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"I know it hurts. I know it hurts."

Lesley-Diann Jones, a teacher at P.S. 27 in Brooklyn, New York, consoling a crying student in the penultimate episode of "Master Teacher," a six-part documentary that appeared on ABC-TV's Nightline this summer. Nightline spent a year in Jones' classroom as she prepared 4th and 5th graders for the state's English Language Arts exam and a citywide reading test, respectively; in this heart-wrenching, post-test segment, the students learn that more than half of them have failed their exams.

"That's our gimmick—we cut off the crust."

Steve Atchison, district sales representative for Smucker's, explaining the concept behind "Uncrustables," the company's new-fangled peanut-butter-and- jelly sandwich, at the Minnesota School Food Service Association's annual convention in August.

"Here you have, and I say it very lovingly, the ultimate white man coming into a school that is 99.9 percent African American. . . . It was love at first sight."

Mildred Musgrove, principal of Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia High School, describing the bond that volunteer teacher Kenneth Starr has formed with her students. The former special prosecutor and Bill Clinton antagonist started volunteering at Anacostia, a school in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country, after he left his high-profile position last year.

"We have a century of growth ahead of us, a crescendo of children."

Richard Riley, U.S. secretary of education, announcing census projections that American school enrollment will grow from this year's record 53 million students to 94 million by 2100.

"All these so-called donations come with a price."

Ralph Nader, Green Party candidate for president, announcing that, if elected, he would ban companies from donating computers to schools.

Vol. 12, Issue 2, Page 11

Published in Print: October 1, 2000, as Overheard
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