Archive for the ‘Quotable Quotes’ Category


Monday, February 6th, 2017

“They’ve become easy targets. Every year, when the latest test scores are revealed, they get blasted for the most recent decrease. Whatever problems plague our public schools–and there are many–often get placed at the feet of conventional scapegoats. We’re talking, of course, about public school teachers. Decades ago, teachers were among the most respected members od our community. Today, they are the most vilified.” ~ from a New York Post editorial


Saturday, February 4th, 2017

“America faces many problems today. The current economic recovery has been the slowest since the Great Depression, the national debt has surpassed $18 trillion, and the federal government continues to spend more than it collects. While it’s not unusual, unethical, or unconstitutional for the federal government to operate with a deficit at times, the question is why does Washington continue to overspend? Is there a legitimate reason or is it neo-politics?” ~ Mike Patton, Forbes contributor


Friday, February 3rd, 2017

“I used to say that the greatest gift you could ever give anyone is a book, but I don’t say that anymore because I no longer think it’s true. I now say that a book is the second-greatest gift. I’ve come to believe that the greatest gift you can give someone is to take the time to talk with someone about a book you’ve shared.” ~ Will Schwalbe, author of Books for Living

More Federal Guidance from Education Secretary John B. King, Jr.

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Almost every day, U.S. Secretary of Education does his best to rework the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA to his liking. Signed into law by Obama in December, it replaced No Child Left Behind. Last month, he actually released his proposed education funding regulations while Congress was recessed. Known as “supplement-not-supplant,” the debate revolves around its implementation. As Jason Russell explains, “The idea is that federal aid to schools and districts should be in addition to what they already get from state and local funding, not a substitute for other aid.”

That then promoted Senate education committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) to say at the time: “His proposed regulation would give Washington, D.C. control over state and education dollars that is has never had before. Federal law gives him zero authority to do this. In fact, our new law [ESSA] specifically prohibits his doing this.”

Indeed, Alexander went so far as to add, “If anything resembling [the proposed regulation] becomes final, I will do everything within my power to overturn it.”

Meanwhile, a few Secretary King quotes:

  • “The USA is fortunate, I think, as a country to have some high-performing charters that are doing a great job providing great opportunities to students–charters that are helping students not only perform at higher levels academically but go on to college at much higher rates than students at similar neighborhood public schools. That’s good. We should have more schools like that, and I think any arbitrary cap on that growth of high-performing charters is a mistake.”
  • “Teachers should prepare students to become more involved in their communities, to volunteer, and to think beyond our own needs and wants… Educated citizens who take part in society will push to curtail racial profiling and end discriminatory practices by prosecutors and courts that have a dire impact on poor people.”


The Atlantic Takes on Homework

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

In The Atlantic‘s article, “When Homework Is Useless,”  education experts are asked if schools should assign, grade and use take-home assignments; the following are pulled from their comments:

  • “Homework is absolutely necessary for students to demonstrate that they are able to independently process and apply their learning…” ~ Rita Pin Ahrens, director of education policy, Southeast Asia Action Center
  • “No mandatory homework in elementary school. None. No homework in middle school and high school unless a kid wants to do it. Chronic nightly homework makes for guilt, resentment, and lies–and family arguments and bone weariness. Parents become enforcers. It gets ugly.” ~ Nicholson Baker, author of Substitute: Going to School with a Thousand Kids
  • “The research on homework shows beneficial effects on learning when appropriate assignments are given and completed, and the benefits increase with grade levels. There is little to no learning in the early grades but substantial benefit by grade 12.” ~ Carol Burris, executive director, Network for Public Education
  • “Homework provides an opportunity for families to be engaged in the learning process, reinforces what has been taught during the school day, and provides students with an opportunity to learn how to be accountable and responsible to others and meet deadlines. Homework will not be graded…” ~ Catherine Cushinberry, executive director, Parents for Public Schools
  • “Homework [is] necessary because not enough learning happens during the school day. Why is there a shortage of learning during the hours specifically designed for it? Because the broadcast, one-pace-fits-all lecture–the technique that is at the very heart of our standard classroom model–turns out to be a highly inefficient way to teach and learn. ” ~ from The One World Schoolhouse, by Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy
  • “Homework, in the popular parlance, is thought of as a necessary but dreary component of education. But if properly envisioned, homework can be exhilarating, an opportunity for students to venture independently to pursue in-depth topics first broached in the classroom…” ~ Richard Kahlenberg, senior fellow, The Century Foundation
  • “Students will have opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of subjects through homework, but the days of elementary-school students carrying home backpacks full of homework that are heavier than they are will be gone…” ~ Michelle Rhee, founder, Students First & former chancellor of D.C. public schools
  • “Homework will depend on what’s needed to inform the coming lesson or to reinforce the lesson students just learned. We will never give homework for the sake of giving it…” ~ Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers

What say you?

