services and to connect residents of very poor neighborhoods to jobs that pay a living wage.

    What they are getting are Duncan's questionable market-oriented reforms--reforms that often involve assaults on the public sector and organized labor. It's a predictable shame when such nostrums are peddled by Republicans, a tragedy when embraced by Democrats."

    —David Moberg, In These Times, Aug. 23, 2010

    "A perfect storm--fueled by the outmigration of young adults and rising poverty and strengthened by a declining economy and loss of jobs--swirls across rural Alabama. In its wake lie communities struggling not only tomaintain a certain standard of living, but just to exist. And the most notable victims are the smallest among us, the children. Nowhere does this show up as starkly as visiting a school lunchroom.Here you find that six out of ten students in Alabama's rural public schools are receiving either free or reduced meals. http://agi.alabama.gov/uploads/r7/5w/r75wkW1B6Dsr2VVuI5hx2w/LessonsLearnedRuralSchools2009.pdf?mc_cid=14be37a5e5&mc_eid=81c002752d"

    —Lessons Learned from Rural Schools

    "President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan's Race to the Top grant program is the most promising education initiative in decades, giving the nation an opportunity to take a hard look at raising standards and closing achievement gaps in public education."

    —Juan Rangel, Trustee, Common Core, Huffington Post, 1/21/10

    "Don't forget October 7th."

    —Rich Gibson, Aug. 22, 2010

    "We may all be created equal, but we're all wired differently looks at the Myers-Briggs personality preferences for 103 teachers at the 10 schools. The intent was to see if successful teachers have commonalities in personality traits. The results were surprising in some instances.

    While the population as a whole is 50-50 between Introverts and Extraverts, 63 percent of the teachers in these schools are Introverts. This could have implications when teachers are hired, especially considering that a number of principals stated that they look for 'passion' or 'spark' when hiring.


    — Lessons Learned from Rural Schools

    "Aperfect stormâfueled by the outmigration of young adults and rising poverty and strengthened by a declining economy and loss of jobsâswirls across rural Alabama. In its wake lie communities struggling not only tomaintain a certain standard of living, but just to exist. And the most notable victims are the smallest among us, the children. Nowhere does this show up as starkly as visiting a school lunchroom.Here you find that six out of ten students in Alabamaâs rural public schools are receiving either free or reduced meals. http://agi.alabama.gov/uploads/r7/5w/r75wkW1B6Dsr2VVuI5hx2w/LessonsLearnedRuralSchools2009.pdf?mc_cid=14be37a5e5&mc_eid=81c002752d"

    —Lessons Learned from Rural Schools

    "If I were assigning reading to staff members at the U.S. Department of Education, I would ask them to study Richard Rothstein's Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right(Teachers College and Economic Policy Institute; $19.95, paper). Rothstein and his colleagues explain in plain language why current accountability policies, which focus only on basic skills, are making education worse, not better, by narrowing the curriculum. With apt examples, they also show how the pursuit of numbers distorts more important goals and how schools may get higher test scores without supplying better education. "

    —Diane Ravitch, Washington Post, Aug. 22, 2010

    "The War on Public Education: Data Drone Duncan supports release of teacher test scores."

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, Aug. 17, 2010

    "According to the mythology of 'Data Driven Management,' anyone who can read the bottom line of a spreadsheet is fit to run a major urban school system--and tell teachers and principals, some with decades of experience, not only what to do but how to do it."

    —George N. Schmidt, www.substancenews.net, 8/16/10

    "During the 19 months since Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed him Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, Ron Huberman has refused to provide the public with his organizational chart. In the Proposed Budget 2010 - 2011, Huberman finally provided the chart (which appears on Page 314 of the print edition of the Proposed Budget for those who can get one). The chart shows a major expansion of the "Area Offices" and the appointment of people without any educational experience, credentials, or training to virtually every key post. "

    —George N. Schmidt, www.substancenews.net, 8/16/10

    "I want to be a good constructivist, but we are immersed in a behaviorist setting. It is not my job to transform or challenge that culture. I understand that. I am doing what I need to do to be a team player. I tell them to pull up their pants and tuck in their shirts (sometimes). I monitor for horseplay, but I will not be getting any students suspended if I can help it. I think the tardy policy is draconian and calling Child Protective Services (CPS) for students being late for class is a great way to make parents distrust authority figures even more."

    —Lori, My Student Teaching Year blog, Aug. 14, 2010

    "A call for national standards is a political veneer, a tragic waste of time and energy that would be better spent addressing real needs in the lives of children-safe homes, adequate and plentiful food, essential health care, and neighborhood schools that are not reflections of the neighborhoods where children live through no choice of their own."

    —P. L. Thomas, Education Week, Aug. 11, 2010

    "Obama has expanded the importance of standardized testing to determine how much teachers will be paid, which educators will be fired and which schools will be closed -- despite evidence that such practices are harmful. In the process, he's offended just about all the liberals involved in or advocating for education without gaining much support from conservatives."

    —Dana Milbank, Washington Post, Aug. 15, 2010

    "[I]f Duncan really wants to stop the biggest bully in America's schools right now, he'll have to confront his boss, President Obama. In federal education policy, the president and his education secretary have been the neighborhood toughs -- bullying teachers, civil rights groups, even Obama's revered community organizers. "

    —Dana Milbank, Washington Post, Aug. 15, 2010

    "The parallel between health care and education keeps coming to mind: both systems are being strained by growing economic inequalities and the insistence of corporate players and their ideological allies on market solutions in a domain where the market has proven to be harmful. Most developed societies agree that the market is not the best way to deliver public services in areas like schooling or health. In the free market the rich and more knowledgeable tend to get richer and the poor get poorer. Just as everybody needs a doctor or fresh water, there should be a decent school near every family, not because of income but as a matter of right and democratic, civilized values. Our society must begin to strike a different and more equitable balance between public and private realms. In health care we have seen how difficult it has been to nudge the system toward the more universal one we need, in which every person has a right to care. In education, we already have the outlines of a universal system, however flawed; this democratic legacy is too important to entrust to the market."

    —Joseph Featherstone, The Nation, Aug. 12, 2010

    "the call for college- and career-ready standards as necessary for the 21st century global economy does not meet two somewhat different criteria. First, it does not reflect the actual workforce needs of the nation and, second, it is a vague and all-encompassing term that while appearing to be definitive, is anything but that."

    —William Mathis, EPIC/EPRU study on standards, July 2010

    "Beyond entry-level training and on-the-job training, 70% of United States jobs do not require more than a high school education, 20% require a college education, and only 10% require technical training."

    —Richard Rothstein, April 7, 2008 CATO Unbound

    "Mr. B, he's a handful -- he teaches us but we teach him -- he's not just a regular teacher -- he is un-ordinary."

    — 5th grader at PS 22 describing Gregg Breinberg

    "The Feds are feeding our young to the corporations. Teachers are reduced to waiting on the tables while our young are the meals. "

    —an undisclosed teacher, Aug. 6, 2010

    "A foolish quest for spurious precision is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    I will swear on a dictionary, or a copy of Moby-Dick, that, so far, I have only looked at three of the released DC-CAS items for the 8th grade in math. And, to be quite honest, each one sucked."

    —G. F. Brandenburg's blog, http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/

    "The current obsession with making our schools work like a business may be the worst of them [fads and ill-considered ideas in American Education], for it threatens to destroy public education. Who will stand up to the tycoons and politicians and tell them so?"

    —Diane Ravitch, The Death & Life of the Great American School System

    "The 'turnaround' models in the Race to the Top, the Title I School Improvement Grants, and the President's Blueprint for the ESEA reauthorization epitomize thinking that is mechanistic, with the buildings, the principals, the teachers, and the students all just moveable parts that can be switched around without attention to the value of human relationship."

    —United Church of Christ, July 31, 2010

    "The Gates program and the Arne Duncan program are pretty much the same program."

    —Sen. Nancy Detert, Educ. Committee, Florida Senate, 10/28/09

    "The most ridiculous statement in Duncan's speech is "Competition isn't about winners and losers. It's about getting better." That might be true of professional sports where even the losing team gets paid for participating, but it certainly isn't true of war, starving people fighting over food, or, in this case, starving schools.

    I'm tired of writing letters, signing petitions, and sending money to candidates. I want to join with people who are ready to fight for schools and make enough noise so that Duncan and Obama will have to listen. I'm not an organizer, and I don't know who such people are, but I do show up and I do hang in there when the going gets tough."

    —Joanne Yatvin, online discussion group, 7/29,10

    "The most ridiculous statement in Duncan's speech is "Competition isn't about winners and losers. It's about getting better." That might be true of professional sports where even the losing team gets paid for participating, but it certainly isn't true of war, starving people fighting over food, or, in this case, starving schools.

    I'm tired of writing letters, signing petitions, and sending money to candidates. I want to join with people who are ready to fight for schools and make enough noise so that Duncan and Obama will have to listen. I¹m not an organizer, and I don¹t know who such people are, but I do show up and I do hang in there when the going gets tough."


    "You can look back at the president as a candidate speaking before the unions making it clear about his support for charter schools, his support for things like performance pay. It was not a closeted agenda. And for people to act right now like they feel betrayed by this president only suggests that they were not paying attention when he was speaking.)"

    —Joe Williams, Democrats for Ed Reform, NPR, 7/7/10

    "I'll be damned if I think the only road to reform lies in the head of the secretary of Education."

    —Rep. David Obey, interview, The Fiscal Times, July 16, 2010

    "The Gates Foundation's agenda is very much aligned with the Obama Administration agenda. We partner with them on a whole host of things."

    —Peter Cunningham, Arne's spokesman in Bloomberg Business Week, 7/15/10

    " It's conceivable you could get a value-added score to work at an elementary level, but how can you do it at a high school?" he asks. "How should my physics gain score match against your French score? Was Mozart a better musician than Babe Ruth was a hitter?"

    —Howard Wainer, Wharton statistician in Bloomberg Business Week 7/15/10

    "We are in control of so little. "

    —Trauma surgeon on ER

    "In February 2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced 15 grants worth $19.5 million to support the development of math and English/language arts materials for the Common Core Standards"

    —Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, February 24, 2010

    "Kids and their teachers need to know about General John E. Hull. He was in charge at the American Air Force base at Iwakuni, Japan, on a May morning in 1955 when twenty-five Japanese women, badly crippled and disfigured by the atomic blast at Hiroshima, were to begin their trip for medical help in America. They were already aboard the U. S. Air Force plane when an aide dashed up to General Hull with an urgent cable from Washington. Not wishing to risk repercussions should the Hiroshima women encounter medical complications, a committee at the State Department had ordered the flight canceled. For a long moment, General Hull said nothing. Then he handed the cable back to his aide. 'Unfortunately, I don't have my reading glasses with me,' he said. 'Be sure to remind me to read this later.' And the plane took off."

    —Susan Ohanian, Who's In Charge: A Teacher Speaks Her Mind

    "I used to ask teachers, 'What would happen if you were shut up in a room with thirty of your colleagues and not allowed to leave until you'd all read the same book?'

    Now they are locked up in a school and required to teach the same lesson."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "[T]he majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed. "

    —Harold Pinter, Nobel Lecture (Literature), 2005

    "Are you saying not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?"

    —Joseph Turner (Robert Redford), Three Days of the Condor

    "I don't think in terms of 'why,' only in terms of when. . . and occasionally where. . . The fact is what I do is not a bad occupation. Someone is always willing to pay. "

    —Joubert, a contract assassin, Three Days of the Condor

    "[S]ome people, including I think the Obama administration, have it in their head that eliminating schools and firing staff are the way you're going to bring about improvement. Well, the record doesn't show that. "

    —Jack Jennings, Center for Education Policy, on NPR, 7/6/10

    " The public library is the most dangerous place in town. "

    —John Ciardi

    "I think testing gets a bad rap sometimes. Consistently assessing our kids is going to lead to more information about what they are learning and mastering and what they are not."

    —Michelle Rhee, Washington Post, July 8, 2010

    "My teaching has changed ... because I'm so regulated, and my students are doing worse and worse and worse every year. My kids are doing okay on the tests, but I can't reach them anymore because I'm not allowed to do what I know works. That's what breaks my heart."

    —Nancy Velardi, Pinellas Park H.S. Eng teacher, St. Petersburg Times, 1/10/1

    "I think this [Race to the Top] is a brilliant idea, a race. America loves competition. And our schools need modernizing. "

    —Eleanor Clift, The McLaughlin Group, 8/29/2009

    "Standards and assessments are the core of our agenda- common, career and college ready standards, and the assessments that measure them-these are the bedrock on which the rest of the reforms are built."

    —Joanne Weiss, Director Race to the Top, 9/10/09

    "While the National Education Association Representative Assembly supports and appreciates the significant increase in federal funding for education, the NEA takes a position of no confidence in the US Department of Education's Race to the Top competitive grant policies and guidelines as a basis for the reauthorization of ESEA and similar initiatives and policies that undermine public education."

    —National Education Association Convention vote, 7/4/10

    "For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake."

    —Frederick Douglass, 4th of July Oration, Rochester, NY, 1852

    "I didn't come here to be Arne Duncan's congressman. Who do people think put the money into these programs in the first place? I did ... Welcome to Washington and welcome to hard choices. "

    —David Obey, House Appropriations Committee Chair, 6/25/10

    "In our age there is no such thing as âkeeping out of politicsâ. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. "

    —George Orwell, Politics & the English Language, 1946

    "Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery."

    —Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774

    "Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?"

    —Henry David Thoreau, Resistance to Civil Government

    "It is really interesting to me that President Obama can let BP take the lead in cleaning up the disaster in the Gulf, and yet teachers have got hedge fund managers, mayors, think tank policy wonks, billionaire vulture capitalists, and no real education experts, calling the shots on public school "reform," with Arne Duncan as department head, whose teaching experience comes from volunteering at his mom's after school program (He actually says this, as if it means something!) mouthing a bunch of nonsense about educating our way to a better economy and making education the civil rights issue of our generation. Well, no. The economy tanked because of a monumental failure of government to regulate the financial industry, and manufacturing long ago moved out of the country. And before we can talk about civil rights, we need to straighten out some things with health care, endless war, mass incarceration, racism and immigration, and state-sponsored torture."

    —Doug, Borderland, http://borderland.northernattitude.org, 6/16/10

    "[W]hen poor children go to public schools that serve the poor, and wealthy children go to public schools that serve the wealthy, then the huge gaps in achievement that we see bring us closer to establishing an apartheid public school system. We create through our housing, school attendance, and school districting policies a system designed to encourage castes--a system promoting a greater likelihood of a privileged class and an under class. These are, of course, harbingers of demise for our fragile democracy."

    —David Berliner, Washington Post Answer Sheet blog, 6/29/10

    "Is it possible to organize a teacher's strike AGAINST the Union for agreeing to this kind of contract? "

    —Joel Shatzky, Independent Community of Educators (NYC), 6/25/10

    "The most useful thing Congress and state departments of education can do is abandon authoritarian, centralizing initiatives and legislation that dictate what's taught. By propping up an obsolete, dysfunctional curriculum, they're making a very bad situation much worse."

    —Marion Brady, Truthout, June 25, 2010

    "[When watching children play], there are always more questions to ask. I so often have the feeling in a classroom that I am interrupting the play just as something important is about to be revealed."

    —Vivian Gussin Paley, The Boy on the Beach, 2010

    "The Washington Post article on a report that finds KIPP students outscore public school peers (June 22, 2010) is another example of the cold fusion approach to the sharing of scientific information. The study is shared with the media, and the media reports it to millions before the scientific community is allowed to even read it. No peer review. Scientific review is now performed by journalists, who may or may not be experts, but who practice educational research without a license. "

    —Stephen Krashen, Washington Post comments, 6/22/10

    "The nation's unionized public school teachers are in a race for survival, whether they know it or not. Their worst enemy - the one that can do them and the public the most harm -- was not George Bush, the white Republican, who called teachers' unions 'terrorists.' It is Barack Obama, the Black Democrat, who has taken the corporate education agenda farther than Bush could ever dream of."

    —Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report, 6/15/2010

    "You learn a lot more from trying to defend your policies when not preaching to the choir. "

    —Norm Scott, Education Notes Online, 6/17/10






    —Vermont Bookstore bag, Middlebury, VT

    "If we are willing to learn from top-performing nations, we should establish a substantive national curriculum that designates the essential knowledge and skills students need to learn."

    —Diane Ravitch, American Educator, June 2010

    "Few speak easily to billionaires. Even the gods hesitate. "

    —Richard A. Gibboney, Commentary, June 13, 2010

    "Just what will the test to assess eighth-graders' knowledge of 21st-century skills, which include communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, innovation and use of technology, look like?

    Name one question."

    —Susan Ohanian, 6/10/10

    "In 1983, A Nation at Risk misidentified what is wrong with our public schools and consequently set the nation on a school reform crusade that has done more harm than good.

    The diagnosis of the National Commission on Excellence in Education was flawed in three respects: First, it wrongly concluded that student achievement was declining. Second, it placed the blame on schools for national economic problems over which schools have relatively little influence. Third, it ignored the responsibility of the nation's other social and economic institutions for learning."

    —Richard Rothstein, Cato Unbound, 4/7/2008

    "Mr. Bourdain tells us about becoming a father for the first time. Hoping to instill a lifelong aversion to McDonald's in his small daughter, he convinces her that Ronald McDonald has head lice."

    —Review of Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw, 6/10/10

    " The Obama administration and Gates Foundation are orchestrating an effort to get every state to adopt a set of national standards for public elementary and secondary schools.

    These standards describe what students should learn in each subject in each grade. Eventually these standards can be used to develop national high-stakes tests, which will shape the curriculum in every school.

    National standards are a seductive but dangerous idea. People tend to support national standards because they imagine that they will be the ones deciding what everyone else should learn. Dictatorship always sounds more appealing when you fantasize that you will be the dictator."

    —Jay P. Greene, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 4/11/10

    "An honest explanation of the value of college acknowledges that when college accomplishes what it can, a good part of that achievement is teaching students how to play with ideas in thoughtful ways and follow up that play in a reasonable, rigorous manner. This is neither a comprehensive nor exclusive way of thinking about college: formal schooling doesn't guarantee this result, and there are plenty of wise people in this world who can play with ideas without having finished secondary school, let alone college. But you're far more likely to get adults who can play with ideas in a productive sense if some critical mass of them have attended formal schooling where that was one of the outcomes."

    —Sherman Dorn, Value of College III, June 8, 2010

    " I've argued very clearly, and so has the president, that our school day is too short, our school week is too short, our school year is too short.

    We're simply being outcompeted by children in India and China. They're not smarter than our children. They're just working harder."

    —Arne Duncan, Dylan Ratigan Show, 1/27/10

    "Fortunately, we know what works when it comes to good education. We know how to teach children to read. We know what a well-trained teacher does. We know how an outstanding principal leads. We know how to run outstanding schools. We have plenty of examples, including schools that succeed with extremely disadvantaged youngsters."

    —William Bennett, Diane Ravitch, et al, Nation Still at Risk, 1998

    "So if it looks like we are unabashed supporters of the Common Core Standards, it's because we are."

    —Randi Weingarten, National Governor's Conference, 6/2/10

    "Adopting NAEP achievement levels would be a multifaceted, unmitigated disaster. . . .

    The National Academy of Sciences put it this way: 'NAEP's current achievement-setting procedures remain fundamentally flawed. The judgment tasks are difficult and confusing; raters' judgments of different item types are internally inconsistent; appropriate validity evidence for the cut scores is lacking; and the process has produced unreasonable results.'"

    —Gerald W. Bracey, The School Administrator, June 2008

    "It has become conventional to say that holding educators accountable and paying for higher test scores will improve performance. When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced the city would pay teachers bonuses where scores increase, he said, 'In the private sector, cash incentives are proven motivators for producing results. The most successful employees work harder, and everyone else tries to figure out how they can improve as well.'

    Real estate developer Eli Broad, whose foundation promotes incentive pay for teachers, added, 'Virtually every other industry compensates employees based on how well they perform. We know from experience across other industries and sectors that linking performance and pay is a powerful incentive.'

    Yet the two billionaires' statements were misleading about how other industries and sectors behave. In the private sector, pay is almost never based primarily on quantitative performance measures. Fewer firms than in the past now use commissions and piece rates for sales and production workers, and more firms award bonuses to professionals based largely on subjective supervisory evaluations. "

    —Richard Rothstein, The School Administrator, June 2008

    "I found out that the math I learned in school had the same relationship to mathematics as a log has to a blueberry.

    Mathematics wasn't about mastering rules; it was about discovering the elegance of a well-stated problem. Further, science is not about mastering the periodic table and a series of formulas, it is about seeking answers to the mysteries of the universe. Likewise, social studies isn't about dates and events, it is about understanding the human condition, and literature is a way of coming to understand more about ourselves."

    —Paul D. Houston, The School Administrator, Nov. 2006

    "Teaching is a profoundly intellectual activity, and this applies to kindergarten as much as to Advanced Placement Physics. Most people will grant the brain work in physics, but what is neglected is the intellectual chops it takes to teach any subject to any age. "

    —Mike Rose blog, June 4, 2010

    "Christopher Haney, co-creator of Trivial Pursuit (estimated sales: $1 billion), dropped out of high school at 17 and later said that he regretted it -- that he should have dropped out at 12."

    —New York Times obituary, June 3, 2010

    "[The flawed theory behind pay for performance is that] student achievement is not as high as you'd like it to be because teachers, to use the economists' term, are shirking, are not doing as well as they could, so they need incentives to work harder or better. That assumes that reason student achievement is poor is that teachers know what to do and just aren't doing it. The assumption is that all our problems are due to teachers, so we don't need to pay attention to social conditions students come from.'"

    —Richard Rothstein. Ed.Magazine, Jan. 2010

    " NY state RTTT proposal will fatten state bureaucracy. Lots more data & testing. Trash for cash. "

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, June 2, 2010

    "At some point, it might occur to the president that he allowed Duncan to push an education agenda that was not sound and that will leave public schools in no better shape than they are now. Hereâs hoping it's not too late."

    —Valerie Strauss, Washington Post blog, 6/01/10

    "Military Maintenance Law: If it moves, oil it. If it doesn't move, paint it.

    Duncan Reform Law: If it moves, test it. If it doesn't move, test it some more."

    —Susan Ohanian, May 2010

    "Art Linkletter to 7-year-old boy whose dog died: 'Don't be sad because your dog is up in heaven with God.'

    7-year-old boy: 'Mr. Linkletter, what would God want with a dead dog?'"

    "Evil comes from obedience without introspection."

    —Reader comment at NY Times, 5/27/10

    "If we toughen up preschool, will there soon be pressure to toughen up (and require) toddler programs to prepare for preschool? And then what? Prenatal literacy training?"

    —Stephen Krashen, Schools Matter, 5/24/10

    "Existing Laws:

    Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

    Godwin's Law: As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

    Segal's Law: A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

    "[T]he so-called experts on education go through the motions of hearing teachers, but not really listening. Our expertise is discounted or ignored, and our criticisms are held against us like so much self-interested complaining. If an architectural firm were designing a new workplace for you, wouldn't you appreciate having the architects asking you about your work, trying to understand your needs? Well, at the architectural firm of Arne Duncan and Co., they tell you what they're going to do about your workplace, then they offer you a chance to respond to their plans -- for about 15 minutes -- and then proceed with their designs regardless of what you actually need."

    —David B. Cohen, InterACT, May 25, 2010

    "Duncan's collusion with the growing corporatization and militarizing of public schools, along with the increased use of harsh disciplinary modes of punishment, surveillance, control and containment, especially in schools inhabited largely by poor minorities of color, reveals his unwillingness to address the degree to which many schools are dominated by a politics of fear, containment and authoritarianism, even as he advances reform as a civil rights issue."

    —Henry Giroux, Truthout, May 25, 2010

    "Almost all of Duncan's polices are indebted to the codes of a market-driven business culture, legitimated through discourses of measurement, efficiency and utility. This is a discourse that values hedge fund managers over teachers, privatization over the public good, management over leadership and training over education. Duncan's fervent support of neoliberal values are well-known and are evident in his support for high-stakes testing, charter schools, school-business alliances, merit pay, linking teacher pay to higher test scores, offering students monetary rewards for higher grades, CEO-type management, abolishing tenure, defining the purpose of schooling as largely job training, the weakening of teacher unions and blaming teachers exclusively for the failure of public schooling."

    —Henry Giroux, Truthout, May 25, 2010

    "10 years from now, we will look back with regret and even shame on this misuse of federal power [Race to the Top]. Books will be written analyzing where these ideas came from and why they were foisted on the nation's public schools at a time of fiscal distress. And we will be left to wonder why so much money and energy was spent promoting so many dubious ideas. "

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, May 25, 2010

    "They [Sec. Duncan and his aides]seemed to think we had questions, and their job was to answer them. We had actually approached the conversation from a different place. We thought perhaps they might want to ask US questions, or hear our ideas about how to improve schools."

    —Anthony Cody in Teacher Magazine blog, 5/24/10

    "What would it be like if the U.S. Department of Education took the 'mass localism' approach to distributing the 4.3 billion dollars? For sure, we will get a lot more innovative, locally produced and owned, and effective solutions than what has been prescribed."

    —Yong Zhao blog, May 23, 2010

    " Our children won't read better because Congress serves as the national school board. Nor will they learn more mathematics with the president as the national superintendent of schools. We risk making things worse across the country by giving up more policy control for education to the federal government. By centralizing our system of education, we put the whole nation at risk, should Beltway bureaucrats and policy pundits guess wrong about curriculum, instruction, and the range of policy decisions associated with public education."

    —Al Ramirez, Education Week, April 28, 2010

    "I have yet to meet a teacher who favors No Child Left Behind and the Teacher's Union wants to increase funding for No Child Left Behind?"

    —Rand Paul, NEA Questionaire, 5/19/10, The Answer Sheet

    "Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth. "

    —Lucy Parsons, Freedom, Equality, & Solidarity

    ". . .the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians. . ."

    —Robert Hayden, Frederick Douglass, 1947

    "We object to Duncan's political pressure to force our state to raise the cap on charters, without any protections in place to prevent financial corruption and abuse of power. He has said that there is 'zero' opposition to his policies, and yet more than two thousand people have signed our petition against raising the charter cap in the last two weeks. We also resent the way the charter lobby is spreading disinformation, including the false claim that the 'Race to the Top' funding can be used to prevent layoffs at schools. As Kathleen Grimm pointed out at City Council hearings last week, the use of this federal grant program is very restrictive and cannot be used for these purposes."

    —Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters, May 18, 2010

    "Increasing the number of charter schools without acknowledging the growing list of complaints and concerns, AND without providing remedies, is irresponsible at least, and even more so when supported by the Secretary of Education. Today, I waited in the rain until I could ask Secretary Duncan when he would talk to charter parents to hear their concerns. He politely responded that he does talk to parents and was willing to meet with us. But when I asked how we could arrange this, I immediately became invisible, as he turned his back, walked away and shut his car door. Now I understand how it is that Secretary Duncan says there is zero opposition to his charter school proposals. Today, Secretary Duncan deemed me a zero."

    — Leslie-Ann Byfield, charter school parent, May 18, 2010

    "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. "

    —Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963

    "It is wonderful to be back here with the men and women of the Business Roundtable. Over the last year, we've worked together on a number of issues -- from economic recovery and tax policy to education and to health care. And more often than not, we've found common ground . . . . To train our workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we've made education reform a top priority in this administration. We are not interested in just putting more money into our schools; we want that money moving toward reform. And last year we launched a national competition to improve our schools based on a simple idea: Instead of funding the status quo, we will only invest in reform -- reform that raises student achievement and inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans. I just met this week with the nation's governors, and education reform is one of those rare issues where both Democrats and Republicans are enthusiastic."

    —Pres. Barack Obama, Remarks to Business Roundtable, 2/14/10

    "It used to be that Bill Gates was the most powerful education philanthropist in America. Thanks to the Race to the Top, that mantle has passed to Arne Duncan. Do we want to make that the permanent status of U.S. secretaries of education?

    The legislative process is messy, but we are better served in the long term by allowing our elected representatives to decide on the education policies we are to pursue as a nation, rather than having them dictated to us by the executive branch under the guise of a grant program to reward reform and innovation."

    —Grover J., Russ, Whitehurst, Education Week, 4/28/10

    "Good teachers find a way, despite all obstacles, to obtain these gains in student achievement "

    —Michelle Rhee, New Teacher Project, quoted NewSchools Summit 5/5/05

    ""We use the word 'academic entrepreneurs.' We are expanding what it means to be a knowledge enterprise. We use knowledge as a form of venture capital. "

    —Michael Crow, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/9/2001

    "Whether it's textbooks, supplementary educational services, tests, testing programs and testing guides, packaged curriculum, data aggregation systems, scripted programs for teachers, corporate-sponsored university research, bringing advertisements into the classroom, or renaming university and public school centers after commercial brands, whether it's for profit universities or the explosion in online degrees or 'branding' schools, whether it's the commercialization of college sports and cultural resources or the surrender to the ratings game of U.S. News and World Report, whether it's the student loan scandal or the scandal over Reading First, or it's the privatization of schools in New Orleans and Chicago, there is overwhelming evidence of the intrusion into education of for-profit corporations. Most teachers and educators know this, but, in their daily life in school, they are aware of it as something outside themselves, something done to them or imposed on them or their schools. Teachers, teacher educators, and administrators know that corporations are slowly gobbling up the very market in education those corporations have created. And yet there seems very little resistance.

    Academics have certainly eloquently described teh 'neoliberal assault on education.' A substantial body of scholarly work now exists that critiques the corporatization of Education. [extensive book list follows]"

    —Peter M. Taubman, Teaching by Numbers, 105

    "Fort Monroe, VA â The United States Army Accessions Command (USAAC) commends the leadership of 48 states, the District of Columbia and two territories in committing to a process to adopt common high academic standards in mathematics and English language arts for our Nation's public school students."

    —Commanding General US Army Accessions Command

    "American middle-class living standards are threatened not because workers lack competitive skills but because the richest among us have seized the fruits of productivity growth, denying fair shares to the working- and middle-class Americans, educated in American schools, who have created the additional national wealth. . . No amount of school reform can undo policies that redirect wealth generated by skilled workers to profits and executive bonuses."

    —Richard Rothstein, Grading Education, p 166

    "If you're doing the wrong thing well, you're still doing the wrong thing."

    —Marion Brady, EDDRA2, 4/21/10

    " Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me --won't get fooled again. -- George W. Bush So many times they fooled us -- so many times that the Bush library in Dallas could have a wing devoted just to deceit."

    —John Young, Cox newspapers, 4/20/10

    "In 2009, when Klein announced the expansion of charter schools, he didn't mention that of 51,316 public school students in the city who were homeless, only 11 were enrolled in charter schools."

    —Valerie Strauss, Washington Post blog, 3/19/10

    "The Department's 500-point system [for Race to the Top Grant proporals] is needlessly complex. Its implied precision makes the results seem less affected by human judgment than is the case."

    —William Peterson & Richard Rothstein, EPI Briefing Paper, 4/20/10

    "Despite widespread use of testing in education and employment, there is no US agency (analogous to the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Aviation Administration) that independently audits the processes and products of testing agencies. The lack of oversight makes errors difficult to detect. Individuals harmed by a flawed test may not even be aware of the harm. Although consumers who become aware of a problem with a test can contact the educational agency that commissioned it, or the testing company; it is likely that many problems go unnoticed. "

    —Kathleen Rhoades & George Madaus, 2003

    "Today those who take and use many tests have less consumer protection than those who buy a toy, a toaster, or a plane ticket. Rarely is an important test or its use subject to formal, systematic, independent professional scrutiny or audit. Civil servants who contract to have a test built, or who purchase commercial tests in education, have only the testing companies' assurances that their product is technically sound and appropriate for its stated purpose. Further, those who have no choice but to take a particular test -- often having to pay to take it -- have inadequate protection against either a faulty instrument or the misuse of a well-constructed one. Although the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council for Measurement in Education have formulated professional standards for test development and use in education and employment, they lack any effective enforcement mechanism. "

    —The National Commission on Testing and Public Policy, 1991

    " One of the things that concerns me is that --while I admire the work that Teach For America does and many of these other groups do--sometimes there's an implication that their work is required because existing teachers are terrible. That bothers me, because the evidence doesn't support that.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I'll make this prediction: The achievement gap is going to grow substantially in the next few years, despite the fantastic work that people like you are doing to try to prevent that. The reason is that we are in a near economic depression. The unemployment rate for black families--young families with school-aged children--is now 40 percent. When you have 40 percent of the community experiencing the instability that comes from unemployment, constant mobility from not being able to afford housing, lack of access to adequate health care--I don't care how much we improve the schools, those children are going to be affected by the deterioration in the circumstances and security of the homes from which they come. . . .

    [Teachers] should be lobbying for a job stimulus program. A job stimulus program that was effective--and that was many times greater than the one we have now--would have a lot more to do with the achievement of disadvantaged children than anything we can do in the near-term in schools. They should be lobbying for mixed-income housing developments in suburban communities, for funding for school-based health centers. If the achievement gap grows--as I am afraid it will because of these broader economic circumstances--and if this means that teachers have to take more on their shoulders and feel more like failures, then that's just going to compound the tragedy. We need socialpolicy to correct these things, as well as good teaching. . . . "

    —Richard Rothstein, One Day, Spring 2010

    "Obama isn't a socialist. He's not even a liberal.

    He's the president whose main goal is to protect the wealth of the richest 5 percent of Americans"

    —Billy Wharton, co-chair of the Socialist Party USA, CNN, 4/15/10

    "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."

    —Donald Campbell, Evaluation & Program Planning 2: 67-90, 1979

    "It is only a slight exaggeration to describe the test theory that dominates educational measurement today as the application of twentieth-century statistics to nineteenth-century psychology."

    —Robert Mislevy, Test Theory for a New Generation of Tests

    "No Child Left Behind was the most advanced civil rights legislation since the Voting Rights Act."

    —George W. Bush, Bush-Cheney Alumni Assoc. breakfast, 2/26/10

    "Any test can be used to predict anything in the future. Whether it predicts the future or not is an empirical question. We use the SAT (which used to be called a test of developed abilities, adding further fog to the confusion) to predict college grade points. We could just as well use the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, which are high school achievement tests.

    The prediction is a mere statistical manipulation: We give one test at one point in time and then correlate that test with our other measure at some later point in time. We could use high school grade point average to predict college grade point average. We could use nose length to predict college grade point average. Any two variables can be correlated. "

    —Gerald W. Bracey, Reading Educational Research

    "Principle of Data Interpretation: Do the arithmetic.

    Corollary: Check the arithmetic."

    —Gerald W. Bracey, Reading Educational Research

    "American middle-class living standards are threatened, not because workers lack competitive skills but because the richest among us have seized the fruits of productivity growth, denying fair shares to the working- and middle-class Americans, educated in American schools, who have created the additional national wealth. Over the last few decades, wages of college graduates overall have increased, but some college graduates -- managers, executives, white-collar sales workers -- have commandeered disproportionate shares, with little left over for scientists, engineers, teachers, computer programmers, and others with high levels of skill. No amount of school reform can undo policies that redirect wealth generated by skilled workers to profits and executive bonuses."

    —Lawrence Mishel & Richard Rothstein, The American Prospect, 10/12/0

    "We should understand what we are up against: not that tests are arbitrary, but a class society that requires such tests. No attack on these rites of passage can be finally successful unless it overturns bourgeois culture, itself, and the rule of our dominant classes."

    —Richard Ohmann, English in America, 1976

    "It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly."

    —Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Vatican City, March 7, 2003

    "I could give you 30 minutes a day to play outside, but I care about you and want you all to pass the FCAT test."

    —Broward County Florida teacher, January 2010

    "[M]ost American kids are unwilling to work all that hard. The slacker mentality would not be tolerated in China. Here it is a dominant style."

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, June 11, 2007

    "The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. "

    —John W. Gardner, Secretary of Education, 1965-68

    "All you have to do, I tell myself, is keep your mouth shut and look stupid. It shouldnât be that hard. "

    —Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

    "We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it. "

    —Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

    "Education can democratize access to the labor market, but education cannot eliminate labor market tyranny. . . education can't create good jobs. . . and we in education have to say this. . . . We need to say to to the Democrats: If you're willing to bail out the banks, you have to be willing to bail out the schools. . . . Teachers must realize that you're swimming against the tide. Everything is set up to subvert us. "

    —Lois Weiner, Radical Film and Lecture Series. 3/26/10

    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But everyone is not entitled to their own facts."

    —Senator Patrick Moynahan

    "The proper attitude toward a criminal government is not deference and respect, however much some at The Nation might love a smooth-talking Democrat, but defiance and rebellion -- of the non-violent variety."

    —Charles Davis, False Dichotomy, 4/25/10

    "I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from the white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. Citizens United did not come from white supremacists, it came from the Supreme Court."

    —Cynthia McKinney, who left Democratic Party in 2007

    "How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    "War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength

    School destruction is reform"

    —George Orwell, 1984, with Obama/Duncan update

    "War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength "

    —George Orwell, 1984

    "Data! Data! Fly back to Gates.
    The school is on fire.
    And the children all gone."

    —Susan Ohanian, April 9, 2010

    "He is marooned, in case you have not noticed, on that balmy tropical isle pronounced Selador, spelled cellardoor. . . . Do you know a committee of Language Hump-type professors put out a committee finding back in 1936 -- most beautiful word in the English language is cellardoor."

    —Norman Mailer, Why Are We in Vietnam?

    "Why is the education of a disadvantaged child in a very poor rural community worth only half as much to the federal government as the education of a disadvantaged child in a very poor urban community?"

    —Rural & Small Schools, April 7, 2010, www.formulafairness.com

    "As the husband of a public-school teacher, I am happy that Ravitch has finally seen the light on the folly of universal proficiency standards in the public schools. Setting classroom standards is something that every teacher should do individually; mandating them across a wide range of geographical, economic, and biological variations has always made little sense to me.

    Teachers are not miracle workers. Anyone who expects an intelligent child of educated and committed parents to meet the same standards as a child with a learning disability raised by a drug-addicted single parent--well, they should have to spend a few weeks in my wife's classroom and see for themselves how all of the 'extracurricular' factors in a child's life impinge upon what happens there. Every child can be taught, and every child can learn, but they cannot all be taught at the same rate, or learn the same things, or meet the same standards."

    —Prof. James M. Lang, Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/6/10

    "Dear Arne Duncan, . . . How about spending some money to solve the problem and not just measure it? "

    —Stephen Krashen letter to web forum, April 6, 2010

    "When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser."

    —Keith Richards, The Sunday Times. 4/4/10

    "Teachers will work no harder when their tenure or their salary depends upon their students' test scores, but the kind of work they do, if such plans are adopted, will not resemble the work of the attentive gardener tending these tender tendrils of humanity that constitute our future."

    —Jim Horn, Washington Post Answer Sheet, 4/4/10

    "While Duncan is evidently prepared to spend part of his days bending the rules for the rich and powerful, he seems to relish spending the rest of the day terrorizing public school teachers across the country, demanding that they strictly adhere to a whole array of standards, no matter how insidious these standards are in terms of undermining quality education, demoralizing teachers, and forcing students to devote themselves to a boring curriculum. But if the teachers do not comply, Duncan wants them fired. There is no mercy or rule-bending here. "

    —Ann Robertson & Bill Leumer, IndyBay.org, March 28, 2010

    "So the Volunteer State volunteered to throw the teachers under the school bus."

    —State School News Service, March 30, 2010

    "Race to the Top may be the sickest, most cynical thing I've seen pulled in education by a progressive administration ever.

    Why not put the money in a booth and let governors square off, greased and naked, in some sort of game show format? It would make as much sense and be more fun to watch. "

    —Michael Paul Goldenberg, EDDRA2, March 29, 2010

    "No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush's education law, had so many harmful, though unintended, effects on American education that even the law's name has become 'toxic.' So says President Barack Obama's Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. But Duncan has failed to learn from his predecessor. . . ."

    —Richard Rothstein, Newsday, March 26, 2010

    "The federal stimulus money that's being offered now to the states is being offered on the condition that they raise charter school caps, that they tie teacher evaluations to students' test scores, that they close what they call failing schools, that they turn them over to private turnaround operators. So we have a neoliberal project nationally, which was tested out in Chicago and then is now being pushed out nationally."

    —Pauline Lipman, Democracy Now!, March 26, 2010

    "Parents, students and community members must come to terms with what it means to be 'educated.' Until this happens, the agenda will revert to the numerologists looking to make a fast buck on our kids while controlling the curriculum from 'surveillance watch towers,' the panopticon of learning!"

    —Danny Weil, Daily Censored, March 25, 2010

    "Suppose we give a high school test to everyone in Congress, with scores listed in rank order and serious penalties--including deselecting the bottom 10 percent?"

    —Deborah Meier, Bridging Differences, March 25, 2010

    "I am sure the state ed people will be back--to see if we've dismantled our learning stations, found an appropriate reading system, and written up all our objectives. I wouldn't dare be caught with my cloze down. I have a list of standard objectives for all those things that seem to matter to evaluators: the rules about the silent e, dropping the y, the apostrophe before the s, and so on. I'm hoping that after I produce the list the wit and whimsy with which I try to fill our classroom will be forgiven. If it isn't, I'll console myself with this silent prayer: Yea, though I walk in the shadow of conglomerate criterion referenced curriculum, I will fear no evil, the children they will comfort me."

    —Susan Ohanian, Learning Magazine, November 1981

    "I had to reassure my third grader yet AGAIN this morning that there was no, absolutely no, chance that her principal would get fired if she did poorly on the MCAS."

    —Massachusetts mother, CARE listserv, March 24, 2010

    "Attempting to explain its controversial decision to revamp its history textbooks, The Texas State Board of Education issued an official statement today.

    The one-sentence statement reads as follows: 'If you were the state responsible for George W. Bush being elected President, you'd throw out your history books, too.'"

    —Andy Borowitz, The Borowitz Report, 3/18/10

    "The higher-performing schools will be left alone, which will make a lot of people happy. But the lower-performing schools, particularly those in the bottom 5 percent, and then an additional 5 percent to 10 percent to 15 percent, are going to be very unhappy, because they're going to worry about falling into that bottom 5 percent.

    The punishments there are draconian. What they're -- what the federal government is saying is, the lowest-performing schools, regardless of the reasons for their low performance, will fire the principal, close the school, turn the school into a charter school, turn the school over to the state, turn it over to a private management organization."

    —Diane Ravitch, The News Hour, March 17, 2010

    "What are the things that (define) college and career readiness? Do you mean welding at the community college or astrophysics at MIT?"

    —William Mathis, former VT superintendent, Times Argus, 3/16/10

    "I had the opportunity last night to download and look at the blueprint, and my concern as I read through it is the number of times competition and competitive grants is mentioned in it -- that monies would be allocated by competition. Whenever we have competition, we have winners and losers. I don't believe that we can afford to have losers in education."

    —Gary Anhalt, Cedar Rapids Board of Eduation, 3/14/10

    "Dear NCTE

    For many years, you were my professional organization, and I was proud to participate in the annual conventions. . . .

    But you betrayed me. NCTE, by sitting at this table, you have colluded with the very people whose motives are diametrically opposed to what education in a democracy must be. . . . "

    —Cindy Lutenbacher, former NCTE member, 3/12/10

    "Take education. Obama has taken on a Democratic constituency, the teachers' unions, with a courage not seen since George W. Bush took on the anti-immigration forces in his own party. In a remarkable speech on March 1, he went straight at the guardians of the status quo by calling for the removal of failing teachers in failing schools. Obama has been the most determined education reformer in the modern presidency."

