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" You need massive recruitment to tell the poorest of the poor what is possible. "
" Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. "
" 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. "
" The first ten, twelve or fifteen years of life are excavated of inherent moral worth in order to accommodate a regimen of basic training for the adult years that many of the poorest children may not even live to know. "
" 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. "
" The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. "
" If we allow public funds to be used to support our relatively benign, morally grounded schools, we will have to allow those public funds to be used for any type of private school. "
" A culture in which guilt is automatically assumed to be neurotic and unhealthy has devised a remarkably clever way of protecting its self-interest. "
" President Obama still places far too much emphasis on relentless testing with standardized exams. "
" There has been so much recent talk of progress in the areas of curriculum innovation and textbook revision that few people outside the field of teaching understand how bad most of our elementary school materials still are. "
" The greatest difference between now and 1964, when I began teaching, is that public policy has pretty much eradicated the dream of Martin Luther King. "
" Congress has an opportunity to take advantage of the opening created by Justice Kennedy later this year when it reauthorizes the federal No Child Left Behind Act. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" The contrasts between what is spent today to educate a child in the poorest New York City neighborhoods, where teacher salaries are often even lower than the city averages, and spending levels in the wealthiest suburban areas are daunting challenges to any hope New Yorkers might retain that even semblances of fairness still prevail. "
" In schools with a history of chaos, the teacher who can keep the classroom calm becomes virtually indispensable. "
" By far the most important factor in the success or failure of any school, far more important than tests or standards or business-model methods of accountability, is simply attracting the best-educated, most exciting young people into urban schools and keeping them there. "
" Children are not simply commodities to be herded into line and trained for the jobs that white people who live in segregated neighborhoods have available. "
" The last thing the theatre owners wanted was for people who spent $200 to see 'Les Miserables' to come out again and see the real miserable children of America, right there on the sidewalk. "
" 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 encourage teachers to speak in their own voices. Don't use the gibberish of the standards writers. "
" It is a commonplace by now to say that the urban school systems of America contain a higher percentage of Negro children each year. "
" Many of those who argue for vouchers say that they simply want to use competition to improve public education. I don't think it works that way, and I've been watching this for a longtime. "
" The cause of homelessness is lack of housing. "
" My goal is to connect the young teachers to the old, to reignite their sense of struggle. "
" Childhood ought to have at least a few entitlements that aren't entangled with utilitarian considerations. One of them should be the right to a degree of unencumbered satisfaction in the sheer delight and goodness of existence in itself. "
" No human being who wants to read and own a book should ever have to go on a bended knee to get it. "
" 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. "
" At present, black children are more segregated in their public schools than at any time since 1968. In the inner-city schools I visit, minority children typically represent 95 percent to 99 percent of class enrollment. "
" 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.' "