"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ringing in the New Year with Wellstone

I find myself thinking about Paul Wellstone lately and the speech he made at Teacher's College before his death in 2002. His powerful message must be kept alive and shared with all those concerned about the future of education, democracy and freedom in America.

So, on this New Year's Eve 2006 I leave SM readers with Wellstone's speech with the hope that you will find it inspiring as you continue to do your good work.

On behalf of Jim Horn & myself,

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

aka freetoteach

This fight we confront today is not just a fight about tests, or just about ensuring that all our children are educated and educated well. It is time for us to renew our national vow of equal opportunity for every child in America. That's what this fight is all about.That reminds me of a quote that has motivated me throughout my life. It is my favorite quote. It is from Wendell Phillips, an abolitionist from the 1840's. At that time both political parties were very weary of the slavery issue and they weren't sure how to confront it. But not Wendell, he just said slavery was a moral outrage, that it was unconscionable, and he wouldn't equivocate. He wasn't afraid to speak out.After he gave a particularly fiery speech about abolition, a friend came up to him and said, "Wendell, why are you so on fire?"And Wendell turned to his friend and said, "Brother May, I'm on fire because I have mountains of ice before me to melt."We have mountains of ice before us to melt. Thank you for your energy, your time, your love for children and your passion to do what is right.

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