    —David Brooks, New York Times, March 12, 2010

    " The gods can never afford to leave a man in the world who is privy to any of their secrets. They cannot have a spy here. They will at once send him packing. How can you walk on ground when you see through it? "

    —Henry David Thoreau, Journal, March 12, 1852

    "We have the best brand on earth: the Obama brand. Our possibilities are endless."

    —Desiree Rogers, Wall Street Journal, 4/30/2009

    " Thomas and Wingert, you are totally, utterly socially irresponsible. How dare you write such a rag of a (poorly researched) story and reinforce the notion that only the bottom of the barrel of individuals would want to be a thing as lowly and ignoble as a teacher? Only lazy, boorish imbeciles would deign to spend their life in the classroom, cleaning up all the messes that you can't imagine sitting in your policy-making offices. But, I digress. I have to get ready for another day of being lowly and mediocre."

    —Elise Stack, comment on Newsweek article, 3/10/10

    "What do you hope members of this book club will take away from your book?

    I hope this book helps readers to rethink their assumptions about other people. If you begin with the premise that human beings are fundamentally passive and inert--that but for the threat of a stick or the enticement of carrot, they wouldn't do much--that points you toward one set of policies and practices. But if you begin with another (to my mind, more accurate) assumption--that it's our nature to be active and engaged--that leads you down a very different road, one that's actually more effective.


    —Daniel Pink, New Yorker, Feb. 28, 2010

    "The Obama administration appointed somebody from the NewSchools Venture Fund to run this so-called Race to the Top. The NewSchools Venture Fund exists to promote charter schools. So, what we're seeing with the proliferation--with this demand from the federal government, if you want to be part of this $4 billion fund, you better be prepared to create lots more charter schools. Well, it's all predetermined by who the personnel is. And, you know, so we see this immense influence of the foundations.

    And I think that with the proliferation of charter schools, the bottom-line issue is the survival of public education, because we're going to see many, many more privatized schools and no transparency as to who's running them, where the money is going, and everything being determined by test scores.

    So the whole picture, I think--I just wish that people wouldn't refer to this as reform, because when we talk about Race to the Top, we're talking about a principle that is antithetical to the fundamental idea of American education. The fundamental idea, which has been enshrined at least since the Brown decision of 1954, was equal educational opportunity. Race to the Top is not equal educational opportunity. It is a race in which one or two or three states race to the top to have more privatized schools, more test-based accountability, more basic skills, no emphasis on a broad curriculum for all kids, and no equal educational opportunity. I think that's wrong. I think it's also not the role of the federal government to do what's being done and to call it reform. "

    —Diane Ravitch, Democracy Now, March 5, 2010

    "If Obama is willing to go in the dark where even Bush feared to tread, and if Arne Duncan is reckless enough to proceed where even Margaret Spelling drew the line, you can bet that there is enough corporate-government money in the current reform school agenda to buy the media and the research and the politicians needed to push forward with the continued demolition of American public education. "

    —Jim Horn, Schools Matter, March 8, 2010

    "Business Roundtable member CEOs congratulate President-elect Obama on the selection of Arne Duncan as the next Secretary of Education. The selection signals that the Obama administration believes that aggressive efforts are needed to raise U.S. student achievement. Mr. Duncan has a strong record of working with the business community to improve schools in Chicago. "

    —John J. Castellani, Pres. Business Roundtable, 12/16/08

    "I never dreamed we would have to protect our kids from President Obama."

    —Comment at Huffington Post, http://tinyurl.com/ye79opd

    "'I will have no man in my boat who is not afraid of a whale.
    Starbuck in Moby Dick

    'I will have no teacher in public schools who is not afraid of being fired because of test scores.'
    U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
    President Barack Obama
    Business Roundtable"


    "Now, all they have to do is find 93 excellent professionals to take their places. Recruiting the best educators should be easy, especially when you can offer them life in a very poor town and a job with no security."

    —Valerie Strauss, Washington Post blog, 3/1/10

    "It's always been a little odd the way that there is only one U.S. federal department that uses its ineffectiveness as a major speaking point.

    No matter what's going on in the news, the secretary of the treasury would never say the U.S. economic system is a failure. The secretary of defense would not say the U.S. military is so terrible that it loses all its wars. This is not the case with the U.S. secretary of education, who loves to talk about the horrible problems in U.S. education."

    —Daniel Lazur, Washington Monthly blog, March 2, 2010

    "Central Falls could be--ANYWHERE. . . but, obviously, it's a hell of a long way from Wall Street: "

    —Borderland blog, http://borderland.northernattitude.org/

    "We no longer wonder 'Who are you?' but instead decide quickly 'What can we do to fix you?'"

    —Vivian Gussin Paley, A Child's Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play

    "I'm willing to argue that even with time and training, interactive whiteboards are an under-informed and irresponsible purchase. They do little more than reinforce a teacher-centric model of learning. Heck, even whiteboard companies market them as a bridging technology, designed to replicate traditional instructional practices (make presentations, give notes, deliver lectures) in an attempt to move digital teacher-dinosaurs into the light. I ask you: Do we really want to spend thousands of dollars on a tool that makes stand-and-deliver instruction easier?"

    —Bill Ferriter, Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards, Teacher, 1/27/09

    "When it comes to education warriors, Rep. George Miller is a warrior's warrior. DFER is proud to recognize Congressman Miller's impressive work as chair of the Education and Labor Committee, especially in drafting and fighting for the 'No Child Left Behind' (NCLB) act. Rep. Millerâs steadfast dedication to serious results in education is what makes him an effective leader in reforming America's education system. His tendency to side with the reform-disruptors rather than the reform-incrementalists makes him an recipient especially worthy of our Education Reformer of the Month."

    —Democrats for Education Reform, 2010

    "Common Core Standards. Plato's "Allegory of Cave" for 11-year-olds. Bipartisan is euphemism for unilateral oppression."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Feb. 24, 2010

    "...I am sensible, that there would be something like impropriety in abruptly obtruding upon the Public, without a few words of introduction, Poems so materially different from those upon which general approbation is at present bestowed...."

    —William Wordsworth, Common Core Exemplary Text, 9th grade

    "...I have a prediction to make: As hundreds and possibly thousands more charter schools open, we will see many financial and political scandals. We will see corrupt politicians and investors putting their hands into the cashbox. We will see corrupt deals where public school space is handed over to entrepreneurs who have made contributions to the politicians making the decisions. We will see many more charter operators pulling in $400,000-500,000 a year for their role, not as principals, but as 'rainmakers' who build warm relationships with politicians and investors.... "

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, Feb. 23, 2010

    "What I cannot understand in this 'jobs creating' President is why gutting teachers and ruining so many lives, is not important enough to halt. . . ."

    —Sarah Puglisi, blogspot, Feb. 19, 2010

    "What if we insisted that doctors be paid based upon the relative health of their patients regardless of whether those same patients smoke, are overweight or have a prior illness? "

    —Mari Ann Roberts, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2/18/10

    "Children under NCLB are to learn only what the New Aryans want them to learn. To this end they created 'standards' and high-stakes tests that put such great emphasis on two subjects, reading and math, that nothing else gets taught. Professional educators lament the "narrowing of the curriculum" but are studiously ignored. Yet even they never seem to grasp that the narrowing of the curriculum is precisely the point of the illogical testing program in the first place."

    —Zoniedude, Is Democracy Doomed?, Daily Kos, 2/8/10

    "If education policymakers knew what they were doing, instead of demanding national standards and tests keyed to a curriculum generated in an era long past and no longer relevant, they'd be calling for an emergency national conference to rethink what's being taught, and why."

    —Marion Brady, Florida Thinks, Feb. 11, 2010

    "The single story creates stereotypes. The trouble with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story. . . . The single story robs people of dignity. . . stories matters.

    Many stories matter."

    — Chimamanda Adichie, TED, Oct. 7, 2009

    "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

    When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking. ~Albert Einstein~"

    —Albert Einstein, Posted on 2nd grade teacher's door

    "[G]rowth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.--Edward Abbey

    Testing for the sake of the federal government has the same cancerous etiology."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Let's call it: Formative Assessment Techniques for Achieving Student Success (FAT-ASS). "

    —Stephen Krashen, Feb. 9, 2010

    "The absolute requirement of RTTT is that states must adopt national standards. Forty-eight of the fifty states, with Alaska and Texas being the only exceptions, have signed on to the Common Core Standards Initiative. This initiative is funded and promoted by the National Governors' Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). They are developing common core standards in math and English that are 'internationally benchmarked.' Although touted as "state-led" and "voluntary," all of these severely cash-strapped states (41 as of the January 19th deadline) that hope to receive RTTT funds MUST adopt these standards (national curriculum). Part of the competitive application process requires states to show the largest number of school districts agreeing to take on these national/international standards. That is not voluntary. Rather, depending on one's point of view, it is either bribery or economic and ideological blackmail.

    It is also important to note that these same two ostensibly state government-associated groups (NGA and CCSSO) developing RTTT also produced America 2000 under the Bush 41 administration that morphed into Goals 2000 in 1994 under President Clinton. Goals 2000 and that year's reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act combined for the first time to require that states and school districts comply with federal standards listed in Goals 2000 in order to receive federal education dollars."

    —EdWatch, Feb. 5, 2010

    "We still live a classist, racist, sexist, homophobic, religionist society. Civil rights is still a huge issue in this country. When teachers can't exercise civil disobedience, then something is truly wrong in this "so-called" land of the free. We ain't free and it is getting worse. The way the standards are right now, they promote complacency.

    How about one standard: Question the status quo and authority. "

    —Yvonne Siu-Runyan, EPATA, Feb. 6, 2010

    "On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right? There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right."

    —Martin Luther King, Jr, Congressional Record, 4/9/68

    "It is odd that school leaders feel triumphant when they close schools, as though they were not responsible for them. They enjoy the role of executioner, shirking any responsibility for the schools in their care."

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, Feb. 2, 2010

    "Most researchers in the field of childhood development agree that the minds of nursery-school children are far too raw to be judged. Sally Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia, is in the midst of a decades-long study that examines reading development in children. She says she couldn't even use the reading data she'd collected from first-graders for some of the longitudinal analyses. 'It simply wasn't stable,' she says. I tell her that most New York City schools don't share this view. 'A young brain is a moving target,' she replies. 'It should not be treated as if it were fixed.'"

    —Jennifer Senior, New York Magazine, Feb. 8, 2010

    "When we resort to any kind of measure of kids that's supposed to be qualitative at a young age,no matter how cheerfully we do it, no matter how many lollipops we hand out to de-stress the process, young children are extraordinarily discerning. They absorb their parents' anxiety about it, they absorb the kinds of judgments people are making about them. So there's a process of organizing kids in a hierarchy of worth, and it's beginning at an age that's criminal. -- Steve Nelson, Head of Calhoun School, a school that includes "progressive" in its identification"

    —Jennifer Senior, New York Magazine, Feb. 8, 2010

    "Admirers of the president now embrace actions they once denounced as criminal, or rationalize and evade such questions, or attempt to explain away what cannot be excused. That Obama is in most respects better than George W. Bush, John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Joseph Stalin is beyond dispute and completely beside the point. Obama is judged not as a man but as a fable, a tale of moral uplift that redeems the sins of America's shameful past. Even as many casual supporters begin to show their inevitable displeasure with his 'job performance,' and his poll numbers decline, the character and motivations of the president remain above question. He is a good man. I trust him to do the right thing."

    — Roger D. Hodge, Mendacity of Hope, Harper's, Feb. 2010

    "'The best thing for being sad,' replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, 'is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder in your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewer of baser minds. There is only one thing for it thenâto learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it.' "

    —T. H. White, The Once and Future King

    "[A spending freeze] is a betrayal of everything Obama's supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view --and more specifically, he has embraced the policy ideas of the man he defeated in 2008. A correspondent writes, 'I feel like an idiot for supporting this guy.'"

    —Paul Krugman, NY Times blog, 1/26/10

    "[A spending freeze] is a betrayal of everything Obama's supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view --and more specifically, he has embraced the policy ideas of the man he defeated in 2008. A correspondent writes, 'I feel like an idiot for supporting this guy.'"

    —Paul Krugman, NY Times blog, 1/26/10

    "Right now I'm just marveling at the ability of both the Obama White House and the leadership of the Democratic Party to have rehabilitated both the direct fortunes and the ideological outlook of the Bush Jr. / Reagan II Republican Party in 1 year."

    —Comment on The Nation blog, Jan. 26, 2010

    "I would like to know who in our country would like their pay to be based on the actions of a group of children. "

    —Laurie, in response to R. Weingartner, On Point, 1/26/10

    "Education policy does not solve economic problems. Economic policy solves economic problems."

    —Lois Weiner, UC Santa Cruz, 1/23/10

    "Republicans who otherwise have little use for the Obama Administration's policies approve of Duncan's commitment to market-based reforms. John Kline, of Minnesota, the ranking Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, told me, 'In many ways, it's a Republican agenda.' "

    —Carlo Rotella, Profile, New Yorker, Feb. 2, 2010

    "In order to understand school reform one need remember only two words: Standardistos lie."

    —Susan Ohanian, after I. F. Stone speaking of governments

    "Perhaps Justice Kennedy didn't hear that the financial sector invested more than $5 billion in political influence purchasing in Washington over the past decade, with as many as 3,000 lobbyists winning deregulation and other policy decisions that led directly to the current financial collapse, according to a 231-page report titled: 'Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America.'"

    —Ralph Nader on Supreme Court decision, Jan. 22, 2010

    "Readers concerned about the paper's journalistic integrity may reach the public editor at public@nytimes.com. "

    —New York Times

    "Losing the super majority won't kill the Obama presidency. It's his sudden inability to tell a good tale that will be his death-knell. If I were him, I'd have hired fewer Ivy League policy wonks and brought in a couple of storytellers. "

    —Junot Diaz, One Year: Storyteller-in-Chief, New Yorker, 1/20/10

    "The standards movement, sad to say, morphed long ago into a push for standardization. The last thing we need is more of the same."

    —Alfie Kohn, Education Week, Jan. 14, 2010

    "I think it high time Congress enact similar mandates for other professions that utilize a single measure to determine success. Dentists should be evaluated on how many teeth they save, doctors should be evaluated on how many patients they save, lawyers should be evaluated on how many cases they win, accountants should be evaluated on much money they save clients, and engineers on how many buildings they've designed get built. Congress should also enact national, comprehensive standards for each profession without any input from members of said professions since we know they can't be trusted to make informed decisions or contribute to the discussion in any meaningful way. Anyone who won't come on board should be fired and labeled a dissident. Conformity and control are a must, so teachers should be thankful they are first in the firing line."

    —Priscilla Gutierrez, Huffington Post comment

    " Children can be trained to get the right answer, like parrots or seals, but the higher scores are not a measure of a good education or a good teacher."

    —Diane Ravitch, Wash. Post, Answer Sheet, 1/19/10

    "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never. "

    —Sir Winston Churchill, British prime minister during WWII

    "No fact, investigation, or conclusion can be theory-free; as William James said, you can't pick up rocks in a field without a theory. The issue is whether you are aware of the theory you are using, and whether you are using it critically or uncritically"

    —Jean Anyon, Theory & Educ. Research: Toward Critical Social Explanation

    ",,,Most of the claims Duncan has been making are simply not true. Not a question of interpretation: Not True. As in 'He lies.'"

    —George Schmidt, www.SubstanceNews.net, part 1, 1/15/10

    "The Cliffs Notes to 'Race to the Top' are in Atlas Shrugged and the other radical economic theories of Ayn Rand. Arne Duncan isn't simply trying to privatize a little piece of public education, he really believes that public is bad and private is good. And anyone who doesn't look at Duncan's strange career with that viewpoint in mind is having a great deal of trouble figuring out why RttT is such a strange thing. "

    —George Schmidt, www.SubstanceNews.net, part 1, 1/15/10

    "...I spend as much time worrying about the crap in kids' imaginative diet as I do fretting over their eating habits. "

    —Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs

    "Who blames teachers? Obama, Duncan, Bush, Spellings, Rhee, Klein, the Education Equity Project. A chorus of economists: Bad teachers!"

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, Jan. 21, 2010

    "What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while."

    —Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

    "'War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength'âmore than a quarter-century after those oxymorons were supposed to pervade an Orwellian 1984, today's media make such newspeak even more preposterous: On economic issues, we are often told that right is center, center is left, and left is fringe."

    —David Sirota, TruthDig, Jan. 14, 2009

    "If you torture data long enough, it will tell you anything you want."


    " Has any student ever actually USED a protractor?"

    —Dave Barry, Twitter, Aug. 31, 2009

    "When teachers are forced, against their better judgment, to focus on teaching test content to the exclusion of almost everything else, I can only conclude that the high-stakes testing movement nourishes totalitarian regimes."

    —Gerald Bracey, Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality

    "The state in its efforts to control beyond where it can effectively impose itself, destroys everything. "

    —Simone Weil

    "As soon as the central administration decides to close a school, it is a fait accompli. New York City has a rubber-stamp 'board' of 13, with a majority appointed by the mayor, serving at his pleasure; it approves every executive decision, with only a single dissenting vote (the heroic Patrick Sullivan, a public school parent). Public hearings are pro forma; no decision is ever reversed. Parents and teachers may protest 'til the cows come home, and they can't change a thing. Their school will be closed, the low-performing students will be dispersed, and either new small schools or charter schools will take over their building. Some of the schools that will close are, funnily enough, small schools that were opened by Bloomberg and Klein only a few years ago. Does anyone believe that this sorry game of musical chairs will improve education? Does anyone in Washington or at central headquarters grasp the pointlessness of the disruption needlessly inflicted on students, families, teachers, principals, and communities in the name of 'reform'? Do these people have no shame?"

    —Diane Ravitch, Bridging Differences blog, Dec. 15, 2009

    "In the last 30 years the range of independent mobility for North American 12-year-olds has shriveled from one mile to 550 yards."

    —Elizabeth Goodenough, Green Money Journal, Winter 2009/10

    " Issue a gag order silencing all education experts who haven't taught in public school classrooms for the bulk of their careers. Offer these authorities -- cabinet officers, commissioners, legislators, education professors, and think-tankers -- the chance to reapply for an education preaching license after they've spent the next five years teaching on their own in a real classroom with real kids."

    —Poor Elijah, aka Peter Berger, 2010 Education Wish List

    "Afghanistan has become Absurdistan. "

    —Jim Hightower, Dec. 21, 2009

    " The purpose of Renaissance 2010 [in Chicago] was to increase the number of high quality schools that would be subject to new standards of accountability - a code word for legitimating more charter schools and high stakes testing in the guise of hard-nosed empiricism. Chicago's 2010 plan targets 15 percent of the city district's alleged underachieving schools in order to dismantle them and open 100 new experimental schools in areas slated for gentrification. Most of the new experimental schools have eliminated the teacher union. The Commercial Club hired corporate consulting firm A.T. Kearney to write Ren2010, which called for the closing of 100 public schools and the reopening of privatized charter schools, contract schools (more charters to circumvent state limits) and "performance" schools. Kearney's web site is unapologetic about its business-oriented notion of leadership, one that John Dewey thought should be avoided at all costs. It states, 'Drawing on our program-management skills and our knowledge of best practices used across industries, we provided a private-sector perspective on how to address many of the complex issues that challenge other large urban education transformations.'

    Duncan's advocacy of the Renaissance 2010 plan alone should have immediately disqualified him for the Obama appointment. "

    —Henry Giroux & Kenneth Saltman, Obama's Betrayal of Public Education? Trut

    "People who know who they are make trouble for schools."

    —John Taylor Gatto, Yes! Magazine, Sept. 2009

    "Why is it that education 'reformers' feel obligated to idealize education elsewhere and demonize it here? "

    —Gerald Bracey, Huffington Post, Aug. 22, 2007

    "Give the administration an A for motive, effort and reach. Give them an A+ for wiliness in getting states to change their policies toward those favored by the administration in order to qualify for a competition for $4.3 billion in Race to the Top funds that few will win. With state coffers empty and demands for education funding unabated, states have gambled on a long-odds bribe from Washington. Much of what the administration could hope to get from states on education reform has been gotten in the first year and before a dollar of discretionary funding has been spent."

    —Grover J. Whitehurst, Bookings Inst. blog, Nov. 4, 2009

    "President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan's 'Race' has nearly $5 billion as a lure to persuade states to climb aboard the express train to privatization."

    —Diane Ravitch, Bridging Differences blog, Dec. 17, 2009

    "Lining up for Duncan's corporate-politico RttT funds, like Soviets lining up in a bread line.

    Duncan and his corporate politico backers insist that replacing individual teacher talent, expertise, and initiative with colletivized standards will produce the workers needed for the Global Economy.

    In the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of those who opposed collectivization were executed or sent to forced-labor camps.

    What's Duncan's plan? "

    —Susan Ohanian

    "With their advocacy of the LEARN (sic) legislation, the NCTE and IRA executives and lobbyists come perilously close to resembling the elite managers in Vonnegut's The Piano Player, living in their gated committees and keeping all due vigilance lest someone show any hint of disloyalty to the managerial system run by the corporate-politicos. "

    —Susan Ohanian

    "It seems to me that in the rush to improve student achievement through accountability systems relying on high-stakes tests, our policy makers and citizens forgot, or cannot understand, or deliberately avoid the fact, that our children live nested lives. Our youth are in classrooms, so when those classrooms do not function as we want them to, we go to work on improving them. Those classrooms are in schools, so when we decide that those schools are not performing appropriately, we go to work on improving them, as well. But both students and schools are situated in neighborhoods filled with families. And in our country the individuals living in those school neighborhoods are not a random cross section of Americans. Our neighborhoods are highly segregated by social class, and thus, also segregated by race and ethnicity. So all educational efforts that focus on classrooms and schools, as does NCLB, could be reversed by family, could be negated by neighborhoods, and might well be subverted or minimized by what happens to children outside of school. Improving classrooms and schools, working on curricula and standards, improving teacher quality and fostering better use of technology are certainly helpful. But sadly, such activities may also be similar to those of the drunk found on his hands and knees under a street lamp. When asked by a passerby what he was doing, the drunk replied that he was looking for his keys. When asked where he lost them, the drunk replied 'over there,' and pointed back up the dark street. When the passerby then asked the drunk why he was looking for the keys where they were located, the drunk answered, 'the light is better here!' "

    —David Berliner, AERA speech, Montreal, May 2005

    "The health doesn't matter. The housing doesn't matter. The dysfunctional communities don't matter. None of these things matter. The only thing that matters is whether teachers have high expectations of children. I don't think we can make social policy on the basis of a myth. "

    —Richard Rothstein, NPR, Jan. 8, 2006

    "We are not here concerned with hopes and fears, only with the truth as far as our reason allows us to discover it. I have given the evidence to the best of my ability. . .""

    —Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871

    "Race to the Top relies on old GOP agenda of accountability, choice, merit pay. Nothing new. Which Dems if any will fight it?"

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, Dec. 12/19/09

    "Man say that tortoises, when they have eaten part of a viper, eat marojoram as an antidote, and, if the creature fails to find it at once, it dies; that many of the country-folk, wishing to prove whether this is true, whenever they see it acting in this manner, pluck up the marjoram, and when they have done so, the tortoise is presently seen dying."

    —Aristotle, De Mirabilibus, 4th century B. C.

    "Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Toni and Charley,
    The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?"

    —Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology

    "Everywhere, nowadays, the sole ruler is money. . .
    Money loves the government and fears pennilessness. . .
    Money advises those who sit at council. . .
    Money buys and sells, what it gives it takes right back,
    Money is an adulator but later becomes a traitor,
    Money always lies, only rarely is it sincere,
    Money makes a perjurer of both healthy and sick. . .
    Money makes more thieves than there are stars in the night sky,
    If money is put on trial, rarely does it lose. . .
    With money, even the evil feel at ease.
    Above all, it's money that rules, and reigns everywhere supreme.
    Only wisdom flees from and distains it. "

    —Carmina Burana, Verses on Money, 1230 AD

    "WHEN. . . do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now? . . . That destruction which you have been long plotting against us ought to have already fallen on your own head. . . . For what is there that you can still expect, if night is not able to veil your nefarious meetings in darkness, and if private houses cannot conceal the voice of your conspiracy within their walls- if everything is seen and displayed? Change your mind: trust me: forget the slaughter and conflagration you are meditating. You are hemmed in on all sides; all your plans are clearer than the day to us. . . . "

    —Cicero, First Oration Against Cataline, 218 BC--84 AD

    "The Business Roundtable says, 'Be still and know that we Rule.'"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Life is complicated, so think small."

    —Garrison Keillor, Life Among the Lutherans, 2009

    "During his short stop in New Orleans, Obama did manage to promote his and Arne Duncan's corporate-crafted schools privatization agenda by visiting the oxymoronically named "Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School" in the city's predominantly black, flood-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward. "The school," Times reporters Peter Baker and Campbell Robertson noted, was "surrounded by boarded-up houses, empty lots with overgrown grass and dilapidated storefronts with for-rent signs." [9] Baker and Cambell might have noted that corporate education forces had seized on Katrina as a great opportunity, using the crisis to advance their privatization model on the reconstitution of New Orleans' school system."

    —Paul Street, ZNet, You Can't Be President, Dec. 18, 2009

    " One blogger wrote: 'More children died violent deaths in Chicago this year than in any other city in America. But all Obama cares about is bringing the Olympics to a city where basic services like water, sanitation and power often don't work. ... If Chicago does win the bid there will be plenty of police and National Guard on hand to protect the international visitors. That's more than they are willing to do for their own residents.'"

    —Paul Street, ZNet, You Can't Be President, Dec. 18, 2009

    "No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. "

    —Lily Tomlin

    " There's a huge amount of data on the internet about normal developmental milestones -- when most kids start to crawl, say their first word, or learn the alphabet -- but such information often lacks the disclaimer that 50 percent of children will fall either above or below the average range."

    —Lucia French, Developmental Psychologist, Wired, 12/14/09

    "I do not expect the students who take my courses to absorb any particular 'body of knowledge' or attain any new 'skills.' On the contrary, for the most part, they will probably develop new kinds of doubts and anxieties, concerns and hesitations. They will not learn anything that has any advantageous practical implications, nor will they learn anything that can be 'applied' to any other situation, except in the most oblique ways. They will not develop any new 'transferable benchmark skills.' They will not achieve any 'goals or outcomes.' Indeed, they will not have "achieved" anything, except, perhaps, to doubt the value of terms like 'achievement' when applied to reading literature. "

    —Mikita Brottman, Chronicle of Higher Education, 12/13/09

    "I know I could slit my wrists and people would cheer. . . . We're very important. We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It's a virtuous cycle. . . .We have a social purpose. [I'm just a banker] doing God's work"

    —Lloyd Blankfein, Sunday London Times, Nov. 8, 2009

    "At a time when children are overwhelmed with tests, when NCLB has turned schools into test-prep academies, and when education is facing severe budget cuts, the last thing we need is Race to the Top with more standards and tests. If we are interested in picking up an extra 500 million, all we need to do is drop the state high school exit exam. Exit exams don't work: Studies have shown that that state exit exams do not result in improved academic achievement. In addition, recent research done by scholars at Indiana University has shown that state high school exit exams do not lead to more college completion, higher employment, or higher earnings by graduates. In fact, researchers have yet to discover any benefits of having a high school exit exam."

    —Stephen Krashen, Sacramento Bee online, Dec. 8, 2009

    "Do American parents want schools to be run like businesses and their children to be treated as employees? Will they accept the idea of delivering their children into the hands of specialists in financial deal-making and cutthroat competition, who may or may not have completed college themselves and who view students strictly as "human capital" to be schooled in skills narrowly tailored to niches in todayâs ever-so-transient corporate job market? "

    —Geoff Berne, Barbarians at the Schoolhouse,CounterPunch, Dec. 4, 2009

    "The Obama White House is morphing into the Bush White House with frightening speed. Its transparency is already fogged up."

    —Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Dec. 5, 2009

    "Don't forget one of the obvious fallacies of Duncan's goal of turning around the 5,000 worst performing schools in the US in the next five years: As long as schools are ranked based on test scores, there will ALWAYS be 5,000 worst performing schools! It's an inherently impossible goal! "

    —Marilyn in Richmond, CA, Dec. 3, 2009

    "When charters shut down, typically it's because they've cooked the books or engaged in actual criminal activity, not because they've failed the children."

    —Gerald Bracey, Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality

    "The National Parent Teacher Association has received a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to begin organizing parental support for setting more uniform academic expectations in four states: Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and North Carolina."

    —Sean Cavanagh, Education Week, Dec. 1, 2009

    "In section 3, 2A of Senate Bill 2740 it says that the LEARN Act is designed "to ensure that every child can read and write at grade level or above." Grade level means the 50th percentile. The education experts who wrote this either don't know basic educational terminology or need some remedial math. Getting everybody at the 50th percentile is possible only if everybody has exactly the same score. Getting everybody above the 50th percentile is possible only in Lake Wobegon. "

    —Stephen Krashen, Dec. 1, 2009

    "Nor do I admire their belief that schools will get dramatically better if they compete, just like businesses do. Maybe people in business win by competing, maybe competition produces better mousetraps, but that is not the way that schools function. Schools work best when teachers collaborate with one another to identify students who need extra attention or a different program or to mentor weak teachers; schools work best when they collaborate around common goals. Schools are not trying to build a better mousetrap. They are trying to educate our citizenry. Schools are not businesses, and we will continue to flounder so long as we put politicians and business leaders in the driver's seat on education policy."

    —Diane Ravitch, Ed Week blog, Dec. 1, 2009

    "This machine kills fascists. "

    —Written on Woody Guthrie's guitar

    "SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Studies have shown that consuming foods grown using compost made from the pages of any book written by conservative politicians and/or Fox News pundits may result in bloating, brain damage, grammar mutilation and the mad desire to taxidermy your cat. Read more."

    —Mark Morford, S.F. Chronicle, 11/25/09


    "Competition brings out the best performance. That's true in athletics and in business, and it's true in education."

    —H. E. Ford Jr., L. V. Gerstner Jr. & Eli Broad, WSJ, 11/25/09

    "Stop paying teachers and principals a salary. Instead pay teachers and principals on a per standardized test point basis each day. At the end of each school day, students should be tested using a standardized test, what a teacher and principal is paid is calculated at the end of the day based on the growth of the student, i.e., how much has the student improved over the previous day. This is true accountability and will for sure keep teachers and principals on their toes! "

    —Yong Zhao, http://tinyurl.com/y8gvrsd, Nov. 16, 2009

    "Whining is not the same thing as doing something. Whining is whining. Action is something else."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvn_Ied9t4M "

    —Jack Kerouac , letter to Ed White 7/ 5/50; Apple Ad 1977

    "UC Santa Cruz is looking for a Grateful Dead Archivist. They're looking for someone who loves the Grateful Dead, and yet somehow has exceptional organizational skills. So basically what they're saying--is that they need a miracle.

    By the way, a masters degree in Archives Management? What does that mean? 'Oh I can archive things alphabetically or numerically'. What?! Alphanumerically? Slow down, I don't have a doctorate! There you have it, 4 years of undergrad, 2 years of graduate school and now you can spend your days picking blotter acid coming out of Phil Lesh's underwear from the Blues for Allah tour."

    —Jon Stewart, 11/12/09

    "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. "

    —Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birimingham Jail, 1963

    "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. "

    —Martin Luther King, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom

    "People apparently only read mystery stories of any length. With mysteries, the longer the better and people will read any damn thing. But the indulgent, 800-page books that were written a hundred years ago are just not going to be written anymore and people need to get used to that. If you think you're going to write something like 'The Brothers Karamazov' or 'Moby-Dick,' go ahead. Nobody will read it. I don't care how good it is, or how smart the readers are. Their intentions, their brains are different."

    —Cormac McCarthy, interview Wall Street Journal, 11/13/09

    "America cannot test and punish its way to better schools, no matter how good its standardized tests might become. "

    —Monty Neil, Testimony in RTTT Boston Hearing, Nov. 12, 2009

    "Thousands of studies have linked poverty to academic achievement. The relationship is every bit as strong as the connection between cigarettes and cancer. "

    —David Berliner, Our Impoverished View of Ed. Reform, Aug. 2005

    "Question: How many countries do you have to be at war with to be disqualified from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize? Answer: Five. Barack Obama has waged war against only Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. He's holding off on Iran until he actually gets the prize."

    —William Blum, Z Net - The Spirit Of Resistance Lives

    "How rotten the Democrats are. This other big business party that the Union officials hitch our wagon to needs to be seen for what it is by working people. We can and must build an alterative independent worker's political party rooted in the communities in which we live and work. "

    —Richard Mellor, Negotiating our lives away, AFSCME Local 444

    "[A] schoolmaster is a productive labourer when, in addition to belabouring the heads of his scholars, he works like a horse to enrich the school proprietor. That the latter has laid out his capital in a teaching factory, instead of in a sausage factory, does not alter the relation."

    —Karl Marx, Capital, a Critique of Political Economy

    "Look at a picture of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Look at all the ribbons on their chests, ribbons for killing people. If Data Warehousing takes over your school, demand ribbons to spread across your chest, ribbons for killing children."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Arizona now has corporate prisons to house poor adult lawbreakers. Will nationalized corporate chain gang schools be the cheap solution to urban and rural poverty among those too young for prison? "

    —Jim Horn, Schools Matter, http://schoolsmatter.blogspot.com/

    "Only if a person has emerged from mother's lap and father's commands, only if he has emerged as a fully developed individual and thus has acquired the capacity to think and feel for himself, only then can he have the courage to say "no" to power, to disobey. A person can become free through acts of disobedience by learning to say no to power. . . . The organization man has lost the capacity to disobey, he is not even aware of the fact that he obeys. At this point in history the capacity to doubt, to criticize and to disobey may be all that stands between a future for mankind and the end of civilization. "

    —Erich Fromm, On Disobedience

    "Whom are we talking about when we talk about an eighth grader? The girl who spells her name "Sherri" and hides a copy of True Confessions in her binder? Or the "Sherry" who sucks her thumb and wants to listen to a tape of "Rumpelstiltskin?" Sherri/Sherry can't be pinned down to read the same book on different days of the week, let alone the same book as all of her classmates.

    But we don't protest official reading lists. When governors and industrialists announced their concern for excellence in the schools, my professional organization, instead of pointing out that these emperors of excellence were naked, issued an excellence sweatshirt.

    I worry that at this very moment they might be appointing a joint subcommittee to figure out ways to turn such William Bennett favorites as The Scarlet Pimpernel, The yearling, Ivanhoe, and The Virginian into memo pads. Or a bumper sticker.

    As for me, I want my T-shirt to read 'Literature Has No Uses.' Certainly it is foolish to call on literature to redress the trade deficit, increase the gross national product, and help kids say no. Worse than foolish, it is wrong."

    —Susan Ohanian, Literature Has No Uses, Who's In Charge?

    "I've never met a required book list I liked. Such lists are always prescriptive and retrospective. They keep us looking over our shoulders, maintaining a static rather than a dynamic notion of culture. And the worse part is that once you let a core list into your life, it's very hard to dislodge it. Asking a faculty to change a recommended book list and getting a new list approved by administrators and the board of education is like asking someone to move a graveyard. . . The same people who swap copies of Stephen King in the faculty room put Dickens on the core lists."

    —Susan Ohanian, Who's In Charge?

    "'Can I see the lesson plans for a unit?'

    --We have none.

    'How does a teacher teach without plans?'

    --You put the materials out and see what children do with them. When children ask a question or need something, you help them."

    —Roland Barth,Open Education & American School, 1972

    "Bill- if you want to improve education, RECALL every X-box your company ever made and destroy them. Convince Sony, Apple and every other videogame producer to do the same. Next, make computers and printers FREE to schools. School budgets have increased dramatically trying to keep up with technology. Finally, give every school library lots of money to BUY books and pay for librarians. You were smart enough to create game systems, but too many parents were stupid enough to buy them!"

    —CalifTeacher to Bill Gates, USA TODAY, 10/30/09

    "Obamu: (v.) To ignore inexpedient and inconvenient facts or realities, think âYes we can, Yes we can,â and proceed with optimism using those facts as an inspiration (literally, as fuel). "

    —Japanese Teachers' Network in Kitakyusha

    "From Maryland to Michigan to Montana, reading is reading and math is math. . . .We want 100 percent of our kids to pass this test."

    —Pres. Bill Clinton to MD General Assembly, 2/10/97

    "Math Skills Show Little Growth

    Oh, no. All of our high-paying jobs differentiating between parallelograms and rhombuses are sure to go to the Chinese. "

    —--Ann Gaddis, Fan-Blade Aligner, The Onion, 10/21/09

    "You were right. You were always right. It was me. I did it. I poisoned your reservoirs. I sprinkled your food with insecticide..I've been living here, quietly, beside you, for years, just waiting for Tojo to flash me the high sign. So go ahead and lock me up. Take my children. Take my wife. Freeze my assets. Seize my crops. . . . Assign me a number. Inform me of my crime. Too short, too dark, too ugly, too proud. Put it down in writing. . . . "

    —Julie Otsuka, When The Emperor Was Divine

    "The closer you are to ground level in U.S. schools, the more you become aware of the deprofessionalizing power of complex educational systems and programs. Often, especially in more-affluent districts, these systems pile up on one another, creating an indigestible, incompatible mess: Christmas-tree schools, with lots of ornaments. Programs for the responsive classroom, comprehension strategies, guided reading, direct instruction, leveled book, differentiated instruction, focused correction, and writing workshop jostle for teachers' attention, all claiming to be aligned with state systems of evaluation (and all, of course, 'research-based')."

    —Thomas Newkirk, Education Week, 10/21/09

    "Turnaround is the deadliest reform of all.... "

    — George N Schmidt, Editor, Substance

    "I love Arne. He must have the most compartmentalized brain in the country. 'We have too many bad tests,' he says. He also says we need data bases to link student performance to teacher performance. And what will be in those data bases? Scores from those bad tests."

    —Gerald Bracey, e-mail, Sept. 28, 2009

    "One of the books I read was Cities of Lonesome Fear: God Among the Gangs by Gordon McLean. It reminded me not to give up on the students. Even if they give up on themselves, we cannot give up on them. "

    —Jeorge Munoz, security guard, quoted in Steinmetz Star, 9/09

    "Your 401(k)'s are not dying because not enough kids took calculus. "

    —Gerald Bracey, EDDRA discussion list, 2/14/09

    "Do you want to improve the lives of poor and minority students? Then improve the lives of poor and minority students: provide their parents with living-wage jobs, adequate housing, medical, dental and mental health care and, yes, adequately funded schools with committed (sorry, TFA) and qualified teachers. Amen."

    —Michael Fiorillo, Gotham Schools

    "Schools never 'fail' where the SUVs roam. But where hubcab theft is the only growth industry, schools can't get anything right. Right?"

    —John Young, Cox News, Sept. 22, 2009

    "The next time you see a full-face picture of Arne Duncan, cover everything but the eyes and judge what he's about."

    —Gerald Bracey, EDDRA, Sept. 22, 2009

    "I am a deep believer in the power of data to drive our decisions. Data gives us the roadmap to reform. It tells us where we are, where we need to go, and who is most at risk. "

    —Arne Duncan, Speech to IES, June 8, 2009

    "Myth #5: 'Subjective assessments of performance can't work.'

    Try telling that to music and art teachers, sports coaches, movie reviewers or wine tasters. "

    —Arnold Packer, SchoolNet, Sept. 21, 2009

    "It was more than two years ago when headlines around the city screamed that the Aspira Haugen Middle School fired a racist art teacher who said Mexicans are only good for cleaning floors. Substance finally caught up with the former teacher and discovered that the whole story was a cruel fabrication, possibly prompted by the fact that the teacher had begun demanding union rights in a school that was actively anti-union: the Aspira Charter schools.

    Aspira, the controversial charter school operator has recently been in the news over confirmed allegations that they strip search students, illegally change grades and attendance records, and have fired another teacher, this one a whistle blower who tried to bring the grade changing and strip searching to the attention of the Chicago Board of Education. . . ."

    —Jim Vail, Substance, Sept. 2009

    "The character most resembling Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman in "The Wire" is the corrupt Deputy Chief of Police, Chief of Operations, Bill Rawls. The role of the "data driven" tyrant is played with zest all the way through "The Wire." But "The Wire" and Deputy for Operations Bill Rawls are fiction. Ron Huberman's performance on the opening day of school is fact in Chicago as the 2009-2010 school year dawns. . . .

    After 15 years of a corporate model of school governance in Chicago, Chicago's leaders were confident in 2009 that they could get away with Ron Huberman and his data driven nonsense without paying any serious political price. How many Chicago teachers and principals bend to the sheer stupidity and irrelevance of the new regime remains to be seen. During the past year, there has been more resistance in Chicago to the Daley regime than at any time since 1995, when the Illinois General Assembly made Richard M. Daley dictator of Chicago's public schools."

    —George N. Schmidt, Data Driven Drivel, Substance, 9/09

    "A preliminary review of the new executives of the Chicago Public Schools being appointed at the Chicago Board of Education's August 26, 2009, meeting shows that at least one of them has admitted to criminal fraud (in two other states) and others are being brought into CPS with no experience, training, or certification to lead public school systems in Illinois. . . ."

    —John Kugler, Substance, September 2009

    "These delegates are sharply opposed to the key things going on in schools: Regimented curricula (national standards). High stakes exams. Militarization. To some extent, privatization and charters. A culture of fear.

    They desperately want the freedom to teach well. . . .These honest, thinking delegates have, at the moment, no organization they know about prepared to challenge the NEA leadership, so they see nothing to do but gripe and to try to be more active in state and local groups that take sharper positions. . . ."

    —Rich Gibson, Report on NEA Convention, Substance, 9/09

    "In the Chicago Public Schools, remediation means that a principal, for various reasons (teacher is old, costs too much, uses 'old' methods, is too outspoken, or a supporter needs a job), has decided to encourage a staff member to quit or retire. . . .

    The teacher is assigned a mentor My mentor is the lead special education teacher and TAP coach at our school, and she comes to my room 300 minutes a week. . . While I've learned some good methods from my mentor, I've come to realize that it is intended to encourage a teacher to quit rather than to uplift and encourage good teaching. . . . I have heard one compliment since I've started this process and nothing positive has been written down. . . ."

    —Jean Schwab, Substance, September 2009

    "After 15 years of a corporate model of school governance in Chicago, Chicago's leaders were confident in 2009 that they could get away with Ron Huberman and his data driven nonsense without paying any serious political price. How many Chicago teachers and principals bend to the sheer stupidity and irrelevance of the new regime remains to be seen. During the past year there has been more resistance in Chicago to the Daley regime than at any time since 1995, when the Illinois General Assembly made Richard M. Daley dictator of Chicago's public schools."

    —George N. Schmidt , Substance, September 2009

    "When you see a car hurtling toward your child, you push him out of the way before you engage in conversation about Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Until we stop the abusive standardized testing i elementary schools, I refuse to talk about a better kind of test. We must stop harming the children presently in our care. Right now. Today."

    —Susan Ohanian, Substance, September 2009

    "General, your tank is a powerful vehicle.
    It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
    But it has one defect:
    It needs a driver.
    General, your bomber is powerful.
    It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
    But it has one defect:
    It needs a mechanic.
    General, man is very useful.
    He can fly and he can kill.
    But he has one defect:
    He can think.

    —Bertolt Brecht, From a German War Primer

    "The Duct Tape Theory of Standardized Testing. If Duct Fails, it's because you haven't used enough. If standardized tests fail to close the Achievement Gap, it's because you haven't given enough of them."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Even a fool, when he is holding a bucket of standardized test scores, is counted wise by the U. S. Secretary of Education."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Well, Cindy, if we had a Broad Prize for charter schools, KIPP would certainly be the winner."

