Contest: Six-word motto for your nation’s schools?

In honor of the contest over at the Freakonomics blog, what would be a good six-word motto for your nation’s schools?

Include both your motto AND your country in the comment area. Here’s an example:

  • USA: Schools not ready for 21st century

Deadline is Feb. 15. Multiple entries accepted. Whichever one I like best wins a CASTLE mug!

Update: See the winning entry!

35 Responses to “Contest: Six-word motto for your nation’s schools?”

  1. My motto:

    “American Students Connect to the World.”

    — Kevin

  2. Good teachers can change the system.

  3. USA: Preparing students for a bygone reality.

  4. USA: “Time we’ve squandered on the way.”

  5. USA:

    Unhealthy Relationship With The Status Quo


    Organizational Tortoises: Evolving in Revolutionary Times


    Rudderless in the Sea of Change

    Take your pick. I think they are all appropriate.

  6. USA: “Always reaching the goal: acceptable mediocrity”

    If I win, I forfeit my mug to the nearest K12 web developer you can find who can confidently explain web usability and accessibility (zing!)

  7. “Engaged learners network through closed doors.”

    It relates to teachers and students alike who often must be careful in using communications technologies in innovative ways that may/may not be frowned upon.

  8. Sex, drugs, rap, rock, and roll.

  9. Failure: what you’ll never admit

  10. Changing quality standards all over again

  11. Imitation: Don’t do it like us

  12. Another solution to a previous solution

  13. Die you teachers and students, DIE!

  14. USofA:

    “NCLB tests are not real data”

    “Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic!”

  15. dangit, I hit post and then realized that it should really be:

    “Rearranging desk chairs on the Titanic!”

  16. USA: Dewey…or don’t we?

    Scott, I’m jonesing for that mug.



  18. 21st Century American success equals greed.

  19. In case people need a definition a greed…

    According to webster:

    “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”

    So another 6 word theme for America and the reasons that schools are the way they are:

    –Selfish and excessive desire for more–

  20. USA: If we test, achievement will come.

  21. Underwhelming kids on a daily basis.

  22. USA: We teach you how to learn.

    That’s what our motto should be. That’s what we should be doing. With the constant technology evolution going on around us, no one can reasonably expect to graduate from school (or college) knowing everything they need to know to function in society, let alone the workplace, for the rest of their life. We have to be continually learning. If our educational system cranks out people who are well educated in whatever was taught, but have not learned how to learn for themselves, then we have failed.
    In my line of work in particular (network engineer) while what I know and my experience hold great value, ultimately my most valuable attribute is to learn – to find the answers I didn’t already know, to be able to walk into any problem, which almost certainly has factors with which I have no prior experience, and find solutions/answers to problems. If I didn’t know how to learn (and I’m surrounded by many who don’t or can’t) I wouldn’t be able to do this.

  23. Inspired by the comments to this prompt:

    USA: Easier to criticize than create change.

    USA: Everything is bad, nothing is good.

    USA: Let’s highlight some successes for once.

    USA: All schools suck, then you die.

  24. In banking, calculators were allowed.

  25. America: If it breaths, test it.

    America: Land of the free to test

    America: Home of the bored and tested

    America: No Child Left Inspired

  26. Science based? We teach science here?

  27. Here you go…live from our eighth grade classroom…the top mottos(notice they are more upbeat than the cranky adult mottos above : )
    If we succeed, then we lead
    Learning today for a better tomorrow
    Be smart and choose your future
    Become someone and achieve a goal
    Starting a future for today’s leaders
    Can be great, decides your fate
    If you try, you will fly
    To be be great, learn to appreciate

  28. Norway:
    Best intentions, drowned in prescious oil.

  29. “God is dead, long live NCLB!”

    Hits both religion and standardized testing, which I think are two of the main problems.


    “Standardization + medication = American Education.”

    Or perhaps:

    “American Education: Thank god for Kindergarten.”

  30. USA: Number two pencil is main tool

  31. Do you want fries with that?

  32. Scott,

    I heard about your contest from Alice Mercer, and left this same comment on her blog after I came over here and reviewed the submissions.

    There are some pretty funny ones. It’s a little disconcerting, though, to see that, with only a very few exceptions, they’re all pretty negative. Yes, I know it’s more fun to ridicule, and I do it as well. However, in general, I think that many schools, along with a number of labor unions and religious congregations, are one of the few institutions that are doing a pretty decent job at helping people develop skills needed to actively participate effectively in public life.

    Of course, maybe I’m living in a bubble, and schools are in a lot worse shape than I think, but I don’t think so…


  33. I know it’s too late for entries, but this was the more positive one Larry (and my conscious) had me come up with:

    Helping students exceed our expectations–daily.

  34. Scott, no word back on these, but I think Larry’s right about the message, I wonder if there would be a way to juxtapose the wonder positive hopes of the passion quilt meme ( and the brick walls expressed in this one, so that it’s not all about the doom and gloom. I’m just saying…

  35. Education is still a blame game, isn’t it. Although the contest is over and the mug has been awarded, there is still a pretty important “contest” running in every school in America. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was praised and recognized for their efforts to make winners out of all of our kids. I know…dream on….

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