"In short, what concerns us, Diane, is not new, but part of some ancient issues that reappear over and over. Ted Sizer used to say that he wanted his own kids in schools where he could look the decisionmakers in the eye and personally expect an answer, other than "I had to do it. THEY made me."...


My favorite line from that day occurred when Jackson said he had recently visited some very high-performing nations. At each stop, he asked authorities: "What do you do about bad teachers?" They consistently replied: "We help them."


We're all entitled to "our opinions," but schooling should take us beyond "mere" opinions into tentative conclusions that once again are held with care. Will this approach lead to dilemmas? Yes, yes, yes.


Diane Ravitch writes: "Somehow our old disputes about whole language, bilingual education, and the new new math pale in comparison to the coordinated assault by powerful forces on the very foundations of public education."


Deborah Meier writes: "But I'm amazed to read those prescient words of 1983 which were, I argued, that your book was a recipe for the wrong reforms: "more tests, more homework, longer school hours, mandated state requirements, stiffer standards for promotion, stricter discipline codes, merit pay, and sometimes, tuition tax credits."


The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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