We should look upon our schools--not as a place to train the "whole character" of the child--a responsibility that properly belongs to his family and church--but to train his mind.

Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative


If a nation expects to be ignorant — and free — in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816


The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.

George Washington, letter to George Chapman, December 15, 1784


It's easier to build strong children than repair broken men.

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822


Laws for the liberal education of the youth, especially of the lower class of the people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.

John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776


Teachers need our active support and encouragement. They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resource: our children, our future citizens."

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address at the Centennial Celebration Banquet of the National Education Association, 4/4/57


The school is not the end but only the beginning of an education.  Yet its place cannot be filled in any other way.

Calvin Coolidge, Calvin Coolidge Says, September 1, 1930


No one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in its effect towards supporting free and good government.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Trustees for the Lottery of East Tennessee College, May 6, 1810


The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths.

Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, 1749


It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.

John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756


There is no defense or security for any of us except in the highest intelligence and development of all.

Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Compromise Speech


The best thing the millions of our youth can do to ensure their future success is to work faithfully at their studies.  That opportunity for improvement and discipline will never return. 

Calvin Coolidge, Calvin Coolidge Says, September 1, 1930


Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.

George Washington, First Annual Message, January 8, 1790


I have not denied that many of our children are being inadequately educated, or that the problem is nation-wide. I have only denied that it is the kind of problem that requires a solution at the national level. To the extent the problem is quantitative--to the extent we have too few classrooms and pay some of our teachers too little money--the shortages can be taken care of by the localities concerned. But more: to the extent the problem is qualitative--which in my opinion it mainly is--it is manifestly one that lends itself to correction at the local level. There is no place where deficiencies in the content of an educational system can be better understood than locally where a community has the opportunity to view and judge the product of its own school system.

Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative