It is important to have permanent safe spaces in Harlem.
Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.
It is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same. A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour.
You grow up in America and you’re told from day one, ‘This is the land of opportunity.’ That everybody has an equal chance to make it in this country. And then you look at places like Harlem, and you say, ‘That is absolutely a lie.’
How is it we could have a system where schools could remain lousy for 50 years and yet you do exactly the same thing this year that they did 50 years ago when it didn’t work then, and no one feels any pressure to change?
My contract with my teachers is fair, and is two pages. The union contract is 200 pages. You cannot manage your business when you cannot make any decision without going back to 200 pages worth of stuff.
At a school in Massachusetts where I once worked, we managed early on through consensus. Which sounds wonderful, but it was just a very, very difficult way to sort of manage anything, because convincing everybody to do one particular thing, especially if it was hard, was almost impossible.
People talk about Wall Street greed, but one of the things many people don’t understand is that there are a lot of organizations that have been the recipient of largess from the same Wall Street.
Teachers need to be paid like professionals.
Kids who are poor often have families that have not really been kept informed about… how important it is to read to your child, to reduce stresses in their life, to use positive incentives and words.