The Atlantic Asks, “What Should Students Know upon Graduation?”

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Public_School_Pic - CopyMore specifically, The Atlantic asked various education experts the question: What should students be expected to know by the time they leave school.” Here are some snippets from their responses:

  • “Students should leave school with the ability to think critically and independently, to leverage and adapt to ever-shifting technology and modes of communication, to navigate and direct their own independent research, and to understand how to collaborate with others…” ~ Rita Pin Abrens, education director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
  • “Anyone who claims to know what students will need to know and be able to do 20 years from now is engaging in speculation… Our society needs adults who are competent, critical readers who can write with clarity and purpose. Fluency in math is important not only for the development of computational skills, but also becasue of the abstract reasoning it develops… They need knowledge of historical events along with the ability to analyze those events from differing points of view…” ~ Carol Burris, executive director, Network for Public Education
  • “Students need content to equip them for their future lives as adults–traditional subjects, but also courses in psychology, economics, life skills, drugs/medicine, health, and philosophy/world religions…” ~ Catherine Cushinberry, executive director, Parents for Public Schools
  • “A core set of standards will be critical for all students to master–or, in some cases, gain exposure to–in English, mathematics, history, and science. These standards should be fewer, such that as students master them, they can go deep in areas they enjoy to find their passions and develop expertise…” ~ Michael Horn, co-founder, Clayton Christensen Institute
  • “The goal of preK-12 education will be to ensure that students graduate with options. They will be able to move on to higher education or into a well-paying career and have the skills and knowledge to do so…” ~ Michelle Rhee, founder of Students First & former chancellor of D.C. public schools
  • “Sure, there’s a baseline of what kids should know before graduating. Every student will be able to read and think critically. Every student will understand enough math and science to navigate the world around them. Every student will be exposed to the arts and to strategies that address their well-being, both physically and emotionally…” ~ Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers.

Quotable Education Quotes

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Those in the education community want you to know, along with Obama’s comments about teachers–charter school teachers, that is…

** “This week we honor the educators working in public charter schools across our nation who, each day, give of themselves to provide children a fair shot at the American Dream, and we recommit to the basic promise that all our daughters and sons–regardless of background or circumstance–should be able to make their lives what they will.” from Obama’s Teacher Appreciation Week proclamation (Yes, he said charter school teachers!)

** “Are we certain that what the world needs is more than 50 million public school children who meet the same academic goals? Is it possible that true opportunity is the opportunity to develop specific expertise? Might the success of a nation, in the face of a future that no one can predict perfectly, rest on the diversity in educational goals–in the same way that biodiversity ensures the success of a species?

What if the true educational gap for disadvantaged children is related to the opportunity to develop their passions? What if children need more time for free play, recess, or self-directed learning and less time spent in structured preschools or prepping for tests?” ~ Kimberly Everson, Western Kentucky University

** “The teaching profession needs two things in order to thrive–respect and trust. The two go together. You can say nice words and be grateful to teachers, but if you do not trust them as professionals, you are not showing them respect. Trust means giving teachers (appropriate) autonomy in their classrooms, but it also means giving them influence over policy–real influence, not a few token teachers on some committee–and it means giving them control over their own professional growth. We need to stop fixing teachers and create environments in which teacher themselves fix their own profession. We need to trust them to do so.” ~John Ewing, head of Math for America

** “I do think that people at state and district levels think about teachers a lot, but thinking about them is not the same as listening to them and developing respect.” ~ Madeline Will,, Education Week

** “Forcing special needs and English language learners to take high stakes tests is abusive. It’s not the kids failing, it’s a failure of the system.” ~ Betty Rosa, Regents Chancellor

** “In the not-distant past, civil rights groups filed lawsuits to block standardized testing on grounds that it is racially biased. They were right. It is no accident that standardized tests accurately reflect family income and parent education… It is important to remember that tests are a measure, not a remedy. Do we keep pouring millions or billions into testing but not spending on the remedies, like small classes?” ~ Kate Taylor, New York Times


Education Reform-Related Quotes

Monday, January 25th, 2016

** “No area of human effort is free from bad ideas and mistaken theories, but the quest to ‘reform’ public education is particularly awash in misguided convictions. Concepts like ‘merit pay,’ the scapegoating of teachers, and the alleged superiority of charter schools manage to stay alive as policy options despite clear proof that they don’t work.” ~ Michael Mulgrew, president, United Federation of Teachers

** “The latest study from CREDO shows that online charters are a disaster and kids actually make no progress at all in math in a year of ‘instruction.’ Then there is the big bet on teacher evaluation by test scores. It has fallen flat everywhere. No one can say with assurance that the test scores weed out bad teachers and identify the best…” ~ Diane Ravitch, education historian

