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The Quotable Tony Blair, on Education

By Michele McNeil — October 28, 2009 1 min read
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Education Secretary Arne Duncan said little new today at an event at the Center for American Progress, which released a new report calling for more attention and money for community schools--and pointing to successes in Britain as a model. (The EdSec did like the British idea of knighting the best teachers to raise the prestige of the profession. Maybe he’ll start a “knighthood campaign,” he said.)

The real star was Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who spearheaded efforts to bring the community schools idea to his country. By 2010, his country’s 23,000 public schools are on track to become “extended schools,” which means they must be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the year and provide a community and education base for residents.

Blair tackled a myriad of topics, including:

Teachers unions--"You have to share a partnership, but we should refuse a veto.” (In other words, teachers unions can’t have the final say on education policy.)

What a good school looks like--"The school should become a center for the support and nurture of the future generation and a hub for the whole community.”

Tough changes--"I never regretted a bold move, and I always regretted a cautious one.”

Education as more than just a policy--"It’s a national mission.”