Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thank You John Oliver for TRULY appreciating teachers

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I am always conflicted about this time of year. Our country spends most of the year blaming teachers for the failures of schools, not bothering to look at the more systemic problems of poverty, lack of funding, overcrowded classrooms, and bureaucracy that prevent us from being able to do our jobs to the best of our ability. So I know this is going to make me sound ungrateful, but I get a little irritable during this time of year. The media and politicians think it's OK to blame us and shame us during the other 51 weeks of the year and then make up for it during one week in May by lavishing us with empty, insincere praise and giving us free burritos.

But then there's John Oliver. On Sunday May 3rd, the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week, Oliver aired a nearly 20-minute-long scathing segment on his show Last Week Tonight on standardized tests. Not only did he expose the ignorance, hypocrisy, and injustice of it all, but he did so in both a succinct and humorous way...

"Something is wrong with our system when we just assume a certain number of kids will vomit. Tests are supposed to be assessment of skills, not a rap battle on 8-Mile Road."

Now THAT'S how you thank a teacher. I only hope our president and secretary of education were watching.

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