• “There is nothing startling about the confirmation that the higher the income of the test-taker’s family, the better the chances for success. It has been that way since this examination [SAT] was first established in 1926 to screen applicants for elite Ivy League schools. Not until after WWII did many schools use it to deal with burgeoning enrollments.” ~ Dan K. Thomasson, Scrips Howard News Service
  • “What makes success in third grade so significant? It’s the year that students move from learning to read–decoding words using their knowledge of the alphabet–to reading to learn. The books children are expected to master are no longer simple primers but fact-filled texts on the solar system, Native Americans, the Civil War. Children who haven’t made the leap to fast, fluent reading begin at this moment to fall behind, and, for most of them, the gap will continue to grow. So third grade constitutes a critical transition–a ‘pivot point’ in the words of Donald J. Hernandez, a professor of sociology at CUNY-Hunter College. A study Hernandez conducted . . . found that third-graders who lack proficiency in reading are four times more likely to become high school dropouts.” ~ Annie Murphy, author, Origins
  • “When movies are at their most mindless, it’s tempting to wish things could be otherwise. What adult moviegoer hasn’t hoped Hollywood would rouse itself at least every once in a while to pay attention to the issues of the day. But while hot button-hugging Won’t Back Down would seem to do just that, it also serves to warn us to be careful what we wish for. This poor film is so shamelessly manipulative and hopelessly bogus it will make you bite your tongue in regret and despair.” ~ Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times film critic
  • “So many young people are raised to question their intelligence. Chess helps shatter that doubt. Chess teaches our young people about rewards and consequences, both short- and long-term. It challenges young people to be responsible for their actions. It cuts across racial and economic lines and allows poor kids to excel at a game thought to be reserved for the affluent. It boosts self-confidence,. It is the great equalizer.”
    ~ Salmone Thomas-El, principal, Education Charter School
  • “As teachers, we are reminded that each child is curious, energetic, intelligent, and full of potential, and that each brings different perspectives to a new situation. We are most effective when we are are aware of their strengths and challenges and respond appropriately to address those needs.” ~ Eileen Kupersmith, Tiferet Bet Israel