Thursday, January 07, 2010

The EIA Public Education Quotes of the Decade

EIA's Mike Antonucci with his Public Education Quotes of the Decade –
great stuff! I esp love 4 & 5:

The Education Intelligence Agency

COMMUNIQUÉ – January 4, 2010

On the Web at

The EIA Public Education Quotes of the Decade

It takes a special statement to become the EIA Communiqué Quote of the
Week, and a singular one to be included as one of the Quotes of the
Year. So you can imagine how difficult it was to choose the Quotes of
the Decade. I found it impossible to chop it down to 10, so here are
the 17 most memorable quotes of the 2000s, in countdown order. I have
cited the source but have not embedded the original links, since many
of them no longer exist.

17) "The nice thing about reducing class size is that it makes
teachers happy in their own right and it's the one thing that we know
how to do." - Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, education policy professor
at the University of Chicago. (February 22, 2009 New York Times)

16) "With increasing cost of college loans and health care and the
fact that the buying power of the teacher dollar is no more than what
it was 20 years ago, we're pretty much back to where we were when I
started teaching in the 1960s. I had to work in the summer to eat." -
Cheryl Umberger of the Tennessee Education Association. (May 23, 2008

15) "What would we really do differently if we really did listen to
our members? First, we would very rarely, if ever again, give a cent
to a politician or a political party." - former Ohio Education
Association Executive Director Robert Barkley, giving his farewell
speech at OEA's Representative Assembly in December 2000.

14) "You deserve a President who understands what I'm about to say."
- U.S. Senator John Kerry, during a July 16, 2004 speech at the
American Federation of Teachers convention in Washington, DC.

13) "While building efficiencies of scale might fit a sound business
model, it is the antithesis of sound educational practice." - Hawaii
State Teachers Association Vice President Joan Lewis. (November 1,
2005 Honolulu Advertiser)

12) "Folks, we're in trouble. If we were in private business, we'd be
out of business." - Kenneth Burnley, chief executive officer of the
Detroit Public Schools. (April 6, 2001 Detroit News)

11) "You shouldn't be angry about how much teachers get paid, but how
little money most everyone else makes." - Portland Oregonian columnist
S. Renee Mitchell. (February 27, 2006 Oregonian)

10) "When the scores go up, it's not just meaningless. It's
worrisome." - Alfie Kohn. (October 18, 2008 Salt Lake Tribune)

9) "A man without vision might as well be blind." - a delegate to the
NEA Representative Assembly, debating NBI 14, which dealt with the
state of art and music education in America's public schools. (July 3,
2006 NEA Representative Assembly)

8) "If they don't agree to everything I want, we will be in impasse."
- United Teachers of Dade President Pat Tornillo, describing his
approach to emergency labor negotiations with the Miami-Dade County
School Board. (January 16, 2002 Miami Herald)

7) "We expect parents to work in the best interest of the kids. We're
working in the best interest of the teachers." - Hudson (Ohio)
Education Association President David Spohn. (October 9, 2003 Akron
Beacon Journal)

6) "The inventory of items seized from the downtown Washington
apartment of Barbara Bullock on Dec. 19 reads like the manifest of a
pirate ship, firearms and all." - Washington City Paper reporter David
Morton, describing the situation at the Washington Teachers Union
under former President Barbara Bullock, in his cover story,
"Membership Has Its Privileges." (January 24-30, 2003 Washington City

5) "What worries me at the moment are the unintended effects of this
'choice' agenda. The Government is keen to give parents choice over
which school their children attend. So lots of people are no longer
sending their children to local schools. That has led to more and more
children going by car instead of walking and we know that lower levels
of physical activity can lead to obesity." - Roger Mackett, University
College, London. (January 16, 2009 London Daily Telegraph)

4) "Black people can be gullible." - Andre J. Hornsby, president of
the National Alliance of Black School Educators, offering his
explanation for the high rate of African-American support for school
choice. (May 30, 2001 Education Week)

3) "What happened on the plantation when the slaves had enough?" -
Baltimore Teachers Union President Marietta English, unhappy with the
district's contract proposal. (April 25, 2007 Baltimore Sun)

2) "People take money every day for things I would not do… there are
people that are paid to be assassins. Sometimes it's just not worth
the sacrifice you would have to make for the money." - Metro Nashville
Education Association President Jamye Merritt, explaining why her
union opposes performance pay. (January 7, 2007 Tennessean)

But for an unmatched combination of hyperbole, metaphor and faulty
history, there can be only one Public Education Quote of the Decade:

1) "The struggle in which we are engaged is as vital to our future
today as was the outcome of the Civil War to our nation in 1860 (sic).
The goal of these locusts is to impose their will on state after state
until they have completely demolished government as we know it. There
is a time for every generation to rise to the call - when the very
existence of our nation, our state, our values, our culture and our
public schools are threatened with extinction." - Nebraska State
Education Association Executive Director Jim Griess on Initiative 423,
a ballot measure that would have limited state government spending to
previous years' amounts, with allowed increases for inflation and
population growth. (October 2006 The NSEA Voice)

The Education Intelligence Agency conducts public education research,
analysis and investigations. Director: Mike Antonucci. PO Box 580007,
Elk Grove, CA 95758. Ph: 916-422-4373. Fax: 916-392-1482. E-Mail:

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