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" All of my education at Harvard, then Oxford, then Paris was in literature - even my thesis was on Shakespeare. "
" The trouble is not that schools don't work; they do. They're excellent machines for achieving historically accepted purposes. In suburban schools are children of the rich, who grow up to privilege and anesthetic oblivion to pain - and who then use the servants produced by ghetto schools. "
" Now, I don't expect what I write to change things. I think I write now simply as a witness. This is how it is. This is what we have done. This is what we have permitted. "
" I believe we need a national amendment which will guarantee every child in America the promise of not just an equal education but a high-quality equal education. "
" You need massive recruitment to tell the poorest of the poor what is possible. "
" As a matter of record, New York City spends a higher portion of its budget on instruction and associated costs within the schools themselves than any of the other 100 largest districts in the nation. "
" So long as the most vulnerable people in our population are consigned to places that the rest of us will always shun and flee and view with fear, I am afraid that educational denial, medical and economic devastation, and aesthetic degradation will be inevitable. "
" In schools with a history of chaos, the teacher who can keep the classroom calm becomes virtually indispensable. "
" I once made a check of all books in my fourth-grade classroom. Of the slightly more than six hundred books, almost one quarter had been published prior to the bombing of Hiroshima; 60 percent were either ten years old or older. "
" Competitive skills are desperately needed by poor children in America, and realistic recognition of the economic roles that they may someday have an opportunity to fill is obviously important, too. But there is more to life, and there ought to be much more to childhood, than readiness for economic functions. "
" I hope to be remembered for writing books about social justice that also have enough aesthetic value to endure as works of literature. "
" Our political establishment refuses to use the word 'segregated.' They call the schools diverse, which means half black, half Hispanic, and maybe two white kids and three Asians. 'Diverse' has become a synonym for 'segregated.' "
" When I was teaching in the 1960s in Boston, there was a great deal of hope in the air. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive, Malcolm X was alive; great, great leaders were emerging from the southern freedom movement. "
" So long as these kinds of inequalities persist, all of us who are given expensive educations have to live with the knowledge that our victories are contaminated because the game has been rigged to our advantage. "
" I wrote the first book, and I thought people would say: 'Separate and unequal schools in the City of Boston? I didn't know that. Let's go out and fix it.' "
" Well, teachers have been profoundly demoralized in recent years and are often treated with contempt by politicians. There's a great deal of reckless rhetoric in Washington about the mediocrity of the teaching profession - and I don't find that to be true at all. "
" I don't know if anything I write will endure, but I do try to write it as a narrative that will not only challenge but also entice the reader into the lives of children. "
" During the decades after Brown v. Board of Education there was terrific progress. Tens of thousands of public schools were integrated racially. During that time the gap between black and white achievement narrowed. "
Black And White
" The fact that a crime might have been committed with impunity in the past may make it seem more familiar and less gruesome, but surely does not give it any greater legitimacy. "
" It's sad that some people who have one exciting moment spend the rest of their lives rehashing it. "
" I tell young teachers who are determined to dissent from some of the Draconian aspects of the current orthodoxy that the best form of protection is to be incredibly good at what you do and keep good discipline in class. "
" Consider what it is like to go into a new classroom and to see before you suddenly, and in a way you cannot avoid recognizing, the dreadful consequences of a year's wastage of so many lives. "
" Wonderful teachers should never let themselves be drill sergeants for the state. "
" A culture in which guilt is automatically assumed to be neurotic and unhealthy has devised a remarkably clever way of protecting its self-interest. "
" A great deal has been written in recent years about the purported lack of motivation in the children of the Negro ghettos. Little in my experience supports this, yet the phrase has been repeated endlessly, and the blame in almost all cases is placed somewhere outside the classroom. "
" Separate and unequal didn't work 100 years ago. It will not work today. "
" But when I went to Harvard, it kind of got washed out of me, partly because people made fun of you in college. If you said you believed in God, they would look at you clinically, you know, suggest that you needed a referral. "
" In many of the high schools in the South Bronx, more children will end up in prison than will go to college. "
" We are now operating a school system in America that's more segregated than at any time since the death of Martin Luther King. "
" Even if you never do anything about this, you've benefited from an unjust system. You're already the winner in a game that was rigged to your advantage from the start. "
" No Child Left Behind widens the gap between the races more than any piece of educational legislation I've seen in 40 years. It denies inner-city kids the critical-thinking skills to interrogate reality. "