    —Eli Broad, EdWeek District Dossier, 9/18/09

    "There may come a time, a renewal of the spirit of society, a time such as that when the Preamble to the Constitution of the State of Illinois was drafted and ratified by the citizens, when policymakers' attention will turn again toward the external factors that educators know affect student learning. Until then, we can race to the top all we want and when we get there we will be joined by the young people who were smart enough to choose educated, affluent parents."

    — Jim Broadway, State School News Service, 8/18/09

    ". . . In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the believability of the Big Lie as compared to the small lie: 'In the simplicity of their minds, people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation.'

    What the sociologists and Hitler are telling us is that by the time facts become clear, people are emotionally wedded to the beliefs planted by the propaganda and find it a wrenching experience to free themselves. It is more comfortable, instead, to denounce the truth-tellers than the liars whom the truth-tellers expose. The psychology of belief retention even when those beliefs are wrong is a pillar of social cohesion and stability. It explains why, once change is effected, even revolutionary governments become conservative. The downside of belief retention is its prevention of the recognition of facts. . . ."

    —Paul Craig Roberts, When Propaganda Trumps Truth

    "They Say Cutback

    We Say Fightback "

    —Rouge Forum, http://blogs.ubc.ca/ross

    "I would no more teach children military training than I would teach them arson, robbery, or assassination. "

    —Eudge Debs, Presidential candidate on Socialist ticket

    "Scientific achievement is not standardized. The natural world is diverse, and productive human inquiry takes many forms. . . ."

    —Jonathan King, MIT Professor, letter to Boston Globe, 9/10/09

    "Today may actually be worse for poor children in the US than at any time in the last half century. This is because the lower classes are being kept from the liberal arts and humanities curricula by design. Using the argument that we must get their test scores up, we in the US are designing curriculum for poor children, often poor children of color but certainly, numerically, for poor white children, that will keep them ignorant and provide them with vocational training, at best. Their chances of entrance to college and middle class lives are being diminished, and this is all being done under the banner of "closing the gap," a laudable goal, but one that has produced educational policies with severe and negative side effects."

    —David C. Berliner, Rational Responses to High-stakes Testing. . . .

    "Hippocrates once said that the chief function of medicine is to entertain patients until they heal themselves."

    —Frank Vertosick Jr., MD, When the Air Hits Your Brain

    "Every teacher in America should be working to support the Baca Bill, the Save our Schools (S.O.S.) Act. http://www.susanohanian.org/show_yahoo.html?id=466"

    —Lynn Stoddard, Co-Founder Educating for Human Greatness

    "Like Bill Clinton before him, Barack Obama continues to tell American that to get higher wages they need to go to college and improve their skills, as though there weren't a surplus of underemployed college grads already."

    —Michael Lind, Can Obama Be Deprogrammed? Salon.com

    "The Obush administration. . . . The Obush administration is not just threatening public education, it is more like a threat to the entire concept of democracy."

    —Michael Martin, EDDRA list, Sept. 4, 2009

    "In order to go on with our lives, we are always making the ominous into the merely strange."

    —Deo in Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder, 2009

    "[Arne Duncan] has asked all of his senior staff members to read some of the formal public comments submitted about the proposed Race to the Top Fund regulations so they can get a feel for how the education community has reacted. [emphasis added]"

    —Michele McNeil, Education Week, Sept. 3, 2009

    "Enough with 'academic rigor.' No more projects on the Chesapeake Bay (or whatever body of water you happen to live near.) Stop testing them into submission."

    —Valerie Strauss, on middle schoolers, Wash. Post, 9/2/09

    " Any time a kindergarten class needs an online system to track assignments, that's a sign that school has gone too far."

    —Donna Metler, Sept. 3, 2009

    "You have to admire the skill with which we've been outmaneuvered; there's something almost chess-like in the way the other side has narrowed the field, neutralized lines of attack, co-opted the terms of battle. It's all about them now; every move we make plays into their hands, confirms their values."

    —Mark Slouka, Harper's Magazine, Sept. 2009

    "Show me the spreadsheet on skepticism."

    —Mark Slouka, Harper's Magazine, Sept. 2009

    "Reformers need to incorporate rather than disregard the rich wisdom of the classroom, for the history of policy failure is littered with cases where local knowledge and circumstance were ignored."

    —Mike Rose, Why School? 2009

    "[T]here is nothing in the standard talk about schooling--and this has been true for decades--that leads us to consider how school is perceived by those who attend it."

    —Mike Rose, Why School? 2009

    "Education is learning how to spin your own web, not how to climb someone else's ladder."

    —Joanne Yatvin, longtime educator

    "The final test:Kaplan passes

    Stanley Kaplan, the man who fueled the industry that taught people how to take the tests supplied by the industry that fueled standardized school admissions testing, has died."

    —Improbable Research, http://improbable.com

    "What if we asked where it was written that all 16 years olds are ready sit their exams on exactly the same day?"

    —Ian Gilbert, Independent Thinking LTD

    "What if the qualifications with which children leave school don't actually count for very much beyond the world of education?

    What if they count for nothing?"

    —Ian Gilbert, Independent Thinking LTD

    "What if many people were to admit that if they had spent more time as a child learning to play the piano and less time learning algebra they would probably be spending more time as an adult playing the piano than they do using algebra?"

    —Ian Gilbert, Independent Thinking LTD

    "What if math is not as important as, say, art or music?"

    —Ian Gilbert, Independent Thinking LTD

    "[T]he impending shortage of scientists and engineers is one of the longest running hoaxes in the country. "

    —Gerald Bracey, Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality, 2009

    "Why don't they learn what we teach them? The answer I have come to boils down to this: Because we teach them --that is, try to control the contents of their minds. . . .I doubt very much if it is possible to teach anyone to understand anything, that is to say, to see how various parts of it relate to all the other parts -- we cannot give them our mental structures; they must build their own."

    —John Holt, How Children Fail, rev. ed 1982

    "I will show you Obama's birth certificate if you show me Sarah Palin's high school diploma."

    —Bill Maher, Tonight Show, Aug. 24, 2009

    "In Arne Duncan's world, if standardized test scores aren't the answer, you've asked the wrong question."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "I dream of schools where days are not scripted by those who could not find the Post Office in your town."

    —Lester Laminack, www.lesterlaminack.com

    "Remember, before the Race to the Top planned, funded, and decreed by the Obama/Duncan administration, the 3rd grade teacher heard why Tyrannosaurus X crossed the road, read Charlotte's Web aloud, and comforted children who vomit. After the Obama/Duncan grand race, Tyrannosaurus X and Charlotte will be gone and the teacher will be vomiting along with the children."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Send in the Clowns: 3 Stooges Hit Road for Corporate School Reform. http://tinyurl.com/naskao "

    —Bruce Dixon, August 2009

    "Are education policymakers deeply religious? Why are they always in search of miracles?"

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, Aug. 21, 2009

    "What is Green Dot's record? Why are 'reformers' rushing to open Green Dot schools with no proof of anything?"

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, Aug. 21, 2009

    "[Race to the Top] pits one state against others to see which gets most and sacrifices quality education, local autonomy, and the interests of parents and youths doing it."

    —Steve Lendman, The People's Voice, 8/19/09

    "Obama plans to reinvent a failed policy, give it a new name, and claim it will fix NCLB's shortcomings."

    —Steve Lendman, The People's Voice, 8/19/09

    "Obama has always been more comfortable with the center-right forces within the Democratic party--Senator Max Baucus and the Blue Dogs--and the Clintonistas of DLC lineage who now fill his administration. His real political challenge was to string along the liberals with reassuring talk until they were stuck with lousy choices-- either go along with this popular president's pale version of reform or take him on and risk ruining his presidency. This sounds a lot like the choices Democrats faced during the Clinton years. Candidate Obama said it was "time to turn the page." We are still waiting to see what he meant. "

    —William Greider, The Nation, August 18, 2009

    "How long will it take for people to realize that the education "reform" proposed by Obama-Duncan is no different from the Weapons of Mass Destruction from Bush (I say this as a depressed person who canvassed for Obama, campaigned for him, donated for him, and voted for him (with my entire family) in Virginian before moving to the blue-secure state of Washington.

    I am deeply pissed. "

    —Gerald Bracey, Aug. 17, 2009

    "That education policy reflects the zeitgeist shouldn't surprise us; capitalism has a wonderful knack for marginalizing (or co-opting) systems of value that might pose an alternative to its own. Still, capitalism's success in this case is particularly elegant: by bringing education to heel, by forcing it to meet its criteria for 'success,' the market is well on the way to controlling a majority share of the one business that might offer a competing product, that might question its assumptions. . . . By downsizing what is most dangerous (and most essential) about our education, namely the deep civic function of the arts and the humanities, we're well on the way to producing a nation of employees, not citizens. Thus is the world made safe for commerce, but not safe."

    —Mark Slouka, Harper's Magazine, Sept. 2009

    "[S]hould there be some sort of T-shirt for the Arne, Newt, and Al Tour? "

    —Alyson Klein, Education Week blog, 8/13/09

    "Why Does Barack Obama Follow The George W Bush Playbook?

    . . . Yup, many of us seem to have been fooled again. You betcha.

    The only people who are not disillusioned are those who had no illusions to begin with. Isn't it obvious that power may seem to reside in the White House but it is effectively constrained by the real power centers-a cautious Bureaucracy, an overblown Military, avaricious Big Industries and the fraud factories on Wall Street?"

    —Danny Schechter, ZNet Daily Commentary, 8/12/09

    "Now that Duncan/Gates/Broad have coopted NCTE/IRA and NEA/AFT, who is left to accuse them? Teacher silence is killing us and the kids."

    —Susan Ohanian, Twitter, Aug. 12, 2009

    "First Arne Duncan says the tests we have stink, then he says evaluate teachers and schools based on stinking tests."

    —Diane Ravitch, Twitter, Aug. 12, 2009

    "When we stop playing, we start dying."

    —Stuart Brown, M. D., Play

    "[T]he opposite of play is not work--the opposite of play is depression. Our inherent need for variety and challenge can be buried by an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Over the long haul, when these spice-of-life elements are missing, what is left is a dulled soul."

    —Stuart Brown, M. D., Play

    "A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem."

    —Shanti Goldstein, I Am My Own Best Casual Acquaintance

    "Today I will strive to be omnipotent. I will start by condemning Standardistos, Common Core advocates, Racers to the Top, and their water carriers to an eternal SAT exam."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Handing out standards in the name of preparing everyone to meet the high skills that will be demanded for employment in the twenty-first century is as cynical as handing out menus to homeless people in the name of eradicating hunger.
    (One Size Fits Few, p. 31)

    It looks like many of the professional organizations are only interested in debating about what will be on the menu."

    —Susan Ohanian and Stephen Krashen

    "The earlier [that schools try] to inculcateâ¦academic skills, the deeper the damage & the more permanent the achievement gap." "

    —Deborah Meier

    "Dear Ms. Class: What's the latest word on sugar and hyperactivity? --Independence, MO Dear Independence, Research is not complete on the effects of sugar on teachers' hyperactivity. One teacher of Ms. Class's acquaintance, not content with Oreos and Twinkies, eats dry brownie mix right out of the box. Ms. Class admits she admires the efficiency: No dishes to wash. This teacher has had a brownie-mix lunch for fifteen years and has not been convicted of a felony."

    —Susan Ohanian, Ask Ms. Class, p. 75

    "A hyperactive parent inquires how his child is doing more than twice a year."

    —Susan Ohanian, Ask Ms. Class, p. 75

    "The first rule of Standards is that if you don't see what the problem is, you are the problem. "

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Boredom was born on a day of uniformity."

    —Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog,

    "They may prefer stories to theories, anecdotes to concepts, images to ideas--that doesn't stop them from philosophizing."

    —Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

    "With her it's as if a text was written so that we can identify the characters, the narrator, the setting, the plot, the time of the story, and so on. I don't think it was ever occurred to her that a text is written above all to be read and to arouse emotions in the reader. Can you imagine, she has never even asked us the question: 'Did you like this text/this book?' And yet that is the only question that could give meaning to the narrative points of view or the construction of the story. . . Let me explain: at my age, all you need is to talk to us about something with some passion, pluck the right strings (love, rebellion, thirst for novelty, etc) and you have every chance of succeeding."

    —Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

    "Believing that public school should focus on providing workers for industrial corporations is very much to believe that children are nothing more than commodities to be developed for harvesting. It views children much as chicken eggs, to be taken from parents and standardized for commercial consumption. A broader understanding of education's purpose exists - nurturing children so that they will feel at home in the world. "

    —Michael T. Martin, Eggs or Eggheads, AZ School Boards Assoc. Journal

    " Basing bonus or merit pay on test scores is like giving auto workers a bonus based on peopleâs driving skills."

    —Kathy McKean posted on Facebook, 8/4/09

    "What else was being a teacher but trying to respond as humanly as possible to problems that would not wait for an expert."

    —Phillip Lopate, Against Joie de Vivre

    " If Arne Duncan knows exactly how to reform American education, why didn't he reform Chicago's schools? A report came out a couple of weeks ago from the Civic Committee of Chicago ('Still Left Behind') saying that Chicago's much-touted score gains in the past several years were phony, that they were generated after the state lowered the passing mark on the state tests, that the purported gains did not show up on the federal tests, and that Chicago's high schools are still failing. On the respected federal test (NAEP), Chicago continues to be one of the lowest performing cities in the nation. I want to know why Washington is pushing 'reform' ideas that have so little evidence behind them, ideas that might do serious damage to public education in America?"

    —Diane Ravitch, interview with John Merrow, 8/4/09

    "Apostrophe Advice, Part 1
    Every morning on arising, repeat to yourself: "Lord, help me accept those things I cannot change." If a teacher takes apostrophes seriously, she will surely go mad.

    Since Piaget did not address the developmental aspects of apostrophe control, Ms. Class will. She has a modest proposal: forbid apostrophe use by children until they reach the age of sixteen. When teens get their driver's licenses the distinction between possession and plurality sometimes becomes more apparent. There are exceptions, of course. The distinction eludes some people forever.

    If you would like information on a grass-roots movement to eliminate apostrophes from administrative memos, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

    Apostrophe Advice, Part 2
    Teachers would do well to learn from the lessons of history: Emily Dickinson did not use apostrophes. George Bernard Shaw referred to them as 'uncouth bacilli' and advocated using one only when omitting it would cause confusion--such as making a distinction between he'll and hell."

    —Susan Ohanian, Ask Ms. Class

    "Above all, we should bear in mind that the best ways to improve our schools are those that enhance the dignity of parents and the autonomy and professional status of educators. . . . Our parents, and our teachers, indeed our whole nation, would have fewer problems if the goals we set for the nation included creating jobs with decent wages, restoring fair tax rates on corporations and wealthy individuals, providing universal coverage for high-quality health and day care, providing euitable funding for schools, and developing organizations to build more caring relationships among all members of our communities. . . . School improvement begins with concerns about the dignity and respect accorded to the adults in the community who care for our young. "

    —David Berliner & Bruce Biddle, The Manufactured Crisis. 1995

    "[T]he best ways to improve education are not those that are based on the factory model but rather are those that presume trust, grant autonomy, and seek ways to enlarge the lives of students and teachers. Perhaps the surest way to RUIN American education would be to expand the use of carrots and sticks with students and teachers."

    —David Berliner & Bruce Biddle, The Manufactured Crisis. 1995

    "[Chicago] teachers citing fact after fact to show what a lying, cheating, stealing corporate stooge Arne Duncan is."

    —Labor Notes Film: http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=574

    "A major problem of teachers' problem is that they haven't read Marx. They haven't read Marx for the simple reason that he does not appear on any lists of how to teach phonemic awareness or apostrophes. I feel I can say this because I'm a teacher and, consumed by what to do on Monday, I haven't read Marx."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "There is a testing fixation controlling many, many authorities on this planet. The 3Es [Execrable, Emetic and E xcretal] activities in schools are replacing the 3Ls [Learning, Love and Laughter] and the 3Rs [Reading, Riting,Rithmetic]."

    —Phil Cullen, http://primaryschooling.net/?page_id=41

    "The president and his party have received more money from private insurers and the for-profit health care industry than even Republicans, with the president alone taking $19 million in the 2008 election cycle alone, more than all his Republican, Democratic and independent rivals combined."

    —Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report

    "Twenty-four cooks assigned to the same mayonnaise recipe--the same bowls, same spoons, same eggs. same mustard, same oil, same whisks, same peppermills, same measuring cups, same room, same time of day, same marching orders--will create twenty-four different mayonnaises. "

    — Lauren Braun Costello & Russell Reich, Notes on Cooking

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit."


    "[W]e need two things we don't have yet. We need a common set of high standards so all teachers know exactly what their students need to learn. And we need to evaluate teachers based on how well their students are learning it. . . . We can't identify good teachers without measuring student performance."

    —Melinda Gates, National Council of La Raza, 7/25/09

    "Everyone in this room knows that high school is not high enough. We have to create a society that expects all students to go on to college and complete a degreeâwhether it's a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree."

    —Melinda Gates, National Council of La Raza, 7/25/09

    "After working my butt off to get this man elected, I am more than disappointed. These policies are truly bad for public education. "

    —post on Daily Kos, 7/25/09

    "Standards plastered on her door. Standards, benchmarks, tests and data Plastered on the classroom door. Only these, and nothing more. "

    — Jenni Davis, Standards, http://susanohanian.org, 7/25/09

    "Just because the bar in the high jump is set at six feet, it doesn't mean EVERYONE can jump six feet (or should even try)."

    —Sean Black at StopNationalStandards.org

    "The standards will tell the teachers what their students are supposed to learn, and the data will tell them whether they're learning it. "

    —Emperor Bill Gates, Nat. Conf. of State Legislatures, 7/21/09

    "Arne Duncan and his accomplices aren't advocating the close examination of poverty data: health, tooth decay, presence of iron, family income. No, they declare test data is king. All you have to do is look at the really ineffective, misleading, inappropriate, and just plain stupid test questions on which they are basing all this data collection to know the data emperor has no clothes. Depending on McGraw-Hill, Pearson, et al student standardized test results is the most expensive, least effective, and most damaging way to evaluate teacher performance. Period."

    —Susan Ohanian, website, July 22, 2009

    "Either we fight back as one class or its death by a thousand cuts. "

    —Rich Gibson, Rouge Forum,

    "Never pretend
    to be a unicorn
    by sticking a plunger on your head "

    —Martin Espada, Advice to Young Poets

    "We know charter schools provide real public school choice. When I became President, there was just one independent public charter school in all America. Today, thanks to you, there are 1,700. I ask you now to help us meet our goal of 3,000 charter schools by next year. (Applause.) "

    —Pres. Bill Clinton, State of the Union, Jan. 27, 2000

    "When I became president, there was just one independent public charter school in all America. With our support on a bipartisan basis, today there are 1,100. My budget assures that early in the next century, there will be 3,000."

    —Pres. Bill Clinton, State of the Union, Jan. 20, 1999

    "[T]here are two kinds of people who take the SATs: those who believe that they mean something and those who believe that they don't. The young aptocrats who think that the SATs measure their worth are perhaps more likely to be flummoxed when the real learning required by college is harder than choosing the right answer on a test or satisfying a teacher. Those students who have understood all along that tests are just tests and that teachers are just people may in the end be more well suited to the business of real learning. So perhaps we should be testing for attitude rather than aptitude. "

    —Edwin Battistella, letter, NY Times Magazine, 7/19/09

    "Most of Chicago's students drop out or fail."

    —Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, 6/2009

    "Take a look at Duncan's speeches. Over the past six months, he's made nine major policy addresses that have been posted on his Department's web site. And in those speeches, he's mentioned "history," "literature," and "geography" exactly zero times. Meanwhile, there were seven instances of "accountability," and "charter schools" left his lips an astounding twenty-nine times."

    —Michael J. Petrelli, Fordham Education Gadfly, 7/16/09

    "'Still Life' translates into French as 'nature morte.' 'NCLB' translates as 'les enfants morts.'"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "It is only a slight exaggeration to describe the test theory that dominates educational measurement today as the application of 20th century statistics to 19th century psychology."

    —Bob Mislevy, Knowing What Students Know, 1993

    "For many critics, teachers have become the villains in the wealthy elite's panic over educational accomplishment and foreign competition. But teachers don't cause financial meltdowns, home foreclosures, climate change, or hurricanes. And they don't invade countries or outsource jobs. Teachers don't cause mind-numbing conditions of poverty that limit children's ability to learn. However, teachers are the ones asked to cope with the poisonous effects of poverty. Why? Because most of society doesn't give a damn."

    —Richard Gibboney,in Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality by Bracey

    "Although the corporate-political alliance won't believe this, teaching is much more like a Chinese lyric painting than a bus schedule. You can't chart a kid's learning like the daily temperature. No matter how many tests you inflict on him. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Education Review, June 2009

    "What few people outside of the teaching profession realize is that a teacherâs hours are very different from, say, an architectâs. Simply stated, there is zero downtime. When that classroom door opens, in flood dozens of teenagers with dozens of problems that need solutions. It is estimated that an average high-school teacher makes more than 1,500 decisions each day. Some compare their work to managing triage in a hospital, absent a support team.

    Teachers who have left teaching for another profession are amazed by workplace luxuries at their new jobs: being able to check email, return phone calls, or use the bathroom at will throughout the day. Back in their teaching days, these ordinary tasks normally would have to be put off until lunch (unless the teacher had lunch duty) or until the end of the school day."

    —Sheila Tobias & Anne Baffert, Science Teaching as a Profession:. . .

    "Only when I entered Princeton did I start to have doubts about the system that got me there. Some took the form of doubts about myself. My impressive performance on the SATs (whose supposed biases I was blind to, perhaps because I was a middle-class Caucasian and they operated in my favor) didn't seem to count for much now that I found myself having to absorb volumes upon volumes of information rather than get the right answers on multiple-choice tests. Yes, I had a large vocabulary, and yes, I knew how to deploy it to good effect in classroom discussions and during professors' office hours, but suddenly my prowess felt slightly fraudulent. Called upon to read whole books, many of them old, obscure and difficult, I discovered that I lacked stamina and insight. The little word puzzles I cut my teeth on were irrelevant to the daunting task of digesting Chaucer and Milton. My solution? I didn't have one. Like countless college students before and since, I relied for my scholastic survival on a combination of verbal bluster, teacher-pleasing good manners and handy study aids."

    —Walter Kirn, New York Times Magazine, 6/5/09

    "Prefer to participate in a happy education revolution rather than a heated debate about education reform?"

    —Maya Frost, The New Global Student: Skip the SAT. . .

    "The New Haven case is a mess caused by infatuation with the law, mistaking verbal dexterity for practical skill, and an obsession with examinations. It has protected neither people's safety nor their civil liberties. "

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, June 28, 2009

    "Barack Obama didn't kill liberalism; he's just doing a nice job of burying it. The end of liberalism as a meaningful ideology came with the nomination of Bill Clinton. The argument was - although hardly phrased so accurately - that it was far better for liberals to dump their policies and become the indentured servants of an elected Democrat than to continue to press for their beliefs and miss out on all the power and the parties. "

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, June 28, 2009

    "I'm as optimistic as I've ever been that we now have, in this administration, a leader in Secretary Duncan."

    —Lou Gerstner, former IBM CEO, Carlyle chair in Bloomberg News, 6/26/09

    "Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House."

    —Bob Herbert, New York Times, June 23, 2009

    "Arne was in town at the Hyatt Regency as a guest of an educational policy group. Inside the hotel they probably gave him an award for his wonderful achievements in education, while outside, C.O.R.E., Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators. . . , was demonstrating against his wonderfulness. The Chicago teachers in the C.O.R.E. picket line were protesting the process by which a worm public school becomes a butterfly charter institution. Apparently the larvae stage is called: TURNAROUND."

    —Edward Hayes, Chicaco Public Education Examiner, 6/23/09

    " I get weary of this zero tolerance bullshit. It's annoying. To begin with, it's a fascist concept; it's what Hitler and Stalin practiced. It allows for no exceptions or compassion of any kind. All is black and white--no gradations. But even more important, it doesn't solve anything. The use of such a slogan simply allows whichever company, school or municipality is using it to claim they're doing something about a problem when, in fact, nothing is being done at all ant the problem is being ignored. It's a cosmetic non-solution designed to impress simpletons.

    Whenever you hear the phrase zero tolerance, remember, someone is bullshitting you"

    —George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

    "Without question, Bill Clinton was the single most important force in establishing the framework of standards, accountability, and testing that were put into law under NCLB."

    —Charles Barone, Democrats for Education Reform, 9/28/07

    "An unprecedented collaborative effort led by the Gates Foundation, ACHIEVE, and the NGA (National Governors Association) is underway now to establish a single set of national standards and to develop aligned assessments. The project is on an ambitious timeline, with a full set of academic standards to be developed by the end of the year.

    We fully expect the role of Race to the Top with regard to standards and assessments to be determined and informed by the success the Gates-led effort has in achieving its goals and meeting its timelines.

    We recommend that the Race to the Top be used to spur implementation of the Gates/ACHIEVE/NGA initiative, to fill in any gaps that emerge, and compel states and districts to adopt standards and assessment"

    —Democrats for Education Reform, June 17, 2009

    "The Race to the Top fund is the icing on the cake of more than $100 billion in federal education funds appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February. This fund, which represents 5% of the recent historic investment in Americaâs schools, allows Secretary Duncan to establish clear reform priorities for states and to back those priorities up by funding only those states which are willing to break through the chains of a status quo which historically has failed too many students."

    —Democrats for Education Reform, June 17, 2009

    "Teachers must begin to speak out against dangerous and irresponsbile rhetoric like 'The Race to the Top.' It is disgraceful, immoral and plain wrong to frame education reform in this language. It is especially egregious in the midst of an economic depression.

    Wasn't it the race to the top gotten us into this mess? What kind of message is the Obama administration sending to the next generation when his title for education reform implies millions of children who won't make it to the top will be left at the bottom?"

    —Jim Horn, Schools Matter, http://schoolsmatter.blogspot.com/

    " 'Hungry children are distracted children. We want to make sure nothing gets in the way of our children performing well academically, including hunger.
    --Arne Duncan

    Hungry children should be fed because they are hungry. Period.

    That children's academic performance will improve when their most basic, fundamental life needs are met is truly secondary. NOT unimportant, but secondary."

    —This Little Blog http://aplacetorespond.blogspot.com/

    "They fuck you up, the Standardistos."

    —after Philip Larkin, This Be the Verse

    "Bill Gates has paid tens of millions of dollars to have his childhood bullies tracked down and killed."

    —David Letterman and Late Show Writers, Fun Facts

    "Grade 4

    Advanced: An advanced student evaluates and integrates concrete academic/workplace knowledge and skills for different careers.

    Proficient: A proficient student identifies and applies concrete academic/workplace knowledge and skills for different careers.

    Basic: A basic student has limited acquisition and comprehension of the academic/workplace knowledge and skills for different careers.

    Below Basic: A below basic student has not developed the academic/workplace knowledge and skills necessary for different careers. "

    —Wyoming State Standards, Career/Performance Descriptors

    "A Standardisto has Van Gogh's ear for classroom nuance."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "There are two Standardistos drowning and you can only save one. What do you do? Take a nap or go shopping?"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "I performed badly in the Civil Service examinations because evidently I knew more about economics than my examiners."

    —J. M. Keynes, British economist

    "Gardening books will tell you that some of these things in my garden can't be done, but I had never read them when I got started. Not knowing ahead of time that something is supposed to be impossible often makes it possible to achieve. I didn't have any limitations because I really didn't know anything about horticulture. I just figured I could do whatever I wanted with any plant I had."

    —Pearl Fryar in film A Man Named Pearl

    "National Standards are something you can't use at a price you can't afford."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Standardistos like answering questions nobody asked them."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "One has to suppose that Standardistos were children once."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Many of my peers in China became teachers. It was partly because we had been educational volunteers, but it also had to do with the skills we developed--the flexibility, the sense of humor, the willingness to handle anything an eighth grader could throw at us."

    —Peter Hessler, of Peace Corps experience, New Yorker, 1/12/09

    "Your rules are not unreasonable, but neither are they poetry or the will of God. They are just rules you made up. Surely it is good if a child respects and obeys the rules her parents make up. But it is also a rule that when a child becomes a teenager she has sudden, inexplicable needs, and it is assured that she will start trying to meet those needs in whatever improvised fashion she can come up with. This is normal."

    —Cary Tennis, Salon.com, June 19, 2009

    "How do you know when Arne Duncan is lying?

    His mouth is open and words are coming out. "

    —George N. Schmidt , Editor, Substance

    "I attended a luncheon at the private Club Colette in Palm Beach a few days ago for feral cats. There are about 400 of these wild animals on the island and they are treated better than the 4,000 homeless across the bridge. The cats get fed regularly and are watched over by a number of dedicated society ladies. It costs several hundred thousand dollars a year to treat these cats in the fashion in which they are accustomed, whereas last year The Lord's Place [dedicated to helping homeless people in Palm Beach County] raised only $40,000 in Palm Beach.

    During the luncheon one wealthy matron got up to make her testimonial. "I have 18,000 acres in the Adirondacks," she said. "I'll fly some of these cats up there in my private jet." I kept thinking about the homeless families in West Palm Beach sleeping in cars. It is stunning to me how far out of the crucial concerns of our country so many of these people are. There is desperate need across the Inland Waterway, but that is another world, and most of these people intend to keep it that way. It's a story writ large in wealthy enclaves across America."

    —Laurence Leamer, Madness Under the Royal Palms, in Huffington Post

    "For some reason, first the Bush people and now the Obama people believe they know exactly how to fix American education. (Chicago, their model, is one of the lowest-performing cities in the nation on national tests, and Texas was never a national model for academic excellence.) Their answer starts with testing and ends with data and more testing. If children were widgets, they might be right; but children are not widgets, they are individuals. If reading and math were all that mattered in school, they might be right, but basic skills are not the be-all and end-all of being educated. "

    —Diane Ravitch, Huffington Post, 6/13/09

    "I believe the impetus behind 'standardization' of students is the same as the "pay students for test scores" movement. Both seek to control the depth of learning that occurs as well as train children from a young age to get ready to be part of the labor force. "

    —Priscilla Gutierrez, Literacy for All, June 12, 2009

    "As long as there are content-based standards, there will be machine-scoreable standardized tests.

    This Power Point highlights the issue:

    http://www.marionbrady.com/Powerpoint/LearningPassive-Active.ppt "

    —Marion Brady, June 12, 2009

    "No, Mr. Duncan, the 'best and the brightest' are not the people we need in our schools: We need the savvy, rock steady, dependable, loving, forgiving people who have an enormous capacity for wait time and the psychological equilibrium to be able to enter the classroom every day not holding a grudge for what happened the day before. "

    —Susan Ohanian, responding to Arne Duncan's spiel on NPR, 6/9/09

    "If we kill you, you are a terrorist. "

    —Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House, June 6, 2009

    "But to somehow suggest we should not link student achievement to teacher effectiveness is like suggesting we judge sports teams without looking at the box score"

    —Arne Duncan, Speech to IES, June 8, 2009

    "I am sorely disappointed in Arne Duncan. I don't see any change from the mean, punitive version of accountability that the Bush administration foisted on the nation's schools. "

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, 2/24/09

    "Standards are currently rhetoric for holding children accountable for things they have no control over and things the adults in our state and national capitols do a poor job of demonstrating. We need new rhetoric-- some that matters and makes a difference to the quality of education we offer all children. The first standards we should set are standards of communication, standards of facilities and standards of human and monetary resources. And that doesn't mean the same amount or form for everyone. These things should vary with need.

    The standard for what is offered to students should be what is held high. Then and only then can expectations for student achievement be raised-- but we still should never expect children to be standardized in their achievements. God didn't make them that way! Families don't facilitate standard school outcome.

    Much can be done to improve things, however, so that each student gets the chance to reach his or her potential. "

    —Juanita Doyon, Parent Empowermemt Network

    "Frank Sullivan says that âhalf of our stock of maxims is designed to quell childrenâ¦.children are, of course, sitting ducks for proverbs."

    —Frank Sullivan, A Watched Proverb Butters no Parsnips

    "Every day I get up and look out the window, and something occurs to me, something always occurs to me. And if it doesn't, I just lower my standards."

    —William Stafford, explaining how he managed to be so prolific

    "If we were properly educated as a nation, the only torturing going on might be in our own hearts and minds -- a struggle against accepting the world as it's being packaged and sold to us by the pragmatists, the technocrats, and those who think education is nothing but a potential passport to material success."

    —William Astore, TomDispatch.com, June 1, 2009

    "Dear Mr. Obama,

    Please send my vote back."

    —source unknown

    " The three institutions that most endanger the preservation of any culture are Wal-Mart, TV and law school. Each imposes its own style, values and habits on those it influences making it hard, as Harvard Law School grad Barack Obama has already proved, to retain one's roots. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, May 28, 2009

    "A high school diploma itself seems to help keep black men out of trouble. The likelihood of incarceration drops fourfold among black high school graduates compared to those who make it only to tenth or eleventh grade."

    —Helen Epstein, New York Review of Books, June 11, 2009

    "When you're a teacher, you have to own every word you say."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "SWAMPOODLE REPORT The 2008 election was a hat trick of infidelity. One candidate's husband had cheated on her. Another candidate was found to be cheating on his wife. And the winner began cheating on his strongest supporters as soon as he was in office. "

    —Josiah Swampoodle, Undernews, May 19, 2009

    "When someone suggests that all children will be able to perform at __(>0) level, that all children will succeed, that all students will be proficient, or that no child will be left behind, he or she is contributing to unhelpful silly talk about schools and schooling. . . . NCLB is a prime example of absurd education policy that is divorced from data and reality checks about the meaning of data."

    —Timothy Konold & James Kauffman, Handbook of Data -Based Decision Making

    "On the Medical Model of schooling. Being a student is not an illness."

    —Gert Biesta, Educational Theory, Vol. 57 No. 1, 2007

    "We can hope that one day the media that now format as news items the publicity releases issued by the Business Roundtable and Achieve, Inc., will figure out that Appellate Justice Lerner is just stating baldly the marketplace truth that few dare speak aloud: 'An eighth- or ninth-grade education is adequate to provide the skills required to enable a person to secure low-level employment.' Maybe the media will one day acknowledge that our nation runs on low-paid employment. Maybe one day newspapers will publish a labor section next to the business section; maybe some reporter will point out that the global economy doesn't have jobs for hundreds of thousands of high-tech workers adept at algebra and calculus; maybe the reporter will even notice that this job scarcity and the fact that the Business Roundtable and their Standardisto cohorts have pressured schools into making higher math a prerequisite for a high school diploma are related. The global economy -- and the local one too -- needs plenty of service workers. The crime is not that people work at these jobs. The crime is that they are not paid a living wage to do so."

    —Susan Ohanian, Phi Delta Kappan, June 2003

    "What is needed for education is a model of professional action that acknowledges the noncausal nature of educational interaction and the fact that the means and ends of education are internally rather than externally related. What is needed, in other words, is an acknowledgment of the fact that education is a moral practice, rather than a technical or technological one-- a distinction that dates back to Aristotle's distinction between phronesis (practical wisdom) and techne (instrumental knowledge). The most important question for educational professionals is therefore not about the effectiveness of their actions but about the potential educational value of what they do, that is, about the educational desirability of the opportunities for learning that follow from their actions (and what should be prevented at all costs is the situation in which there is a performative contradiction between what they preach and what they practice). This is why the 'what works' agenda of evidence-based practice is at least insufficient and probably misplaced in the case of education, because judgment in education is not simply about what is possible (a factual judgment) but about what is educationally desirable (a value judgment)."

    —Gert Biesta, Educational Theory, Vol. 57 No. 1, 2007

    "What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. "

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878

    "Everywhere, every day, local life is being discomforted, disrupted, endangered, or destroyed by powerful people who life, or who are privileged to think that they live, beyond the bad effects of their bad work. "

    —Wendell Berry, Home Economics

    "Take away the right to say 'f---' and you take away the right to say 'f--- the government.'"

    —Lenny Bruce

    "They were that new kind of Democrat who didnât seem to know any working people. They were limited to their own breed"

    —Jim Harrison, The English Major

    "I'm very sympathetic to the argument that we need to convey and find ways to enforce high expectations for students. But I'm uncomfortable with this form of doing it, because it targets very strong penalties on the most at-risk students. The pejorative consequences appear to be concentrated in populations and communities that lack the capacity to meet these standards. . . .The cynic in me worries that we're just going to continue to see these [exit exam] policies proliferate, because it seems like an obvious way to convey the expectations that we should have for students and the negative effects appear to be hidden from public discussion."

    —Thomas Dee, Education Week, April 29, 2009

    "WARNING: Objects In the NCLB Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Researchers have yet to discover any clear evidence that High School Exit Exams benefit anyone except the companies that make and sell them."

    —Stephen Krashen, Letter to LA Times, 4/23/09

    "Despite the best hopes of proponents, test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress reveal that urban school districts run by mayors do no better in reading or math than districts run by traditional boards. School governance is not the same as school reform. Structure is not a remedy for failure."

    —Joseph P. Viteritti, Education Week, April 8, 2009

    "Without the support of The Broad Foundation, we would not be where we are today. The foundationâs belief, not only in our particular model, but also in the importance of talent to the ultimate success of the education reform effort, has been catalytic. Time and again, we have turned to the foundation for its judgment, and weâve come to expect that it will hold us to high standards."

    —Wendy Kopp, Teach for America, Broad Foundation Report 2008

    "We cannnot look our students in the eye and tell them that they should learn to read and write according to our directions because it will necessarily pay off for them in the future."

    —Patrick Shannon, Reading Poverty, 1998

    "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

    —Emma Goldman

    "'We're all in this together,' President Obama, March 24 press conference. No we're not, that's the point of this book. . . . We the ROBBED class are in this together. THEY the ROBBER Class are in it for themselves."

    —Cindy Sheehan, Myth America, cindysheehansoapbox.com

    "I think Joel Klein and Mike Bennet and Arne Duncan are some of the best superintendents around, and they were never teachers. "

    —Michelle Rhee, Atlantic.com, Oct. 3, 2008

    " Cu è surdu, orbu e taci, campa cent'anni 'mpaci.

    He who is deaf, blind, and silent will live a hundred years in peace."

    —Sicilian proverb

    "For someone who taught constitutional law, Obama is showing striking contempt for some of the founding document's key provisions such as the division of powers between the legislative and executive branch and that between federal and state government. His hectoring of public school teachers - some of the hardest working and least well paid professionals in America - is not only disrespectful, it ignores the fact that how a state runs its school system is, constitutionally, not subject to the sort of federal interference that Obama and his predecessors have engaged in, using funds as the whip to drive their preferred policies. Further, if we applied federal standards to heads of school systems, Obama's own education secretary would be in trouble as he didn't do all that well in Chicago. "

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, March 11, 2009

    "How did that performance pay thing work out for the American financial system?"

    — Education Notes Online, http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com

    "Meanwhile, NEA mis-leaders joined AFT, the Business Roundtable, and other employer groups to promote national teaching standards,

    Why national standards? It is not possible to split foreign policy and domestic policy. The education budget is a war budget. The crux of the US education project is to produce students so witless, docile, loyal, yet useful, they will support the poor of their home nation going off to fight and die for the rich. Bill Blum noticed this recently when he reminded us of this quote from the song about racism from the Broadway classic show, 'South Pacific' --'You've got to be taught' ...

    You've got to be taught
    from year to year.
    It's got to be drummed
    in your dear little ear.
    You've got to be taught
    before it's too late.
    Before you are 6 or 7 or 8.
    To hate all the people
    your relatives hate.
    You've got to be carefully taught.

    —Rich Gibson, the Rouge Forum, March 11, 2009

    "I believe that the consequence of scripted curriculum, teacher accountability, continuous monitoring of student performance, high stakes testing, and punishment for not reaching external standards is that schools become educational panopticons, that is, total control and surveillance communities dedicated to undermining the imagination, creativity, intelligence, and autonomy of students and teachers. "

    —Herb Kohl, Teachers College Record, 1/9/09

    "No is simply no."

    —parent Sylvia Martinez opting daughter out of CSAP

    "Is it really so startling that those who call themselves progressive are generally as incapable of critical thought as those who label themselves conservative? "

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, 2/3/09

    "Facts are the core of an anti-intellectual curriculum. Facts do not solve problems. . . . The gadgeteers and the data collectors have threatened to become the supreme chieftains of the scholarly world. "

    —Robert Hutchins, quoted in A Great Idea at the Time...by Alex Beam

    "Obama has named a secretary of education who has been deeply involved in the corporate takeover of public school policy, which has left schools in poorer areas the target of urban developers, encouraged mindless emphasis on test taking designed to create obedient drones rather than critical thinkers, and which has even, in Secretary Duncan's case, resulted in several military academies antithetical to decent public education in a democracy."

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, 1/21/09

    "Ask children. Hear them. Teach children to ask the questions they want answers to. Believe that what a seven-year-old has to say is important. Because it is. Just ask. "

    —Ann Marie Corgill, Of Primary Importance

    "If Obama really wants to associate himself with Lincoln, there is a far better place to start than apple cinnamon sponges, moldy old Bibles, and sucking up to conservative columnists: don't tell lies."

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, 1/14/09

    "People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them."

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circles, 1841

    "The Norton Anthology of English Literature is seventeen hundred pages long. It's a fat and heavy book. It will stop a bullet, but it won't cover your nakedness."

    —Castle Freeman, Jr. My Life and Adventures

    "The Army Experience Center, located in the Franklin Mills Mall just north of Philadelphia, bills itself as a 'state-of-the-art educational facility that uses interactive simulations and online learning programs to educate visitors about the many careers, training and educational opportunities available in the Army.' . . . .

    The Pentagon has been enjoined by both by national lawmakers and international institutions to stop pandering to children. When children's bodies are invaded, we call it statutory rape. Do we have a tidier phrase for the invasion of their minds?"

    —Penny Coleman, AlterNet, Dec. 19, 2008

    "Obama's call for change falls flat with this appointment, not only because Duncan largely defines schools within a market-based and penal model of pedagogy, but also because he does not have the slightest understanding of schools as something other than adjuncts of the corporation at best or the prison at worse."

    —Henry Giroux & Kenneth Saltman , Truthout, 12/17/08

    ""What do you do?" "What we can.""

    —Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

    "Algebra When Ready

    Only when students exhibit demonstrable success with prerequisite skills-not at a prescribed grade level-should they focus explicitly and extensively on algebra, whether in a course titled Algebra 1 or within an integrated mathematics curriculum. Exposing students to such coursework before they are ready often leads to frustration, failure, and negative attitudes toward mathematics and learning."

    —National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)

    "We want beans, not goals."

    —Mexican steelworkers’ banner, World Cup soccer championship, 1986

    "You begin to die the moment you are born, and you really, really begin to die the day your child goes to school alone. "

    —Eleanor Guiton, letter, New York Times, 11/30/08

    "Play is integral to the academic environment. It ensures that the school setting attends to the social and emotional development of children as well as their cognitive development. It has been shown to help children adjust to the school setting and even to enhance children's learning readiness, learning behaviors, and problem-solving skills. Social-emotional learning is best integrated with academic learning; it is concerning if some of the forces that enhance children's ability to learn are elevated at the expense of others. Play and unscheduled time that allow for peer interactions are important components of social-emotional learning."

    — Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, Pediatrics January 2007

    "[T]his is the hard truth -- the blood-and-iron truth -- that our age has taught us so well: war is always a win-win proposition for the corporate-militarist state that has devoured the American Republic. Even if the particular conflict itself ends badly or inconclusively, it always engenders vast profits and increased power and privilege for the corporate- militarist elite -- and the temporary managers they graciously allow the American people to "choose" from a rigorously sifted, highly circumscribed menu of 'viable' candidates. So it doesn't matter if this war or that war is 'ill-conceived' or 'badly managed' or a 'serious mistake' or 'the wrong war at the wrong time,' or if its public justifications are based on lies or ignorance or arrogance, or if it bankrupts the treasury, beggars the citizenry, and destabilizes the world. The small, golden, coddled circle still reaps dividends of profit and dominance."