** On the end of No Child Left Behind & the ushering in of ESSA: It is “the end to our national nightmare and beginning of something much better for kids.” ~ Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president, National Education Association

What Experts Are Saying about Education Reform under Arne Duncan

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Here are a few quotes from those in the know commenting on Arne Duncan’s legacy, now gone from his post as U.S. education secretary, and the many efforts over the years to “fix” our public schools. Have they got it right, or are you in favor of the changes taking place? Either way, here you go:

** “So Duncan leaves as he came–making word-noises that actually sound pretty good but are attached to policies and a reality that does not reflect them at all. Duncan never held himself responsible for the progress of students, choosing instead to blame bad, lazy teachers and low-information parents (so long, white suburban moms) and a Congress that wouldn’t behave as he wanted it to. He never held himself responsible by bothering to see if there was a lick of real research and support for any of his favored policies, from “high standards” to VAM-sauce teacher evaluations to the fundamental question of how schools could be held responsible for erasing the effects of poverty and special needs while states could not be held responsible for getting those schools the resources and support they needed. Duncan leaves as he arrived–eyes fixed on some alternate reality while in the real world, he hacks public education to bits and sells off the pieces. And he’s perfectly okay with ESSA [Every Student Succeeds Act]. That is not a good sign.” ~ Peter Greene, former educator and Curmudgucation blogger

** “How long will we keep doing this? For 50 years, bureaucrats and social scientists have used our schools as laboratories for their latest theory and incubators for a more egalitarian society. Standardization is now the goal. Real excellence is thought to be elitist and undemocratic. The educationalists have taken the P our of the PTA and reduced our schools to a cinder-block-and-linoleum gulag of mind-numbing mediocrity. By profiling students as victims who are somehow ‘at risk’ because of their race, gender, native tongue, or family income, and then mandating special programs to save them from their alleged plight, the U.S. Department of Eduction has run the classic bureaucratic scam…” ~ Kenneth S. Goodman, professor emeritus of the University of Arizona

** “We shouldn’t want all of our public schools to be uniform. When everyone teaches the same things, it means we leave out the same things. There is far too much to know in this world than can ever be taught or learned in one lifetime. Choices will always need to be made. The question is who should make them?” ~ Steven Singer, educator

Quotable Education Quotes

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

*** “‘There”s a wide range for learning to read. If we make students feel pressure so that they shut down, then that light bulb is not going to be as likely to come on, and they aren’t going to develop the confidence that they need to become successful readers later. Most 5-year-old children are not really ready to learn to read … Research shows on a national scale there’s less play and experiential based curriculum happening over all, and much more didactic instruction, even though we have research that shows long term there are greater gains from play-based programs than academically focused ones.” ~ Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Lesley University

*** “Simply put, although gifted children are recognized as being high achievers, the emotional, social, and sensory traits usually go unrecognized in schools. Historically, schools have done an inadequate job of identifying and serving gifted students, and this has perpetuated the damaging misperceptions about being gifted.” ~ Celi Trepanier, author and former teacher

*** “Just imagine the millions of dollars spent on standardized test development, scoring, actual testing, test training and test security that could be spent to hire new teachers, lower class sizes, restore art and music and elective classes, buy new school books. materials, and furlough days or–gasp–give teachers a raise. Imagine an end (more…)

Education Talk: 6/14/2015

Monday, June 15th, 2015

*** “Sure, it’s not perfect, but this Senate proposed rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) [aka No Child Left Behind] could do a lot of good–even if it includes some bad. Imagine it. States would be in control of their own public schools. The U.S. Department of Education and its appointed Secretary would lose much of their power to imposed unfunded federal mandates. For example, the federal government could no longer force states to tie teacher evaluations to student test scores. It could no longer force states to adopt Common Core or Common Core look-a like standards. It could no longer label high poverty schools “failing’ and then demand they be closed …”

*** “We ask teachers to be a combination of Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and, I’m dating myself here, Tony Soprano. We ask them to be Mom and Dad and impart tough love but also a shoulder to lean on. And when they don’t do these things, we blame them for not being saviors of the world. What is the effect? The effect has been teachers are incredibly stressed out.” ~ Randi Weingarten, president of the AFT

*** “The NYS common core tests in math and ELA are leading to a trend that is ruining public education as we know it. Because they are linked to 50% of teacher evaluations, they are forcing teachers to teach to the test. Our children are learning that there is only one right answer to a question, they are being taught how to take a test, not to ask question, and science and social studies are disappearing from our children’s curriculum due to these high stakes tests that emphasize math and ELA [English/Language Arts].” ~ Heather Roberts, mother, in a letter to the New York Times

