Bill Maher repeats the point he made in his column at the HuffPo in this edition of New Rules. I agree with him that the firing of all of the teachers at a struggling Rhode Island high school is not a solution to the problems with our education system and I can't believe the President defended it either.
New Rule: Let's not fire the teachers when students don't learn - let's fire the parents. Last week President Obama defended the firing of every single teacher in a struggling high school in a poor Rhode Island neighborhood. And the kids were outraged. They said, "Why blame our teachers?" and "Who's President Obama?" I think it was Whitney Houston who said, "I believe that children are our future - teach them well and let them lead the way." And that's the last sound piece of educational advice this country has gotten - from a crack head in the '80's.
Yes, America has found its new boogeyman to blame for our crumbling educational system. It's just too easy to blame the teachers, what with their cushy teachers' lounges, their fat-cat salaries, and their absolute authority in deciding who gets a hall pass. We all remember high school - canning the entire faculty is a nationwide revenge fantasy. Take that, Mrs. Crabtree! And guess what? We're chewing gum and no, we didn't bring enough for everybody.
Well, at least he's not attacking the teachers' unions in this segment. I agree with Maher that it's not good for parents to allow the television to become a babysitter for their children. Sadly he fails to get to some the larger social and economic issues that are involved in this extremely complex problem as well.
One of Bill's guests on the show was former N.M. Gov. Gary Johnson who's also Chairman of Our America Initiative. I assume Bill likes this guy since he's advocated for the legalization of marijuana. From looking at his group's web site and the little bit I read about him he's also a Ron Paul and tea bagger movement loving Libertarian. He argued for school vouchers on the show which amounts to nothing more than funneling money away from our public schools, pulling the best students with the least problems into private schools and making this problem even worse yet, and Bill didn't blink an eye.
Maybe the next time Bill wants to rail on about "firing the parents" he should take a deeper look at the underlying problems with our public education system and our economy and the stresses those parents are under right now. His argument is about as ridiculous as firing all of the teachers.