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Amy Fagan

We all know that Checker Finn?has an uncanny?ability to turn a phrase and get right to the heart of the matter. Well, here are a few (very) noteworthy Finn quotes from recent news stories.

From an Education Week article, Leaders Call for Shared Curriculum Guidelines, March 9, 2011:

Mr. Finn, the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, said he doesn't regard national standards or curriculum as ?the devil's curse? if they're high-quality and voluntary. ?It's dumb to have good standards not accompanied by good curriculum,? he said.

From a Bloomberg News story about changing the ?last hired, first fired? rule, Teacher Security Blanket May Shred as Governors Hit ?Ignorance Factories,' March 7, 2011:

Changing the system would be a ?pretty substantial boost? to student performance, said Chester Finn Jr., who was assistant secretary of education under President Ronald Reagan from 1985 to 1988. He is president of the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a nonprofit research group focused on improving K-12 education.

?Just as some schools are dropout factories, there are teachers that are ignorance factories,? Finn said in a telephone interview. ?You're going to have to let some people go, so why not get rid of the people who aren't getting the job done??

From a NY Times piece, Teachers Wonder, Why the Scorn?, March 2, 2011

Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative-leaning education policy group, said the decline in teachers' status traced to the success of unions in paying teachers and granting job security based on their years of service, not ability.

?They are reaping a bitter harvest that they didn't individually plant but their profession has planted over 50 years, going from a respected profession to a mass work force in which everyone is treated as if they are interchangeable, as in the steel mills of yesteryear,? Mr. Finn said.

--Amy Fagan

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