Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Era of Responsibility

As today's events unfold, I reflect on major breakthroughs and the long journey to social justice and racial equality.

Quality education for minority students and the desegregation of schools were contended in the city of Boston long after the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

In 1974, a federal district court judge ordered students to be bused city-wide to integrate the Boston Public Schools. In his ruling, judge Garrity said the school committee had consciously maintained two separate school systems.

I was too young to remember the politics and the players involved. But I do remember the consequences of judge Garrity's decision; the ominous, unsettled feeling in our neighborhood, and of course--the riots. We were bused across town to the “better schools,” and escorted by the police inside the school buildings.

We have come a long way since then. Yet, continuing challenges to equal educational opportunities remain.

My early American experience pales in comparison to that of our inner-city kids who day after day go into overcrowded classrooms, in under-funded schools, and are taught to the test because of senseless policy-making by politicians, not by educators.

Today I celebrate a new dawn, and an amazing triumph. I also look ahead at the challenging work that is still needed to improve our children's education, such as: strengthening our public education system, help ensure that disadvantaged students have access to quality educational programs, reduced class size, support schools in development, and innovation through new technology.

I am hopeful and inspired. A new era of change and responsibility has come to America. I know significant, real change can happen, because I've seen it happen.

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Favorite Quotes

  • "...the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrfices before he can accomplish his object..." - from "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen
  • "Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows." - Proverbs 13:11 NLT
  • "The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil." Thomas A. Edison
  • "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas A. Edison
  • "Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." - Thomas A. Edison
  • "I shall seize Fate by the throat; it shall certainly not bend and crush me completely." - Ludwig van Beethoven, July 1801
  • "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The USA Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
  • "Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "...the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." - 1 John 4:4 NLT
  • "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." - Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
  • "What you are comes to you." - Ralph Waldo Emerson