    —Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque

    "Never! Never! Never! Never! Never!"

    —King Lear

    "As a teacher in this system, you have to be willing to take personal responsibility for ensuring your children are successful despite obstacles. You can't say, 'My students didn't get any breakfast today,' or No one put them to bed last night,' or 'Their electricity got cut off in the house, so they couldn't do their homework.'"

    —Michelle Rhee, D. C. schools chancellor, Atlantic 11/08

    "What the education world needs is a few strong administrators and teachers and parents to join together, proclaiming, 'Enough is enough'-- people who know how to say, 'We're as mad as hell, and we're not going to do this any more.'"

    —Susan Ohanian, One Size Fits Few

    "School Takes 13 Years Because That's How Long It Takes to Break a Child's Spirit."

    —bumpersticker on novelist Carolyn Chute's pickup

    "Do not depend on the hope of results. . . . concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself."

    —Thomas Merton, letter to Vietnam War activist, 1966

    "Teachers now are expected to staff the permanent emergency rooms of our countryâs dysfunctional social order. They are expected to compensate for what families, communities, and culture fail to do. Like our soldiers in Iraq, they are sent into urban combat zones, on impossible missions under inhospitable conditions, and then abandoned by politicians and policy makers who have already cut and run, leaving teachers on their own. "

    —Bill Moyers, Council of Great City Schools, Oct. 17, 06

    "Just abut everywhere we turn the next generation is being indoctrinated to think of themselves narrowly as producers, employees, spectators, and consumers--everything but citizens. I have no solutions to the particular challenges facing urban schools--achievement scores, learning disabilities, teacher shortages--but I know we must change the curriculum in order to change the metaphor of our children from orphans of democracy to its rightful sons and daughters. Who will teach them that they, too, can mount a Boston Tea Party?"

    —Bill Moyers, Council of Great City Schools, Oct. 17, 06

    "You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy, but you cannot have both."

    —Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    "The conservative movement stands intellectually and morally bankrupt while Democrats talk about a 'new direction' without convincing us they know the difference between a weather vane and a compass."

    —Bill Moyers, Moyers on Democracy, 2008

    "How much disrespect will you tolerate?"

    —Ralph Nader, The Good Fight

    "The government's Web site www.ed.gov/nclb claims the act holds schools accountable. All I see is the pressure that has fallen on children and their parents. Without the recognition that there are no one-size-fits-all teaching methods and the funding for a true education fix, NCLB is detrimental to my family. It undermines childhood pleasures and threatens to destroy my son's self-esteem. I want it to go away. "

    —Susan Green, parent, St. Petersburg Times, 10/25/08

    "She may be dead.

    Or she may be following Reading First scripts.

    Hard to tell the difference."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "If somebody will fund it, 83,473 researchers will submit grant proposals to do it. And 82,029 will be from Texas and Oregon."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "You don't have to change the world. Just keep the world from changing you."

    —Colman McCarthy

    "Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg in a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you are destroying the peg."

    —Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

    "A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves."

    —Edward R. Murrow

    "Closing the school would be better than breaking their hearts. "

    —Father O'Malley in Bells of St. Mary's

    "Technology to wipe out truth is now available. not everybody can afford it but it's available. when the cost comes down look out!

    Toleration of the unacceptable leads to the last round-up."

    —Bob Dylan, World Gone Wrong

    "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? "

    —Mahatma Gandhi, Non-Violence in Peace and War

    "Although the United States is the largest imperial power in history, this fact rarely is mentioned. Nor do Americans refer to themselves as capitalists. As with typical neoliberal discourses, when capitalism is addressed, it is framed in democratic or Enlightenment terms as individual rights, freedom, and progress rather than as imperialism. This viewpoint ignores issues of power and does not name who is and who is not advantaged. Aijaz Ahmad claims that economic realities surround and saturate us; that corporate repressions, the rise of a compliant bourgeoisie [college-educated, managerial class], and strengthened market mentality regarding schools are interrelated. "

    —Ellen Brantlinger, Who Benefits to High-Stakes Testing?

    "More and more people are talking about national standards."

    —Cynthia G. Brown, Center for American Progress, with ties to Obama

    "When test companies sell things and call them formative, these vendors are being disingenuous âwe used to call it lying."

    —W. James Popham, Education Week, Sept.17, 2008

    "Question: What do you think is your own best novel?

    Answer: I donât answer questions like that. Ever. And you ought not to ask them."

    —Gore Vidal to NY Times interviewer, 6/15/08

    "Whenever I hear someone say something that is inarticulate, unintelligible, or just plain stupid, and I want to provide a retort that confuses them, establishes my disinterest, and cracks me up all at the same time, I respond with, 'Wear a long coat and nobody will notice.'

    Any statement.

    Any comment.

    Anything. I just respond with this great instruction and walk off. It accomplishes nothing other than to confuse th hell out of everyone. And I love confusion. "

    —Lionel,,,,,,, Everyone's crazy Except You and Me...

    "We introduce the whole alphabet, but emphasize 'A' through 'D' since they come up most for the multiple-choice standardized test. "

    —Hillary Price, cartoonist, Rhymes with Orange

    "Unfortunately, all evidence of your son's intelligence is purely anecdotal."

    —New Yorker cartoon

    "Your cry is, 'we must agitate, we must agitate.' So you must bear in mind that the agitation of deeds is tenfold more effectual than the agitation of words."

    —Paul Lawrence Dunbar, The Tattler, 1890

    "(Arlington, Va.)The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) honored State Farm Insurance Companies Chairman and CEO [and George Bush Education advisor, chair Business Roundtable Education Task Force, member of the board McGraw-Hill, member of the board Achieve] Edward B. Rust, Jr. for his contributions to advancing the teaching profession."

    —Press Release, Sept. 11, 2003

    "More than anything else, the corporate-politicos have charged teachers to educate for civil obedience."

    —Susan Ohanian

    " Politicians' Syllogism:
    Step One: We must do something
    Step Two: This is something
    Step Three: Therefore we must do it "

    —Jonathan Lynn & Antony Jay in Yes, Minister

    "Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with only one dish. They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen."

    —Huey Long (Aug. 30, 1893--September 10, 1935)

    "No studies of Open Court Reading© that fall within the scope of the Beginning Reading review meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards. The lack of studies meeting WWC evidence standards means that, at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of Open Court Reading©."

    —What Works Clearinghouse, US Dept. of Education

    "In short, we must organize. Writing a book will not do it. Writing a paper will not do it. "

    —Abu-Jamal, Mumia, The Industry of Fear, Social Justice, Fall 2000

    "[S]tudents do perform or ventriloquize what teachers request. . . ."

    —Erica Meiners, Right to Be Hostile: Schools, Prisons, & Making Public En

    "Poverty is the single greatest risk factor for almost every 'life-smashing' condition a kid might be at risk for, save perhaps compulsive shopping."

    —Judith Levine, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Se

    "I don't think there is such a thing as being 'apolitical' about NCLB. Enforcing it, not speaking out, adopting the language around it are all ways of supporting it."

    —Anne Trudeau, Portland parent

    "The Reading First program's corruption is now legendary. Those who turn a blind eye to that corruption and its concomitant exploitation of our children are themselves participating in the corruption. "

    —Don Perl, Colorado educator & organizer at www.nationalreadingfirst.org

    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves. "

    —Bertrand de Jouvenal

    "The bailouts are rewarding the very people and institutions whose reckless behavior caused this financial mess. Yet government demands nothing from them in return--like new rules for prudent behavior and explicit obligations to serve the national interest. Washington ought to compel the financial players to rein in their appetite for profit in order to help save the country from a far worse fate: a depressed economy that cannot regain its normal energies. Instead, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the Democratic Congress and of course the Republicans meekly defer to the wise men of high finance, who no longer seem so all-knowing. . ."

    —William Greider, The Nation, August 18, 2008

    "We. . . get into these terrible dilemmas - where the big guys step all over everyone else and the victims are required to pay the hospital bills - because we refuse to recognize the connection between money and politics. This is the great denial in democracy that may ultimately mean our ruin. We just don't seem able to see or accept the fact that money drives policy."

    —Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Truthout, July 18, 2008

    "When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

    —Isaac Asimov, autobiography I Asimov

    too long you had carried your life
    like two suitcases heavy enough to kill
    you. "

    —Elizabeth Spires, from The Snowy Day

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."


    "One Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, compared the Obama campaign unfavorably to President Bush's administration. 'At least Bush waited until he was in the White House before they started ignoring everybody,' the aide said."

    —reported by Sam Smith in Undernews, online report of The Progressive Review

    "The only way to have reasonably decent politicians is to keep them humble, make constant fun of them and don't let them get away with anything. It is by ignoring such rules that we have ended up with the likes of George Bush and Bill Clinton."

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, July 14, 2008

    "The members who comprised it were seven-eighths of them, ...the meanest kind of bawling and blowing officeholders, office-seekers, pimps, malignants, conspirators, murderers, fancy-men, custom-house clerks, contracts, kept-editors, spaniels well train'd to carry and fetch, jobbers, infidels, disunionists, terrorists, mail riflers, slave-catchers, pushers of slavery, creatures of the President, creatures of would-be Presidents, spies, bribers, compromisers, lobbyists, spongers, ruin'd sports, expell'd gamblers, policy-backers, monte-dealers, duellists, carriers of conceal'd weapons, deaf men, pimpled men, scarred inside with vile disease, gaudy outside with gold chains made from the people's money and harlots' money twisted together; crawling, serpentine men, the lousy combinings and born freedom-sellers of the earth. "

    —Walt Whitman on Democratic convention

    "With California requiring 8th graders to know algebra, it might be a good time to start a Kindergarten Kalculus movement."

    —Stephen Krashen, July 10, 2008

    "There is surely no more reliable way to kill enthusiasm and interest in a subject than to make it a mandatory part of the school curriculum. Include it as a major component of standardized testing and you virtually guarantee that the education establishment will suck the life out of it. School boards do not understand what math is, neither do educators, textbook authors, publishing companies, and sadly, neither do most of our math teachers. "

    —Paul Lockhart, A Mathematician's Lament, MAA 2008

    "Always you have been working in the system. Always you have been tied down by the struggle to make your payments. These payments are not just checks and cash. We make our payments when we knuckle under. We make our payments when we live in fear. We make our payments when we pretend the emperor is clothed in the finest raiments of the land. We make our payments when we 'buy in.'"

    —Cary Tennis, Since You Asked Column, Salon.com

    "In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot. "

    —Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel Prize acceptance, 1981

    "Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice."

    —John Adams

    " We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started"

    —T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

    "Since the symptoms of lead poisoning are irritability, distractibility, impulsivity, aggression and a loss of over seven IQ points, we should not complain when lead poisoned children are irritable, distractible, impulsive, aggressive and do not do well on academic tests. . . . It's not the parents' indifference that is the problem, it is society's indifference. "

    —Michael Martin, Research Analyst, AZ School Boards Assn.

    "No matter what happens, just keep shopping.
    --the corporate-politico economic policy

    No matter what happens, just keep testing.
    --the corporate-politico education plan"

    —Susan Ohanian

    " High-stakes Testing: Brainboarding"

    —Rich Gibson

    "Anger is always the self-selected moral choice when cowardice is the only perceived alternative."

    —Jim Horn , www.SchoolsMatter.blogspot.com

    ""If you go too far from your natural manner it can be damaging," she warns. . . "Your good qualities aren't being used. They're getting beaten down.""

    —Shannon Burke, Black Flies

    "I pledge allegiance to the children
    of the Earth,
    and to the books that bring them pleasure
    a library
    of diversity
    in the classroom
    With joyful interpretation for all. "

    —Susan Ohanian, after Gary Snyder

    "I pledge allegiance to the soil
    of Turtle Island,
    and to the beings who thereon dwell
    one ecosystem
    in diversity
    under the sun
    With joyful interpenetration for all."

    —Gary Snyder, from For All

    "The 21st Century Global Economy? Standards. Standardization. No! Children. Each a unique individual more precious than all the material possessions in the world. And wonderfully resistant to being standardized. Keep on loving the children and keep swimming upstream!"

    —Tauna Rogers, teacher, http://aplacetorespond.blogspot.com

    "Indeed, one PERFECT resister is enough to win the battle of Right against Wrong."

    —Mahatma Gandhi, Satyagraha

    "Fright destroys the possibility of good teaching."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "The real test of character is how you treat someone who has no possibility of doing you any good."

    —George Orwell

    "So displeased am I with the direction public education is going, I have chosen to make this my last year."

    —Don Perl, who refused to administer the state test, 2001

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. "

    —Theodore Roosevelt

    "I don't know if Reading First can teach children to read, but I am confident that it can teach children to hate to read. "

    —Parent and teacher, Atlanta, Georgia

    "We know that the more children read, the better their literacy development. There is now overwhelming research showing that free voluntary reading is the primary source of our reading ability, our writing style, much of our vocabulary and spelling knowledge, and our ability to handle complex grammatical constructions. It has also been confirmed that those who read more know more: They know more about history, literature, and even have more 'practical knowledge.' "

    —Stephen Krashen, in Language, May 2008

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. "

    —Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

    "It is the duty of the teacher to protect her students from the overreaching of the government."

    —Susan Ohanian

    ""SILENCE!" The King of the Turtles barked back. "I'm the king, and you're only a turtle named Mack. You stay in your place while I sit here and rule."

    "SILENCE!" The Secretary of Education barked back. . . ."

    —Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle

    "Moderation in temper is always a virtue. But moderation in principle is always a vice. "

    —Tom Paine

    "Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me 20 times, I'm a democrat. "

    —Stephen Krashen, Santa Monica Daily Press, May 9, 07

    " . . .the hearse is parked in the halls of the high school

    recruiting black, brown and poor. . ."

    — Andrea GIbson, For Eli

    "Schools run by the market will favor the haves, not the have-nots. "

    —Diane Ravitch, School Board News, March 2008

    "We don't have a money problem, we have a values problem. "

    —Marian Wright Edelman, School Board News, March 2008

    "If teachers had a union that honored its own Code of Ethics, the inhumane and unethical use of tests and the warping of children's futures would not be something that teachers, students, and parents all had to lose sleep about."

    —Schools Matter Blog, April 25, 2008

    "Understand that you, as a parent, have the right to request your child opt out of the tests. This is a little known, but very important, fact. School districts are required by law to inform parents of this right, but it's not widely advertised. There have even been cases where principals have pressured parents to not opt out because their child's score is needed to bring up the school's overall ranking."

    —Family Parenting @ DisneyFamily.com

    "The biggest disappointment in 30 years of education work was the No Child Left Behind Act. It did (and does) more damage to schools and children than anything short of war. Indeed, in my opinion, it's a war on childhood. Created by lobbyists for the textbook-testing industry and a Congress that never sees the inside of a school except for photo-ops, it has driven out thousands of the most experienced teachers (who refuse to practice intellectual child abuse) while disillusioning thousands of the youngest teachers -- all in the name of testing that makes hundreds of millions for the testing industry. Beyond profits, NCLB's only other accomplishment has been to create hundreds of thousands of school children who associate reading with dry-boned textbooks, boredom, pain, and the threat of failure. A strange way to create a nation of readers! Saddest of all, it was built on a hoax -- there was no Texas education miracle. They cooked the books the Enron way and that's been documented time and again."

    —Jim Trelease retirement letter, January 2008

    "I believe strongly, in this country, that I ought to be able to stand up and say "No" to something that I believe in my soul is bad for kids."

    —Carl Chew, explaining his refusal to give WASL, KIRO TV

    "Yay, my revolutionary papa! But remember, no one should try to do something like this in a vacuum. Rosa Parks did not just sit on that bus by herself. She had hundreds if not thousands of people backing her up and giving her courage. Go out and let people know what you are doing so you don't feel alone."

    —14-year-old daughter of Carl Chew, WASL refuser

    "This year, the politicians are back with their speeches about how they are going to arrange for vocational classes so the voters will be able to compete in the twenty-first century. The first decade of the twenty-first century is already almost over. Time to drop that line, lest the small-town people turn bitter."

    —Nicholas Von Hoffman, The Nation, 4/15/08

    "Yep, I was all for more tests and more sanctions on schools that didn't measure up. How could they hurt? That's what I thought until, as a parent, I was exposed first-hand to the disturbing transformation in school instruction caused by the federal education mandate. "

    — Marilou Johanek, Toledo Blade, April 11, 08

    " The testing system also forces teachers out, Linda McNeil and Sherrie Matula say. 'We're killing the brand-new teachers,' Matula says. says."

    —Margaret Downing, Houston Press, April 8, 2008

    "1st Place is not a good observation point. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. There is grace afoot in the world and it will find you. You don't have to be first in line: It will be diligent in pursuing you and passing on its gifts, which are faith, hope, love and a sense of humor. The harder you strive for a gift, the more it eludes you. . . ."

    —Garrison Keillor, column, April 9, 2008

    "Teachers, stand up and insist that you be allowed to be a professional instead of a pawn in a system that is destroying your profession. Your voices together can make a difference and move mountains."

    —Miriam Silver, letter, Naples Daily News, 4/4/08

    "Whose good is being served when once-venerable professional organizations like the National Council of Teachers of English are now hawking corporate flimflam called 21st-century skills?"

    —Susan Ohanian, in Knowledge & Power in the Global Economy

    "Ask a dozen people for a detailed list of information that kids should know, and you'll get a dozen different lists. We may well agree on fundamentals, but the devil is in the details. And in the end the details are arbitrary, which is why the Code of Hammurabi appears in sixth grade in some standards and high school in others. Only William Bennett puts it in second grade. Education Trust trumpets that "College Begins in Kindergarten." On the topic of the failures of African-Americans and Hispanics taking the New York Regents exam, Education Trust CEO Katy Haycock made one of the most outrageous, cruel, and asinine statements imaginable: 'At least they failed something worthwhile.' That one is worth reading again: 'At least they failed something worthwhile.'"

    —Susan Ohanian, What Happened to Recess?

    Long on humility
    Short on hubris,
    Dreaming in beautiful echoes
    Of all the lessons once possible
    A teacher breathes carefully.

    Stranded in a school desert
    With only corporate scripts.
    Regulated by
    State Decree
    Molding diverse spirits
    Into obedient parrots.

    No matter how paranoid a teacher may be,
    What they're doing to children
    Is far worse than anyone can imagine,
    A pedagogy of submission requires denial
    and emotional bulletproofing.

    —Susan Ohanian, When Childhood Collides with NCLB

    "Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes."

    —Bertolt Brecht, Galileo, in Life of Galileo

    "I don't know if I can find the words for it, but if this country ever recovers, it will not be in my lifetime. If I were elected President, the first thing I would do would be to set up a Department of Restoring the Bill of Rights. I would have 10,000 people working there."

    —Sara Paretsky, Interview, The Progressive, 3/1/08

    "When my friends at The Nation asked what MY nation was, I replied simply: Indig(Nation)."

    —Jim Hightower, populist and Nation writer

    "Ding Wenyu always had a relatively half-assed attitude toward exams, loads of students registered for his classes precisely because they wouldn't have to worry too much about tests. Ding Wenyu never once took grading exams seriously: he simply piled them up and gave out marks according to his own random formula. The highest grade Ding usually gave was a 90 and the lowest grade would be a 70. Naturally the first exam on the top of the pile would get a 90; Ding would then subtract two points from each following test until he got down to 70.At that point he would start all over again. His preposterous grading method was always a big joke around campus, but Ding Wneyu was never concerned with what other people think-even if they were all laughing about him behind his back. He felt that since taking exams was not the objective of education, there was no reason to use them as a means to measure his students. Test scores could never truly represent the level of a student's performance. "

    —Ye Zhaoyan, Nanjing 1937: A Love Story

    "We will never close the achievement gap if all we do is measure it."

    —Howard Miller, New York Times, letters, 3/23/08

    "Then there is an elite private system where the rich go to school as in Mitt Romneyâs lovely alma mater, Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where rolling hills, a carefully kept landscape, swimming pools that appear to be small lakes, hockey rinks, an art colony and museum, an observatory, set up the view of those who, unthinkingly perhaps, are schooled to glaze at a globe and think, 'this is ours, let us set about seeing how we make it work,' quite distinct from the employee mentality, 'tell me what to do and I will do it,' imposed by most NCLB schooling."

    —Rich Gibson and E. Wayne Ross, Counterpunch March 2008

    "Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get 8 cats to pull a sled through the snow."

    —Jeff Valdez

    "Why would we persist in a practice whose value isn't supported by research? How can we justify making all the students in a class do the same homework? And, given that almost all kids regard homework as something they can't wait to be done with so they can move on to activities they enjoy, why in the world would we assume it's beneficial? (Do we regard children as so many vending machines, such that you put in an assignment and get out learning?)"

    —Alfie Kohn, March 2008

    "If I can stop on heart from breaking
    I shall not live in vain
    If I can ease one Life the Aching
    Or cool one Pain

    Or help one fainting Robin
    Unto his Nest again
    I shall not live in Vain.

    — Emily Dickinson (1864)

    "13.6 million of America's children live in poverty."

    —Every Child Matters

    " For my whole professional career I was a strong advocate of compulsory schooling. I was vigilant and relentless about getting every kid on my rolls into my classroom. For example, when I asked 7th graders, "Where's Tom?" kids told me he hadn't shown up to school since the second half of first grade. I found Tom, using legal means to force him into school. And this was a story with a happy ending. I adored Tommy and he ended up excelling in school.

    Nonetheless, with the current curriculum madness, I drop my support of compulsory schooling. I can't support forcing children to endure an oppressive behaviorist curriculum that demeans and diminishes them. I can't support forcing kids into schools that have abandoned kindergarten playhouses, school music programs, P. E.. I can't support forcing kids into schools that award prizes for reading books.

    I won't support compulsory attendance until schools adopt a Happiness Index. A caring index. How about rating helpfulness, perseverance, patience, ingenuity? Where's the curriculum of caring? "

    —Jo Coe & Susan Ohanian, Interview

    "M. F. K. Fisher once pointed out that a three-minute egg took about the same length of time to boil in 1922 as it did in 1722. And things are no better in 2008: still three minutes. Eggs can dawdle, but kindergartners can't."


    "What is a teacher to do? Subversion or victimhood. "

    —Edgar Schuster, English Journal, Nov. 2004

    "This law has turned my sweet, happy classroom into a test-prep mill. "

    —Monica Hart-Nolan, Half Moon Bay teacher

    "Uniform Curriculum is a euphemism for teaching to the test. "

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Brain research tells us that when the fun stops, learning often stops too."

    —Judy Willis, M.D., Educational Leadership July 2007

    "The brain-research evidence for certain instructional strategies continues to increase, but there still is no sturdy bridge between neuroscience and what educators do in the classroom. But educators' knowledge and experience will enable them to use the knowledge gained from brain research in their classrooms. For example, choice, interest-driven investigation, collaboration, intrinsic motivation, and creative problem solving are associated with increased levels of such neurotransmitters as dopamine, as well as the pleasurable state dopamine promotes. Novelty, surprise, and teaching that connects with students' past experiences and personal interests and that is low in threat and high in challenge are instructional strategies that appear to be correlated with increased information passage through the brain's information filters, such as the amygdala and reticular activating system."

    —Judy Willis, M. D., Phi Delta Kappan, Feb. 2008

    "Not every state will meet the core principles that are required. This is complicated stuff that requires sound data systems, good reporting systems."

    —Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education

    "Our children are unique, creative creatures, not McNuggets, and they need to be inspired, not standardized."

    —Eric Fried, Fort Collins Now, March 11, 2008

    "Our public education system should be allowed to educate children, not merely test them."

    —Michael Stevens, superintendent, Amarillo Globe News, 3/10/08

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the exact same reasons."

    —Tom Dodd, from the movie Man of the Year

    "All acts of war should be put to a national vote. Anyone voting yes has to register as a volunteer for service in the United States Army."

    —Proposed Amendment to US Constitution, not ratified, 1916

    "As an educator, I am sure of one thing, above all others: the difference adults can make in the life of a child. One need not be a prophet to transform a studentâs life; one need only be present, consistent, loving, challenging and exemplary."

    —Alan Scher, Jewish News Weekly, 2/22/08

    "Dear Education Week,

    I suppose that one may dub Quality Counts as unbiased reporting if one considers Fox News 'Fair and Balanced.' It's time for Ed Week to locate some integrity. "

    —Cindy Lutenbacher, Mother of public school children

    "Rules take us only so far, even good rules."

    —Kurt Vonnegut, Man without a Country

    "I also trust you will find what I found: that teaching can be a marriage of soul and mind, that the classroom can be a place of discovery, passion, and very real joy. While not every class is wonderful every day--for there is occasional bitterness and pain and disappointment in this business--teaching is, for me, a consuming and deeply satisfying profession. Once I emerged on the other side and realized that I was a teacher, had become a teacher, I realized that I had also found, in essence, my calling, my life's work."

    —Leila Christenbury, former president NCTE

    "Delta's Law

    There are three sides to every story.

    The Greek letter delta is a symbol for change in formulas. This triangle can be taken personally to create a philosophy that can be used as laws. For example, the 3 points of a triangle create a possibility space for change. Two points in a debate provide nothing more than a tyranny of dichotomies, whereas adding a third possibility is always more interesting, and closer to the true complexity of life. This rule of favoring 3s instead of 2s also works in any design to please the eye, such as three pictures on a wall instead of two. A couple become more interesting when they go beyond their own twosome to create a third focal point, whether a child, a book or a business. As Yale paleontologist Dolf Seilacher put it, Symmetry is boring. The next time you are confronted with only two choices, create a third, and see the possibility space expand."

    —Delta Willis, Edge Annual Question 2004

    "Kai's Exactness Dilemma

    93.8127% of all statistics are useless."

    —Kai Krause, software artist and user interface designer

    "Sapolsky's Third Law

    Often, the biggest impediment to scientific progress is not what we don't know, but what we know."

    —Robert Sapolsky, professor of biological sciences & neurology at Stanford

    "Davies' Second Law

    Never let observation stand in the way of a good theory. "

    —Paul Davies, theoretical physicist

    "Dawkins's Law of Adversarial Debate

    When two incompatible beliefs are advocated with equal intensity, the truth does not lie half way between them."

    —Richard Dawkins, Edge Annual Question 2004

    "Quartz's Law of The Primacy of Feeling

    In everyday life, one's anticipated emotions regarding a decision is a better guide than rational deliberation. Brain science is increasingly appreciating the centrality of emotions as guides to life, and emotions are typically more in line with one's wishes than rational deliberation, which can be easily disconnected from one's desires and goals. The upshot: deliberation is cheap, emotions are honest."

    —Steve Quartz, California Institute of Technology

    "Campbell's Third Law

    The probability that a Powerpoint presentation will fail is proportional to the technical sophistication of the institution at which you are presenting it. (And by the way, where the failure is total, your talk will be all the better for it.)"

    —Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief, Nature

    "Anderson's Law of Causal Instinct

    Humans are engineered to seek for laws, whether or not they're actually there.

    Anderson's Law of Skepticism

    Most proposed laws, including this one, will probably turn out to be vacuous."

    —Chris Anderson, Edge Annual Question 2004

    " Devlin's First Law

    Buyer beware: in the hands of a charlatan, mathematics can be used to make a vacuous argument look impressive.

    Devlin's Second Law

    So can PowerPoint."

    —Keith Devlin, Senior Researcher, Stanford University

    " Myers' Law of Self-Perception
    Most people see themselves as better than average.

    Nine in ten managers rate themselves as superior to their average peer. Nine in ten college professors rated themselves as superior to their average colleague. And six in ten high school seniors rate their "ability to get along with others" as in the top 10 percent. Most driversâeven most drivers who have been hospitalized after accidentsâbelieve themselves more skilled than the average driver. "The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background," observes Dave Barry, "is that deep down inside, we all believe that we are above average drivers." Excess humility is an uncommon flaw."

    —David G. Myers, professor of psychology, Hope College

    "Minsky's Second Law
    Don't just do something. Stand there."

    —Marvin Minsky, cofounder, MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

    "Kellys' First Law
    Power, understanding, control. Pick any two."

    —Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at Wired magazine

    "Lykken's First Law
    The quality of one's intellectual productions is a function of the product of talent (e.g., intelligence) times mental energy. Although there are many and varied tests for assessing intelligence, psychologists have not as yet even attempted to construct a measure of individual differences in mental energy."

    —David Lykken, behavioral geneticist, Edge Annual Question 2004

    "Schank's Law
    Because people understand by finding in their memories the closest possible match to what they are hearing and use that match as the basis of comprehension, any new idea will be treated as a variant of something the listener has already thought of or heard. Agreement with a new idea means a listener has already had a similar thought and well appreciates that the speaker has recognized his idea. Disagreement means the opposite. Really new ideas are incomprehensible. The good news is that for some people, failure to comprehend is the beginning of understanding. For most, of course, it is the beginning of dismissal."

    —Roger Schank, Edge Annual Question 2004

    "O'Donnell's Law of Academic Administration
    If it feels good, don't do it.
    Because if it feels good, it's going to be because it eases some frustration you're feeling from all the constraints and hassles of the institution; or because it really shows up so-and-so; or because it makes you feel you really do have a little authority around here after all. It won't, it won't, and you don't. Better to calm down, make sure you know all the facts, make sure you've talked to all 49 stakeholders, and sleep on it, then do the thing you have to hold your nose to do. "

    —James J. O'Donnell, Provost, Georgetown University

    "Gardner's First Law
    Don't ask how smart someone is; ask in what ways is he or she smart.

    Gardner's Second Law
    You can never go directly from a scientific discovery to an educational recommendation: all educational practices presuppose implicit or explicit value judgments."

    —Howard Gardner, 2004 Edge Annual Question

    "[T]he rush to get more information faster almost forces people to avoid the act of thinking. Why stop and try to make sense of the information we've obtained when we can click on that icon and get still more data? And more. "

    —Raphael Kasper, physicist, Super Collider Laboratory

    "Occupations such as food preparation and service worker, retail salesperson, customer service representative, cashier, office clerk, and laborer and material mover will employ about five times more people than the computer/high-tech fields requiring a college education. No matter what we do in schools, most of our high school graduates will work at such jobs."

    —Nell Noddings, Educational Leadership Feb. 2008

    ""Believe me, my young friend," said the water rat solemnly, "there is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing--nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular. . . .""

    —Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

    "All of us must cross the line between ignorance and insight many times before we truly understand. Not only must we cross the line many times, but in the words of the old spiritual, nobody else can cross it for us, we must cross it by ourselves. Being shoved or dragged across does no good."

    —John Holt, How Children Learn

    "We teachers like to think that we can trans- plant our own mental models into the minds of children by means of explanations. It can't be done."

    —John Holt, How Children Learn

    "Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. "

    —John Kenneth Galbraith, Letter, March 2, 1962

    "The story of how the Democrats finally betrayed the voters who handed them both houses of Congress a year ago is a depressing preview of what's to come if they win the White House. And if we don't pay attention to this sorry tale now, while there's still time to change our minds about whom to nominate, we might be stuck with this same bunch of spineless creeps for four more years. With no one but ourselves to blame."

    —Matt Taibbi, The Chicken Doves, Rolling Stone, 2/ 21/08

    "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God."

    —Thomas Paine, The Crisis, Dec. 23, 1776

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

    —Susan Ohanian, in What Is Authentic Educational Reform? 2008

    "You can't bullshit your way through this."

    —Chris Newton, Walden Project senior

    "These [standardized]tests [required by NCLB] should be a gnat on the windshield. . . a GOOD teacher will just cruise through them."

    —Amy Wilkins of Education Trust on NPR Diane Rehm show, 1/3/08

    "In his State of the Union address, the President asked Congress for $300 million for poor kids in the inner city. With the official count at 15 million children in America living in poverty, this comes out to $20 per child.

    The President also demanded that Congress extend his tax cuts to the tune of $4.3 trillion over ten years. This adds up to $287,000 per millionaire. "

    —from Greg Palast

    "I feel that writing is a moral responsibility. I donât know how else to put it. Take, for example, when I write about illegal immigration. Iâm tired of the issue, and I donât want to get involved in it. But I see and I hear the injustice, the way immigrants are demeaned in this country, the disrespect many Americans have for them. I did a piece on National Public Radio about immigrants, and the only thing I said, essentially, was, 'Thank you.' Nobody has thanked these people for working so well and so hard. The inhumanity of the disrespect is just appalling to me. Here is not the America I love. Thereâs something in this country right now that is so fierce, so unloving, that I want to protest. I feel responsible for speaking against it."

    —Richard Rodriguez, interview with Jo Scott-Coe, Narrative Magazine

    ". . . I trust doubt; it keeps you on the journey."

    —Richard Rodriguez, interview with Jo Scott-Coe, Narrative Magazine

    "The essence and elegance of No Child Left Behind is that we are going to peel back the onion and hold ourselves accountable. We really mean it--every kid on grade level by 2014, and obviously that causes some discomfort, particularly as we come closer and closer to that date."

    —Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, Forbes.com, 1/23/08

    "Nothing exists except atoms and empty space. Everything else is opinion"


    "Test publishers are hawking anything they can. Itâs absolutely a fraud."

    —James Popham, Bloomberg Markets, Dec. 2006

    " Maybe the Feds should appoint a few teachers to a Homeland Security Best Practices Panel. "

    —Susan Ohanian, website, Sept. 20, 2006

    " If you go along with the most tepid aspects of education reform, you run the risk of not being able to bar the door, and they will run their agenda right over the top of you."

    —Peter Henry, Minnesota Teacher, Jan. 20, 2008

    "If you don't know the kind of person I am
    and I don't know the kind of person you are
    a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
    and following the wrong god home we may miss our star."

    —William Stafford, A Ritual to Read to Each Other

    "One person's 'partisan political influence' is another person's good old fashioned democracy. I will take partisan politics over unfettered corporatism any day."

    —Sue Allison, Director, Marylanders Against High Stakes Testing

    "Black civil rights weren't won by suited men (or women) sitting at desks. They were won by a mass movement of millions who marched, sat in at lunch counters, endured jailings, and took bullets and beatings for the right to vote and move freely about. Some were students and pastors; many were dirt-poor farmers and urban workers. No one has ever attempted to list all their names."

    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Huffington Post, Jan 15, 2008

    "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it."

    —Martin Luther King, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom

    "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will."

    —Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birimingham Jail, 1963

    "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."

    —Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birimingham Jail, 1963

    "We used to think our future was in the stars. Now the federal government is trying to convince us it's in phonemic awareness."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "No Child Left Behind is at its heart very simple: every kid on grade level by 2014 in reading and math."

    —Sec. of Ed. Margaret Spellings to Chicago Tribune editors, 1/7/08

    "As I write, the FDA has just signed off on a new health claim for Frito-Lay chips on the grounds that eating chips fried in polyunsaturated fats can help you reduce your consumption of saturated fats, thereby conferring blessings on your cardiovascular system. So can a notorious junk food pass through the needle eye of nutritionist logic and come out the other side looking like a health food."

    —Michael, Pollan, In Defense of Food

    "I know No Child Left Behind has worked."

    —George W. Bush, Chicago, Jan. 7. 2008

    "Why so little coverage of poverty? For one, journalists like a story to have a resolution, preferably a happy one. Often journalists see poverty as a sad, intractable fact of life, a story that never gets better and generates little interest or news."

    —Steve Rendall, FAIR Extra! Sept/Oct. 2007

    "As first lady of Arkansas, Hillary had an education plan long before she had a health plan."

    —Susan Ohanian, in Knowledge & Power in the Global Economy

    "Rose had a kitchen that was so completely alphabetized, you'd find the allspice next to the ant poison."

    —Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

    "Family income of children below 5 years of age has a bigger impact on whether these children complete high school than their family income later when they are actually in high school."

    —Richard Rothstein, Class and Schools

    "Some of the confusion about NCLB is understandable. The U.S. Department of Education has been slow to issue guidance and in many cases has offered conflicting information about what the new law entails. But most of the misinformation is cleared up by even a cursory reading of the law or the available research literature."

    —George Miller & Russlynn Ali, S. F. Chronicle, 3/18/03

    "The law can be just; it can be unjust. It does not deserve to inherit the ultimate authority of the divine right of the king."

    —Howard Zinn, It's Not Up to the Court, Nov. 2005

    "[The] demand for âstandards and accountabilityâ has been a diversion from a campaign for economic and social justice for the children of the poor. "

    —George Schmidt, editor, Substance

    " The journey to learning cannot be planned in advance and controlled like a journey to the moon. "

    —Frank Smith, Insult to Intelligence: Bureaucratic Invasion of Our Classroom

    ".The cons see education as just another commodity. And if it's just a commodity, like shoes or carrots, there must be a simple way to measure it. So instead of measuring its impact on society, they say,'Let's just see how well our kids are doing at memorizing some of the things that we think are important.'"

    —Thom Hartmann, Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class

    "As we earnestly try to fix what's broken, we are, in the process, turning an entire generation of children into a giant flock of canaries in the coal mine. "

    —Bruce Kluger, No Child Left Alone, USA Today, 12/19/07


    NCLB is dead. It will not be reauthorized -- not this year, not ever.


    —Richard Rothstein, American Prospect, 12/17/07

    "It's winter in the classroom
    I'm tired and I'm cold
    I am just a teacher
    I do what I am told
    We are the armies of the empire
    It's winter in the classroom."

    —apologies to Billy Joel

    "My son is in a 'good' kindergarten, but they are obsessed with skills. He works so hard at school (for five hours and 45 minutes) to "be good" that by the time he comes home he can't do anything but have temper tantrums!"

    —Chicago mother

    "We are like people born in a cage and unable to visualize any world beyond our familiar bars of prejudice and superstition. That Opinion the Few create in order to control the Many has seen to it that we are kept in permanent ignorance of our actual estate. Even so, a number of prisoners are testing the bars."

    —Gore Vidal, Lowell Lecture, April 20, 1992

    "Witness the effect of the five-year-old Newsweek rankings on the school nearest you. Mathews' rankings formula leans heavily on a school's involvement in the College Board's Advanced Placement program. As a result, thousands of local dollars are now being spent on AP curriculum and tests so that Any Local High School will make an appearance somewhere in Newsweek's list. The College Board, in essence, is now writing the curriculum for many of America's secondary schools-with little debate among educators and parents about what we hope our children will know and be able to do at the end of their high school years. These days, we just hope we're on the list."

    —Mary Tedrow, Teacher Magazine, Dec. 12, 2007

    "Stop treating teachers as potted plants."

    —John Edwards, campaigning in Iowa

    "I wish I'd made a lawnmower."

    —Mikhail Kalashnikov, former Red Army officer, creator of the A K-47

    "At most, only a relatively few of America's students (let's say 5%) will actually end up in the kinds of math and science jobs the Gates and Broad types think will save us from India and China. So how much sense does it make to drag the other 95% through that regimen?

    It's an equal disservice to both the 5% and the 95%. The other day a principal in Orlando told me about a Haitian kid who had to pass up a full music scholarship this year because he couldn't pass the FCAT. The gap between our rhetoric celebrating "individual differences" and our actual practices is appalling."

    —Marion Brady, EDDRA, 12/8/07

    "It's broke. Don't fix it."

    —Susan Ohanian, website, December 2003

    "Lansing Public Schools will spend $1.25 million over two years to hire a firm from Arizona to explain how to teach kids in Michigan. Actually, this comes closest to compliance with AYP, which is basically a full employment law for consultants. "

    —Fred Barton, Lansing State Journal, 12/5/07

    "When people ask no questions, it is because they think they have all the answers."

    —Georgia Hedrick, working for bilingual education in Nevada

    "'Good' teachers are the ones who teach to the test, rather than those who employ creativity, excitement and a positive learning environment. At my school, a specialist has created a rigorous 'bell-to-bell' schedule, in which each minute of our day is mapped out. We are told what and how to teach, what to put on our walls, and what interventions to provide."

    —Alyson Beahm, teacher, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/2/07

    "Dear Mr. President,

    What do you do when you see all the homeless on the street? . . .

    How can you say no child is left behind?
    We're not dumb and we're not blind."

    —Pink, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eDJ3cuXKV4

    "At age ten, I came home from classes and my father asked me: 'Well, Ralph, what did you learn in school today, did you learn how to believe or did you learn how to think?'"

    —Ralph Nader, The Seventeen Traditions

    "NAEP achievement levels have been rejected by everyone who has ever studied them: UCLA's Center for Research on Evaluation, Student Standards and Testing, the GAO and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as by individual psychometricians such as Lyle Jones of the University of North Carolina. . . . There is no good reason to use the NAEP achievement levels except to beat schools over the head and that is what will happen. Critics will take the discrepancy between the state results and the NAEP results as evidence that the schools are still failing and that the states are lying to their citizens."

    —Gerald Bracey, EDDRA, Jan. 8, 2003

    "One of the things the next president should do is ax the No Child Left Behind law. It is based on a false premise. . . . It is wrong to set low expectations, but it is infinitely crueler to burden children with high expectations beyond their ability to achieve."

    —Charley Reese, King Features Syndicate, 11/26/07

    "Advice for the creators of No Child Left Behind: Leave me alone and let me do my job."

    —Terri Vest, Vermont Teacher, Burlington Free Press, 11/28/07

    "Teach to Mastery

    When you give a quiz, have kids 'do it over/take it over' until they get 100% correct. "

    —Hopkins County [Ky] Schools

    "Max Apple prefers plain and simple sentences. He is anti-adverb; he thinks a verb shouldn't need any help."

    —NPR, Nov. 28, 2006

    "Tom Friedman single-handedly did more than anyone else to convince liberals and Democrats to support the invasion of Iraq; the only competitors for that ignominious distinction are Colin Powell and Ken Pollack. And while he has spent the last year or so feigning angst over his years of pro-war cheerleading, he has not changed in the slightest."

    —Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, Nov. 19, 2007

    "The child that you send over is nothing like the child that comes back to you. "

    —Christine Delisa, mother of a wounded soldier, NY Times Quote of Day

    "There is a phenomenon that sociologist Noelle Neumann calls 'The Spiral of Silence.' This occurs when people silence their own feelings because they believe that their opinion is in the distinct minority; they're outnumbered, and there is no hope of their opinion carrying the day. They may actually be in the majority, but if they think they are outnumbered, they will sabotage (censure) themselves. Major political figures and media have been carrying out a campaign to create the impression that the sweeping and dramatic public policy changes we have seen in the last few years are a product of a popular mandate and that popular sentiment is driving these changes in our society. In a sense, this impression management is not brand new, it is forceful, planned and purposeful to control an image that the public is allowed to view. It is then, the mainstream media, that is in control of news worthiness. "

    —Dennis Loo, Impeach the President

    "The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is fundamentally flawed and provides neither an efficient, nor an effective path to improving schooling for all students. Some provisions in the law are actually harmful for students."

    —Rural School & Community Trust, Nov. 2006

    "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. "

    —Samuel Adams, Founding Father and hellraiser

    " This external testing model (state testing) is a model of standardization. Standardize everythingâthe standards, the curriculum, the instruction, the teachers, the schools . . . like fast food chains where customers are generally guaranteed, no matter the location, what they will receive. . . .

    There are those who would steal our profession and its practice from us. I believe they are afraid of a profession that leads from the inside. I believe they fear what we bring to the conversation. And, we bring a lot to the conversation. "

    —Doug Christensen, Nebraska Commissioner of Education

    "Right now I'm taking 3 AP classes and i WISH I had time to sleep. Parents should let kids at least get sleep when they are young--they wonât get it in high school! "

    —Aly L , New York Times article comments

    "I have been in schools were the reading coach is used as a data repository, spending most of her time in an office lined with bookshelves filled with unused young adult novels. Such coaches spend their time manipulating and remanipulating the reams of data that cross their desks daily. Education has become so data driven that we sometimes forget that human beings are more than data suppliers."

