"Many today challenge the government's role and right in the education of our children...We must affirm our faith in the wisdom of our people and in the belief that they can be trusted to establish a system of training in cooperation with the government. The present deliberate efforts by certain segments of society to belittle, harass, and weaken our public school system must be resisted. A varied system of education, directed by groups closely knit, can weaken and destroy the vitality of our people and bring the American system of free public education tottering, thus destroying our most cherished institution and threatening democracy itself.

The insight, courage, and labors of Horace Mann, a century ago, give us fortitude to engage our opponents in battle and to continue the fight for the children of all the people. Apparently this fight can never be won—it must be fought and partially won by each generation." 

—Maurice J. Thomas, 1953


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