Obama quote on schools from The Audacity of Hope

I’m reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope at the minute. The following excerpt struck me:

Sometimes we need both cultural transformation and government action – a change in values and a change in policy – to promote the kind of society we want. The state of our inner-city schools is a case in point. All the money in the world won’t boost student achievement if parents make no effort to instil in their children the values of hard work and delayed gratification. But when we as a society pretend that poor children will fulfil their potential in dilapidated, unsafe schools with outdated equipment and teachers who aren’t trained in the subjects they teach, we are perpetrating a lie on these children, and on ourselves. We are betraying our values.

I work in an area related the UK Building Schools for the Future programme. I think that the money being spent modernising schools is money well spent. For the reasons outlined by Barack Obama in the quoted text above.

The book is highly recommended.


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