    —Releah Cossett Lent Literacy Learning Communities

    "If you were in an open field with an angry rhinoceros about to charge at you, the silliest thing you could do would be to imagine you were a rhinoceros too. The outcome would be obvious. What can you do, faced with a rhinoceros, to get the better of it eventually and come away unharmed? What is the only thing; in this case, that is more powerful than a rhinoceros? Why, a swarm of mosquitoes."

    —Manfred Max-Neef, Economy, Humanism and Neoliberalism

    "Everyone came out of that room glowing, He really understood education and cared about what we did. He sounds like us, one of our teachers told me."

    —Wendy Kopp, TFA after meeting with candidate George W. , 2000

    "External exams and projects -- no matter who endorses them from afar -- are teacher bashing.

    Either the assessment I give after working with a kid for 39 or 40 weeks is more meaningful than something that McGraw Hill is overpaid to utilize and provide for the "bottom line" -- or it isn't. Grafting something like "portfolios" on to multiple-choice standardized tests still leaves the "bottom line" external and in the hands of the people who never are accountable for what they've created for us to face in the classroom. "

    —George Schmidt, publisher, Substance

    "In America you can say anything you want -- as long as it doesn't have any effect."

    —Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd

    "What is shared by mass murderers, felony drunk drivers, starving children, head banging laboratory animals, anxious overworked students and all reptiles? . . . They don't play. What do most Nobel Laureates, historically renowned creative artists, successful multi-career entrepreneurs and animals of superior intelligence have in common? . . . They are full of play throughout their lives."

    —Dr. Stuart Brown, M. D., founder The Institute for Play

    "Question: If a kid is asked on a test to âgive an example of a stereotypeâ and he answers, 'Sony,' does he really deserve no credit at all for that response?

    We're just curious."

    —Jim Broadway, Publisher, State School News Service

    "Every year, thousands of law school graduates leap into the nerve-wracking and costly process of preparing for the bar exam. The bar consists of two days of testing (three in California) on memorization and comprehension of specific areas of law. Failure is hardly uncommon: various estimates place the passage rate at roughly 70 percent, while the failure rate in California was a whopping 56 percent in 2004."

    —Melissa Lafsky, NY Times Freakonomics blog, 9/24/07

    "The law degree that Scott Bullock gained in 2005 from Seton Hall University -- where he says he ranked in the top third of his class -- is a 'waste,' he says. Some former high-school friends are earning considerably more as plumbers and electricians than the $50,000-a-year Mr. Bullock is making as a personal-injury attorney in Manhattan. To boot, he is paying off $118,000 in law-school debt."

    —Amir Efrati , Wall Street Journal, Sept. 24, 2007

    "College graduates are, in fact, not in short supply. . . . In plain language, many college graduates are now forced to take jobs requiring only high school educations."

    —Lawrence Mishel and Richard Rothstein, American Prospect, Sept. 2007

    "American middle-class living standards are threatened, not because workers lack competitive skills but because the richest among us have seized the fruits of productivity growth, denying fair shares to the working- and middle-class Americans, educated in American schools, who have created the additional national wealth."

    —Lawrence Mishel and Richard Rothstein, American Prospect, Sept. 2007

    "Rising workforce skills can indeed make American firms more competitive. But better skills, while essential, are not the only source of productivity growth. The honesty of our capital markets, the accountability of our corporations, our fiscal-policy and currency management, our national investment in R&D and infrastructure, and the fair-play of the trading system (or its absence), also influence whether the U.S. economy reaps the gains of Americans' diligence and ingenuity. The singular obsession with schools deflects political attention from policy failures in those other realms."

    —Lawrence Mishel and Richard Rothstein, American Prospect, Sept. 2007

    "The Tough Choices report bemoans the fact that "Indian engineers make $7,500 a year against $45,000 for an American engineer with the same qualifications" and concludes from this that we can compete with the Indian economy only if our engineers are smarter than theirs. This is silly: No matter how good our schools, American engineers won't be six times as smart as those in the rest of the world. "

    —Lawrence Mishel and Richard Rothstein, American Prospect, Sept. 2007

    "Teaching is a labor of love."

    —Janice Fitzsimmons, NJ Teacher of the Year, Nov. 1985

    "[T}oo much external regulation will turn schools into regulated utilities. All the research on effective schools shows that the success of a school is unique and home-grown."

    —Prof. Chester Finn, Vanderbilt University, NY Times, 9/9/84

    "This facile suggestion [in "A Nation at Risk"] that we need to extend the school year is but one example of the rampant shortsightedness growing out of the recommendations of this commission. It must be obvious to anyone who cares to make an inventory of our nation's troubles - and this a nation at risk - that it is not our uneducated, our low SAT scorers, our dropouts who have brought us into this time of trouble, but rather our leaders who have enjoyed an excellent education, both at the secondary and professional levels. To cite but one example, those million-car recalls are the fault of well-educated engineers. "

    —Kenneth Winetrout, NY Times letter, Aug. 16, 1983

    "Oh, words, words, words, I'm so sick of words .... Is that all you blighters can do?"

    —Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady

    ""I've administered the test for years and I'm not going to do it anymore. The last time I gave the test, a child dissolved in tears from anxiety. I'd put her in a situation I didn't want her to be in. My gut feeling as a teacher made me say, 'I'm going to take a stand here.'"

    —Kathryn Sihota , 3rd grade teacher, Sooke, BC, Canada

    "About 18 months ago, I was invited to meet Eli Broad in his gorgeous penthouse in NYC, overlooking Central Park. I hear that he made his billions in the insurance and real estate businesses. I am not sure when he became an education expert. We talked about school reform for an hour or more, and he told me that what was needed to fix the schools was not all that complicated: A tough manager surrounded by smart graduates of business schools and law schools. Accountability. Tight controls. Results. In fact, NYC is the perfect model of school reform from his point of view. Indeed, this version of school reform deserves the Broad Prize, a prize conferred by one billionaire on another."

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, 9/9/07

    "Living in NYC, I see what happens when businessmen and lawyers take over a school system, attempt to demolish everything that existed before they got there, and mount a dazzling PR blitz to prove that they are successful."

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog, 9/9/07

    "We don't want public education to become a 13-year course in how to take a test. I want the testing called for by No Child Left Behind to become a reflection of how a progressive curriculum is being taught. "

    —Loudoun County School Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III

    "The first rule of media survival is use it; don't let it use you. We must ignore the role the media has prescribed for us -- audience, consumer, addict -- and treat it much as the trout treats a stream, a medium in which to swim and not to drown. The trick is to stop the media from happening to you and to treat it literally as a medium -- an environment, a carrier. Then you can cease being a consumer or a victim and become a hunter and a gatherer, foraging for signs that are good and messages that are important and data you can use. Then the zapper and the mouse become tools and weapons and not addictions. Then you turn the TV off not because it is evil but because you have gotten whatever it has to offer and now must look somewhere else."

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review, Sept. 08, 2007

    "I have a one-point plan for No Child Left Behind: Scrap it."

    —Gov. Bill Richardson, USA Today, 9/07/-7

    "Why does the media always refer to people defending our civil liberties and the Constitution as "activists" or 'advocates?' Wouldn't 'citizens' do just as well? "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, 9/5/07

    "It may be time to reflect on the possibility that a nation of good test-takers is not necessarily a well-educated nation."

    —Diane Ravitch, Huffington Post, 9/4/07

    "When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal."

    —Garrison Keillor Homegrown Democrat

    " Somehow we have decided to hand more and more power to far-off educrats and executive-branch power mavens. In the process we've taken something --teaching--that ought to be personalized and creative and made it into something mass-produced, programmed and copyrighted."

    —John Young, Waco Tribune-Herald, Aug. 30, 2007

    "Teachers drill, drill, drill until students follow the exact format of proven WASL responses. Practice forms duplicate WASL templates. Past WASL questions become new writing prompts. Precise WASL vocabulary is practiced weekly."

    —Fred A. Strine, The Spokesman-Review, 8/28/07

    "No pupil under the age of fifteen years in any grammar or primary school shall be required to do any home study."

    —California Civil Code, 1901

    "Toddlers squeal with delight when they knock over a stack of blocks, push a ball, or squash a cupcake on their foreheads. Why? Because they did it, that's why. The room is different because I was in it. The fact is that human beings come into the world with a passion for control, they go out of the world the same way, and research suggests that if they lose their ability to control things at any point between their entrance and their exit, they become unhappy, helpless, hopeless, and depressed. "

    —Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness, 2006

    "Fetching objects for people
    who are too lazy to fetch
    them for themselves is never
    a pleasant task, particularly
    when the people
    are insulting you."

    —Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

    "A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."

    —Antoine de SaintExupery

    "The greatest sin of NCLB is to make what should be a lifelong joy into a tedious, bureaucratic exercise - making words far harder to learn and infinitely harder to love. Kids need more words in their lives - and fewer tests. "

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review. Aug. 20, 2007

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. "


    "Above all, we must stop worshiping curriculum. Setting higher standards and describing what all students should know and be able to do is not the way to improve education. Indeed, to continue on this path is the sure way to destroy our society. The more we try to standardize children, the more we encourage violence, crime, drugs, and other problems. When we try to stuff children into a common mold, we destroy feelings of self-worth on a grand scale."

    —Lynn Stoddard, The Secret of Education

    "In order for high school kids to understand many of the topics we expect them to grasp, they have to be reading a wide range of material. Kids need to be reading in their spare time. Kids need to read for fun. . . .

    The gender gap did not widen because girls are reading more in 2004 than in 1980; they're not. In fact, girls are slightly less likely to read in their spare time today than they were in 1980. But roughly nine out of ten boys have stopped reading altogether. Why? "

    —Leonard Sax, M. D., Ph.D, Boys Adrift

    "Lorna Leone [a director of school performance for Anne Arundel County] emphasizes uniformity--at quite a detailed level. . . . [She] was concerned that each classroom in each grade didn't have the same number of vocabulary words displayed on their Word Walls. Why aren't they all the same size? Why do some teachers post the words on the wall and some on a flip chart? Why does one fifth-grade teacher have parts of speech on the wall but the other doesn't? . . .

    Leone was also concerned [that] one class read at their desks, another on the carpet. One teacher used a green witch's finger as a pointer to lead children through the story, which Leone thought would be distracting. When she had gotten to third grade, she was pleased to see each of the three classes working on the same BCR at the same time. . . .

    In fifth grade she was dismayed to find some of Mrs. Williams's students sitting at their desks reading books while others finished a test. She encouraged [the principal] to come up with a school-wide protocol for spending time after completing a test, one that didn't include free reading."

    —Linda Perlstein, Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade

    " I've been teaching K-1 for 11 years. I have my Masters, and am Nationally Board Certified. I've spent the last 2 days in a DIBELS training class with fellow teachers. I am absolutely horrified! I can't imagine anything that could be more detrimental to the reading development of young children (not to mention insulting to professionals). "

    —Medlisa Cabe, July 25, 2007

    " The most striking thing about the sweeping federal educational reforms debuting this fall is how much they resemble, in language and philosophy, the industrial-efficiency movement of the early twentieth century. In those years, engineers argued that efficiency and productivity were things that could be measured and managed, and, if you had the right inventory and manufacturing controls in place, no widget would be left behind. Now we have "No Child Left Behind," in which Congress has set up a complex apparatus of sanctions and standards designed to compel individual schools toward steady annual improvement, with the goal of making a hundred per cent of American schoolchildren proficient in math and reading by 2014. It is hard to look at the new legislation and not share in its Fordist vision of the classroom as a brightly lit assembly line, in which curriculum standards sail down from Washington through a chute, and fresh-scrubbed, defect-free students come bouncing out the other end."

    —Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker, Sept. 15, 2003

    "When you are told, 'It was meant to be,' ask, 'Who meant it?' "

    —Amy Tan, Commencement speech Simmons College, 2003

    "I hat my sof Be cus I Dw Not No how to Rit."

    —Marquis, a kindergartner in Tested by Linda Perlstein

    "WHY IS IT safer to say "fuck" than to say "fascism?" One of the curiosities of post-cold-war rhetoric is that we no longer have a term for those who practice ideologies antithetical to democracy. Current American foreign policy seems aimed at turning incompetent communists into competent fascists. One American politician once put it this way: 'The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.' Would such a radical be allowed on Sunday morning talk shows today? Probably not, even though his name was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, July 17, 2007

    "I am on a mission to help teachers reclaim their professional knowledge, their common sense and to maintain the dignity and integrity of each child in their presence."

    —Lester Laminack, children's book author and teacher of teachers

    "The first time it was reported that one child vomited on a high stakes test, there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred vomited. But when a thousand vomited and there was no end to the tales of young terror, a blanket of silence spread. When evil doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out 'stop!'

    When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer. "

    —after Bertolt Brecht

    "This document printed on recycled paper."

    —The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests

    "A favorite Standardisto metaphor is School as a race. How about school as a beehive? A song? A handshake? Possibilities abound."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "It's all I have to bring today--
    This, and my heart beside--
    This, and my heart, and all the fields
    And all the meadows wide--
    Be sure you count--should I forget
    Some one the sum could tell--
    This, and my heart, and all the Bee
    Which in the Clover dwell.

    —Emily Dickinson

    "In 1967 my second year of teaching in Atlanta, I emptied the room before the students returned in August. My five periods were full of kids who hated school and hated English, the subject Itaught. We created U.S.A. G.E (United States of America Grammatical English). Gradually with ideas from students we designed our classroom with furniture, books, and other equipment. The Atlanta public library had started a telephone service answering research questions. When we requested a telephone the principal, a rigid nun, put her foot down. Imagine schools without telephone computer hookups now. I was able to eliminate quizzes and tests, and the students let me work them to death. Some still hug me forty years later when we see each other in a local post office.

    Recently I visited an Atlanta middle school and glimpsed the future and I recoiled. At first I thought the student art work signified a good trend, often missing in middle and high school â visible student essays, pictures, and materials. However when I studied the documents they were rigid displays of charts, paragraphs, and drawings all geared toward standardized state tests. In fact a recent middle school instructor at a local Georgia state university, said she tells her perspective students her world of teaching from the eighties and nineties is gone â it is now test scores under the guise of 'accountability.'

    I am not saying I was the best teacher in my second of now 37 years as an educator. However, I am claiming that I influenced lives, even changed lives. A student who believes he or she canât spell and then learns Supercalifraglisticexpialidotious gains confidence.

    I am signing the Educator Roundtable petition against renewal of NCLB not because I am against accountability. Nor do I deny that too many public schools, where I have concentrated my career, have failed to educate challenging students. I am signing because the result of compliant test-driven schooling goes against all that I believe.

    Now forty years later, I have seen the future so I am going to follow the vision and approach, which have sustained my professional life. Creative and caring effort works with students. I will continue to exemplify the root meaning of 'educare,' that is, leading out of each student his or her best in order to reach his or her potential and hopefully help others. "

    —Tom Keating, Project Clean, June 24, 2007

    "Psychiatrists Top List in Drug Maker Gifts. NY Times headline, 6/27/07

    Why is payola illegal for disk jockeys but business as usual for medicos?"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "We have this bizarre situation where people pay $50 to $90 to the plumber, to whom we entrust our pipes. But according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the child care worker, to whom we entrust our children, averages $10 an hour, no benefits.

    And, of course, we insist the plumber be trained. How could we entrust our pipes to somebody who isn't? But we don't insist all child care workers be trained. This is not logical, it's pathological. And we have to look at why we have such a distorted system of values driving our economic system?"

    —Riane Eisler, AlterNet, June 27, 2007

    "Some teachers say kids these days only respond to shouting. Guess I am getting old, but. . . . First the parents scream, then the teacher shouts, then the assistant principal uses a bull horn, and then the guards yell over a PA system when these kids graduate to prison, and finally the ambulance siren signals their death.

    Maybe that IS the progression - from scream to siren."

    —Tom Keating, Project Clean

    "If I do say so modestly, [NCLB] is the jewel in the crown of President Bush's domestic achievements."

    —Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education, Baltimore Sun, 6/18/07

    "When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion. "

    —Ethiopian proverb

    "We are well past the time for leaders to show us the way. We know the way! We just need to be committed to it. "

    —Karen Horst Cobb, Common Dreams, 6/11/07

    "Eliminating achievement gaps is paramount among [NCLB's] goals; equal educational opportunity is not. In fact, the latter term--which had been prominent in previous versions of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act--appears nowhere in NCLB. "

    —James Crawford, Education Week, June 6, 2007

    "The No Child Left Behind Act has worked for America's children and I ask Congress to reauthorize this good law."

    —George W. Bush, State of the Union speech, 2007

    "Just because your smoke alarm went off doesn't mean your trout's done."

    —Nancy Cohen, What I Learned About Cooking Last Night

    "Under No Child Left Behind, states and school districts have unprecedented flexibility in how they use federal education funds."

    —U. S. Department of Education, NCLB, Introduction

    "I can't stand giving kindergartners timed standards tests and watching tears trickle down their cheeks. It's just not right."

    —unidentified teacher who is quitting, Los Angeles Times

    "Donât say data equals children. Equals learning. Say something gentler. Say No Child Left Behind."

    —Jo Scott-Coe, Swink Magazine

    "Throw away your red pencils.
    You cannot mark people into existence."

    —Robert Frost, Plattsburgh State Teacher's College

    "I think in the learning process itâs really valuable for people to go very, very deeply into one thing at one point in their lives and touch quality. And then they can, like youâve described, translate that quality into other things, because I believe these principles are the same. They transcend specific disciplines. "

    —Josh Waitzkin, chess prodigy, The Art of Learning

    "The disingenuous nature of the Spellings gospel of accountability becomes all the more apparent in light of her post facto reaction to the scandal. Her press releases and disavowal of authority and responsibility are ample enough proof that the thought that accountability applies to her as well has yet to cross the secretary's mind."

    —Barmak Nassirian, Inside Higher Ed, 5/11/07

    "The world's five hundred wealthiest people have the same income as the world's poorest 416 million."

    —Nicholas Kristof, N. Y. Review of Books, 5/31/07

    "There's a dark underside to philanthropy. People who give a bunch of money are deferred to, even when they are wrong. The emperor cannot be shown to have no clothes. "

    —Michael Eric Dyson, Is Bill Cosby Right?

    "I am a war president."

    —George W. Bush, Meet the Press, Feb. 8, 2004

    "If there is one thing that I have learned throughout my travels, it's that education is not a 'one-size-fits-all' enterprise. Through the No Child Left Behind Act, our teachers can fine-tune instruction to make sure that every child is learning. They have more tools to measure student progress and better data to identify which strategies are most effective."

    —Margaret Spellings. U. S. Secretary of Education, 5/7/07

    "Question: Your anecdotes. . . .

    Answer: I'd like to call these data."

    —David Berliner, C-Span, April 28, 2007

    "When I raised my hand in class,
    It didn't mean I knew the answer.
    Far from it.
    I was hoping the answer might float by,
    And I could catch it like a butterfly."

    —James Stevenson, Just Around the Corner

    "There's not a thing wrong with teaching to the test.

    Margaret Spellings, Education Writers Assoc. conference, 5/3/07"

    "Always there is something worth saying about
    glory, about gratitude

    Mary Oliver, "Mockingbird""

    "People go into teaching because they want to teach. Teaching is not like a business or corporation where managers jump from job to job and where people have to be incentivized to work harder or longer hours. Teaching is hard work, and the rest of us should not do anything to make it harder. State and local education authorities should focus on improving the conditions in the schools so that teachers can do the job they prepared to do."

    —Diane Ravitch, Education Week blog

    "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the commissioner of education . . . Amen."

    —John Young, Waco Tribune, April 29, 2007

    "Yes, we accept as a given that we need better teachers."

    —Melinda Gates, Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    "We have to counter the mentality of such mantras as 'competition for this century' and 'closing the achievement gap.' We have to raise our voices in harmony with the human need for community, co-operation, and compassion. Without these elements, we'll turn our planet into a cinder. "

    —Don Perl, adjunct professor of Spanish

    "There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about."

    —John von Neumann

    "Cut scores on tests, determining who is proficient and who is not, are political decisions. They are not scientific or psychometric decisions. "

    Collateral Damage, Sharon L. Nichols and David C. Berliner

    " Are we sure we want to live with the consequences of high percentage of minority students not finishing high school? "

    —Sharon L. Nichols & David C. Berliner in Collateral Damage

    "High-stakes decisions based on school-mean proficiency are scientifically indefensible. We cannot regard differences in school-mean proficiency as reflecting differences in school effectiveness. . . . To reward schools for high mean achievement is tantamount to rewarding those schools for serving students who were doing well prior to school entry."

    —Stephen Raudenbush, Schooling, Statistics, & Poverty

    "Viewing teaching as a moral endeavor filled with uncertain and inevitable dilemmas positions the teacher always as an inquirer."

    —Celia Oyler in Learning to Teach Inclusively

    "Novelist Tom Sharpe said, 'There's nothing worse than an introspective drunk.' He'd never heard a corporate politico making laws about how teachers should do their jobs. Of course, some of them are introspective drunks."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "The Utah State Core Curriculum, the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students (UPASS) accountability system, and the Reading First program of NCLB, all make curriculum a 'business' and effectively prevent teachers from performing as true mentors and professionals. Teachers are slaves to the required curriculum, scripted teaching and state testing, all of which cause many students to develop an aversion to learning."

    —Lynn Stoddard, Educating for Human Greatness

    "The NCLB federal law, scheduled for reauthorization this year, expects everyone to stay the course on the wrong road."

    —Lynn Stoddard, Educating for Human Greatness

    "It should be spelled Reading FUrst."

    —Stephen Fisher, teacher

    "The last thing I'm going to do is subject some third-grader to tears because someone's standing over them saying, 'You must complete [this standardized test], you must complete.' That's not happening. Let them fire me for it."

    —Jack Dale, Supt. Fairfax County Schools

    "Silence, indifference, and inaction were Hitler's principal allies."

    —Baron Immanuel Jakobovits

    "The consequences of NCLB are far more damaging to our National Security than Iraq ever was."

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #24,432: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "The problem America faces is not a lack of educated people, but a lack of jobs for educated people. In the 21st century, the U. S. economy has been able to create net new jobs only in domestic services, such as waitresses, bartenders, and health and social services. The vast majority of these jobs do not require a college education. . . ."

    —Paul Craig Roberts in Counterpunch, Dec. 16, 2006

    "So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."

    —Molly Ivins, who will be missed. (1944--2007)

    "Today almost every principle upon which this country was founded is being turned on its head. Instead of liberty we are being taught to prefer order, instead of democracy we are taught to be follow directions, instead of debate we are inundated with propaganda. Most profoundly, American citizens are no longer considered by their elites to be members or even worker drones of society, but rather as targets - targets of opportunity by corporations and of suspicion and control by government. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews , http://prorev.com/indexa.htm

    "The war in Vietnam is going well and will succeed. "

    —Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, 1/31/63

    "THe emperor who
    was tricked by the tailors
    is familiar to you.

    But the tailors
    keep on changing
    what they do
    to make money."

    —Kay Ryan, "New Clothes" in Elephant Rocks

    "What will happen once the authentic mass man takes over, we do not know yet, although it may be a fair guess that he will have more in common with the meticulous, calculated correctness of Himmler than with the hysterical fanaticism of Hitler. . . ."

    —Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism 1951

    "As a student in the new education system produced by the NCLB, I have obtained six perfect scores on my states form of standardized testing. It is not an accomplishment that I esteem highly and I had no desire to include it on my applications to college. The reason why? Those test are destroying everything that is basic and good about education. There is no longer a desire to learn, There is no longer a desire to teach. If this law is not done away with their will be no hope for democracy in America let alone in Iraq. Without knowledge there is no democracy."

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #23,963: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    " Today democracy, liberty, and equality are words to fool the people. No nation can progress with such ideas. They stand in the way of action. Therefore we frankly abolish them. In the future each man will serve the interest of the state with absolute obedience. Let him who refuses beware."

    —Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, 1940

    "To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself."

    —George Orwell, "Looking Back on the Spanish War," 1943

    "Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime. "

    —Jacob Bronowski, MIT lecture March 19, 1953

    "Poetries is nots for all the peoples, it is for the ones that listens."

    —Gabriela, first grader in Sarah's classroom

    "My District sent out a flyer to offer a Stress Reduction Workshop If they allowed us the joy of teaching free of the joke of mandating and scripting, the poetry that we would write with our children would, believe me, do more to salve the stress than any kind of 'training.' "

    —Sarah Puglisi, California first grade teacher

    "As we know, there is not really such a thing as education. There is only helping somebody to learn, and the learning process is a complex adaptive system; fooling around, making mistakes, somehow having contact with reality or truth, correcting the mistakes, assuring self-consistency and so on--in short, messing about."

    —Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel prize physicist

    "Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. "

    —Oscar Wilde, Fortnightly Review. Feb. 1891

    "Do I dare set forth here the most important, the most useful rule of all education? it is not to save time, but to squander it. "

    —Jean-Jacques Rousseau , Emile, or Education, 1762

    "Ordering a child to write a CTB/McGraw-Hill writing prompt in the narrative, informative, or persuasive mode is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child."

    —Susan Ohanian, apologies to Carl Sandburg

    "Because the arms industry is coddled by political parties and the mass media, their antics go largely unnoticed. Our politicians and pundits argue endlessly about a couple of billion dollars that may be spent on improving education or ending poverty, but they casually waste that amount in a few days in Iraq."

    —Robert Scheer, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/27/06

    "When a rich man's dog died, everyone commiserated. When a poor man lost his mother, no one noticed. "

    —Punjabi proverb

    "Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking. The one is but the shadow of the other. "

    —Carl Jung, On the Psychology of th Unconscious

    "Liberal: a power worshipper without power."

    —George Orwell

    "GENERAL, YOUR TANK IS A POWERFUL VEHICLE It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men. But it has one defect It needs a driver. "

    —Bertolt Brecht, German War Primer

    "A lot of people say a lot of things, which doesn't make what they say true."

    —Art Buchwald, Washington Post, 12/21/06

    "...no educational system is possible unless every question directly asked of a pupil at any examination is either framed or modified by that actual teacher of that pupil in that subject." "

    —Alfred North Whitehead, Pres. Address, Mathematical Assoc. of England 1916

    "Literacy is a malleable repertoire of practices, not an unchanging or universal set of skills. Learning to be literate is like learning to be an artisan in a guild, to play an instrument in an ensemble, like acquiring a craft within a community whose art and forms of life are dynamic, rather than a robotic acquisition and authorization of core skills. Once we understand this we can find the resources, grounds and normative purposes for teaching literacy not from textbooks and skill taxonomies, but by attending closely to what children and communities actually do with texts, old and new, print and multimodal, traditional and radical. This requires something more than common sense, and that we get out of the staffroom, get away from the teachers guidebooks and draw upon all skills as teachers and intellectuals, psychologists and sociologists, linguists and ethnographers. The systematic engagement with these everyday texts, discourses and practices is at the heart of teaching and learning. And it is in these artifacts and practices that you will find the generative domains, text and practices for lessons, units and classrooms events "

    —Allan Luke, Literacy and Education 2005

    "I wonder what the NEA actually disagrees with?"

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #21,088: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "I have been an NEA member for 6 years, and am furious about their misrepresentation of this. NCLB is destroying public education at the very foundation. The purpose is to privatize education with vouchers and school choice. This is wrong. I want to be held accountable, but not like this."

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #21,147: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "NEA opposes this petition... that will NOTstop me from signing ..in fact that enrages me as much as this idiotic Act. I am a veteran teacher of 23 years and am so disgusted with the state of education today that it makes me want to leave te classroom. Get with it NEA! Get on board before I start a petition against your stance on this! "

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #21,078: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "As President of the Oakland Education Association and a veteran teacher, I call on Congress to dismantle NCLB. It is far too flawed to be fixed. We can't allow public education to be hijacked by corporate interests who don't have the first clue about truly educating a child. "

    —Betty Olson-Jones, anti-NCLB Petition signer

    "Death to DIBELS."

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #20335: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "I think this a part of a plan to reshape the good old USA for people who do not believe in 'by and for the people.'"

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #20370: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "About Damn Time! "

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #20434: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "Organizations (NEA, state boards of ed, and others) keep pushing and pushing for funding and complaining that the problems with NCLB are caused by lack of money, especially all the money promised by Congress that has not been delivered. I have news for them -- if the entire federal budget were allocated to NCLB, it would not "fix" it! Where does anyone get the idea that full appropriations will do anything to make this work? Money is NOT the issue. "

    —Dr. Steve Davidson, organizer, www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    " I do what I have to do."

    —1st Grader, when asked, 4 months into year, "How's school?"

    "I'm glad I never attended school under the present conditions - age: 72 years."

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #18561: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "NCLB is a thinly disguised program designed to open our educational system to corporate interests. The real goal of NCLB is failure of our public school systems, paving the way for privatization through the charter school concept. We will be training our children to acquiesce to a future with no possibilities, cannon and service industry fodder and nothing more. The funds being used for one more failed Bush policy is also money generated from our taxes. I don't want to pay for it. Clear enough?"

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #18505: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "NCLB breaks children's hearts. "

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #17788: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    " I have voted in every election since 1980, and will continue doing so until I die. I will always vote AGAINST anyone who FAILS to vote against NCLB"

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #16465: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "I am well on my way to becoming an embittered and mediocre teacher‭, ‬who heretofore‭, ‬considered teaching to be a profession‭, ‬not‭ ‬a job‭. ‬I once loved what I did‭. ‬I do not now‭, ‬nor do my students‭; ‬school has become a rather grim and joyless place for all‭. ‬By‭ ‬‭"‬McDonald's-izing‭" ‬education we have done a grave disservice to those we serve‭, ‬our children‭. ‬I despair‭. . . ."

    —Anti-NCLB Petition signer #13918: http://www.EducatorRoundtable.org

    "I would be willing to give up part of my salary to help cover the Federal money lost if our district told the Federal Govt we are not going to comply with the onerous NCLB standards."

    —Anti- NCLB Petition signer #15462: http://www. EducatorRoundtable.org

    "NCLB testing discriminates againist special education children who cannot function on grade level due to their handicapping conditions. Our brilliant brain surgeons throughout this nation cannot get everyone on grade level by 2014. Why blame our teachers who are working themselves to death? My oldest son struggled for years to meet the NCLB laws. As a parent, I hurt inside due to my son telling me he will hurt his school because he cannot do it. Someone discriminated against my son's rights. Please dismantle this monster so other children will not be labeled failures as my son was labeled by your NCLB. "

    —Anti- NCLB Petition signer #14800: http://www. EducatorRoundtable.org

    "The No Child Left Behind Act should read, 'No Child Left Behind, Unless They are Really Smart. Then They Can Fend For Themselves.'"

    —Anti- NCLB Petition signer #14323: http://www. EducatorRoundtable.org

    "Think For yourself. Question Authority. Read banned books! Kids have the same constitutional rights as grown-ups!!! Don't Forget to boycott standardized testing!!!"

    —Dav Pilkey in The Adventures Of Super Diaper Baby (Captain Underpants)

    "I do wish we had something in education like AA, our own Test-a-holics Anonymous."

    —Sarah Puglisi, first grade teacher

    "I became a teacher because I want to serve struggling students who need a little extra motivation and exposure to rich learning experiences. But my options are being narrowed down by a restrictive curriculum and a scripted phonics-limited reading program. I feel as though I am becoming a learning technician instead of a teacher."

    —Joe Navarro, first grade teacher

    "Children have souls. Teachers do, too. Help us return heart, soul, and love back to our classrooms, without fear of retribution when our young charges cannot meet unrealistic standards."

    —Anti- NCLB Petition signer #12,529: http://www. EducatorRoundtable.org

    "This law must not be reauthorized. It is having a devastating impact on public education. We must return to the wisdom of the framers of the Constution who did not create a federalized education system in our country. NCLB is unconstitutional, unwise, destructive, unimplementable and illogical. It is the shame of our nation to make a law with high-sounding and noble rhetoric about educational equity that accomplishes just the opposite: more discrimination and reduced opportunities for our most disadvantaged students to realize their full human potential. I strongly support this effort to dismantle NCLB."

    —Jill Kerper Mora, signer # 11,996, The Petition

    "One of the things we can learn from history is that history is not only a history of things inflicted on us by the powers that be. History is also a history of resistance. It's a history of people who endure tyranny for decades, but who ultimately rise up and overthrow the dictator. We've seen this in country after country, surprise after surprise. Rulers who seem to have total control, they suddenly wake up one day, and there are a million people in the streets, and they pack up and leave. This has happened in the Philippines, in Yemen, all over, in Nepal. Million people in the streets, and then the ruler has to get out of the way. So, this is what we're aiming for in this country. Everything we do is important. Every little thing we do, every picket line we walk on, every letter we write, every act of civil disobedience we engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, any parent that we talk to, any GI that we talk to, any young person that we talk to, anything we do in class, outside of class, everything we do in the direction of a different world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile, because that's how change comes about. Change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points in history come together, and then something good and something important happens."

    —Howard Zinn, Madison, WI, Oct. 5, 2006

    " This law represents the federal takeover of America's public schools and completely undermines the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Congress should be ashamed of themselves."

    —Signer #9047, The Petition, http://EducatorRoundtable.org

    "I scored quite poorly on the SAT and now I am a Ph.D. student in astrophysics at Berkeley. I can't imagine how different my life would be had the SAT been the most important indicator of my intelligence, as it obviously was not an accurate indicator."

    —Katherine Alatalo, anti-NCLB Petition, http://educatorroundtable.org

    "We move on data We're moving on scientifically based research. We're not going to rely on creativity to support these children. We're not looking for [teachers] to do their own thing.[describing Open Court]"

    —Folasade Oladele, Buffalo associate superintendent

    "No Child Left Behind is harming my child, I have watched him change from an engaged, excited student to a passive student. Is this really the next generation we are looking for?"

    —Anti- NCLB Petition signer #3943: http://www. EducatorRoundtable.org

    "Senator Kennedy this Act Sucks!!! "

    —Anti- NCLB Petition signer #3576: EducatorRoundtable.org

    "Let a thousand flowers bloom. Give us some money for fertilizer. "

    —Marion Brady's alternative to NCLB, 11/26/06

    "Political, not scientific, considerations continue to explain NAGB's stubborn refusal to abandon achievement level cut scores which have no scientific or scholarly credibility."

    —R. Rothstein, R. Jacobsen, & T. Wilder, 11/06

    "What NCLB has done is the equivalent of demanding not only that 'C' students become 'A' students nationwide, but that 'D' and 'F' students also become 'A' students. As noted above, this confuses two distinct goals -- that of raising the performance of typical students, and that of raising the minimum level of performance we expect of all, or almost all students. Both are reasonable instructional goals. But given the nature of human variability, no single standard can possibly describe both of these accomplishments. If we define proficiency-for-all as the minimum standard, it cannot possibly be challenging for most students. If we define proficiency-for-all as a challenging standard (as does NCLB), the inevitable patterns of individual variability dictate that significant numbers of students will still fail, even if they all improve. This will be true no matter what date is substituted for NCLB's 2014."

    —R. Rothstein, R. Jacobsen, & T. Wilder, 11/06

    "Under NCLB, children with I.Q.s as low as 65 must achieve a standard of proficiency in math which is higher than that achieved by 60 percent of students in Taiwan, the highest scoring country in the world (in math), and a standard of proficiency in reading which is higher than that achieved by 65 percent of students in Sweden, the highest scoring country in the world (in reading)."

    —R. Rothstein, R. Jacobsen, & T. Wilder, 11/06

    "the conceptual basis of NCLB is deeply flawed; no goal can simultaneously be challenging to and achievable by all students across the entire achievement distribution. A standard can either be a minimal standard which presents no challenge to typical and advanced students, or it can be a challenging standard which is unachievable by most below-average students. No standard can serve both purposes this is why we call 'proficiency for all' an oxymoron - but this is what NCLB requires."

    —R. Rothstein, R. Jacobsen, & T. Wilder, 11/06

    "There is no date by which all (or even nearly all) students in any subgroup, even middle-class white students, can achieve proficiency. Proficiency for all is an oxymoron, as the term 'proficiency' is commonly understood and properly used."

    —R. Rothstein, R. Jacobsen, & T. Wilder, 11/06

    "I'm angry as hell about NCLB."

    —Doug Christensen, Nebraska Comm. of Ed at NCTE conf. 11/19/06

    "There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all. "

    —Gerald W. Bracey

    "Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. "

    —Plato, The Republic

    "Before, if my kids wrote, 'Apples are red,' I was excited. But if they write that same sentence in the week when we're writing narratives, they get a low grade. It's descriptive, not narrative."

    —Phyllis Wingard, Mobile, AL kindergarten teacher, 11/12/06

    " Justice cannot be won without organization."

    —Rich Gibson, The Rouge Forum, November 2006

    "Action engenders hope."

    —Studs Terkel, quoted by The Nation editor 11/8/06

    "IF THE $5.15 HOURLY minimum wage had risen at the same rate as CEO compensation since 1990, it would now stand at $23.03."

    —Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones May/June 2006

    "The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs."

    —Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)

    "[E}ducation is not going to be the answer to our economic crisis. It is clearly an answer to every single individual -- they should get every piece of education, we should pay for it, give our kids the skills, the training, the college education. But here's the problem: only 1 percent more of all jobs by 2012 will require a college education. So if everybody went to college, and only 1 percent more require a college education, that's going to be a problem. Only eight of the 30 fastest-growing jobs in America require a college education. On top of all of that, college-educated kids in the last five years have lost the same amount of money in wages as blue-collar people. So if college education was the answer to America's problems -- yes, we need it, but we should not be fooled by people that say, 'Well, if everybody just gets an education, then America will redistribute its wealth.' It will not do that.--Changing How America Works "

    —Andy Stern, president, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

    "McGraw-Hill's tests
    Poison the nation.
    They're the Halliburton
    Of Education"

    —Stephen Krashen

    "First they came for the senior teachers near retirement; then they came for the non-tenured; then they came for the people who could not produce the results they wanted; then they came for those who could not turn straw into gold; when they came for me, there was no one left. "

    —Norman Scott, The Wave, 10/20/06

    "Every test, every grade affects the learner. Every dull test - no matter how technically sound - affects the learner's future initiative and engagement. No, even saying it this way does not do justice to the consequences of our testing practices: every test TEACHES the student."

    —Grant Wiggins in D. Taylor, Beginning to Read & the Spin Doctors of Science

    "Who's worse: The people who produce the goods that harm children or the people who use them?"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Have we become so complacent, so coward and intimidated by this government that we have forgotten our own revolutionary birthright of rebellion and dissent? Have we become so paralyzed by the eleventh of September that we would give up our liberty and freedom for the promise of a security that does not exist by a government that now threatens our very lives? What will it take before we finally realize the true reality of this crisis? How many more terrorist attacks, senseless wars, flag draped caskets, grieving mothers, paraplegics, amputees, stressed out sons and daughters before we finally begin to break the silence of this shameful night? Let us open up our hearts and speak in a way we have never spoken before knowing that lives now depend on it, and the very survival of our nation is now at stake. Let not our silence in this crucial moment betray us from our destiny. "

    —Ron Kovac, TruthDig.com, 10/10/06

    "A time comes when silence is betrayal. "

    —Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

    "Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."

    —Howard Aiken, primary engineer, IBM Harvard Mark I computer.

    "If you want a green light for government spending in America, just say the word defense.

    It's next to impossible to wrestle free enough federal money for education, health care, or rebuilding New Orleans. But when the Air Force says it needs tens of billions of dollars for newer model fighters or the Navy wants to upgrade destroyers - in an era when America's most dangerous enemies have no ships or planes of their own - Congressional appropriators and members of the taxpaying public don't even bother asking hard questions."

    —David C. Unger, NY Times Editorial Board, 9/20/06

    "Christian faith demands, as a matter of justice and compassion, that we be concerned about public schools. The No Child Left Behind Act approaches the education of America's children through an inside-the-school management strategy of increased productivity rather than providing resources and support for the individuals who will shape children's lives. As people of faith we do not view our children as products to be tested and managed but instead as unique human beings to be nurtured and educated. We call on our political leaders to invest in developing the capacity of all schools. Our nation should be judged by the way we care for our children."

    —National Council of Churches, 10 Moral Concerns, 9/14/06

    "Play--it's by definition absorbing. The outcome is always uncertain. Play makes children nimble--neurobiologically, mentally, behaviorally--capable of adapting to a rapidly evolving world. That makes it just about the best preparation for life in the 21st century. Psychologists believe that play cajoles people toward their human potential because it preserves all the possibilities nervous systems tend to otherwise prune away. It's no accident that all of the predicaments of play--the challenges, the dares, the races and chases--model the struggle for survival. Think of play as the future with sneakers on."

    —Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, May/June 2006

    " One reason the Democrats lose so many elections is that they seem to care more about who said what about Valerie Plame and who said what on an ABC TV show than they do about healthcare, pensions, or jobs or how much it costs to own a house."

    —Sam Smith, Undernews

    "All I have is a voice
    To undo the folded lie,
    The romantic lie in the brain
    Of the sensual man-in-the-street
    And the lie of Authority
    Whose buildings grope the sky. . . "

    —W. H. Auden, 1939

    "DIBELS is the worst thing to happen to the teaching of reading since the development of flash cards. "

    —P. David Pearson, The Truth About DIBELS

    at the bidding of the corporations
    is knowledge reduced to merchandise;
    it is a whoredom of the mind,
    and so is the art that calls this 'progess.'
    So is the cowardice that calls it 'inevitable.'"

    —Wendell Berry, "Some Further Words," in Given

    "Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism. A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating President. . . .

    We are here to demand: "Give us the truth! Give us the truth! Give us the truth!""

    —Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, on day of President's visit 9/06

    "All of a sudden, the federal government and Bill Gates have decided that high schools are in need of reform. Anyone who has been around schools for some time can see the familiar political task force pattern emerge. They declare a crisis, have a conference, put out a report with a bunch of homilies and vague 'motherhood' recommendations, cop a trivial amount of money for 'lighthouse' projects, take pictures of themselves in front of the schools, and run around to the media to say what a great thing they've done. That's nonsense. Reform is hard work and it's not glorious. Schools do not improve through political opportunism."

    —William Mathis, District Administration, June 2005

    "Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom. . . . http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12131617/#060830b"

    —Keith Olbermann blog

    "I like to talk about No Child Left Behind as Ivory soap. It's 99.9 percent pure. There's not much needed in the way of changes. . . . As much grist as there was for the mill five years ago on various fronts . . . we've come a long way in a short time in a big system affecting 50 million kids."

    —Margaret Spellings, U. S. Sec. of Education, 8/30/06

    "I've got an ekuletic reading list."

    —George W. Bush, to Brian Williams, New Orleans, 8/3/06

    " Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world."

    —Francis Church,

    "With impressive proof on all sides of magnificent progress, no one can rightly deny the fundamental correctness of our economic system. "

    —Herbert Hoover, 1928

    "Reading First has demonstrated once again that politics and greed trump research and benefits to at-risk children every time."

    —Robert Slavin,

    "If you want to build a ship don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

    —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "L'essential est invsible pour les eaux. (What is essential is invisible to the eyes.)"

    —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Who bears more responsibility: the people who produce the high stakes tests and scripted curricula, the people who demand they be inflicted on children, or the people who use them day in and day out?"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Obedience is boring. We want to think about it. We want to decide whether a particular law applies to our specific case. In that place, at that time."

    — Beppe Severgnini, La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

    "Whereas mankind owes to the child the best it has to give . . . .

