"We had containers that were swelling or oozing, and we couldn't tell what they were."
—J.D. Bennett, an administrator with the Southeast Board of Cooperative Educational Services who helped organize removal of old chemicals from 15 school laboratories in the Lamar, Colorado, area this summer. Health officials have found improperly stored chemicals—including radioactive uranium compounds, explosive crystals, and chemicals purchased as far back as the 1930s—in more than 90 percent of the Colorado schools they have inspected over the past two years.
"The three R's shouldn't be retail, resale, and rebate."
—Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, at the release in September of a federal report on increased commercialism in schools.
"Too heavy to take home."
—A Memphis, Tennessee, parent's reaction to a 4th grade literature book under review by the state textbook commission.
"It was more something he was talking about as an idea, as opposed to a proposal that we have 500 pages prepared for."
—Adam Shapiro, spokesperson for North Carolina Governor James Hunt Jr., doing damage control after Hunt, speaking at an event in September, mused that North Carolina might waive state college tuition for the children of teachers.
"It kind of assumes that we are teachers already."
—Parent Linda Deafenbaugh, admitting families of children who attend the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, a new online school, need to learn how to help them study over the Internet.
"I know too many people who are extremely talented, [but] when faced with a simple algebraic equation, they black out."
—Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan testifying before the House Education and Workforce Committee in September on the need to improve math and science training in schools.
Vol. 12, Issue 3, Page 9Published in Print: November 1, 2000, as Overheard