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“I do not blame teachers for the low achievement levels.”

—Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, Feb. 9

The December 2008 Time cover depicting Rhee with a broom really pissed off D.C. Public Schools teachers, who feared the bristles. Within a couple of months, it was time for some conciliatory rhetoric—starting with a Washington Post op-ed featuring this killer line.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

More from LL’s Quotes of 2009