"Tolerance" is a word commonly used when speaking about appropriate responses to difference. In fact, practicing "tolerance" is what many educators see as the best indication of a civil and respectful society. In this chapter, the author challenges this belief and suggests that tolerance actually represents a low level of support for differences. The most common understanding of multicultural education is that it consists largely of additive content rather than of structural changes in content and process. The four levels to be considered are: tolerance; acceptance; respect; and, finally, affirmation, solidarity, and critique. Affirmation, solidarity, and critique is based on the premise that the most powerful learning results when students work and struggle with one another, even if it is sometimes difficult and challenging. It begins with the assumption that the many differences that students and their families represent are embraced and accepted as legitimate vehicles for learning, and that these are then extended.