    —Opening of UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1959

    " The impulse to perfection cannot exist where the definition of perfection is the arbitrary decision of authority. That which is born in loneliness and from the heart cannot be defended against the judgment of a committee of sycophants. The volatile essences which make literature cannot survive the cliches of a long series of story conferences."

    —Raymond Chandler, Atlantic Monthly, Nov. 1945

    "I love my government not least for the extent to which it leaves me alone. "

    —John Updike, Select Education House of Rep. Committee, 1978

    "They'll nail anyone who ever scratched his ass during the National Anthem. "

    —Humphrey Bogart, On House Un-American Activities Committee

    "He could jazz up the map-reading class by having a full-size color photograph of Betty Grable in a bathing suit, with a co- ordinate grid system laid over it. The instructor could point to different parts of her and say, 'Give me the co-ordinates.'... The Major could see every unit in the Army using his idea.... Hot dog! "

    —Norman Mailer, THe Naked and the Dead

    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka" but "That's funny.""

    —Isaac Asimov

    "Power Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts

    —Edward Tufte, "Power Point is Evil," Wired, Sept. 2003

    "First you establish the traditional "two views" of the question. You then put forward a common-sensical justification of the one, only to refute it by the other. Finally, you send them both packing by the use of a third interpretation, in which both the others are shown to be equally unsatisfactory. Certain verbal maneuvers enable you to line up the traditional 'antitheses' as complementary aspects of a single reality: form and substance, content and container, appearance and reality, essence and existence, continuity and discontinuity, and so on. Before long the exercise becomes the merest verbalizing, reflection gives place to a kind of superior punning, and the 'accomlished philosopher' may be recognized by the ingenuity with which he makes ever-bolder play with assonance, ambiguity, and the use of those words which sound alike and yet bear quite different meanings."

    —Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, 1955

    "Words strain,
    Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
    Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
    Decay with with imprecision, will not stay in place,
    Will not stay still."

    —T. S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton," 1943

    "It is a principle that shines impartially on the just and unjust that once you have a point of view all history will back you up."

    —Van Wyck Brooks, America's Coming-of-Age, 1915

    "It would seem prudent to address the issue of the hard bigotry of high expectations with inadequate resources. It is not merely whether the mandates of NCLB were fully funded -- it is clear they weren't -- but whether the social capital is provided to schools, families and communities to overcome years of racism and neglect. This leads to the need to examine the goal of closing the achievement gap. Is it a real goal and does it even makes sense?"

    —Paul D. Houston, The School Administrator, August 2006

    "There are three possible explanations for the Administration's publishing a good-day-for-bombing color guidebook.

    1. God is on Osama's side.

    2. George is on Osama's side.

    3. Fear sells better than sex.

    A gold star if you picked #3."

    —Greg Palast, August 14, 2006, e-mail

    "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop."

    —Mario Savio, University of California, Berkeley, 1964

    "Must the citizen even for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    "It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. "

    —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    "Action from principle, the perception and the performance of right, changes things and relations; it is essentially revolutionary. . . ."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    "If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasonable experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    "How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

    "Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony. "

    —Noam Chomsky, In American Power and the New Mandarins

    " There is one theorem painfully drummed into my head which seems to have inhabited some corner of my brain since that early time: The square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides! There it sticks, but what of it, ye gods, what of it? "

    —Jessie B. Rittenhouse, My House of Life

    "'Give us this day our daily bread' is probably the most perfectly constructed and useful sentence ever set down in the English language. "

    —P. J. Wingate, Wall Street Journal, 8/8/77

    "Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word. And there's an opening convey of generalities. A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner. "

    —John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

    "David Barsamian: What can people do to energize democracy?

    Gore Vidal: The tactic would be to go after smaller offices, state by state, school board, sheriff, state legislatures. You can turn them around and that doesn't take much of anything. Take back everything at the grassroots, starting with state legislatures. That's what Madison always said. I'd like to see a revival of state legislatures, in which I am a true Jeffersonian."

    —The Progressive, August 2006

    "One of the duties of the State is that of caring for those of its citizens who find themselves the victims of such adverse circumstances as makes them unable to obtain even the necessities for mere existence without the aid of others.... To these unfortunate citizens aid must be extended by government--not as a matter of charity but as a matter of social duty."

    —Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to the New York State legislature, Jan. 1931

    "The federal government is doling out rewards and penalties to school systems across the country based on changes in pass percentages. It is an uninformative measure for many reasons, but when it comes to measuring one of the central outcomes sought by No Child Left Behind, the closure of the achievement gap that separates poor students from rich, Latino from white, and black from white, the measure is beyond uninformative. It is deceptive."

    —Charles Murray, Wall Street Journal, 7/25/06

    "As a parent who has had children in public schools since NCLB began, I don't think so. The Frederick County (Maryland) schools our children have attended have turned themselves inside out to try to produce the right test results, with dismaying effects on the content of classroom instruction and devastating effects on teacher morale. We actually lost our best English teacher to the effects of high-stakes testing. 'I want to teach my students how to write,' he said, not teach them how to pass a test that says they can write.' He quit."

    —Charles Murray, Wall Street Journal, 7/25/06

    "No Left-Behind Child Act, the: U. S. Congressional act disqualifying any person from holding the office of American President who has not passed a series of rigorous examinations demonstrating psychological and emotional maturity, as well as expert knowledge of a wide range of subjects, including American history, world history, government, economics, law, geography, political science, etc., and a strong command of the English language."

    —Sigrid Nunez, The Future Dictionary of America, McSweeney's

    "Maximum Wage: n. the highest wage paid or permitted to be paid, usu. set at seven to ten times the minimum wage."

    — Nick Flynn in The Future Dictionary of America, McSweeney's

    "You need to be aware
    That there is a single answer
    That works for every possible question.
    The answer too every question in nature is this: It Depends"

    —Matt Cook, "The Right Tool for the Job," In the small of my backyard

    "The first star a child gets in school for the mere performance of a needful task is its first lesson in graft."

    —Philip Wylie, Generation of Vipers, 1942

    "When the need is strong there are those who will believe anything."

    —Arnold Lobel, Fables,1980

    "All oppressors attribute the frustration of their desires to the want of sufficient rigor. Then they redouble the efforts of their impotent cruelty."

    —Edmund Burke, The Impeachment of Warren Hastings

    "An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field."

    —Niels Bohr

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."

    —Bernard Berenson, Notebook, 1892

    "The Task Force:
    Promotes the need for higher standards and higher student achievement in U.S. K-12 public schools and supports effective implementation of the landmark No Child Left Behind Act."

    —Business Roundtable Education & the Workforce Task Force

    "Most people hew the battlements of life from compromise, erecting their impregnable keeps from judicious submissions, fabricating their philosophical drawbacks from emotional retractions and scalding marauders in the boiling oil of sour grapes. "

    —Zelda Fitzgerald, Save Me the Waltz

    "Imagine a student with disabilities normally reading on a second grade level, being forced to take a test on a seventh grade level. They are most often distraught to the point of physical illness. "

    —Ashley Atkinson, dir. accountability & assessment, Dist. 5 (SC)

    "I don't think innovation is what we need here. I know a lot of people think that is heresy. But education is like heart surgery. Do you want a heart surgeon to be innovative, to try something new?"

    —Ellen Guiney, executive director, Boston Plan for Excellence

    "A final concern with the federal law is that it is so driven by state testing that there's too much time devoted to test prep, too much time spent drilling facts for survey courses, and not enough emphasis on finding something children will fall in love with for a lifetime -- the Civil War, repairing engines, science research, playing the trumpet."

    —Michael Winerip, New York Times, 7/12/06

    "We boil at different degrees. "

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Eloquence," Society and Solitude

    "There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle."

    —Joseph Heller, Catch-22. 1961.

    "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail."

    —Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854).

    "The question is: How successful can an education law be that makes teachers the enemy?"

    —Michael Winerip, New York Times, 7/12/06

    " High stakes testing is like gum on the bottom of my shoe!"

    —Lizzie Allison, almost 10 years old

    "Your life is your life. don't let it be clubbed into dank submission. "

    —Charles Bukowski,

    "Wearing a button is not enough. It's not going to get it done. We canot be a nation of button wearers. I believe we're in another of those when-in-the-course-of-human-events moments that Thomas Jefferson wrote about. They're stealing our country from us. They're stealing what makes America America from us, displacing our democracy with their plutocracy. Sam Adams said it well. Sam Adams said, 'If ever a time should come when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats of government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.' That's us, that's today. We're in that moment."

    —Jim Hightower, "Agitation: The Essence of Democracy" Alternative Radio

    "We can make big strides in narrowing the student achievement gap, but only by directing greater attention to economic and social reforms that narrow the differences in background characteristics with which children come to school. . . . If the nation can't close the gaps in income, health and housing, there is little prospect of equalizing achievement."

    —Richard Rothstein, Class and Schools

    "I have never believed that this law is the idealistic, well-intentioned but poorly executed program that many claim it to be. NCLB aims to shrink the public sector, transfer large sums of public money to the private sector, weaken or destroy two Democratic power bases--the teachers unions--and provide vouchers to let students attend private schools at public expense. . . .

    Even if every contention in the previous paragraph were wrong, NCLB is to education as Katrina was to New Orleans. The law mandates that 100 percent of students be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Projections of failure range from 99 percent of all schools in California down to 85 percent in high-scoring Minnesota. Of what use is a program that fails everyone?"

    —Gerald Bracey, Stanford Magazine, July/August 2006

    "Sometimes people ask me how to get
    to Judevine Mountain.

    I can tell you how to get to where
    the road ends, but when

    you get to there, you've only just begun.
    After that I can't be

    any help at all. It takes years to find
    the way. And anyhow you

    don't need me. I'm lost most of the time
    myself. Besides,

    how would I know what direction
    you are headed in?"

    —David Budbill, "Directions" in While We've Still Got Feet

    " Dissension, diversity, the grain of salt and mustard are needed: Fascism does not want them, forbids them, and that's why you're not a Fascist; it wants everybody to be the same, and you are not. "

    —Primo Levi,

    "When you say a word,
    you enter its vocabulary,
    it's got your home address, your phone number
    and weight. . . ."

    —Tony Hoagland, "Hearings" in Donkey Gospel

    "We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."

    —William Faulkner

    "Data worship results in a myopic view of what the world could and should be. Children, we might remind corporate America, are more than math and science scores. While math and science play important roles in our lives, there are other scores we might help children increase: their creativity score, their empathy score, their resiliency score, their curiosity score, their integrity score, their thoughtfulness score, their take-initiative score, their innovation score, their critical thinking score, their passion score, their problem-solving score, their refusal to follow leaders who lie to them score, their democratic engagement score...and so forth."

    —Philip Kovacs, Common Dreams, 6/28/06

    "As Gates gives billions to schools, more schools must remake themselves in Gates' image. No remaking in Gates image, no money. Call it quality control."

    —Philip Kovacs, Common Dreams, 6/28/06

    "Great doubt, great enlightenment.
    Little doubt, little enlightenment.
    No doubt, no enlightenment."

    —Zen observation

    "What makes DIBELS the perfect literacy test is that it takes total control of the academic futures and school lives of the children it reaches from the first day they enter kindergarten when they are barely five years old. It keeps control of their literacy development and indeed their whole school experience for four years from kindergarten through third grade. And the more poorly the children respond to DIBELS the more they experience it."

    —Ken Goodman, Language Magazine, December 2005

    "The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody."

    —Mother Teresa, The Observer, 10/3/71

    "The story is told that when B. F. Skinner of Harvard University was teaching, he used to walk back and forth along the lecture platform. Applying his ideas, the students agreed that whenever he walked to the left of the platform, they would look down and frown, and whenever he went to the right, they would look up and smile. After a short time they had him falling off the right-hand end of the platform."

    —Richard Layard, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science

    "Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove."

    —Jeremy Bentham

    "There are connections in children's brains that are usually not completed until between the fifth and sixth year of life, and they take another year or so to mature. These connections are essential for learning to read. When children haven't grown enough to be ready to read, they won't be able to do it easily. And if they can't do it easily, they will be stressed and frustrated in the process of trying to meet the unrealistic expectations of parents and teachers."

    —Trish Konzak, teacher, Heather Farm Preschool

    "[NCLB] is like another Iraq war, with inadequate funding, naive notions about the ease of success, and no clue about the eventual casualties."

    —Marty Solomon, retired University of Kentucky professor

    "Rows of children lift their faces of promise,
    places where the scars will be."

    —William Stafford, from "Scars" in An Oregon Message

    "If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain. . . ."

    —Emily Dickinson,

    "The average KIPP teacher is in his/her early 20's, is single, and has no kids. They are clearly very dedicated young people who are not only willing to work longer hours and on Saturdays, but who are ABLE to work longer hours and on Saturdays. Teachers with families simply can't do this. They have to go home, fix dinner, do the dishes, walk the dog, and help with their kids' homework."

    —Peter Campbell, http://www.transformeducation.blogspot.com

    "All their fences
    All their prisons
    All their exercises
    All their agendas
    All their stanzas look alike . . . ."

    —Thmas Sayers Ellis, from "The Maverick Room"

    "And I, how have I taught myself to educate the children? "

    —-Nora, in "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

    "According to data assembled by the Luxembourg Income Study, an international group of social scientists that defines poverty has half of a nation's median income, the US poverty rate was 17% in 2000, compared with 11.4% in Canada, 8.3% in Germany, 7.3% in the Netherlands, 6.5% in Sweden, and 5.4% in Finland. (Among children, the poverty rate was 21.9% in the US and 2.8% in Finland). The poverty rate is significantly lower in these other nations because they provide a much wider and generous array of government-sponsored social insurance and safety net provisions to cushion the harshness of poverty, such as universal health insurance, family allowances, housing subsidies, and child care. The US's stingy social programs have only a minor impact in reducing the poverty rate, while programs in other countries have a dramatic impact in lifting children, low-wage workers, and the elderly out of poverty."

    —John Atlas and Peter Dreier, Common Dreams, 4/15/06

    "Art teachers who pose nude should wear helmets. "

    —Letter to Austin American-Statesman, 6/16/06

    "At Kaplan, the biggest corporate tutor, the number of students in its test prep and after-school programs has more than doubled since 1998. . . .In all, Americans spend more than $4 billion a year on tutoring."

    —Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2006

    "IF YOU'RE WONDERING WHY PBS seems so dull, it may help to know that its programming is under control of someone known as the Chief Content Officer. When people starting referring to their own efforts as content, they no longer appreciate what they're up to."

    —Sam Smith, Undernews: Progressive Review, 6/15/06

    "You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note."

    —Doug Floyd

    "If you can't convince them, confuse them."

    —Harry Truman

    "I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could."

    —Orson Welles

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. "

    —Dr. Martin Luther King

    "[Sir] Tom Stoppard went to boarding school in Yorkshire, but showed only limited aptitude for learning, and left at 17 to become a reporter on a local newspaper in Bristol. He enjoyed the job, and later applied for a bigger one on the London Evening Standard. The editor, Charles Wintour, a chilly Fleet Street veteran, quizzed him sternly: 'I gather you're interested in politics,' said Wintour. 'Who's the Home Secretary?'

    'Look,' blustered Stoppard, 'I said I was interested, not obsessed.' "

    —William Langley, The Telegraph, 6/11/06

    "School is a very 'weak treatment' for the conditions of poverty."

    —Source unknown

    "Democrats need to regain the courage that's lost with political compromises over the last few years. They've got to get it together. If they don't, it will not only be a tragedy for them, but a tragedy for the country."

    —Robert Redford, June 12, 2006

    "If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

    —Frederick Douglass, Canandaigua, NY, Aug. 4, 1857

    "The Broad Foundation is pleased to be a sponsor of Better Leaders for America's Schools, which goes beyond the conventional wisdom and offers solutions to challenge the status quo. We appreciate the excellent work done by Chester Finn and his colleagues at The Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the National Center for Education Information. . . ."

    —Eli Broad, co-publisher of "Better Leaders for America's Schools"

    "We are either for kids or we are not. There is no retirement for that. "

    —Georgia Hedrick, retired teacher giving books to kids in laundromats

    "You can get all A's and still flunk life. "

    —Walker Percy, The Second Coming

    "We test kids because we love them."

    —Rod Paige, addressing Frederick Douglass Republican Club, 6/06

    "It's not about what Utah says, it's about what good practice should demand. NCLB has been about public humiliation as opposed to standardizing good practice, and it should be about standardizing good practice."

    —Patti Harrington, Utah State Supt. of Public Instruction, 6/1/06

    "Fascism n. A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism. "

    —American Heritage Dictionary, New College Edition

    "Teachers know their own students best - or they should - and no outsider is qualified to prescribe the course of action to be taken for any particular student at any particular time. Learning and teaching are part of a social collaboration that can never be scripted in advance. "

    —Frank Smith, Ourselves: Why We Are Who We Are

    "I know of no college or university in the country that doesn't have to offer most or all of its freshmen courses in remedial English, beginning mathematics, beginning science and beginning foreign languages. Consequently, we give two or three years of college and the rest in high school work. Progressive education went too far. "

    —Princeton prof. Theodore M. Greene, in LA Times, 1946

    "The moon gives you light,

    And the state and the test gives you scores,

    And my heart, O my students, my children,

    My heart gives you love."

    —Susan Ohanian, apologies to Walt Whitman

    "At a time when politics deals in distortions and half truths, truth is to be found in the liberal arts. "

    —Prof. Samantha Power, Amherst College, Class Day, 2006

    "You do not become a 'dissident' just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society . . . "

    —Vaclav Havel

    "We talk fast, we walk fast, we think fast, we write fast, and I think poetry and literature are a chance to stop for a minute and take a breath. To think about the metaphor in a poem is to really stop and look beneath the surface and see what else lies there. I'm just hoping the experience of doing that is helpful, and also trains (my medical students) to listen more carefully and listen for the metaphor in what patients talk about."

    —Dr. Danielle Ofri, attending physician, internal medicine, Bellevue

    "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."

    —Anais Nin

    "There is more public oversight of the pet industry and the food we feed our dogs than there is for the quality of tests we make our kids take."

    —Prof. Walt Haney, Boston College

    "I, too, was a low-income kid. I, too, am Latino. I, too, was an English learner, and I wasn't very good in math. If I had been born a little later, when good ol' (Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack) O'Connell was around to tell me you can't go to college because your math ain't too good, maybe I wouldn't have been able to go to UC Davis. Maybe I wouldn't have gone to Harvard and become the first Latino partner at this firm ( Morrison & Foerster on Market Street)."

    —Artuto Gonzalez, plaintiff lead attorney against CA Exit Exam


    —Molly Ivins, AlterNet, May 17, 2006

    "You're getting more of a paint-by-numbers type of education. If it's not in the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills--state-mandated curriculum guidelines for teachers), you just don't teach it."

    —Shelby Patrick, Hirschi High School chemistry teacher

    "Teachers are far better judges of how students are doing than standardized tests."

    —Sue Montabello, principal, British Columbia

    "I know you're shocked -- SHOCKED! -- that George Bush is listening in on all your phone calls. Without a warrant. That's nothing. And it's not news.

    This is: the snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration's Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government. You can call it the privatization of the FBI -- though it is better described as the creation of a private KGB."

    —Greg Palast, May 12, 2006

    "Students who struggle in an AP course with its college-sized reading list and flunk the college-level, three-hour final exam, I learned, are still much better off than if they had been denied a chance to take the course and the test. They have just played 72 holes with the academic equivalent of Tiger Woods, and although Tiger has beaten them, they have gained from the experience a visceral appreciation of what they are going to have to do to survive in college. That taste of academic trauma stays with them and helps them work hard enough to get their bachelor's degree."

    —Jay Mathews, Washington Post, 11-23-04

    " If there is too wide a range of abilities in each AP class, why not put the students who are struggling in their own AP section? But don't deny them a chance to work toward an AP test, and get that taste of college trauma. "

    —Jay Mathews, Washington Post, 4/10/05

    "As I occasionally survey the pack of sycophantic Shih Tzus* in the Washington press corps, wriggling on their bellies to kiss the feet of those in power, I feel plumb discouraged about the future of journalism."

    —Molly Ivins, Common Dreams, 5/11/06

    "Socks are cannibalistic. The stronger one devours the weaker one, hence the proliferation of unmatched singles. So how do they co-exist in pairs on store shelves? Clearly, repeated washing and drying unleashes their predatory instincts."

    —Jim DeBrosse, Dayton Daily News, 5/12/06

    "When someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing."

    —Adrienne Rich, Blood, Bread, and Poetry

    " Male baboons exchange greetings by yanking on each other's penis. I don't know how Fortune 500 CEOs, media pundits, and politicians greet each other, but I do know that only one percent of their DNA differs from that of baboons and that ninety-nine percent of what they say about public education is hooey. And worse. And if one hundred baboons sat in a computer lab, they'd produce Moby Dick sooner than one hundred CEOs would tell the truth about the relationship of their advocacy of one-size-fits-all educational standards to upsizing/outsizing their own salary packages, the sideswiping of middle- and working-class America, and the subsidy of state-of-the-scam sports stadiums with their corporate luxury suites, and the push for tax-supported vouchers to private education."

    —Susan Ohanian, One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards

    "NCLB has to be dumped into the Potomac next year, and it will no doubt take civil disobedience to make it happen."

    —Jim Horn, Schools Matter blog, 5/10/06

    " We feel pretty confident that a lot of the issues we're dealing with around MCAS protests and naysayers and all these people who were against it when we first rolled it out pretty much went away. MCAS is part of the landscape in Massachusetts. There are always going to be people against something like MCAS. But it has become more of the landscape than ever. "

    —Heidi Perlman, MA Dept. of Ed, Public Relations, 5/10/06

    "They do timed tests in kindergarten to get the kids into testing mode for the FCATs, a standardized test that 4th, 8th and 10th graders take. "

    —Kelley Perez, Florida mom, on MSN.com


    After decades of upgrades to a fleet of notoriously cramped Sikorsky VH-3 Sea Kings, the White House has tasked Lockheed Martin with a dramatic, $6.1-billion makeover of Marine One, the presidential helicopter, starting this summer. The goal: to fit a mobile Oval Office into the tight quarters of a chopper. The new fleet will consist of 23 VH-71 aircraft, each of which will have 200 square feet of cabin space, nearly double the Sea King's 116. "

    —Jonathon Keats, Live Science

    "I had to buy (and pay for) my own stopwatch last week to finish DIBELS testing within the required time frame."

    —Liz House

    "I just recovered from strep and double pneumonia, but it was not as bad as the DIBELS flu - for which there is neither vaccine or cure - YET!"

    —Liz House

    "Those who can't find anything to live for,
    always invent something to die for.

    Then they want the rest of us to
    die for it, too."

    —Lew Welch,

    "Schools and Sesame Street tell kids that everyone can be No. 1. That's statistically impossible. I'm not writing for No. 1. I'm writing for No. 2 to No. 2,977, which happens to be a much larger audience."

    —Mo Willems, Caldecott Medalist, in USA Today, 5/8/06

    "We're killing children's spirits and their souls. We're going to produce generations of sad, unhappy souls. That's not what public schools are about."

    —Marla Reyes, Kings/Tulare Uniserv Unit, fighting NCLB

    "Why are the bad guys so much better at naming things? Especially legislation. Especially bad legislation.

    No Child Left Behind. Healthy Forests. Clear Skies. The PATRIOT Act.

    They have a special gift for coming up with monikers that are easy to remember and easy to get behind. Sure, they're deceptive, but they're also very effective."

    —Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post, 5/6/06

    "They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you. "

    —Philip Larkin, This Be the Verse

    " In England if something goes wrong--say, if one finds a skunk in the garden--he writes to the family solicitor, who proceeds to take the proper measures; whereas in America, you telephone the fire department. Each satisfies a characteristic need; in the English, love of order and legalistic procedure; and here in America, what you like is something vivid, and red, and swift. "

    —Alfred North Whitehead

    "There are not enough good jobs for the college educated . . . .

    Faced with layoffs, one president after another, starting with Jimmy Carter and running through George W. Bush, has either facilitated layoffs or acquiesced to them, or both. There is no loyal opposition. I set out to tell the story of our acquiescence and in doing so ran into a festering national crisis. Until we recognize it, an effective opposition cannot form."

    —Louis Uchitelle, The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences

    "This (Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983) is a cautionary tale. Its lesson is: watch your back, America. Take civil liberty for granted at your own risk. Trust in leaders who arrive into power by means of wealth, and see what they protect when push comes to shove. . . .

    This story's other lesson is hope. If a group of people who described themselves as 'nobody really, just housewives' could endure so much without breaking, if they could bear the meanness of their nation without becoming mean-spirited themselves, if they could come away with a passion for justice instead of revenge, then ordinary people are better than they are generally thought to be. . . . I did not invent these women; they invented themselves. What happened to them could happen to you, or me, and perhaps sometime it will. For better and for worse, this is a story of what could become of us."

    —Barbara KIngsolver, Holding the Line

    "A horse trainer says you can tell a horse man by his willingness to wait. 'A horse is no machine. . . but a living, breathing, opinionated beast. You've got to wait for them, and then wait some more.'"

    —Jane Smiley in Horse Heaven

    "The first thing many observers noted about scientific management was that there was almost no science to it. "

    —Matthew Stewart, "The Management Myth," The Atlantic, June 2006

    "The No Child Left Behind Act has brought out the best in our teachers. "

    —Margaret Spellings, Celebrating Teachers Week, 5/2/06

    "May the fleas of 1000 camels infest your armpits. "


    "The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday."

    —Stephen Colbert, about George W. Bush, 4/29/06

    "Jeb and George are twisting our education system to implement the corporate dream: a society of highly-skilled automatons who do not think to question authority."

    —Jim Hightower, April 2006

    "The very idea of the university may be finished. In Oxford, for a long time, they were producing divines. Then it took a turn and the University began to produce smart people. The idea of learning came quite late, in the early nineteenth century perhaps, and it went on some way into the twentieth. Now, apart from sciences, there seems to be no purpose to a university education. The Socialists want to send everybody to these places. I feel that these places ought to be wrapped up and people should buy their qualifications at the Post Office."

    —V S Naipaul, Interview in Literary Review, April 2006

    "If you put out another's candle, you will also be in the dark."

    —German proverb

    "The machine economy has set afire
    the household of the human soul,
    and all the creatures are burning within it."

    —Wendell Berry, "Some Further Words," in Given

    "In the history of language the first obscenity was silence."

    —Christina Davis, from "The Primer"

    "The notion that somehow what is happening now in education was brought on by what educators in general or some group within education did or did not do--curriculum theorists for example--is wrong . In fact I would argue that the broad spread of professionalism among teachers and the quality of the theory which underlay effective practice is what stimulated the reactionary attempt to impose methods and materials by law and to deprofessionalize public education."

    —Ken Goodman, discussion list, 4/23/06

    " We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two. We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about `and'. "

    —Sir Arthur Eddington

    "Asked why he had never become an astronaut, legendary test pilot Scott Crossfield said, 'I have a bad reputation for doing my own thing. I would turn off the radio if I didn't like the help I was getting from the ground, and the medicine men that were running the program thought that was too independent. They wanted medical subjects, not pilots.'"

    —obituary in New York Times, 4/21/06

    " What's wrong about teaching to the test is that life is not simply about deriving a 'right' answer. What is the right answer to being alive? What is the right answer to a Rodin sculpture, a Da Vinci drawing or a Picasso painting? What is the right answer to the existence of the universe, the language of whales, the process of entropy? What is the right answer to creativity, the emotions of opera, the love we feel for each other? "

    —Peter Henry in Becoming Mr. Henry

    " I am aware that many object to the severity of my language, but is there not cause for severity? I will be harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not with to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to sound a moderate alarm...but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present...

    I am in earnest--I will not equivocate--I will not excuse--I will not retreat a single inch--AND I WILL BE HEARD. "

    —William Lloyd Garrison

    "Make this the golden rule, the equivalent of the Hippocratic oath: Everything we ask a child to do should be worth doing."

    —Philip Pullman, ISIS speech, April 1, 2003

    "Failure to pass the AIMS test should not make them educational lepers."

    —Editorial, Arizona Republic, 4/15/06

    "Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. [Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking)"

    —Antonio Machado, Spanish poet exiled by General Franco

    "Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in few hands and the republic is destroyed."

    —Abraham Lincoln

    "The research evidence indicates that you can nail every high school teacher in the United States to a cross and flay them afterward but it won't have much to do with preventing dropouts because the problem occurs long before high school."

    —Michael Martin, AZ School Boards Assoc. Research Analyst

    "I have come to believe a lot of inefficiency is quite deliberate and supported by Congress. One person's inefficiency is another person's income."

    —Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton political economist, in Washington Post

    "I would no more teach children military training than I would teach them arson, robbery, or assassination. "

    —Eugene Debs

    "I think what's going on for our kids, and particularly the kids who have parents who are least powerful, is the worst education I've seen in 40 years. I don't have the same picture of what this increased attention has done. I've never seen so many frightened teachers. I've never seen so many frightened principals. I cannot imagine how you think that is going to help our race to the top, that the children in our most low-income schools are surrounded by adults whose overriding concern is these terrible tests "

    —Deborah Meier, Education Sector, 3/10/06

    "Can't we put less stress on the children? My 10-year-old daughter was almost worried sick she was going to get her teacher fired if she didn't do well on the test."

    —Dorothy Hatch, Charles County MD, in Washington Post

    "Preparing for the MAP test is very important, but we should not have to sacrifice our values for a standardized test. We are spending tax dollars to administer test preparation that includes an obvious bias against our way of life, and that is just wrong."

    —Missouri Senator Bill Stouffer, on test prep passage about vegetarianism

    "A physician shall act only in the patient's interest when providing medical care which might have the effect of weakening the physical and mental condition of the patient."

    —International Code of Medical Ethics

    "Our schools' proper business is not to fit students to pre-established slots in the workforce but rather to prepare them to thrive in whatever economic, cultural, and political institutions they choose to join or can themselves devise."

    —Jeffrey Zorn,

    "I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did. "

    —Yogi Berra

    "Required by the district to spend two to three hours a day on Open Court instruction, teachers felt unable to include the literacy curriculum we had previously developed -- curriculum that more fully addressed the range of levels and the varied strengths and weaknesses of our students. These students -- full of energy and, by and large, eager to learn -- became victims of a system that refused to teach them in the way they learn best: actively, holistically, and cooperatively. . . .

    Poor kids received an education that prepared them for McDonald's, McMilitary, and Mc-Prison. "

    —Elizabeth Jaeger

    "Take the day off, dear reader, and ignore the world and let the president play his fiddle. Find the one who means the most to you and make yourselves happy. If that be ignorance, make the most of it."

    —Garrison Keillor, "Love Will Outlast Bush," 4/5/06

    "As researcher Gerald Bracey has pointed out, NCLB uses the phrase "scientifically based research" 111 times, but has "zero" scientific evidence to support the sanctions it imposes on the schools to improve performance."

    —Stan Karp, Rethinking Schools, Spring 2006

    "[The] overuse and misuse of standardized tests is only the start of the problems with NCLB. NCLB uses these test scores to impose sanctions that have no record of success as school improvement strategies, and in fact are not really educational strategies at all. They're political strategies designed to promote privatization and market reform in public education."

    —Stan Karp, Rethinking Schools, Spring 2006

    "Today, NCLB is almost as unpopular as the administration and Congress that created it. With the law coming up for reauthorization in 2007, debate is heating up about whether we need Band-Aids to "fix" NLCB or a bulldozer to bury it."

    —Stan Karp, Rethinking Schools, Spring 2006

    "The only way that teachers and parents can change the status quo within the public school system is through outright rebellion. Refuse to administer tests. Refuse to teach to the test. Refuse to allow children to take tests. In California, Education Code 60615 allows parents to waive testing of their child just by requesting it in a letter to the principal of the school. More parents should do that."

    —Diane Flynn Keith, interview with Jo Scott Coe, 3/31/06

    "Ohio PTA has bought into the No Corporation Left Behind, No Child Left Untested, hook, line, and sinker. The most help one could hope to receive from Ohio PTA would be tips on test taking days (i.e; get a good night's sleep, eat a good breakfast) or test bribery activities(i.e., pizza parties pep rallies, etc.) On rare occasion, one might come upon a particuarly bold PTO."

    —Mary O'Brien, Ohio parent activist

    "Maybe it's time more schools leave the $2.3 billion testing industry behind and move on from its fear-based, profit-driven, mind-closing culture."

    —Katrina Vanden Heuvel, The Nation, 4/1/06

    "I keep listening but I don't hear the same rhetoric or values applied to the war that have been put on, for example, school teachers and education. The No Child Left Behind law attempts to make sure federal education dollars are spent usefully. OK, so even if you buy the logic, you wonder, do people just call for fiscal responsibility on the particular topics they want accountability for?"

    —Joni Balter, Seattle Times, 4/02/06

    "Bourgeois scientists make sure that their theories are not dangerous to God or to capital. "

    —G. V. Plekhanov

    "Any fool can make a rule and every fool will mind it."

    —Henry David Thoreau

    "All I know is if teachers remain silent, they are going to lose their profession. In many cases, the profession is dead: when you're reading a script, you are not a professional. "

    —Susan Ohanian, Interview with Peter Campbell 3/28/06

    "And we all remember those desperate people on those rooftops [during the Katrina disaster] holding up signs, 'Send educational software!' "

    —Bill Maher, on Barbara Bush gift to Katrina-impacted schools

    "Everyone in this school is doing government work, not schoolwork. "

    —Kayla Elmore, Colorado high school test refuser

    "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.) "

    —Carl Sagan, Parade 2/1/1987

    "Ten middle-class guys are sitting in a bar. Then the richest guy leaves, and Bill Gates walks in. Because the richest guy in the bar is now much richer than before, the average income in the bar soars. But the income of the nine men who aren't Bill Gates hasn't increased, and no amount of repeating 'But average income is up!' will convince them that they're better off."

    —Paul Krugman, New York Times, 3/24/06

    "Put it down in capital letters and underline it in bold strokes. Effective teaching is all about love and modeling real care. Care for the world, care for your material, care for that one kid who is your personal pain-in-the-ass, like Gary Schultz."

    —Peter Henry, Becoming Mr. Henry

    "The truly fundamental problem behind No Child Left Behind is this: What is joyful about learning, and what therefore makes us want to learn as much as we possibly can, are the intangible qualities of creativity, curiosity, compassion, wonder and joy. By reducing human effectiveness in education to paper, pencil and marking ovals, we are cheapening and even destroying the fundamental inspiration that drives learning."

    —Peter Henry, author Becoming Mr. Henry

    ""The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that of the thirty occupations that will grow the most over the next decade, only eight will require a college degree. "

    —Jeff Faux, The Global Class War, p. 184

    "I was so micromanaged that they were telling me how to pronounce syllables of words. "

    —Bob Edwards, of his former employer, National Public Radio

    "Capitalism: The name of a religion based on the worship of money."

    —Nicholas Von Hoffman, A Devil's Dictionary of Business

    "I'm the commander in chief. I'm also the educator in chief. "

    —George W. Bush, Wheeling, WV, 3/22/06

    "Anyway, you'll be confronted with some stuff. Hopefully, our job is to make sure you're confronted with less issues, like being hooked on oil. One of the issues that we're confronting with now that I hope you'll not have to confront with is jobs going elsewhere because we don't have the math and science skills and engineering skills and physics skills that are taught to our children here."

    —George W. Bush, Wheeling, WV, 3/22/06

    "This has just been handled in the most frustrating way imaginable. [The College Board and Pearson] are clearly not on top of their own mess.... I've not gotten my reassurance that everything is out on the table now."

    —Bruce Poch, Admissions Dean, Pomona College, 3/23/06

    "Rather than persist in the fiction that the SAT performs any defensible educational function, it's time to put the test to eternal sleep. Doing so would constitute a public service long overdue. "

    —Walt Gardner, in Baltimore Sun, 3/21/06

    "Studies in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Denver and Boston -- along with others in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales -- all show that poverty is a primary determinant of student achievement. High-stakes test scores are very highly correlated with family income."

    —Donald C. Orlich, Pacific Northwest Inlander, 3/15/06

    "The problem with the NAEP achievement levels is that they are no damn good."

    —Gerald Bracey, Reading Educational Research

    "I don't think there is any data that assessments at the third grade harms anyone."

    —G. Reid Lyon to the Hartford Courant, 3/17/06

    "One of the other problems the [New York City] Department of Education has had is that they have not adequately nurtured the talent within the system to create and bring along the next generation of great principals. They took a real bold and I think mistaken step -- again with a lot of private philanthropic money -- to create a principals academy aimed at taking people either from other cities with some educational experience or taking people with no educational experience and thinking that you could in short order turn them into quality New York City principals. And that was folly. In the course of doing that program, they jettisoned, out of their arrogance, an existing program for a fraction of the money that used experienced New York City principals to mentor young future principals and assistant principals and that had been really successful."

    —Samuel Freedman, Gotham Gazette, 3/14/06

    "The problem is that you have this tail of this big grant from the Gates Foundation wagging this policy dog at the [New York City] Department of Ed. Because Gates has a big priority to start small schools, the Department of Education is jumpstarting 50 a year, year after year. It's just impossible to have quality opening up schools in that kind of frenetic way. It also means a lot of these schools get opened up with these ultra-niche academic orientations --sports careers or architecture -- that I think are really preposterous for a ninth grader."

    —Samuel Freedman, Gotham Gazette, 3/14/06

    "I have to pull 5 year olds every day to do things for which they aren't ready and things that I know are not developmentally appropriate."

    —a kindergarten teacher, 3/14/06

    "Some scripted lessons are bad, but some work well. The research shows that Success For All and Direct Instruction are very effective. I have seen several Success For All classes in action, and they are not the least bit dreary. There is lots of activity, and kids seem to enjoy them."

    —Jay Mathews, Washington Post, 3/14/06

    "To attack the Big Tests without attacking the social relations that require them (capitalism) is like trying to wash the air on one side of a screen door. "

    —Rich Gibson

    "MY SON ALREADY hates school, and he's just halfway through kindergarten. . . . Now kindergarten is a 30-hour-a-week job. There's nightly homework; finger painting is a rare treat; and as for naps, there just isn't time."

    — L.J. Williamson, LA Times, 2/27/06

    "The 2005 Mathematics Framework describes the responsibilities that all stakeholders must meet for the effective implementation of a rigorous and coherent mathematics curriculum for kindergarten through grade twelve . . . ."

    —Jack O'Connell, State Supt, Elementary Ed. Newsletter, winter 2006

    "Let me assure you that today's rigorous kindergarten aims to prepare youngsters to succeed in the hard academic work that begins in first grade. "

    —Betty Ann James, California Teachers Assoc., 3/6/02

    "Corruption of any kind corrupts. It costs us either money or confidence or both. But intellectual corruption is far more dangerous. It ruins and costs lives. "

    — Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 3/9/06

    "We have the choice of encouraging others to demean this life or to cherish it. "

    —Fred Rogers

    "Shopping is what consumers do. Talking to each other is what families should do, and talking about building a movement that improves life for all our families is what citizens must do. "

    —Bruce Dixon, blackcommentator.com editor

    " I know I have the best of time and space, and was never measured and never will be measured."

    —Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

    "Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth. "

    —George Orwell, 1984

    "Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences. "

    —Susan B. Anthony

    "What gets measured gets done."

    —Margaret Spellings, U. S. Sec. of Education, 2/22/06

    "Si se puede! (Yes, we can do it!)"

    —Cesar Chavez

    "Most people are already engaged in a struggle against capitalism to create a new world. The smallest acts of kindness and solidarity on the shop floor or in our classrooms or in our neighborhoods or our homes and the most public and collective acts of class struggle are all part of a struggle to humanize the world and make it conform to our idea of what it should be. The moral values present in people's everyday lives--values of solidarity and commitment to each other--these are the real basis of every great movement for social change.

    We don't have to invent the revolutionary movement. The movement already exists. It exists in the little things that people do for each other everyday; it exists in the help people give each other on the shop floor and their resistance to the company and the union; it exists in the love of husband and wife for each other and the support they give their children; it exists in the efforts of teachers to teach, and in the resistance of students to much of what they are taught. It exists in this room, in our efforts to figure out the world and how we can help change it. Are all these relationships of human solidarity perfect? Does friendship and equality and resistance to capitalism shape everything in society or everything we do? Of course not. That's why we need a revolution--because everything that we value is under attack. But the revolutionary movement that we are part of is already a powerful force for change which the ruling class spends its every waking minute trying to control."

    —Dave Stratman, New Democracy

    "Technology is a servant who makes so much noise cleaning up in the next room that his master cannot make music. "

    —Karl Kraus, Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths

    "[The] child's play is the infantile form of human ability to deal with experience by creating model situations and to master reality by experimenting and planning."

    —Erik Ericson, Child and Society, 1950

    " It will take a village to reform schools." "

    —Lorie Smith Schaefer, kindergarten teacher

    "Thousands of studies have linked poverty to academic achievement. The relationship is every bit as strong as the connection between cigarettes and cancer."

    —David Berliner, Arizona State University

    "This is still about democracy, tyranny and the rights of children in public schools. Those who support secret high-stakes tests for public school children are on the wrong side of this huge historical battle. And on this one there are two sides, one based on the best traditions of this country and the other rooted in the worst. "

    —George Schmidt, editor, Substance

    "Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. "

    —Maya Angelou

    "An Administration so strongly committed to the principles of a law [NCLB] it has consistently hailed as positive is now backing away from it by making compromises on many dimensions. The dangerously high levels of opposition at the state and local level will inevitably affect support for the law in Congress. In this situation, since Congress controls reauthorization, appropriations, and oversight, the law cannot be sustained as originally written."

    —Gary Orfield, The Civil Rights Project report

    "We see only what we expect to see."

    —Alberto Manguel in A Reading Diary

    "I support the free press, let's just get them out of the room."

    —George W. Bush, House Republican Caucus in Maryland

    "There is an almost mathematical certainty that under the current system of identifying schools making inadequate progress, all of our nation's schools will eventually be on that list."

    —Art Rainwater, Madison, WI superintendent of schools

    "[W}e welcome a procedure which under the title of science sinks the individual in a numerical class; judges him with reference to capacity to fit into a limited number of vocations ranked according to present business standards; assigns him to a predestined niche and thereby does whatever education can do to perpetuate the present order."

    —John Dewey, 1922

    "Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can do is take a complete rest."


    "This nation has squandered away four years and billions of dollars in education funding. Our children have been tested to death, forced to regurgitate, and at the end of the day they haven't learned to do basic reading and math or, never mind, learned to think."

    —Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund

    "One in ten American children has a parent under criminal justice supervision--incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. One in thirty-three American children--and one in eight African American children--goes to sleep without access to a parent because that parent is in jail. Despite these staggering numbers, the children of prisoners remain largely invisible to society."

    —Nell Bernstein, All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated

    "I wouldn't be slitting my wrists because I couldn't have a bilingual program."

    — T. Shanahan, Chair, Nat. Lit. Panel for Lang. & Minority Children & Youth

    "It is. . . no surprise that the constitution of the world economy protects just one class of global citizen--the corporate investor. Given the influence of American elites, the model for this constitution is the North American Free Trade Agreement, conceived under Ronald Reagan, nurtured by George H.W. Bush and delivered by Bill Clinton. Among other things, NAFTA's 1,000-plus pages give international investors extraordinary rights to override government protections of workers and the environment. It sets up secret panels, rife with conflicts of interest, to judge disputes from which there is no appeal. It makes virtually all nonmilitary government services subject to privatization and systematically undercuts the public sector's ability to regulate business. Jorge Castaeda, later Mexico's foreign secretary, observed that NAFTA was 'an agreement for the rich and powerful in the United States, Mexico and Canada, an agreement effectively excluding ordinary people in all three societies.' "

    —Jeff Faux, "The Party of Davos, The Nation, 2/13/06

    "Any decision about a student's continued education, such as retention, tracking, or graduation, should not be based on the results of a single test, but should include other relevant and valid information."