*** “We are really much too concerned with academics and testing for our 4- and 5-year-olds. We’re cutting off both physical and social development that ought to be leading us at that point. Sitting 4-year-old boys down and expecting them to keep still and listen–it ain’t in their nature. We’d do better with our boys if they were spending more time rushing about, pushing each other and shouting like boys need to do.” ~ Penelope Leach, British parenting guru and author

*** “Twenty years ago, kids in preschool, kindergarten, and even first and second grade spent much of their time playing: building with blocks, drawing or creating imaginary worlds, in their own heads or with classmates. But increasingly, these activities are being abandoned for the teacher-led, didactic instruction typically used in higher grades. In many schools, formal education now starts at age 4 or 5. Without this early start, the thinking goes, kids risk falling behind in crucial subjects, such as reading and math, and may never catch up. But a growing group of scientists, education researchers and educators say there is little evidence that this approach improves log-term achievement. In fact, it may have the opposite effect … ~ David Kohn, New York Times

Quotable Quotes: January 5, 2015

Monday, January 5th, 2015

** “Our educational problems of today have little to do with schools. The problem today is the demise of the family. In my family, there was no watching TV unless you had completed your homework. Although I was a good athlete, I could not play high school sports because I had to work part-time to pay for college and study for the grades to get into college. Today, almost half the kids born are to single parent families, and that parent is working. We have some excellent students in our schools today, and they come from traditional families. It was my job as a parent to teach my children, not a school system ….” ~ J. Crowley, subscriber

** “As you think about how to use your voice, your time, your energy, I want to pose one simple question to you: Does a child in South Korea deserve a better education than your child? If your answer is no–that no child in America deserves any less than a world-class education–then your work is cut out for you.” ~ Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

** “Today, to compete for educational resources, Chinese schools do all they can to outperform other schools on student test scores. Schools keep students in classes for longer hours, assign large amounts of homework, and organize countless simulation examinations. Schools rank students by their test scores and rank teachers by the scores of their students… The pressure to outperform competitors exists at every level of the education system and is passed all the way down until it reaches the student. (Sound familiar?)” Xu Zhao, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Quotable Education Quptes: October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20th, 2014

** “Just when things can’t get any worse for kindergartners, they do. It used to be that kindergartners could play–which is how childhood development experts say young children learn and are socialized best. Today, 5- and 6-year-olds are forced to sit for hours at a time doing academics, often with little or no recess, and, in some places, no time for a snack. Homework goes home every day with many kindergartners.” ~ Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

** “We must also realize that real change and improvement come only with the involvement and support of teachers. We fool ourselves when we ignore that teaching is an incredibly difficult job, and getting more so by the day. We should lift up our most successful educators, support those in need, and seek ways to better engage and involve teachers in the process. Without them even the most meaningful changes will be denied passage at the schoolhouse door.

For decades now, charter schools have been positioned as the cure to all that ails the public school system. Supporters point to them as the gold standard. What we fail to acknowledge, however, is that for every successful KIPP or Democracy Prep, there are mediocre or struggling charters that aren’t improving outcomes. There are leaders and laggards in the charter movement, and many observers choose not to make the distinction.” ~ Patrick Richards, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation & author

** “There are few careers that are as publicly scrutinized and held to high expectations as a teaching. The public is hyper-aware of the potential harm educators may inflict on a child. Whether that influence is real or simply perceived, an educator can benefit by cautiously approaching his or her role toward each student.” ~ Courtney Stewart, Utah State University

** “Unfortunately, the way in which standardized tests have been used under federal law as almost the single measure of school quality has resulted in the frequent misuse of these instruments across the nation … Value-added scores: Although the federal government is encouraging states to use value-added scores for teacher, principal, and school evaluations, this policy direction is not appropriate. A strong body of recent research has found that there is no valid method of calculating ‘value-added’ scores which compare pass rates from one year to the next, nor do current value-added models adequately account for factors outside the school that influence student performance scores. Thus, other than for research or experimental purposes, this technique will not be employed in Vermont schools for any consequential purpose.” ~ Vermont Board of Education

** “There is no doubt that the new standards are more rigorous. They will require more of our students, our teachers, and our parents. Knowing what you are doing, instead of just knowing a set of rules, is the essential foundation for applying math to the real world. That’s not fuzzy math. It is smart.” ~ Solomon Friedberg, Boston College

Recommended Education-Related Websties: October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

** ~ Here students can “explore the geography of the Ecuadorian Amazon through online games and activities.”

** ~ This site is “by teachers, for teachers,” offering, to date, more than 294,000 resources, including those for the Common Core.

** ~ This site offers “a new standards-aligned program designed to address data analysis and its graphic representations in a real-world context meaningful to grades 7-8 and advanced students.”

** ~ This site hopes to change the way people learn by combining “the power of technology, community, and ease of use for all types of learners” and offers more than 14,000 digital learning resources.