The week in quotes

"You might as well say you curb burglary by handing out jemmies."

Tory Baroness Knight of Collingtree, on the plan to hand out contraceptives at schools, many papers, June 28

"The danger at present is that an imperfect system will be replaced by something worse. Lessons must be learnt from Britain, where the dream of a comprehensive system which would produce parity of esteem for all has gone sour.

"For all the faults of the present system, Northern Ireland's grammar schools have established themselves as centres of excellence. While the object must be to expand educational opportunity, simply to write off academic ability as one of the criteria for the post-primary sector has obvious dangers."

Belfast Telegraph, July 1

"It would be far better to send children out to play in their few free hours, as new research shows - too much washing causes eczema and asthma, it says and grime and dirt may even be healthy. Instead of spending their few free hours cooped up inside, learning how to fit condoms on bananas, children should be bustled outside to play and get dirty. The way forward is dirty hands. Clean minds."

The Daily Telegraph, June 28

"Bush refers to 'expanding' school choice with good reason. For decades Americans have had school choice - provided they've got the money to pick their place of residence. And for decades the education gap between blacks and whites has remained intact, despite a host of compensatory education reforms. Nor is this gap likely to close if most whites have residential choices and most blacks do not.

"Despite the efforts of the civil rights movement, public schools remain just as segregated as they were in the 1950s."

Paul E Peterson and William G Howell in a weekly essay from the Hoover Foundation "My Mum, when I came back with 95 per cent in an exam, wanted to know why I got the 5 per cent wrong. She was a passionate believer in comprehensive education."

Stephen Twigg, minister for young people and learning, the Guardian, July 2

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