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"One year I'm being celebrated by the president, and the next I'm wondering what and where I'll be teaching."

Traci Young Cooper, South Carolina's 2002 Teacher of the Year, after her district eliminated her curriculum specialist job to cut costs at the end of this past academic year.

"My child has a highly qualified teacher. Does yours?"

A bumper sticker designed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.-based policy and advocacy group, to promote awareness of teacher quality issues.

"Special ed is at the top of the list, the middle of the list, and the bottom of the list."

Marian Lauria-Davis, teacher recruitment supervisor for Florida's Hillsborough County school district, describing the types of educators her region needs. Florida schools have scrambled to hire 47 percent more new teachers than usual, in part to meet the state's constitutional mandate to reduce class size.

"Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell."

Debbie Riddle, a Republican state representative, at a spring hearing of the Texas legislature's House border and international affairs committee.

Vol. 15, Issue 1, Page 11

Published in Print: September 1, 2003, as Overheard
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