John William Gardner, (October 8, 1912 – February 16, 2002) was Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) under President Lyndon Johnson. He was also the founder of two influential national U.S. organizations: Common Cause and Independent Sector. He authored books on improving leadership in American society and other subjects.
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History never looks like history when you are living through it.
I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education, as it is practiced in most schools today, and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.
Our problem is not to find better values but to be faithful to those we profess.
The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.
The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.
The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions.
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.