Ned Irons:
I think people are more concerned about just getting their kid to the best school possible and not worrying about the rest of it. And I think a lot of educators on the higher level are too much of politicians instead of true educators. They want to please the majority instead of really looking at education as the primary goal of the educational system. I don't see anybody saying, "Well, how is my child's education going to be affected by this?" It's, "Who is my child going to go to school with, and where are they going to go to school?" And I don't think that's the right question to ask.

Pamela Grundy (interviewer):
What do you think is the right question to ask?

Ned Irons:
I would say universally the right question to ask is, "How good of an education is my child going to receive?" However, I think that can be voiced more loudly by white parents with lots of money and lots of political power in terms of their job or their friends. And I don't think it's as easily voiced by African-American parents who, you know, work two jobs and live in the inner city. I think in that case it's the responsibility of everybody involved in education to stick up for the rights of those who don't have parents to do it for them, because, obviously, the parent is a large, large part of, you know - I haven't seen an editorial written by a child yet in the Observer. So I mean I think it's a lot of parent influence. So I would say that the main question to ask is, "What is the quality of education going to be?" firstly. And second of all, "Is that going to be for everybody, or is it going to be for a select group of people?" Yeah, it's great if you can educate a few people, but it's even better if you can educate everybody.

- Ned Irons, West Charlotte High School, Class of 1999

Interview with Ned Irons by Pamela Grundy, March 16, 1999, Interview K-0170, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Full text of interview.