** “Back in 2011, the administration’s Race to the Top sweepstakes . . . had a round focused on early childhood education. The first priority that states were asked to consider as they wrote their proposals was this: ‘Priority 1: Absolutely Priority–Using Early Learning and Developmental Standards and Kindergarten Entry Assessments to Promote School Readiness.’ Yes, the top priority was making sure preschoolers were given standardized tests. In addition, there has been a movement toward pushing down more and more academic material on very young kids in traditional academic settings, even though most youngsters are not developmentally ready to do it and learn better by play.” ~ Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

** “First, we must recognize that our students are surrounded by material that is, in many ways, morally age-inappropriate. Although what counts as morally inappropriate is certainly debatable, I would hope that most educators might agree on some topics, such as the barrage of rap songs that demean women or seem to promote violence as cool and exciting. Second, we cannot sit back and let our students passively digest this material. No, instead, teachers should actively engage their students in discussions about the controversial material bombarding them.” ~ Marc D. Hauser, education consultant

** “As educators, we can get narrow-minded pretty fast being in our own little building all the time. With social networking, you get fresh viewpoints and varying perspectives. It opens up your thinking.” ~ Michelle R. Davis, instructional technology specialist

** “I happily acknowledge that the best high school teachers are, as a general rule, better teachers than the typical college professor.” Bryan McCann, Georgetown University

** “If kids come to schools where they feel valued, safe, and feel teachers have their best interests at heart, … they commit themselves. They work harder, there are fewer distractions, and kids are more motivated. Of course, they learn more.” ~ Marvin Berkowitz, University of Missouri-St. Louis

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