“Teaching is incredibly complex work. It is rocket science. People who think they can walk in off the street and do it are just not fully informed.”
—Mark Simon, president of the Montgomery County Teachers Association in Maryland, disagreeing with Education Secretary Rod Paige’s remarks in the fall that experts in a subject are automatically qualified to teach it.
“It’s not really my hair. They’re trying to mold me into a person that I’m not. My hair is totally irrelevant to education at the school.”
—Kisteesha Lanegan, a sophomore banned from Whitefish High School in northwest Montana because her dreadlocks don’t comply with the dress code. The district superintendent ruled in late September that she couldn’t attend class until she cut them off.
“This is all about adults and role models. Kids see professional athletes, pop stars, corporate CEOs, and even priests and teachers performing badly, and they come to think, ‘Why not?’”
—Tom DeCair, a spokesman for the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Marina del Rey, California, discussing his organization’s most recent national survey of student character. In the study, 74 percent of high schoolers admitted to cheating on a test at least once in the past year.
“They’ll still be teaching Darwinism, but not in science classes. It will be in a class called ‘British Intellectual History.’”
— Phillip Johnson, a UC-Berkeley professor and outspoken evolution critic, predicting the future of teaching the origins of life. In October, a week before his statement, the standards committee for Ohio’s state board of education had recommended that students learn about alternative theories to evolution.