    —Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

    "A change in our perception of why kids are in school seems appropriate. Kids are not in school to learn how to memorize a bunch of stuff and spend an hour and a half spitting it back to us. They are not in school to see how much information they can cram onto two note cards they get to use during the test. They are not in school to learn to take tests. They are in school to learn to take life, and do something useful and fulfilling with it. So let's make something related to useful and fulfilling our final."

    —Steven W. Simpson, Ph.D. , Simpson Communications

    " As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. "

    —Gore Vidal

    "Of all the members of the United Nations, the United States of America and Somalia (which has no legally constituted government) are the only two nations that have failed to ratify the U.N. convention on the Rights of the Child."

    —Children's Defense Fund

    "The notion that one test can work for thousands and thousands of students in Texas tells me how clueless some adults are about the needs of students."

    —Andy Peterson, 12th-grader, Austin, Texas

    " We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."

    —Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

    "I want to thank you for your leadership, Margaret. You're doing a heck of a job as the Secretary of Education."

    —George W. Bush, celebrating NCLB 4th anniversary

    "Margaret Spellings, the former Margaret La Montagne, has been Bush's alter ego on education issues for more than a decade."

    —SourceWatch: Center for Media & Democracy

    "I do not know how to weight or measure a man, the mistake is when someone thinks such task is possible. "

    —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Issues surrounding sleep -- who needs how much and when -- are usually given short shrift in efforts to improve student achievement. But modern brain researchers say it is time that more schools faced the biological facts."

    —Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, 1/10/06

    "A little stress is good."

    —Deputy Chanceller Carmen Farina, NY City's top instructional official

    " The notion that with schools alone you can create equal achievement for children of different social backgrounds is one that's not based in any research. It's not based on any experience. It's not based on any true understanding of what the many, many factors that contribute to student achievement are.

    The health doesn't matter. The housing doesn't matter. The dysfunctional communities don't matter. None of these things matter. The only thing that matters is whether teachers have high expectations of children. I don't think we can make social policy on the basis of a myth."

    —Richard Rothstein on NPR Weekend Edition

    " Crime once exposed has no refuge but in audacity."


    "There are places in the world where librarians and libraries are considered even more directly related to education than football."

    —Rick Casey, Houston Chronicle, 1/6/06

    "Now we'll have science testing, mandated by NCLB. So much for test tubes--now kids will just have tests."

    —Judy Rabin, Monmouth University

    "We should be encouraging rigor in our schools, not backing away from it."

    —Jim Lanich, pres., California Business for Ed. Excellence

    "Don't do the right thing looking for a reward, because it might not come."

    —Hugh Thompson, pilot; rescued civilians at My Lai

    "In all my years teaching at Stuyvesant High school [and talking to parents at parent conferences on Open School Day] only one parent, a mother, asked if her son was enjoying school. I said yes. He seemed to be enjoying himself. She smiled, stood up, said, Thank you, and left. One parent in all those years."

    —Frank McCourt, Teacher Man

    "Teacher pay-for-performance is the latest reform idea sweeping the nation. The claims that these magic merit pay programs will improve teacher effectiveness and raise student achievement are a utopian illusion. Political grandstanding, teacher bashing and unfunded government mandates do not address any of the real problems facing the nation's public schools."

    —Joseph C'de Baca, Denver teacher, in USA Today, 1/5/06

    "If there has ever been a classic example of lockstep, one-size-fits-all, individuality-out-the-door, ideological gobbledygook, this is it. If, indeed, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, No Child Left Behind is educational asphalt."

    —Editorial, Anniston Star (Alabama)

    "To date there is no consistent evidence that high-stakes testing works to increase achievement."

    —Sharon Nichols, Gene Glass, & David C. Berliner, EPAA/ASU

    "I have the feeling that 60% of what you say is crap."

    —David Letterman to Bill O'Reilly, 1/03/06

    "Schools alone can't cure fetal alcohol syndrome, lead poisoning, low birth-weight-induced cognitive deficits, undetected hearing and vision deficits or asthma, rampant in some urban areas. Educators alone cannot insure that poor mothers-to-be get proper prenatal care or that poor children get the kinds of eye and dental examinations they need or treatment for ear infections, infections which if treated are nothing serious but if not can cause hearing loss, etc. Schools alone cannot eliminate dangerous working conditions, sub-poverty wages or erratic housing patterns. "

    —Gerald Bracey, Rotten Apple in Education Awards, 2006

    "Our children have been hijacked and shackled by bad policy and bad politics. "

    —Marian Wright Elderman, president, Children's Defense Fund

    "One day in McKee High School I made a breakthrough of some kind, and for me there was kind of a white blazing light in the room and I went, 'Jesus, this is absolutely orgasmic in an intellectual and emotional sense.'

    We were dealing with a poem and it was called--the poem was called 'My Papa's Waltz.' You're always telling the kids, 'Look for the deeper meaning,' and then there would be a test. But I said to the kids, 'Let's get inside the poem. What's going on in here?' And there was an explosion for me at that moment because we were doing it together. I wasn't a teacher anymore, as in 'I know everything and you're just out there. I tell you what you need to know.' Instead I said, 'You tell me what's happening. Tell me what's going on in here.' That was a turning point that colored my whole teaching career. "

    —Frank McCourt, Interview, Academy of Achievement, 6/19/99

    "There are stark and causal relationships between economic status and school "achievement" in the US and every other country that tracks the relevant data. Census Bureau figures show that between 1967 and 2001, the share of total income flowing to the bottom 60% of US households fell from 32% to 27%. The share of total income to the top 5% rose from under 18% to over 22%. The percentage to the group in the middle barely changed. Those percentages could easily be said to mirror test scores except, of course, the "achievement gap" has closed a bit in contrast to the economic gap. In that context the schools have been doing a bang-up job. For someone from the educated middle class to be pointing fingers at the lack of parenting skills of those living under the burdens of decades of grinding poverty, systematic racism, and governmental neglect is...well, insensitive doesn't quite capture it all. I'm not sure what does. "

    —Gary Ravini, President, Petaluma Federation of Teachers

    "I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. "

    —Harriet Tubman

    "I teach EBD and LD high school students. One of my students who is extremely bright but has a very slow processing speed was compelled to spend 26.36 actual hours (4.2 instructional days) on the WKCE, and even then he wasn't finished, so his score still will not reflect his true ability. There are reams of existing information on this young man from school and outside psychologists documenting his skills; nevertheless, he was taken out of 24 instructional periods BEYOND what the school had already allotted for testing so that he could achieve a score close to representative of his already VERY well-documented skills. Because of his unique learning style, this student struggles to keep up in school in spite of his above-average intelligence-he repeatedly questioned the value of a test that would cause him to miss the equivalent of three additional days of class beyond the time already missed by his classmates. Clearly, this test format is highly disruptive and very inappropriate for such a young man, but he would never qualify for that very small percentage of alternative assessment students because he is not cognitively disabled. The obvious practical answer would be to skip the extra-time accommodation, but then his scores would have been inaccurate AND harmful to the school's AYP. The test is actually interfering with his education. "

    —Michelle Mader, Teacher, Waukesha School District

    "I teach Title 1 reading but had to cancel many of my classes to proctor students who are at risk. The students I tested struggled with the long, involved questions for the short answer questions. A simple question would have provided a much better assessment of whether the child understood what they had read. I thought the sentence structure used in all the testing indicated the question makers had never taught at-risk readers. "

    —Jan DeGaetano, Teacher, Waukesha School District

    "As a special education teacher and school board member, I have seen how the education of children with special needs works from different perspectives. School districts should not be penalized for addressing the needs of their students. The way the testing is set up is very unfair to the diversity of students. Wisconsin is the top education system in the country. Why are we doing this? "

    —Jerry Fults, Teacher, Stanley-Boyd School District

    "The one-size-fits-all mentality of the ESEA is incompatible with the spirit and intent of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). So we are left with the monumental task of trying to reconcile two federal laws that are inconsistent with each other. This conflict will have a devastating impact on children. To call ESEA "No Child Left Behind" is really an irresponsible and harmful use of language... the very children who need the most help are those mistreated by this law."

    —Pete Knotek, Speech-Language Pathologist, Racine School District

    "When the future of a student, or the future of our school, hinges on the result of an arbitrary test, then the teachers are forced to spend valuable classroom time teaching to the test. That means less time on critical thinking skills, less time on creative approaches to problem-solving, less time in general teaching the values and skills that will help students succeed in the future. Instead, we'll be spending that time teaching simple facts and formulas to help them succeed on a single test. That's not the best use of our class time. "

    —Wade Heinen, Teacher,Sheboygan School District

    "Things are definitely different now. You can see it in our teachers and the way they do things in class. We spend a whole lot of time just getting ready for the next test, and a lot less time doing things that we actually find interesting or make us excited about coming to school. And then once the test is over, it's just on to the next one. Graduates, Milwaukee Public Schools"

    —Emma Mullins & LaDarrin Johnson, graduates, Milwaukee Public Schools

    "Why would a second grade class be bothered by testing that is not occurring at that level? Because nearly all of the special education & Title 1 teachers were re-deployed into the testing role, there was very limited support for handicapped children in all of the classrooms. "

    —Ruth Noble, Teacher, Madison Metropolitan School District

    "Although I've never been a death-row inmate awaiting execution, I can imagine how such prisoners must feel as they watch their attorneys exhaust, one by one, all eligible appeals. Even though public school educators in the United States may not realize it, they are now facing a similar end-of-the-line scenario with respect to adequate yearly progress (AYP), the accountability cornerstone of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). "

    —W. James Popham, Educational Leadership, 9/05

    "I could understand if test prep was part of the curriculum, but test prep was all of the curriculum."

    —Middle class parent on removing child from NY City public school

    "What everyone has missed is that the NAEP designation of 'proficiency' variants are simply segments of the normal distribution of test scores that are forced by the Item Response Theory that drives these and other standardized achievement tests.

    In other words, they are arbitrary slices of the scale that have nothing to do with 'shoes on the ground' reading and math expertise. NAEP 'Proficency' has no more reality than Saddam's WMDs. The difference is we now know the WMD deceit, and we don't yet know the NAEP deceit. If you read the NAEP fine print, it includes a description of how the distribution is divided. But who has read the fine print?"

    —Dick Schutz, 3RsPlus

    "I accept your premise; we can only do better with tougher standards and better assessment, and you should set the standards. I believe that is absolutely right. And that will be the lasting legacy of this conference. I also believe, along with Mr. Gerstner and the others who are here, that it's very important not only for businesses to speak out for reform, but for business leaders to be knowledgeable enough to know what reform to speak out for, and what to emphasize, and how to hammer home the case for higher standards, as well as how to help local school districts change some of the things that they are now doing so that they have a reasonable chance at meeting these standards. "

    —President Bill Clinton, Education Summit, IBM Headquarters, 3/27/96

    "Our children have been hijacked and shackled by bad policy and bad politics. This nation has squandered away four years and billions of dollars in education funding. Our children have been tested to death, forced to regurgitate and at the end of the day they haven't learned to do basic reading and math or much less learned to think. It's a national shame."

    —Marian Wright Elderman, president of the Children's Defense Fund

    "An editor who taught me a lot once said: 'If you piss off both sides you're doing your job.' "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews from the Progressive Review

    "One brave deed is worth a thousand books."

    —Edward Abbey

    "Why don't CEOs ever take out after the members of Congress the way they do teachers? Why don't members of Congress ever take out after CEOs the way they do teachers?"

    —Susan Ohanian, Phi Delta Kappan, January 2000

    "For Standardistos, diverse standards are an oxymoron. For me, standard standards are both an insult and an impossibility."

    —Susan Ohanian, One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards

    "WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED that current trends in early education, fueled by political pressure, are leading to an emphasis on unproven methods of academic instruction and unreliable standardized testing that can undermine learning and damage young children's healthy development."

    —Alliance for Childhood, December 2005

    ". . .for English class
    I was assigned to Miss Ruth Stevenson
    who closed the classroom door and said, "Ladies,
    let's have ourselves a hell of a good time!"
    And we did, reading Austen, Dickinson,
    Eliot, Woolf, until we understood
    we'd come to train--not tame--the wild girls
    into the women who would run the world."

    —Julia Alvarez, from "Abbot Academy"

    "Daniel Ferri says his work as a grave-digger, fork lift driver, assembly line worker and potter helped him mature enough to be a teacher. The most important thing he hopes to bring to his sixth-grade students is kindness."

    —National Public Radio Morning Edition

    " Christian faith demands, as a matter of justice and compassion, that we be concerned about public schools. The No Child Left Behind Act approaches the education of America's children through an inside-the-school management strategy of increased productivity rather than providing resources and support for the individuals who will shape children's lives. As people of faith we do not view our children as products to be tested and managed but instead as unique human beings to be nurtured and educated. We call on our political leaders to invest in developing the capacity of all schools. Our nation should be judged by the way we care for our children."

    —National Council of Churches

    "In a time of war, telling the truth is a treasonable act."


    "If the child needs to throw up in the middle of the test, pull the trash can by his/her side, let them do their thing, and encourage the child to finish the test."

    —Administrative memo, Greeley-Evans School Dist., CO


    I went over to the sargent, said, "Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench 'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug." He looked at me and said, "Kid, we don't like your kind, and we're gonna send you fingerprints off to Washington."

    And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I'm singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say "Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.". And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

    And that's what it is , the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the guitar."

    —Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant

    "The truth is today, be good, be decent, be honorable and self-sacrificing and you will not always be happy. You will often be desperately unhappy. You may even be crucified, dead and buried; and the third day you will be just as dead as the first. But with the death of your happiness may easily come increased happiness and satisfaction and fulfillment for other people--strangers, unborn babes, uncreated worlds. If this is not sufficient, never try it - - remain hogs. "

    —WEB Du Bois, The Education of Black People, 1930

    "AMORALITY: A quality admired and rewarded in modern organizations, where it is referred to through metaphors such as professionalism and efficiency . . . Immorality is doing wrong of our own volition. Amorality is doing it because a structure or an organization expects us to do it. Amorality is thus worse than immorality because it involves denying our responsibility and therefore our existence as anything more than an animal. "

    —John Ralston Saul, "The Doubter's Companion"

    "Find out just what people will quietly submit to, and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

    —Frederick Douglass

    "Horrible example of numerical goals in public places."

    —W. Edwards Deming, on America 2000

    "Merit Pay, aka Principal's Pet Pay"


    "It must be kind of spooky to be a student or teacher in a university as great as this one, with its libraries and laboratories and lecture halls, while knowing it is within the borders of a nation where wisdom, reason, knowledge and truth no longer apply."

    —Kurt Vonnegut, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, 9/22/03

    " A little chaos is good for the soul, especially for the growing soul. It needs the sense of confidence that comes from meeting the unpredictable, the odd, the unexplained, the possibly dangerous. It needs the imagination and resilience and flexibility and -- above all -- the courage to get out and confront things. Because without it, the world really is a dangerous place."

    —Bill Marvel, Dallas Morning News, 11/6/05

    "By far the most important consequence of sitting out the rankings game, however, is the freedom to pursue our own educational philosophy, not that of some newsmagazine [U. S. News & World Report]."

    —Colin Diver, Pres. Reed College, in The Atlantic

    "I don't think we have the luxury of focusing on things other than those that produce results."

    —Margaret Spellings, U. S. Sec. of Ed, NY Times, 11/3/05

    "Science is not a dance card or jukebox where you can choose the songs you want. It's about what is the best explanation for the observations and the data we have. It's about the facts."

    —Gerald Wheeler, Ex. Dir., NASTA

    " IT'S difficult to explain exactly what being poor is all about, or why access to books and ideas might be as important as a free breakfast."

    —Walter Dean Myers, NY Times, 10/16/05

    "This book is about the abolition of a national sin. So when people say, what do you expect us to do, I say, 'I expect you to rise up. as courageous people have done before in America, and raise hell.' I want to see our teachers develop a stronger political voice and find the courage to serve witnesses to the injustices of which they are more keenly aware than anyone else. . . . I do believe there will be another mass movement in this country, and I'd like to see it led by teachers."

    —Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation, 2005

    "How do we reach corporate dynamos to buy girl scout cookies?
    How do we call when we want to rent a bus for the school picnic?
    How do we call when the soup kitchen's out of soup?
    How come big bucks stuff so few pockets?"

    — Martin Steingesser,

    "Handwritten essays can be shipped overnight to India, where they are transcribed at very low cost--with automated scores still returning to the teacher within a day! (Such transcription work was undoubtedly performed by some of the non-PhD caste in India."

    —Jo Scott-Coe, on ATP Innovations in Testing conference, 2005

    "People who haven't darkened the door of a public school in decades have no idea how 'accountability' has robbed those institutions of vitality, of zest, and of the intangible elements that make children want to succeed. There's only so much brow-beating, only so much drilling, only so many test-prep worksheets a small mind can endure without zoning out. Later, when the option is availed, that uninspired child will drop out."

    —John Young, Waco Tribune, 10/23/05

    "I fear an education bled of fascination, bled of gusto, bled of enrichment --an education that's not really education but training. You will pass this test. That is all."

    —John Young, Waco Tribune, 10/23/05

    "NEW RULE: Stop saying anybody or anything is like the Nazis. Republicans aren't like the Nazis. Neo-Nazis aren't even like the Nazis. Nothing is like the Nazis. Except for Wal-Mart."

    —Bill Maher, New Rules

    "You have been in the village a few days and already think you know everything better than everyone here."

    —Franz Kafka, The Castle

    "In Japan, the morning after a high-stakes test, it's in the newspapers. The test makers have to defend the particular tasks they've set. The public can write in; there's public discourse around these high-stakes test materials. "

    —Clifford Hill, Teachers College Record, 12/7/2000

    "Some child thirty years hence will pen a book entitled Everything I Needed to Know about Sound-Symbol Correspondence and How to be a Burned-out Learner by Fourth Grade I Learned in Kindergarten."

    —Gerald Bracey

    "Behaviorally, it is clear that citizens, from cradle to grave, are primed to conform to the dictates of those in power, instructed never to question the validity of what those who would like to take control of our lives have to say. Most Americans have no idea; that what we are fed by the news media (televised and paper-print news) is nothing more than a portrayal of what powerful corporations (those who pay the salaries of those who run mass media) want us to believe, that what happens to pass as education is as often as not mere propaganda (e.g. that Americans are the good guys and their enemies are, without exception, always the bad guys), that what we learn in church may have very little or nothing to do with the truth, that what our parents teach us may be nothing more than an accumulation of their own personal biases-- no doubt a rather subtle modification of what they were taught by their parents. And through such a process, governments and nations around the world wield control as to what their citizens, believe, value, and do."

    —Doug Soderstrom, a psychologist , Common Dreams

    "I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. "

    — Harriet Tubman

    "Kindergartners will see a new test that measures things such as their recognition of letters and sounds. They'll take it during their first month of school."

    —Jennifer Booth Reed, News-Press

    "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. "

    —Garrison Keillor

    "DIBELS: Demonically Inspired by Evil Lord Satan."

    —Richard Allington, IRA keynote address

    "Everyone is looking at the DIBELS even though we know this is not a true measure of our kids."

    —Jennifer Lopez, kindergarten teacher, New Mexican

    "In fact, every one of us comes into this world naked and helpless, and most leave it in the same condition -- and we are dependent on one another every single day in between. The 'stand on your own feet and take care of yourself' attitude the right wing keeps pushing is not only cruel, but stupid, too. "

    —Molly Ivins, AlterNet, Oct. 14, 2005

    "If William Bennett were a former secretary of defense rather than a former secretary of education, and had disparaged the military the way he has deprecated public schools, he would have been charged with treason and summarily shot."

    —Gerald Bracey, Rotten Apple Awards, 2000

    "DIBELS is so flawed and weak a test that, without the coercion being applied for its use by the No Child Left Behind Act enforcers in Washington, it would never pass review for adoption for the uses being made of it on any level by competent reviewers. "

    —Kenneth Goodman, Education Week, 9/12/05

    "The Department of Homeland Security said that the recent terror threat to New York City was "specific but non-credible."

    So is NCLB."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "'Well, Mr. Snelgrove, I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra, and I speak from experience.' "

    —Peggy Sue in film "Peggy Sue Got Married"

    "Remember, you are allowed only three exclamation points in a lifetime. "

    —Sam Smith, Undernews from the Progressive Review

    " The intensely myopic focus on testing inherent in the No Child Left Behind law is having the unintended (we hope) consequence of driving civic and social goals right out of the curriculum and school culture. This is happening despite the fact that for many of the original advocates of universal public education the goal was to have an educated citizenry, individuals equipped to take part in democracy."

    —Julia Steiny, Providence Journal, 10/2/05

    "A preschool near the Stanford campus had the purposeful name 'Knowledge Beginnings,' whereas a preschool near a university in Switzerland was called 'Vanilla-Strawberry.' "

    —Marina Krakovsky, Stanford Report, 2/2/05

    "Clearly there are more college graduates than unfilled jobs requiring their credentials. "

    —Louis Uchitelle, New York Times, 10/2/05

    "I didn't write this book [The Shame of the Nation] simply to provoke another incestuous and interesting debate among inert liberals. I wrote this book to ask my liberal friends to get up off their asses and deal with an injustice which is right before their eyes. There are too many books about the heroic struggles of the 1960s and the courage people showed then. Those books exempt us from summoning up the courage we need to face the injustices from which we still benefit today. "

    —Jonathan Kozol, Interview, Salon.com, 9/22/05

    "So many teachers in poor, inner-city schools have great personalities, but they have to deny them and adopt a rigidity, a false persona. A teacher who loves literature cannot say, "I read 'Winnie the Pooh' aloud with my class today, and they loved it." That would suffice in a good suburban school. But in the test-driven school in the age of George W. Bush, she can't do that. She has to say, "I used the story of Pooh and Piglet to deliver the following three proficiencies that will be on the state exam." And then she has to list those proficiencies on the blackboard with a number next to each of them, saying, "We used Pooh's disappointment about the honey pot to deliver the following three skills." What happens in these schools is not only that the children are treated as industrial products in preparation but that they're also subjected to a type of rote and drilled training that denies them almost all access to the joy of learning and to any form of cultural capaciousness.

    So even when school systems sometimes boast that they've reduced the learning gap between the races, in fact they have increased the cultural gap between the races. And these test score gains are always spurious and temporary. It means nothing; this is the result of teaching to the test, and in some cases, like Houston, it's the result of cheating. If these were real gains -- learning gains, not testing gains -- you'd see the results four years later when they get to eighth grade. But I meet the same kids four years later and they can't write a cogent sentence and they can't read a social studies text, and by the 12th grade the difference is catastrophic. The numbers that come from the Education Trust say that the average 12th grade black and Latino student in America reads and does math at the level of the typical seventh grade white student. George Bush says his testing plan is working, and it is a flagrant lie; it's a deadly lie because it's deceiving the parents of the poor, and it's the worst possible crime because once these years are taken from the kids you can't ever give them back."

    —Jonathan Kozol, Interview, Salon.com, 9/22/05

    "Principals and teachers in suburban schools don't like the testing regimen -- they find it to be a tremendous annoyance and distraction. But it doesn't create a sense of siege, because they're likely going to do well anyway. And besides, if the federal government penalizes them by withholding funds, they've got plenty. It's the inner-city schools where the principal is subjected to the threat of public humiliation -- because the lowest-scoring schools are named in the newspaper -- and the more specific threat of being penalized by loss of federal funds, that makes principals and teachers feel compelled to turn the school into an efficiency factory. And because a lot of these schools are so poor, they are deluded into creating partnerships with businesses. Corporations love to claim they have become school partners with inner-city schools -- so the very same banks that have redlined these kids into segregated lives then pose as allies to the children.

    The direct result of this is that even the best principals and teachers -- and I write this book with tremendous empathy for them -- in poor inner-city schools, as compared to the suburbs, feel totally compelled to teach to the tests. They feel compelled to exclude from the curriculum anything that will not be tested, which means the children must be trained to give predictable answers and the teacher cannot indulge an unexpected answer. If one little boy, in the middle of a lesson on consonant blends, insists on telling the teacher about a visit to the zoo with his uncle, the teacher has to cut him off. She can't let him get to the end of his story. The child who wants to ask the teacher about something he finds funny or something that brings him close to tears, she has to cut him off. In many of these schools teachers have to hold timers in their hands -- especially schools using the Success for All classes -- every minute has to be directed toward something that will be on state exams."

    —Jonathan Kozol, Interview, Salon.com, 9/22/05

    "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong nor riches to men of understanding nor success to those who ace DIBLES; but time and chance happeneth to them all."

    —Ecclesiastes update

    "The assumption that a single number can tell us everything we need to know about what is happening in a school and the use of that number--not to make an informed decision about intervention--but to trigger action from a predetermined list of interventions--is absurd. My favorite counterexample is the Federal Reserve. Alan Greenspan does not look at only one indicator (for example CPI) and then act to raise or lower the prime rate. Instead, he looks at a variety of indicators--unemployment rate, GNP, GDP, CPI, factory inventories, etc.--and then makes an informed decision about what action to take.

    Even proponents of a growth model seem to miss this point. No single indicator is sufficient. Moreover, the proper use of multiple indicators is to evaluate, diagnose, and then take informed action. It is not to trigger interventions from a statutory list that may or may not have any bearing on the problem. "

    —Rick Pratt, Assistant Executive Director, California School Employees Assoc

    "Republicans won't fund No Child Left Behind, and Democrats say they will. We don't know which is worse."

    —anonymous teacher

    "What might have been an educational joke a few years ago has become, according to DIBELS promoters, 'the most relied upon assessment for meeting Reading First requirements. in No Child Left Behind."

    —Gerald Coles, Comprehending DIBELS, FairTest Examiner

    "In Sri Lanka after the tsunami children drew pictures, but in Louisiana and Mississippi NCLB has resulted in new lock step test prep curriculums that leave no room for traumatized children. Every day in every school, in every grade, every child is supposed to be on the same page, and if a child falls behind teachers are held accountable. Schools are ranked and carry high stakes for children who fail the tests. They are left behind. Mass trauma and post traumatic stress do not exempt them from the tests. "

    —Denny Taylor, working in Baton Rouge, 9/11-14.05

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    —The United States Constitution, Tenth Amendment

    " No doubt there are things to be learned from effective schools in countries like Finland or Singapore. And yet, the more I have thought about it, the more I have become convinced that the goal of topping the international comparisons is a foolish one, and the rush to raise one's rank a fool's errand. In the process of pursuing a higher rank, educational leaders are ignoring deeper and more important purposes of education."

    —Howard Gardner, Education Week, 9/14/05

    "Like a 3-card monte player in pre-Disney Times Square, Mayor Bloomberg's re-election spiel only draws attention to small schools, creating a favorable impression of innovation. But a look at his other cards shows a significant downside. By partially emptying large schools and transferring thousands of displaced students -- often the most at-risk -- to other, already overcrowded schools, Bloomberg has harmed more students than he's helped."

    —David C. Bloomfield, The Politics of Education Association

    "'If the road does not lead to Rome,' said a woman who was called the 'manager' of language arts for the Chicago public schools, 'we don't want it followed. Rome, she said, was the examination children would be given at the end of a specific sequence of instruction. . . . The purpose of these practices, according to the system's CEO ("superintendent" is no longer used to speak of the administrator of this system), was to guarantee that on a given day everyone is at the same place in the sequence. The Chicago CEO, when asked how he had been attracted to the uniformity of this approach, said that he first struck on the idea while scrutinizing training manuals for the National Guard."

    —Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation, 2005

    "As long as we're selling fear, and as long as we can hang that tag 'terrorism' on it, there's the invitation to the Government to reach farther, and farther, and farther."

    — William Swor, Detroit lawyer (ACLU website)

    "It is the nature of evil to wear us down. The drip-drip-drip of injustice and institutionalized greed, leave us both resigned and numb. Or else it insinuates itself into our lives until it becomes a new normal, and we cease to notice. Dictators understand this; Hitler turned the screws slowly. So too do corporations, which push the boundaries of the acceptable inch by inch instead of all at once."

    —Jonathan Rowe, blogger, OntheCommons.org

    "I have been criticized throughout the course of my career for placing too much faith in the reliability of children's narratives; but I have almost always found that children are a great deal more reliable in telling us what actually goes on in public school than many of the adult experts who develop policies that shape their destinies. Unlike these powerful grown-ups, children have no ideologies to reinforce, no superstructure of political opinion to promote, no civic equanimity or image to defend, no personal reputation to secure."

    —Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation, 2005

    "I would much prefer my daughter have a teacher who helps her develop a broad range of problem-solving skills than a teacher who teaches her how to improve her score on state tests."

    —Nancy Braus, Odyssey, Fall 2005

    " Although I've never been a death-row inmate awaiting execution, I can imagine how such prisoners must feel as they watch their attorneys exhaust, one by one, all eligible appeals. Even though public school educators in the United States may not realize it, they are now facing a similar end-of-the-line scenario with respect to adequate yearly progress (AYP), the accountability cornerstone of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). "

    —W. James Popham in Educational Leadership, Sept. 2005

    "Test scores, in truth, can never be an end in themselves--or proof that children are learning. That's why NCLB is phony education reform."

    —Annette Fuentes, The Nation, 9/19/05

    "Community Education Partners (CEP)'s success represents the triumph of free-market ideology over sound pedagogy and the fallacy of the accountability-through-testing approach to teaching."

    —Annette Fuentes, The Nation, 9/19/05

    "I trust the school board in Rochester and the superintendent and the teachers to understand they need to constantly understand they need to do better. But labeling entire schools - that's the big issue and I think we need to junk Leave No Child behind."

    —Matt Entenza, Minnesota house Demratic-Farmer-Labor leader

    "NCLB uses the phrase 'scientifically based research' 111 times and demands that such research support educational programs, but no scientifically based research--or any research--supports the law's mandates."

    —Gerald Bracey

    "I think NCLB is the perfect educational analog to Katrina. It's more subtle and insidious, but a lot of poor, black people are being consigned to the school house Superdomes.

    The image of all those people left with nothing in New Orleans is the perfect metaphor for the effect of NCLB."

    —Gerald Bracey

    "The kind of testing we are doing today is sociopathic in its repetitive and punitive nature."

    —Jonathan Kozol

    "{With its exit exam] the "State" is basically saying that the 12,000 hours students persevere in K-12 classrooms taking 40-50 courses from at least as many teachers over 13 years did not prepare them for squat -- not even to sweep up at night as a janitor for Oakland schools, deliver cases of Pepsi to retailers, sell shoes at Sears, collect boarding passes for Alaska Airlines -- or any other 30,000+ U.S. entry level jobs requiring a high school diploma. Without a high school diploma most scholarships, loans and grants for community and 4-year colleges get axed."

    —Jo Ann Behm, California Education News, 8/22/05

    "We have learned that it is NCLB that should be on the 'needs improvement' list--not our schools. The NCLB game is not winnable"

    —Members of Hailey & Bellevue Elementary PTA (Idaho)

    "Hasn't anyone noticed that these [assessment]systems are the same as that silly Donald Trump stuff --'You're fired!'

    As long as you give them the metrics (to use Donald Rumsfeld's term) to rank and sort children and teachers, you are giving them the ammunition to kill you and democratic public schools. Let's start talking about decent democratic public schools for all children in this country and stop talking about 'tests,' 'ASSESSMENTS,' or any other form of ranking and sorting. Next thing you know, someone will suggest that eugenics also makes some sense."

    —George Schmidt, editor/publisher Substance

    "I've had all I can stand, I can't stands no more!"

    —Popeye the Sailor Man

    "The Daily Prophet is bound to report the truth occasionally, if only accidently. "

    —Dumbledore in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

    "Estimated amount spent lobbying Congress last year: $3,000,000,000"

    —Harper's Index, July 2005

    "We could buy three pages in a book with the money per student we got for [the library] last year[71 cents per student]."

    —Sharon Talmadge, library media teacher, La Costa Canyon High School (CA)

    "If we start de-emphasizing music and art and those things that give life to education, then we are losing touch with the true purpose of education, which is to allow children to find the gifts that they have."

    —Peter Domencic, board member, Avonworth PA School District

    "It makes me nuts to have Federal, State and district 'leaders' searching for their keys under the street lights, and worse, making us do that in our classrooms. The broken record is that if we were only highly skilled teachers with high expectations who taught Houghton Mifflin 'with fidelity,' all our problems would be solved and all our students would meet benchmarks. This year we'll have a reading coach, even though we haven't had a librarian since 2003. ^%$%#$$@^%$*^%&^!!!!"

    —Oregon teacher

    "The [NCLB]law is sounding the demise for public education as we know it. . . . the law was enacted to grease the skids for vouchers."

    —Elizabeth Grouse, Ludlow , KY Schools Superintendent, in Sunday Challenger

    "Shill corporations like the Cato Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the Heritage Foundation have spent years and billions of dollars fabricating idea deconstruction systems constantly spewing cockamamie that frames and reframes and reframes the country's agendas. Their managing of the nation's discussions can be seen in the ways Social Security, fast track legislation, global rights agreements like NAFTA, war in the Middle East, energy and health care policies, revelations of corporate usurpations and other issues in the news are mass-produced from coast to coast.

    Encouraging people to deny their own experiences and crushing people's aspirations--that's power. Using police, militias, courts and jails to limit people's ability to exercise rights collectively (such as speech and assembly) they cannot exercise as individuals--that's mastery. "

    — Richard L. Grossman and Ward Morehouse, Intro. Elite Consensus

    "At one time, the purpose of the public schools, at least theoretically, was to educate children; now it is to produce higher FCAT scores, by whatever means necessary. If school officials believed that ingesting lizard meat improved FCAT performance, the cafeterias would be serving gecko nuggets."

    —Dave Barry, Miami Herald, August 4, 2005

    "Luque's class, English III FCAT, is for 11th-graders who failed the reading exam the previous spring. It offers no lessons on novels, plays or poetry -- just constant drilling on reading comprehension, the heart of FCAT. Like other F-rated high schools in Florida, Evans has been forced to focus on boosting reading skills. "

    —Mary Shanklin & Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel, 8/7/05

    "It is wholly unclear to me, as a Reading Recovery outsider, how so many current state [NCLB] Reading First designs support the use of completely unproven interventions -- Voyager or Waterford Early Reading for instance -- while failing to encourage the use of federal funds to support Reading Recovery.If evidence -- scientific research evidence -- was the true standard for decisions, then Reading Recovery and other tutoring interventions would be available for every child who could benefit from them."

    —Prof. Richard Allington, President, International Reading Association

    "I think the whole [NCLB] rating system is deceiving and doesn't reflect all the factors. If you want to talk about destroying the motivations of both students and staff, the state and federal governments are doing a great job of that. "

    —Robert Andrzejewski, Red Clay, Delaware Superintendent of schools

    "The effects of NCLB (clearly distinguished from the high-minded rhetoric) are inhumane, unethical, and dangerous to the future of our democratic way of life. "

    —Prof. James Horn, in "NCLB Testing Hysteria at Full Maturity"

    " FCAT is an acronym standing for '(Very bad word) Comprehensive Assessment Test.'"

    —Dave Barry, Miami Herald, Aug. 4, 2005

    "You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. "

    —Steve Jobs, founder, Apple Computers, Stanford Commencement 2005

    "When I was in college, the smart people were going into engineering, which had solid long-term prospects, and only we dweezils majored in English, and look what happened: Engineers are being laid off, America is losing its capacity to manufacture things (my phone was made in China, of course), but every day we turn out trillions of words about ourselves, bloggers blogging, floods of memoir, day-dreaming, carpet-chewing, and when eventually the Chinese repo men come to collect on our debt, they will find a nation of highly articulate self-aware people who can't change an oil filter but maintain wonderful Web sites. A nation of English majors."

    —Garrison Keillor, Salon.com, Aug. 3, 2005

    "Love is never abstract. It does not adhere to the universe or the planet or the nation or the institution or the profession, but to the singular sparrows of the street, the lilies of the field, "the least of these my brethren." Love is not, by its own desire, heroic. It is heroic only when compelled to be. It exists by its willingness to be anonymous, humble, and unrewarded."

    —Wendell Berry, Word & Flesh, Vermont Commons, 6/29/05

    "The transfer and choice provisions of NCLB will create chaos and produce greater inequality within the public system without increasing the capacity of receiving schools to deliver better educational services. These same transfer and choice provisions will not give low-income parents any more control over school bureaucracies than food stamps give them over the supermarkets. "

    —Stan Karp, Rethinking Schools Portland area meeting, Nov. 7, 2003

    " I think the very first quality that a good teacher has is that they care deeply for children and they want to see them learn; they want to see all children learn and succeed and realize their potential. They have to have the heart, the caring."

    —Lea Alpert, school superintendent, in Hawaii Advertiser

    "Don't take economics lessons from George Bush. Or Milton Friedman. Or Thomas Friedman. What that means, class, is don't believe the big, hot pile of hype that China's zooming economy is the result of that Red nation's adopting free market economic policies. "

    —Greg Palast, e-mail list, July 22, 2005

    "We have five different schools. We have to compete for eighth-graders. You have to get them to sign up, to market your school, so you don't lose staffing. We have to compete for rooms and for budget. Everyone [at Mountlake Terrace] acknowledges this is a business model, and it doesn't fit. It has become very divisive for staff."

    —Andi Nofziger, math teacher in a newly-formed Gates Small School

    "Them that's got shall get, them that's not shall lose. . . ."

    —Billie Holiday

    "No matter how cynical you become, it is never enough to keep up."

    —Lily Tomlin

    "We're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with: the faithful will follow the twists and turns of the party line with a loyalty that would have pleased the Comintern. "

    —Paul Krugman, "Karl Rove's America, NY Times, 7/15/05

    " The easiest way to refute the claim that NCLB is responsible for the gains on NAEP is to look at the trends over time. Black 9-year-olds gained 34 points in math between 1973 and 2004. They had added 21 of those points by 1999, three years before Bush signed NCLB into law. Other trends were upward bound as well. "

    —Gerald Bracey, 7/15/05

    "Loved Bush's speech to the nation on the Iraqi War. 'The war is going according to plan.' Well, then it's a shitty, shitty plan."

    —Daily Dose of Durst, The Progressive

    " 'We've tried the best we can,' is NOT a solution around here......so we keep learning new ways to listen and extend a hand of encouragement."

    —Steve Orel, Director, World of Opportunity (WOO), Birmingham, AL

    "Science is ever evolving.... And as we learn more, we apply the knowledge."

    —Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture, on mis-diagnosis of mad cow disease

    "To be a teacher means to confront the dark ambiguity of not having clear landmarks of success and failure. To be a teacher means to do what you can."

    —Susan Ohanian, Caught in the Middle: NonStandard Kids and a Killing Curricu

    "I think NCLB is falling short because the intent was actualized mainly through bureaucracy that made some assumptions based largely on, I think, academics more than anything else, rather than practitioners and especially successful practitioners. I know very few people associated with the implementation who are themselves successful practitioners, or worse, that even know anything about who the successful practitioners are. And as a result, they fall back on things like the slogan "Research Based," which has come to mean cobbling together things that have been found in different research studies, as if the resulting configurations constitute a powerful approach. And so everybody's busy doing things that separately look good, but when collected together really don't look like what great practitioners do when they do their work. "

    —Asa G. Hilliard, III, in Intervention in School & Clinic, 11/1/2004

    "The knowledge base for improving schools is thought to reside in large-scale, social science research. There is another knowledge base of inestimable value to the improvement of our schools. Although often overlooked and at times hard to find, 'craft knowledge,' the vast collection of experiences and learnings which those who live and work under the roof of the schoolhouse amass during their careers, has much to teach us."

    —Roland Barth

    "[Jean Paul] Sartre teaches that we are constantly tempted to escape our responsibility for creating ourselves from what we have been made - there is something comforting, after all, in feeling that things are beyond our control. But, as he also teaches, to accept this is to enter into complicity with the powers that would dominate us. Sartre demands that we see ourselves as active agents, even when we might prefer the irresponsibility of seeing ourselves as victims.

    Today Sartre is still as troubling and annoying as ever. He demands that we see a world seemingly out of control as made up of human choices and the structures these create. When he demands that we take responsibility for our lives, for the shape of our world, for the situation of the least favored - for others as well as ourselves - he is expressing decisively important conditions for learning to live as responsible citizens in this globalized world. This is no outmoded radicalism, but the message of one of the most challenging and contemporary philosophies.""

    —Doug Ireland, on 100th anniversary of Sartre's birth, 6/22/05

    "If you don't disagree with me, how will I know I'm right? "

    —Samuel Goldwyn

    "Ever since the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 took effect, some health officials have worried about an unintended side effect as schools struggle to meet the law's mandates that all children measure up in reading, math and other basic skills.

    Their fear: Less and less time will be allotted for physical activity and even recess, in turn fueling the obesity epidemic in American children and teens. Some critics have taken to calling the act 'No Child Left Without a Big Behind' or 'No Child Let Outside.'"

    —Kathleen Doheny, Forbes.com, June 5, 2005

    "We can educate our children and continue to strive for excellence without a federal noose around our neck."

    —Arlen Gould., Wheeling, IL School Board Member, voting to reject NCLB

    "Our society needs to train young people for jobs and careers. Where are the painters, mechanics, insurance salespeople, carpenters, bankers and other professionals and technicians going to learn their trade? Not from the system supported by the California Teachers Association. A college education and a classroom-lecture learning environment are not for everyone. Look at the street corners where you see young people craving a useful and interesting learning opportunity. California's education industry needs to provide meaningful, beneficial, nuts-and-bolts vocational education for high-school students, so they have a future of success and not failure."

    —Reinhard Ludke, structural engineer, in S. F. Chronicle, 6/15/05

    "My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast. "

    —Miguel de Unamuno

    "If I were 21 I would walk the earth. I would go barefoot longer; I'd learn how to throw a Frisbee, I'd go braless if I were a woman and I would wear no underwear if I were a man. I'd play cards and wear the same pair of jeans until they were so stiff they could get up and strut around the room by themselves. ... So don't take the short road. Fool around. Have fun. ... You're not going to get this time back. Don't panic and go to graduate school and law school. This nation has enough frightened, dissatisfied yuppies living in gated communities, driving S.U.V.'s and wondering where their youth went.

    We need you to walk the earth, so that other nations can see the beauty of American youth, rather than seeing our young in combat fatigues behind the barrel of an M-16."

    —James McBride, Pratt Commencement, June 2005

    "If someone in kindergarten today were to write a Fulghum type book as an adult it would be titled, Every thing I needed to know about phonemic awareness and how to be burned out as a learner by third grade I learned in kindergarten. "

    —Gerald Bracey, June 2005

    "The real question for the future is whether, after this barrage of mindless and endless assessment, there will be any inquiring minds left."

    —Anna Quindlen, Newsweek, June 13, 2005

    "If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual."

    —Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment

    "More Americans already work in art, entertainment and design than work as lawyers, accountants and auditors."

    —Daniel H. Pink in the New York Times, 6/4/05

    "Regrettably, in all but a few of our states, NCLB tests chosen by their state education agencies are more influenced by students' socioeconomic status than by a school's instructional success."

    —W. James Popham, School Administrator, 3/05

    a bumptious, stuck-up word.
    It should be written in quotes.
    It pretends to miss nothing,
    to gather, hold, contain, and have.
    While all the while it's just a shred of a gale.

    from Monologue of a Dog"

    —Wislawa Szymborska, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996

    "As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take the examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment were contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider. "

    —E. M. Forster

    ""Stand up for your fucking rights!""

    — Sam Shapiro in "Bread and Roses," directed by Ken Loach

    "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

    —James 2:20, King James Bible

    "We need to stand up for what we are supposed to be doing in public education."

