School Problems

Heads Up

Top experts weigh in on everyday questions.

Robert J. Sternberg, Ph.D.

President, American Psychological Association

"IQ levels have been increasing over the past century. At the same time, people seem to have become less wise. There have been more reported massacres, genocides and terrorist acts in recent years than any sane person can stand, and the greed of some supposedly smart corporate chieftains seems to know no bounds. For this reason, we are involved in a project to teach children to think not just critically but wisely. We teach them to use their intelligence not only for their own gain but toward the attainment of a common good-to care about the ends to which knowledge is used."

Rod Paige, Ph.D.

Secretary of Education

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"President Bush and Congress took the first step by passing the bipartisan No Child Left Behind law, which combines unprecedented spending with accountability for results.

Schools, states and parents are taking the next step by implementing the law's provisions for flexibility, research-based instruction, objective information and expanded parental options. The foundation of learning is reading, so the most critical step we can take is to improve reading instruction. Researchers have demonstrated which methods of instruction are most successful, but many teachers and parents don't know about them. All of us, from district officials to involved neighbors, can help spread the word."

Reginald "Reg" Weaver, M.A.

President-Elect, National Education Association

"The first step is ensuring that all children have access to a school that is safe, free from intimidation and harassment, and has an atmosphere that is conducive to good teaching and learning. Eighty-five percent of the richest parents send their children to a public school. Why? Because those public schools have everything they need. I want the students in the inner cities and poor rural areas to have the same kinds of schools you find in an upscale suburb. Every parent wants their child to attend a school with quality teachers, small class sizes and high standards-the basics of a quality education."

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