"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bill Maher on the Central Falls Massacre

A clip from Bill Maher's most recent New Rules segment (ht to Patricia Gutierrez):
. . . . 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.

But isn't it convenient that once again it turns out that the problem isn't us, and the fix is something that doesn't require us to change our behavior or spend any money. It's so simple: Fire the bad teachers, hire good ones from some undisclosed location, and hey, while we're at it let's cut taxes more. It's the kind of comprehensive educational solution that could only come from a completely ignorant people.

Firing all the teachers may feel good - we're Americans, kicking people when they're down is what we do - but it's not really their fault. Now, undeniably, there are some bad teachers out there. They don't know the material, they don't make things interesting, they have sex with the same kid every day instead of spreading the love around... But every school has crappy teachers. Yale has crappy teachers - they must, they gave us George Bush.

. . . .

It's also been proven that just having books in the house makes a huge difference in a child's development. If your home is adorned with nothing but Hummel dolls, DVD's, and bleeding Jesuses, congratulations, you've just given your children the gift of Duh. Sarah Palin said recently she wrote on her hand because her father used to do it. I rest my case.

When there are no books in the house, and there are no parents in the house, you know who raises the kids? That's right, the television. Kids aren't keeping up with their studies; they're keeping up with the Kardashians. We're allowing the television, as babysitter, to turn us into a nation of slutty idiots. By the way, one sign your 9-year-old may be watching too much One Tree Hill: if she has an imaginary friend with benefits.


  1. Again, the humorists of our time bring home the truth. So why doesn't the news media have an honest discussion and fact based look at the real problems and solutions facing our educational system.

    As demonstrated by the Texas Board of Education story, there are no opposing viewpoints or the sense of outrage over the politicization of our schools textbooks.

  2. With accurate (albeit humorous) commentary like this, I have no problem with the public getting their "news" from Maher, Colbert, and Jon Stewart. At least they eventually get through to the truth, even if it is through satire, sarcasm, and cynicism.

  3. Eventually get to the truth is right. Last year Maher trashed teacher unions and ranted about firing teachers. He had no idea what the hell he was talking about, but that didn't deter him at all.