Remember, read to your sons and daughters.

“We’re going to stop lying to children and lying to families [about curriculum quality]… We have to challenge the status quo on when schools are failing… We think it is unacceptable” — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Common Core State Standards and overhauling failing schools at the Military Child Education Coalition’s annual conference, via Dropout Nation’s Twitter feed (go ahead and follow).

“What’s frustrating is that there is a real issue here demanding attention. The trade-off between flexibility and prescriptiveness in federal school turnaround policy is a complicated one without a lot of good answers.  Too much flexibility and districts and states take the easy way out and do nothing meaningful for students stuck in lousy schools. Too prescriptive and you get meaningless box-checking (as we may be seeing overall with the current dollop of school improvement funds), perverse consequences, or you stifle innovative approaches that might work if educators could try them.” — Andy Rotherham responding to Michael Winerip’s claptrap of an article on the consequences of federal education policy.

“We need to push school districts to frame summer school as a good thing, something extra — not a punishment. There is a cultural barrier that we have to overcome.” — Ron Fairchild of the National Summer Learning Association on the need for summer learning (and ultimately, for year-round schooling), in Time.

“But why are we more willing to overlook lackluster test scores in middle class schools?” Mike Petrilli on laggard middle class schools (traditional and charter).

“My hope is that many of them improve, but at the same time, we need to make sure the bar is high. I’ve got two children in the system, and I don’t want a ‘minimally effective teacher’ and I don’t think anyone else does, either.” — D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee on her decision to dismiss 241 laggard teachers.

“Each year we visit the teachers at least twice – once in the beginning and ten again towards the end of the year. It’s a great opportunity to understand how our kids are progressing and to brainstorm areas of concern or ask questions. But the one thing that always surprised me is that no one from the school has ever asked us to review the teachers. Ever… I think the current model doesn’t give enough credit to our great teachers and doesn’t shine a bright enough light on the teachers that aren’t delivering the goods.” — Tech investor Bijan Sabat on the need to evaluate teachers.

“While you argue about Duncan and standardized testing and charters…teach little keisha, tyrone, twon how to read, ok?” — Nikolai Pizarro (@iwantwealth) on the complaining of defenders of traditional public education over school reform.

Check out Dropout Nation this week for news and commentary on the reform of American public education. And listen to this week’s Dropout Nation Podcast on recruiting, developing and rewarding more good-to-great teachers.