    —Tom Kelly, Westchester superintendent

    "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

    —Antoine de Saint Exupery

    "Laura's blithe assertion [in comedy skit at White House Correspondents' Dinner] that 'George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw. Which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well.' That comparison of the president's ranching style to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-one of her speech's better lines--was kind of cute, until you carried the analogy to its logical conclusion: The way Bush runs a ranch is similar to the way he conducts the business of state. The way Bush runs a ranch is clueless, absolutist, and wantonly destructive. Ergo . . . ."

    —Dana Stevens, Slate.com, 5/3/05

    "Which takes longer: Form a new government in Iraq or fund schools in Texas?

    Three months ago, Iraq held elections and began the process of forming a government after decades of dictatorship.

    Three months ago, the Texas Legislature met with the primary job of finding a way to adequately pay for the state's public schools.

    90 days later and the Iraqis have a government.

    90 days later, the Texas Legislature is seized up worse than a '69 Falcon with an empty crankcase."

    —Lasso, blog, American-Statesman, 4/29/05

    "Children have become faceless student numbers computer-matched to student scores, individuals being forced into the same mold with no recognition of their differences. School is monotonous drill instead of the creative, exciting, stimulating environment that it should be. "

    —Sherrie Bjurstrom, longtime Ohio teacher, 5/2/05

    "The paperwork and meetings involved to support an IEP are intensive. They are also worthless, as these kids must pass the same test as "normal" students without all of the accommodations they are familiar with. It is like taking a deaf person's hearing aid away and expecting him to pass an oral quiz. "

    —Ilene Davies, Utah teacher

    "We don't need people who can spit back facts. We've got Google."

    —Prof. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

    "Free the markets. Screw the people.... "

    —Arundhati Roy,

    " The Department has posted sample tests for students and parents to use, including the correct answers, so they can work on weak areas and be prepared for the test; for the first time the test questions are written by Arizona teachers so the questions will be a good match to what is taught in class; and the student reports will be sent to parents in early June as opposed to September in the event that a student may need any tutoring or other assistance over the summer."

    —Tom Horne, Arizona Superintendent of Schools, April 2005

    "The No Child Left Behind Act is the most damaging, intrusive piece of legislation to enter education in my 32 years as a public school administrator. "

    —Bill Powell, Superintendent, Strasburg School District, Colorado

    "He made no resistance whatever, and was stabbed in the back."

    —Edgar Allen Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

    "Resistance is feasible even for those who are not heroes by nature, and it is an obligation, I believe, for those who fear the consequences and detest the reality of the attempt to impose American hegemony."

    —Noam Chomsky, NY Review of Books, 1968

    "We look forward to analyzing and working with legislation that will make--it would hope--put a free press's mind at ease that you're not being denied information you shouldn't see."

    —George W. Bush, Washington, D. C. 4/14/05

    "Reliable data should enter the language as a new euphemism for budget cuts to programs that serve the poor."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "If the federal government is forced to fund NCLB, it'll still be bad. Washington is defining accountability and achievement all wrong. Funding the wrong thing still leaves a wrong thing. "

    —Mickey VanDerwerker, Parents Across Virginia United to Reform SOLs

    ""Institutions like Juilliard have the responsibility to differentiate between the marketplace and the art form. Knowing...that demand is not at its peak, you don't create an organ department of 50 majors; right now, we have nine. But [we] have a responsibility to educate individuals who can knowledgeably carry forward the traditions of this great instrument. If you develop everything based on the marketplace,you'll eventually have a school dedicated to 'American Idol.'"

    —Joseph Polisi, president, Julliard School

    "The law requires Washington to pay for it [NCLB], and the fact is that Washington is not keeping that promise. As a result, our parents' tax dollars are getting steered away from the classroom and going towards boosting the profits of testing companies, instead of going towards their children's education."

    —Reg Weaver, NEA President, on filing lawsuit 4/20/05

    "The paramount question is who runs this show: Is it state and local government or Washington? Are we going to let the federal government contribute a very small percentage of the education budget and dictate what we can or cannot do, or are we going to maintain control at the local level?"

    —Utah State Senator Thomas Hatch (R), 4/19/05

    "What do you call it when multinational corporations scan the world for cheap labor, find poor people in developing nations, and pay them a fraction of America's minimum wage? A common answer on the left is 'exploitation.' For Thomas Friedman the answer is 'collaboration'--or "empowering individuals in the developing world as never before."

    —Robert Wright, Slate, 4/19/05

    "If No Child Left Behind means for us to look at the problem of poverty, let's look at it. "

    —Times Argus editorial, 4/18/05

    "Would we be better off simply telling the federal government to drop dead and not accept the NCLB money?"

    — James H. Dillard, Republican delegate, VA General Assembly, 4/17/05

    "When George Bush and Teddy Kennedy join forces to wrest control of our education system and place it in the hands of that intellectual cesspool we call a Congress, it is time for something different."

    —Frank Bryan, Going It Alone: The Case for Vermont Secession

    "You have such a low opinion of teachers that you believe that they are incapable of challenging students without the College Board's Advanced Placement 'star to guide them.' That's nonsense."

    —Patrick Welsh, teacher, to Jay Mathews in Washington Post

    "The markers of true educational quality are far more difficult to quantify than the number of students enrolled in a particular class. . . . Ranking of schools encourages a destructive competitiveness, leading institutions away from offering rich alternatives and toward a stultifying sameness."

    —Patrick Bassett, president, National Association of Independent Schools

    "Defining a "highly qualified teacher" as one who has knowledge of the content to be taught parallels the neoliberal stance that teaching can be defined as the transmission of content and that schools have no social or political responsibilities beyond providing an education that is de facto vocational training. . . .

    In several states teachers can become "highly qualified" by presenting a B.A. and a passing score for an online exam of teaching which Chester Finn developed with a 35 million dollar grant from the Bush administration."

    —Lois Weiner, New Politics Winter 2005

    "The glue that held together the bipartisan endorsement of NCLB is the shared ideological support for neoliberalism's program for the global capitalist economy, a global transformation in education's character and role.1 NCLB enacts the program for education that neoliberal economists and governments pursue internationally."

    —Lois Weiner, New Politics Winter 2005

    "NCLB draws on and encourages the powerful political mythology touted consistently in the media that schooling is the most effective way to overcome social inequality. This notion persists despite the overwhelming evidence that our educational system reproduces existing social relations a great deal more efficiently than it disrupts them."

    —Lois Weiner, New Politics, Winter 2005

    "Parents who want their children to grow up to be more than blindly obedient worksheet completers must challenge CEO classroom encroachment. Citizens who value democracy must join them."

    —Philip Kovacs, CommonDreams.org, April 6, 2005

    "When corporate leaders shape government institutions according to their needs, we move away from democracy and toward corporatism, a relative of, and arguably a precursor to, fascism. "

    —Philip Kovacs, CommonDreams.org, April 6, 2005

    " Let's quit calling it public EDUCATION. It's more like compulsory public "Jeopardy.""

    —David A. Gabbard, Assessment Reform Network e-mail list, 4/8/05

    "Much of NCLB still falls on the other side of sanity. For example, President Bush has hatched the idea of denying development grants to neighborhoods where schools are having trouble with NCLB. Why is that nuts? There is a straight line between poverty and poor schools. To help the schools, help the neighborhood. NCLB, under this proposal, is No Child Leaves Blight."

    —Editorial, Palm Beach Post, 4/9/05

    "Native American needs are at one end of a continuum, and NCLB exists at another. The law emphasizes the opposite of what is known about Native learning styles - that is, it rewards part-to-whole instead of whole-to-part learning, abstract thought instead of hands-on experience, and linguistic instead of visual teaching strategies."

    —Indian Country Today, April 8, 2005

    "If you ask the rich why you're not capable of supporting yourself, they'll tell you it is your fault. The ones who make it to the lifeboats always think the ones in the water are to blame. "

    —Iain Levison, A Working Stiff's Manifesto

    "If ETS statisticians determined during pilot testing that most students could identify George Washington, 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' Rosa Parks, the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, slavery as a main cause of the Civil War, the purpose of Auschwitz, Babe Ruth, Harriet Tubman, the civil rights movement, the 'I Have a Dream' speech, all those items would be eliminated from the test, for such questions fail to discriminate among students. So, when the next national assessment rolls around in 2010, do not hold your breath for the headline announcing, U.S. schoolchildren score well on the 100 most basic facts of American history. The architecture of modern psychometrics ensures that will never happen--no matter how good a job we do in the classroom. "

    —Sam Wineburg, Journal of American History, 4/05

    "Complex questions often require complex answers, but not here. Kids look dumb on history tests because the system conspires to make them look dumb. The system is rigged. "

    —Sam Wineburg, Journal of American History, 3/05

    "There is no research that shows that early academic programs have a lasting positive impact on children. In fact studies show that the high pressure of early academic programs can result in children with higher anxiety levels and lower self-esteem who are not doing any better academically."

    —David Elkind, professor of child development, Tufts Univ.

    "No Child Left Behind is the law of the land. My goal as secretary of education is to help states continue to implement it, and to stabilize and embed this positive change. . . . Annual assessments are nonnegotiable, because what gets measured gets done. "

    —Margaret Spellings in the Washington Post

    "Policymakers may find rows of students dressed in identical new uniforms irresistible, but the mandatory school uniform is the biggest red herring in education today, distracting us from the real sources of effective schools.

    For the past decade, I have taught at an alternative public high school in Dallas, working with so-called "difficult, at-risk, delinquent" young people. Effective teaching and learning are based on relationships -- not rules. Every good educator realizes this eventually. Only active teachers and parents can teach this lesson to our school board."

    —John Fullinwider, teaches at Otto M. Fridia Jr. Alternative School

    "[NCLB] is ill-fitting and doesn't follow the values we have with regard to teaching and testing and learning." "

    —Betty J Sternberg, Connecticut Education Commissioner

    "From beneath his slouched hat Ahab dropped a tear into the sea; nor did all the Pacific contain such wealth as that one wee drop."

    —Herman Melville, Moby Dick

    "Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up."

    —Ahab in Moby Dick

    "In the United States, though power corrupts, the expectation of power paralyzes."

    —John Kenneth Galbraith

    "5/4 people dont know how to do fractions."


    "Make our high school more like a school and less like a prison. They have us on lockdown."

    —Veronica, 11th grade Denver student

    "ROD PAIGE, former superintendent of the failing (when it isn't cheating) Houston school system and inspiration for the disastrous No Child Left Behind act, has been named a fellow at Washington's prestigious Woodrow Wilson Center."

    —Sam Smith, Undernews, 3/21/05

    "Sure, call me any ugly name you choose
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
    We must take back our land again, America!... "

    —Langston Hughes, Let America Be America Again

    "[The National Merit Scholarship Program's] way of creating the pool from which the National Merit Scholars will be selected is totally bogus. Using the PSAT in a way it's never been validated for and then arbitrarily setting the cutoff score based on nothing but the number of applicants they want is not only fraudulent, but it has a devastating impact on underrepresented students and minorities. "

    —Patrick Hayashi, retired associate president, Univ. of California

    "Of formal education Faulkner certainly had a minimum. He dropped out of high school in his junior year (his parents seem not to have made a fuss), and though he briefly attended the University of Mississippi, that was only by grace of a dispensation for returned servicemen. ... His college record was undistinguished: a semester of English (grade: D), two semesters of French and Spanish. For this explorer of the mind of the post-bellum South, no courses in history; for the novelist who would weave Bergsonian time into the syntax of memory, no studies in philosophy or psychology.

    What the rather dreamy Billy Faulkner gave himself in place of schooling was a narrow but intense reading of fin-de-sicle English poetry, notably Swinburne and Housman, and of three novelists who had given birth to fictional worlds lively and coherent enough to supplant the real one: Balzac, Dickens, and Conrad. Add to this a familiarity with the cadences of the Old Testament, Shakespeare, and Moby-Dick, and, a few years later, a quick study of what his older contemporaries T.S. Eliot and James Joyce were up to, and he was ready armed. As for materials, what he heard around him in Oxford, Mississippi, turned out to be more than enough: the epic, told and retold endlessly, of the South, a story of cruelty and injustice and hope and disappointment and victimization and resistance. "

    —J. M. Coetzee, NY Review of Books, 4/7/05

    "Recent reforms are to the SAT as:

    (A) polish: turd

    (B) rearranged deck chairs: Titanic

    (C) dress: pig

    (D) all of the above


    —Kerry Howley, reason.com

    "NAEP's current achievement level setting procedures remain fundamentally flawed. The judgment tasks are difficult and confusing; raters' judgments of different item types are internally inconsistent; appropriate validity evidence for the cut scores is lacking; and the process has produced unreasonable results."

    —National Academy of Sciences panel looking at NAEP

    "The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."

    —Campbell's Law, cited by Sharon L. Nichols & David Berliner

    "The scores we get from high-stakes tests cannot be trusted--they are corrupted and distorted. Moreover, such tests cannot adequately measure the important things we really want to measure. Even worse, to us, is the other issue--the people issue. High-stakes testing programs corrupt and distort the people in the educational system and that cannot be good for a profession as vital to our nation as is teaching. We need to stop the wreckage of our public educational system through the use of high-stakes testing as soon as possible."

    — Sharon L Nichols & David Berliner, EPSL research, March 2005

    "Momma, don't let your baby grow up to be a Standardisto."

    —Susan Ohanian

    " Lynne Cheney has taken to writing and promoting triumphalist children's history books that, as she said on Fox News recently, offer 'an uncynical approach to our nation and to our national story.' (So much for her own out-of-print Deadwood-esque novel of 1981, Sisters, with its evocation of lesbian passions on the frontier.) That's her right. But when her taste is enforced as government policy that's another matter. The vice president's wife has used her current political clout, as The Los Angeles Times uncovered last fall, to quietly squelch a Department of Education history curriculum pamphlet for parents that didn't fit her political agenda."

    —Frank Rich, The New York Times, 3/13/05

    " American is run by over paid, incompetent frauds who are served by hacks passing as editorialists. The hacks rely on analysts to do their thinking for them and the analysts always have the same advice: Make workers pay.

    No matter how deceitful, stupid, ineffective, and criminal executives act the accepted wisdom in the United States is workers should be more cooperative, work harder, take pay cuts, pension cuts, benefit cuts, and smile."

    —Gregg Shotwell, Stay Solid, UAW Local 2151

    " Charter schools are an experiment in public education. You put up a sign and you hope people will come. That's what the federal funding is for."

    —Roberta Tenney, N. H. Dept. of Education, in Christian Science Monitor

    "Many first graders are having a hard time adjusting to the full day in first grade, so the Standardista solution is to give them a full day of kindergarten. These first graders are six years old. Maybe we should look at what they are being asked to DO in first grade that makes their day feel so long--instead of making five-year-olds also stay longer. "

    —Torri Chappell, parent and tutor

    "Hidden line items [in NCLB] betray the law's politically conservative agenda. Federal money to train history teachers can be used only for 'traditional' American history, meaning a fact-based curriculum about national leaders, and not a multicultural approach about social movements. Sex education must emphasize abstinence even though no scientific data show that this curriculum approach helps reduce AIDS or teen pregnancy."

    —LynNell Hancock, Columbia Journalism Review, 3/05

    "Old top-down reporting habits -- never adequate to begin with -- become even more dangerous when used to analyze the impact of such far-reaching, top-down reforms as the elimination of social promotion and No Child Left Behind, the landmark federal act that brings President Bush's twin philosophies of accountability and market competition to bear on the messy business of education."

    —LynNell Hancock, Columbia Journalism Review, 3/05

    " [All the hooplah about new tests is] old wine in new bottles. We were told there would be new kinds of testing, but they are doing things no differently."

    —Clifford Hill, Co-author Children & Reading Tests, Dayton Daily News

    "This is the first year that the TAKS is implemented at its intended rigor.1

    # Strictness or severity, as in temperament, action, or judgment.
    # A harsh or trying circumstance; hardship. See Synonyms at difficulty.
    # A harsh or cruel act.
    # Medicine. Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill.
    # Physiology. A state of rigidity in living tissues or organs that prevents response to stimuli."

    — Debbie Graves-Ratcliffe, Texas Ed . Agency spokesperson, 3/2005

    "Most (students) would rather eat a golf ball before they try to do well on the CSAPs. Students aren't idiots. We know what the CSAPs are for. They grade the school. They don't grade us."

    —Alex Wilson, 15-year-old Denver high school student & test refuser

    "Bring us your poor, your tired, your huddled children yearning to breathe free, set free the wretched hoards of your teeming home!'' Yes, after years of simmering unrest, the manifesto is finally out. And a call to arms rings out across the land: Parents of the world, unite!

    Too long have we stood by while our six-year-olds hit the books instead of the backyard. . . .

    No more, I say, no more! Let's give our kids the freedom we ourselves enjoyed. Let's turn them loose in the ``great cathedral space'' of childhood, as Virginia Woolf once put it. Let's fly the flag of freedom and fun over our humble homes. Let's join our hands in solidarity and just say "No" to homework."

    —Kelly Patterson, Ottawa Citizen

    "At this proximity
    you are deleterious to my tranquility."

    —Vocabulary Accelerator CD from Kaplan & Defined Mind

    " In the midst of this era of an almost irrational 'rush to college' mentality, I hope that Gates' "rush to restructure high schools" includes a thoughtful, respectful, and intelligent look at vocational education and the important role it plays in the education of craftsmen and women. Just try to get a skilled, professional carpenter, electrician, plumber, mechanic, or craftsperson in 21st Century America. "

    —Elsa Hornfischer , MetroWest Daily News, 3/10/05

    " Bhutan challenges the conventional yardstick for measuring economic development and growth, the quantitative measure of gross national product (GNP). Bhutan has introduced and is working with the holistic, multidimensional measure of gross national happiness (GNH). According to the Royal Government of Bhutan, 'Gross national happiness comprises four pillars: economic self-reliance, environmental preservation, cultural promotion, and good governance. These four goals are mutually linked, complementary, and consistent. They embody national values, aesthetics, and spiritual traditions.'"

    —Royal Government of Bhutan

    "Hijacking the language proves especially pernicious when government officials deodorize their programs with near-Orwellian euphemism. (If Orwell were writing "Politics and the English Language" today, he'd need a telephone book to contain his "catalog of swindles and perversions. ") The Bush administration has been especially good at this; just count the number of times self-anointing phrases like "Patriot Act," "Clear Skies Act" or "No Child Left Behind Act" appear in The Times, at each appearance sounding as wholesome as a hymn. Even the most committed Republicans must recognize that such phrases could apply to measures guaranteeing the opposite of what they claim to accomplish."

    —Daniel Okrent, Public Editor, NY Times, 3/6/05

    "Saying that the No Child Left Behind Act is a good idea that lacks funding is like saying that Concentration Camps would have been better if there had been more money to make the walls higher and hire more guards."

    —Stephen Krashen

    "Weighing the pig more often will not make it grow faster."

    —Stephen Krashen

    "How much longer will educators at all levels continue to poop on the paper the corporate-politico ed biz whizzes set down for them?"

    —Susan Ohanian

    "Members of Congress, who now make about $160,000 a year, have given themselves at least five cost-of-living increases since the minimum wage last changed in 1997. American workers who still make $5.15 an hour will just have to wait."

    —Tom Grieve, Salon.com, after minimum wage defeat, 3/05

    " At a minimum, we are looking for a written statement that assures the state of Utah full control of governance and accountability measures in Utah's schools. In addition, we need local control of our educator qualification, certification and licensure."

    — Utah Republican state senators in letter to Pres. Bush, 3/05

    "Nobody gets to heaven without a letter of reference from the poor!"

    —James Forbes, pastor of Riverside Church in New York City

    "Don't place so much emphasis on your child's test scores that you lose sight of his well being. "

    —U. S. Department of Education

    "While it may have started out as beneficial, I would say the No Child Left Behind legislation's emphasis on standardized testing is actually the biggest disaster that education has seen in 50 years. We're teaching (students) what to think, but not how to think."

    —Prof. Gregory E. Stone, University of Toledo

    "Education reform or renaissance? That is the problem in a nutshell. We got the word wrong. And, everything else that went with it. We went back several centuries to try to figure out how to improve education and came up with the idea of reform. The Reformation was a religious movement that dates back to the 1500's. Right then and there, the proponents should have remembered the separation of church and state issues in our Constitution and realized they had it wrong. The word they should have been looking for was Renaissance. The Renaissance thinkers studied humanity and different cultures. Do we want Education Reform--the amendment of what is defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved. Or, would Education Renaissance--a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity be a better choice?"

    —Vicki L. Newell, Capitol QIPS, (Parent perspective on Colorado)

    "This issue [NCLB] is a lot bigger than the details of teacher qualifications and student testing. This is about who controls education - the states or Washington."

    —Utah State Senator and rancher Thomas Hatch

    "We take the output of the schools, the students, as a source of employees for the business community."

    —Marvin Schoenhals, chair, Delaware Chamber of Commerce

    " Security [for the FCAT] is not a high priority simply to short-circuit cheaters. The state has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to write, administer and grade the test. The current multiyear contract with testing companies NCS Pearson and Harcourt Brace is $145 million."

    — Bill Hirschman , Orlando Sun-Sentinel, 2/4/05

    "It does not make sense to force all students into the same curricular pattern [or] mold. This is likely to yield many disaffected students, a lot of dropouts, and other unintended consequences. I think it is better to have some flexibility in courses, a variety of tracks, if you like."

    —Howard Gardner, in The News Journal, 3/5/05

    "Achieve Inc., a nonprofit group created after the 1996 Educational Summit of governors and business leaders meeting to firm up their curriculum regulations for the schools, hires out its 'benchmarking servcies' to individual states. These services are pricey, but Achieve is quick to point out that states don't have to pony up the money for educational overhaul. In a cozy rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul arrangement among business brethren, Achieve helps states find funding to pay off the consultants Achieve sends in. The Illinios Achieve Review, for example, was co-sponsored by the Illinois Buiness Roundtable, the Ohio Review by the Ohio Business Roundtable, and so on. There you have it: big business hires big business to pronounce judgment on the work of teachers. Big business hires big business to pronounce judgment on what children need. In Illinois the roving consultants announce that the state's children need more intensive phonics; in Ohio they call for children to learn about native son William Dean Howells; in New Jersey they call for a beefing-up of academic writing. Yes, if Achieve has its way, students who don't measure up in academic writing will be benched. Permanently. No high school diploma."

    —Why Is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools? Emery & Ohanian

    "There is a misapprehension of the scientific method, its elevation to an all-encompassing world view...Let me oversimplify this misapprehension and state it as briefly as possible...The secret is simply this: the scientist, in practicing the scientific method, cannot utter a single word about an individual thing or creature insofar as it is a individual but only insofar as it resembles other individuals. This limitation holds true whether the individual is a molecule of NaCl or an amoeba or a human being....We all remember taking science courses where one was confronted with a sample ofsodium chloride ora specimenof a dogfish to dissect. Such studies reveal the properties shared by all sodium chloride and by all dogfish. We have no particular interest in this particular pinch of salt or this particular dogfish.

    But perhaps we are a bit startled when we are told that this same limitation applies to psychiatry. In the words of Harry Stack Sullivan, perhaps the greatest American psychiatrist: To the degree that I am a psychiatrist, to this same degree I am not interested in you as an individual but only in you and your symptoms insofar as they resemble other individuals and other symptoms."

    —Walker Percy, Diagnosing the Modern Malaise

    "Really, we try to leave the military everything out of it [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery]. We pretty much focus on that it's a career exploration program that we're doing for the schools. Which is what it is.""

    —Petty Officer Jason Lowe, Military Entrance Processing Station

    "Our tests and our testing program was developed to support instruction. There was never an accountability purpose attached to our test; that's never what we wanted them to be used for."

    —David Frisbie, Co-author Iowa Test of Basic Skills & Educational Developmen

    "In other words, the tests are designed to measure students against our expectations of what students should know and be able to do. Teachers are teaching the standards, students are learning the standards and now we're finally measuring student performance against the standards."

    — Bob Money, Albuquerque Coordinator for Assessment & Evaluation

    "We are now beginning our Spring 2005 semester and we have news worth celebrating! Our first grade and kinder students TPRI scores are in and our students are soaring in Reading! The overall scores were on or above grade level in Reading. Teachers are now increasing homework Reading assignments and are also beginning ITBS practice sheets which will also be sent as homework. Please make sure that your child completes their homework daily. "

    —parent newsletter, Kennedy Elementary, Corpus Christi, 1/5/05

    " Mr. Maley, the director of media relations for Ithaca College in New York, doesn't really have files; he has piles. He describes his system as a three-dimensional game of Concentration: "I can almost always find what I need or what someone else needs pretty quickly, by recalling which particular pile a certain piece of paper might be in, and figuring out how far down in the pile it probably is by the length of time since I received that piece of paper."

    Several years ago, a campus security officer woke Mr. Maley in the middle of the night to inform him that his office had been ransacked. Mr. Maley asked the officer to describe the scene - papers strewn about, briefcase open on the desk, stuff piled on the floor. In other words, there had been no intruder."

    —Lisa Belkin, The New York Times

    "ANNALS OF IMPROBABLE RESEARCH - An editorial in the Winter 2004 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons reports that a toad provided more correct responses to Medicare policy questions than Medicare customer service representatives. A 2004 GAO study found that 96 percent of the time, customer reps gave the wrong answer to physicians asking how to bill Medicare. In response, Journal editor Lawrence Huntoon MD, PhD asked a toad a series of Medicare questions. A left jump meant a yes answer, a right jump meant no. The toad scored 50 percent."

    —Progressive Review Undernews

    "My thesis is simple: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bad law, and a bad law is not made better by fully funding it."

    —Nel Noddings

    "You can go your whole life and not need math or physics for a minute, but the ability to tell a joke is always handy. "

    —Garrison Keillor

    "A bipartisan panel of state lawmakers that studied the effectiveness of President Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative assailed it today as a flawed, convoluted and unconstitutional education reform effort that had usurped state and local control of public schools. "

    —Sam Dillon, The New York Times

    "In the fall of 2002, in Palo Alto, California, a group of academics were gathered at a party. They were discussing the NRC report and the current federal policy of privileging randomized field trials as the "Gold Standard" for educational research. One of the people in the room was a physician. He mentioned a report published in a medical journal that quoted a researcher who had worked for many years at the top laboratory for polio research, the Salk Institute. The medical researcher said that if knowledge development in polio research had had to depend only on conclusive findings from experiments, research on polio would today consist mainly of studies of the treatment effects of the iron lung."

    —Frederick Erickson, Teachers College Record

    "Freedom of expression is not just about fighting for big issues but defending small issues, too. That's what we did."

    —Michael Brandt, now 16, of a Federal lawsuit with Chicago Board of Ed

    "War is a racket. The common folks die and get maimed, and the big corporations and the politicians prosper. Don't let the liars in Washington abuse your children and their patriotism."

    —Charley Reese, lewrockwell.com

    "Business learned the importance of data-driven decisionmaking a long time ago. Education is catching up and must achieve this in this legislative session."

    —Tom Horne, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

    "It costs [New York] state about $32,000 a year to keep a person in jail. It costs the Bard Prison Initiative only $2,000 to provide a student with a year of college education."

    —Ian Buruma

    "I cannot do novels. We can't read books to [students] because they don't go with FCAT."

    —Jackie Stone, Florida fifth grade teacher

    "A party which is not afraid of letting culture, business, and welfare go to ruin completely can be omnipotent for a while."

    —Jacob Burckhardt, Renaissance Cultural historian

    "If you have a fire in your home, you really don't care whether someone got a 99 on the exam. You want someone who's tough, courageous, strong, and willing to walk through a fire to save you. "

    —Harold Lichten, lawyer, on civil service exam

    "If ChoicePoint were a library, it might be the largest building on Earth. Its computers will soon hold 200 terabytes of information. Compare that to the Library of Congress, whose 18 million books would constitute a mere 20 terabytes. To manage the 17 billion records in its various databases, ChoicePoint employs 4,200 staffers in 70 offices in 28 states and Washington, D.C. The mountain of data that ChoicePoint amassed is headquartered inside two, 200,000-square-foot glass and brick buildings 30 miles north of Atlanta."

    —Mara Shalhoup, CreativeLoafing.com

    "New Rule: Stop claiming you have an agenda. It's not an agenda. It's a random collection of laws that your corporate donors paid you to pass."

    —Bill Maher, HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher

    "Those who savage the public schools tear at the heart of this country. Everything America is or ever hopes to be depends upon what happens to those 46.3 million students in public school classrooms. "

    —Frosty Troy, editor, Oklahoma Observer

    "Look for the truth exactly on the spot where you stand."

    —Howard Zinn quoting a Buddhist mantra

    "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are people who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. That struggle might be a moral one; it might be a physical one; it might be both moral and physical, but it must be struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will."

    —Frederick Douglass

    "Those poor little guys [referring to the attempts by teacher unions to run ads accusing him of budget cruelties]. They're trying very hard. . . . They may have a wonderful dream about that. But the reality is very sad for them. The reality is that they're not going to get my numbers down.

    I say, bring it on!

    [When told that opponents of his reforms would raise $200 million from around the country to defeat his proposals] "

    —Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, GOP State Convention

    "There does seem to be a campaign against public education in this state"

    —Washington Township (IN) Schools Superintendent Eugene White

    "They had to make public education in the state look bad in that presentation. Yes, I'm calling the governor a liar."

    —Washington Township (IN) Schools Superintendent Eugene White

    "If you're a younger person, you ought to be asking members of Congress and the United States Senate and the president what you intend to do about it. If you see a train wreck coming, you ought to be saying, what are you going to do about it, Mr. Congressman, or Madam Congressman?"

    —George W. Bush, Detroit, Feb. 8, 2005

    " NCLB is the greatest intrusion into states' rights -- in education we have seen in probably 100 years."

    —Jim Condos, Vermont State Senator

    "Kindergarten Lesson: My favorite Word Learning Objective and Preparation

  • Read the words The, the, And, and
  • Tell the student that the word the helps tell which, and the word and connects things together.
  • "

    —www.Connections Academy.com

    "I can rattle off the fifty states in alphabetical order in seventeen seconds."

    —Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

    "Teachers have a good handle on how children are doing and who is falling behind. Our kids have enough things to be stressed about without adding more tests."

    —Heidi Stein, Mahopac, New York parent

    "Corporate rule must be challenged in order to revive the values and practices it contradicts: democracy, social justice, equality, and compassion."

    —Joel Barkan, The Corporation

    "Now, failing to earn a diploma courts catastrophe. A high school education has become a life necessity. This change profoundly affects the moral significance and practical consequences of current policies. What was once a voluntary 'achievement incentive' for the few, has become a universal 'minimum standard' for all, and not just for school but for surviving in our society."

    —Prof. Nancie Beadie, University of Washington

    "Testing at high school levels will help us to become more competitive as the years go by. Testing in high schools will make sure that our children are employable for the jobs of the 21st century."

    —President George Bush, II, J. E. B. Stuart High School

    "Anyone who keeps an eye on mainstream news is up to speed on the latest presidential spin. But the reporters who tell us what the president wants us to hear should go beyond stenography to note historic echoes and point out basic contradictions."

    —Norman Solomon, author and media critic

    "Imagine the United States without public education. That is the goal of many who are currently in positions of political power, along with numerous other advocates for vouchers and privatization of public education. Their vision, although clearly not in the public interest, will likely become a reality if we fail to respond forcefully. That response must provide a credible counter to the increasingly successful efforts to date of public education opponents to influence public and political thought in this country. It's our choice: We can stand by and witness the dismantling of our public education system, or we take effective action now."

    —Commonweal Institute report, November 2004

    " Suppose you run your business and let me run mine."

    —Rick, in Casablanca

    "Someone once said about great discoveries in science, "Accidents happen to those that deserve them." If the bird coming in the window is just a nuisance, you don't deserve it, and in fact it never happens. If you deserve it, the bird will fly in the window or there'll be a door that opens into the jungle. "

    —David Hawkins, "The Bird in the Window"

    "In thinking, the only important question is whether it's true or not, not whether it's practical. When you're making decisions about how you're going to behave, you may have to make compromises, but for heaven's sake, let's not start shading our beliefs in order to make an uncomfortable situation more comfortable. . . ."

    —David Hawkins, "The Bird in the Window"

    "A fundamental aim of education is to organize schools, classrooms and our own performances as teachers in order to help children acquire the capacity for significant choice. Learning is really a process of choice. If children are deprived of significant choice in their daily activities in school, if all their choices are made for them, then the most important thing that education is concerned with is simply being bypassed."

    —David Hawkins,

    "Bush doesn't just want to dismantle the 60's. He wants to dismantle the whole century - from the Scopes trial to Social Security. He can shred one of the greatest achievements of the New Deal and then go after other big safety-net Democratic programs, reversing the prevailing philosophy of many decades that our tax and social welfare systems should equalize the distribution of wealth, just a little bit. Barry Goldwater wouldn't have had the brass to take a jackhammer to that edifice."

    —Maureen Dowd, New York Times

    "I am going to talk over them; I am going to talk through them[teachers unions]."

    —Margaret Spellings, U. S. Secretary of Education

    "Make the customer think he's getting laid when he's getting fucked."

    —New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Portable Bloomberg

    " What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."

    —Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "People don't go to school to learn. They go to get good grades."

    —student quoted in Denise Clark Pope's Doing School

    "Educating Americans through the means of the library service could bring about a change of their political attitude quicker than any other method. The basis of Communism and socialistic influence is education of the people."

    —Congressman Himmel Velde, Illinois

    "You don't teach comprehension through reading in the early grades; you teach comprehension through oral instruction. "

    —Siegfried Engelmann, author of the scripted program Direct Instruction,

    "As hideous as Open Court is in English, just cube that in Spanish."

    —Sheryl Ortega, bilingual kindergarten teacher, Logan Elem. School

    "[Open Court] is boring. It stifles initiative and creativity and frustrates everyone--students and teachers. When they give the Teacher of the Year Award, they always give it to wonderfully creative teachers. They don't give it for reading a script--'This woman can really read like a metronome!'--and God help us, let's hope they never do."

    —Phoebe Conn, kindergarten teacher, El Sereno Elem. School

    "[Scripted programs] take the professionalism out of the profession. You don't have to think; you don't have to modify; you just script. "

    —Dawn Christiana, reading teacher, Bellingham, WA

    "I have never been academically smart, ever, in the whole time I've been in school. I'm smart, but it's just not book smart. It's like hands-on-skills kind of smart."

    —Sarah Bender, apprentice welder , Victoria, Canada

    "Those who savage the public schools tear at the heart of this country. Everything America is or ever hopes to be depends upon what happens to those 46.3 million students in public school classrooms. "

    —Frosty Troy, editor, Oklahoma Observer

    "In these times, caring about education means caring about the implementation of No Child Left Behind. "

    —Joseph M. Tucci, Chair, Business Roundtable Education & Workforce Task Forc

    "The implicit message from the state to local schools [in their aiding and abetting NCLB] is 'send away your moderately to severely disabled students, don't include them in regular classes, and do everything in your power to discourage immigrants, minorities, and the poor.' A message of disgrace."

    —William C. Cala, Superintendent , Fairport, NY Central School District

    "There's very little oversight of the testing industry. In fact, there is more public oversight of the pet industry and the food we feed our dogs than there is for the quality of tests we make our kids take."

    —Walt Haney, National Board on Educational Testing & Public Policy

    "Teachers unions have become the largest single barrier to better American schools, and the political system needs to find ways to reduce their destructive influence."

    —Wall Street Journal editorialists

    "I spent 20 years in the computer industry before becoming a public-school teacher five years ago. I had risen to become vice president at one of the world's largest software companies. I know business. And I know something about education as well. Education is harder."

    —Robert Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/18/05

    "I view offering a longer school day for those who need it as one of the last frontiers of education reform. "

    —Paul Reville, Ex. Dir. MassINC Rennie Center for Ed Research & Policy

    "Never since his assassination in 1968 have I felt the absence of Martin Luther King more acutely. Where are today's voices of moral outrage? Where is the leadership willing to stand up and say: Enough! We've sullied ourselves enough."

    —Bob Herbert, New York Times, 1/1/7/05

    "Teaching is one of the few professions where your performance is largely unrelated to your compensation. Teachers who are putting in extra time and work get no more than teachers who are getting the bare minimum. That's a real problem."

    —Pedro Noguera, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education

    "In judging whether Corporate America is serious about reforming itself, CEO pay remains the acid test. To date, the results aren't encouraging. "

    —Warren Buffett, letter to shareholders

    "This is an artificial score, and I don't think it accurately judges a school system at all. No urban system is going to do well with No Child Left Behind. It's a joke."

    —Bert Bleke, Grand Rapids Superintendent

    "I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. . . .Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

    —Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham City Jail

    "The supporters of NCLB may talk children, but they walk corporate."

    —Susan Ohanian

    "The media in this country should be a sanctuary for dissent. Instead the media simply acts as a megaphone for the people in power."

    —Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

    "Words strain,

    Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,

    Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,

    Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,

    Will not stay still."

    —T. S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton,"' Four Quartets

    "Don't mourn, organize."

    —Mother Jones

    "The assistant principal Mr. D. understood the fact that the New York Mets were in the World Series in 1969 was an event of legitimate historical importance, and we should be witness to it. He allowed my class to watch the game on television. . .even though we were supposed to be learning fractions."

    —Chris Bohjalian, Idyll Banter

    " Imagine a widely used and expensive prescription drug that promised to make us beautiful but didn't. Instead the drug had frequent, serious side effects: It induced stupidity, turned everyone into bores, wasted time, and degraded the quality and credibility of communication. These side effects would rightly lead to a worldwide product recall.

    Yet slideware -computer programs for presentations -is everywhere: in corporate America, in government bureaucracies, even in our schools. Several hundred million copies of Microsoft PowerPoint are churning out trillions of slides each year. Slideware may help speakers outline their talks, but convenience for the speaker can be punishing to both content and audience. The standard PowerPoint presentation elevates format over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch. "

    —Edward Tufte, "PowerPoint Is Evil"

    "Presentations largely stand or fall on the quality, relevance, and integrity of the content. If your numbers are boring, then you've got the wrong numbers. If your words or images are not on point, making them dance in color won't make them relevant. Audience boredom is usually a content failure, not a decoration failure. At a minimum, a presentation format should do no harm. Yet the PowerPoint style routinely disrupts, dominates, and trivializes content. Thus PowerPoint presentations too often resemble a school play -very loud, very slow, and very simple. The practical conclusions are clear. PowerPoint is a competent slide manager and projector. But rather than supplementing a presentation, it has become a substitute for it. Such misuse ignores the most important rule of speaking: Respect your audience. "

    —Edward Tufte, PowerPoint Is Evil

    "Making a presentation is a moral act as well as an intellectual activity. The use of corrupt majnipulations and rhetorical ploys to advance an argument suggests that the presenter cannot be trusted. "

    —Edward Tufte, Beautiful Evidence

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

    THE PRESIDENT: Because he's hiding."

    —Washington Post interview aboard Air Force One, Jan. 16, 2005

    "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."

    —Alison Gopnik , author, "The Scientist in the Crib"

    "Democracy is meaningless if the people can't get accurate information."

    —Howard Zinn, Alternative Radio Interview, 7/21/04

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

    —Alice Walker, Anything We Love Can Be Saved

    "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. . . .""

    —Milton Friedman

    "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."

    —Cornelia Orr, Florida testing Director

    "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."

    —Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Economic Bill of Rights, Jan. 1944

    "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. "

    —U. S. Chamber of Commerce

    "Armstrong Williams' $240,000 contract was his cut from the Bush voucher Bagman, Rod Paige."

    —The Black Commentator, Jan. 13, 2005

    "Any focus group could inform corporate media that Armstrong Williams is among the most despised personalities in Black America -- right up there with his old friend and boss, Clarence Thomas. That couldn't be good for ratings among the important Black demographic -- and Williams is so generally obnoxious we doubt that he's a big draw among whites, either. No, corporate media boosted Williams because he reflects the worldview of corporate executives, the people who really run the show. USA Today broke the Armstrong Williams scandal, but they previously ran his journalistically worthless column, week after week. He was speaking their language."

    —The Black Commentator, Jan. 13, 2005

    "Testing is important. Testing at high school levels will help us become more competitive as the years go by. Testing in high schools will make sure that our children are employable for the jobs of the 21st century. ... Testing will make sure the diploma is not merely a sign of endurance, but the mark of a young person ready to succeed."

    —George W. Bush, January 12, 2005

    "We have zero tolerance for cheating."

    —Shirley Neeley, Texas Education Agency commissioner

    "The No Child Left Behind legislation is really a very expensive ruse to keep from having to make the serious investment to make our schools really good schools. That's the biggest way the system cheats."

    —Prof. Linda McNeill in Christian Science Monitor

    "At a time when California faces a potentially catastrophic teacher shortage, Schwarzenegger wants to make it even more difficult for them to get tenure -- more difficult than it is to get tenure at Harvard or Stanford. Instead of more hurdles, Schwarzenegger should be giving teachers more help --that should be the starting point for Schwarzenegger's education plan. "

    —Louis Freedberg, San Francisco Chronicle

    "Today's education debates are poisoned by the insistence of partisans on finding a single cause, whether it be low standards, parental inattention, or lack of money, or continuing racial inequality, and to denounce remedies that address others."

    —Richard Rothstein, in New York Review of Books

    "If A equal success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut."

    —Albert Einstein

    "In my decade in the classroom, I witnessed several new policy initiatives. I felt like Lady Macbeth, wondering, 'What new hell is this?' every time a legislature signed a new education law into effect. Almost all were anathema to the way I had been educated to teach and to what I believed was right for children. "

    —Katherine Bomer, in Language Arts, Jan. 2005

    "You know, No Child Left Behind--a lot of conservatives hated it; a lot of Democrats hated it. The only way you could get somebody to say something nice about it is pay them $240,000."

    —Byron York, National Review White House Correspondent

    "The US government has so far pledged $350m to the victims of the tsunami, and the UK government 50m ($96m). The US has spent $148 billion on the Iraq war (1) and the UK 6bn ($11.5bn).(2) The war has been running for 656 days. This means that the money pledged for the tsunami disaster by the United States is the equivalent of one and a half days' spending in Iraq. The money the UK has given equates to five and a half days of our involvement in the war."

    —George Monbiot, The Guardian, Jan. 4, 2005

    "There is completely no trust in teachers when they try to make it so prescripted. If they want everyone to be on the same page, they should hire robots, not teachers. "

    —Boston high school teacher who withheld name

    " Great wrong doesn't just come out of the barrel of the gun; it also comes from the cynical rationalizations of those who are meant to know better."

    —Sam Smith, Progressive Review

    "For 20 years, Bates College in Maine has made it optional for applicants to submit SAT scores. College Vice President Bill Hiss was the architect of that testing policy, and he says that it's made the school stronger."

    —Bill Hiss, Vice-President, Bates College

    "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

    —Albert Einstein

    " Truth and belief are uncomfortable words in scholarship. It is possible to define as true only those things that can be proved by certain agreed criteria. In general, science does not believe in truth or, more precisely, science does not believe in belief. Understanding is understood as the best fit to the data under the current limits (both instrumental and philosophical) of observation. If science fetishized truth, it would be religion, which it is not. However, it is clear that under the conditions that Thomas Kuhn designated as " normal science" (as opposed to the intellectual ferment of paradigm shifts) most scholars are involved in supporting what is, in effect, a religion. Their best guesses become fossilized as a status quo, and the status quo becomes an item of faith. So when a scientist tells you that 'the truth is . . .', it is time to walk away. Better to find a priest."

    —Timothy Taylor, archaeologist, Univ. of Bradford

    " The more we reward excellent teachers, the more our teachers will be excellent. The more we tolerate ineffecti