School Reform Quotes

Quotes tagged as "school-reform" Showing 1-20 of 20
Neil deGrasse Tyson
“When students cheat on exams it's because our school system values grades more than students value learning.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Can teachers successfully educate children to think for themselves if teachers are not treated as professionals who think for themselves?”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

Frank Zappa
“Schools train you to be ignorant with style [...] they prepare you to be a usable victim for a military industrial complex that needs manpower. As long as you're just smart enough to do a job and just dumb enough to swallow what they feed you, you're going to be alright [...] So I believe that schools mechanically and very specifically try and breed out any hint of creative thought in the kids that are coming up.”
Frank Zappa

Ken Robinson
“We stigmatize mistakes. And we're now running national educational systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make -- and the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.”
Ken Robinson

Donalyn Miller
“The purpose of school should not be to prepare students for more school. We should be seeking to have fully engaged students now.”
Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

Jonathan Kozol
“Research experts want to know what can be done about the values of poor segregated children; and this is a question that needs asking. But they do not ask what can be done about the values of the people who have segregated these communities. There is no academic study of the pathological detachment of the very rich...”
Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

John Cage
“It would be better to have no school at all than the schools we now have. Encouraged, instead of frightened, children could learn several languages before reaching age of four, at that age engaging in the invention of their own languages. Play'd be play instead of being, as now, release of repressed anger.”
John Cage, M: Writings '67-'72

Noam Chomsky
“Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important.

It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have.

What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.”
Noam Chomsky

Anthony M. Esolen
“The worst feature of the Common Core is its anti-humanistic, utilitarian approach to education. It mistakes what a child is and what a human being is for. That is why it has no use for poetry, and why it boils the study of literature down to the scrambling up of some marketable "skill" [...] you don't read good books to learn about what literary artists do...you learn about literary art so that you can read more good books and learn more from them. It is as if Thomas Gradgrind had gotten hold of the humanities and turned them into factory robotics.”
Anthony Esolen

Marilyn Vos Savant
“I think one of the problems [with raising intelligent children in modern society] is compulsory schooling...and that children are sitting there, and they are taught and told what to believe; they are passive from the very beginning – and one must be very, very aggressive intellectually to have a high IQ [...] the child is taught. Right from the beginning, it's a passive process. He or she sits there, and they simply try to believe everything they're told?”
Marilyn Vos Savant

“You can't lead your troops if your troops do not trust you.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

“Accountability makes no sense when it undermines the larger goals of education.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

“Welcome to Hartford. The poorest city in the wealthiest state in the richest country on earth.”
Susan Eaton, The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial

“Through most of human history, our ancestors had children shortly after puberty, just as the members of all nonhuman species do to this day. Whether we like the idea or not, our young ancestors must have been capable of providing for their offspring, defending their families from predators, cooperating with others, and in most other respects functioning fully as adults. If they couldn't function as adults, their young could not have survived, which would have meant the swift demise of the human race. The fact that we're still here suggests that most young people are probably far more capable than we think they are. Somewhere along the line, we lost sight of – and buried – the potential of our teens.”
Robert Epstein

“During the Government’s recent overhaul of GCSEs, I was asked to join a consultative group advising on the English Literature syllabus. It quickly became clear that the minister wanted to prescribe two Shakespeare plays for every 16-year-old in the land. I argued, to the contrary, that there should be one Shakespeare play and one play by anybody except Shakespeare. It cannot be in Shakespeare’s interest for teenagers to associate him with compulsion, for his plays and his alone to have the dreaded status of set books.”
Jonathan Bate

“[One way] researchers sometimes evaluate people's judgments is to compare those judgments with those of more mature or experienced individuals. This method has its limitations too, because mature or experienced individuals are sometimes so set in their ways that they can't properly evaluate new or unique conditions or adopt new approaches to solving problems.”
Robert Epstein, Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence

John Cage
“Valda said that if you change your residence every six months you can legally free your children from compulsory education.”
John Cage, M: Writings '67-'72

“There is nothing to be gained by pretending that academic involvement is necessary, or even always desirable, in the quest for truth and knowledge.”
Christopher Langan

Henry Handel Richardson
“Oh my eye Betty Martin! Aren't I glad it isn't me that's going to school! It looks just like a prison.”
Henry Handel Richardson

Abhijit Naskar
“I am pain stricken to say that, various “educational” institutions have adopted the medieval doctrine "fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom" as their motto. Let me tell you this, fear of the Lord, Santa Claus, Krishna, Thor, Hulk or any other imaginary being brings merely the illusion of wisdom, not wisdom. And illusion of wisdom is a billion times more harmful than lack of wisdom.”
Abhijit Naskar, I Am The Thread: My Mission