I love Jon Stewart. As a daughter of two teachers, this clip was really funny but seriously sad. The fact is the government continually does not stand for the people. The people being, the average American who is struggling with their salaried (or ...unsalaried) job to make ends meet. The cost of everything continues to increase, while minimum wage and average salaries stay the same and unemployment is at a high. And to attack the people who continue to work in the educational system, a system that is also not keeping up with the times, is disgusting.
Are they seriously trying to say that teachers somehow milk the system because of summer vacation? or because of paid holidays off? How do we continue to not support the people who are fighting for education, safety, and give back to their communities through the careers they choose, by breaking them down and saying this isn't what matters. How can we pay athletes millions, movie stars millions, or corporate executives, etc. and then turn on the people who show up to work day in and out just trying to live a decent life (and many still struggling for decent)?
And now, with the debt ceiling debate and the recession going nowhere fast, people with money, lots of money, panic at the mere mention of possible tax increase. But not all who are rich or wealthy are consumed by greed. Yesterday in the news, well known actor Matt Damon's name appeared in several headlines standing up for teachers. His mother is a teacher and introduces him at the Save Our Schools March; you can hear his speech in the video at the bottom of this Huffington Post article. You can also read more in this article, and see another clip from the interview after his speech. In the interview he makes several points: "The wealthy are paying less than they paid at ay time else, certainly in my lifetime, and probably in the last century," Damon said. "I don't know what we were paying in the roaring 20's; it's criminal that so little is asked of people who are getting so much. I don't mind paying more. I really don't mind paying more taxes. I'd rather pay for taxes than cut 'Reading is Fundamental' or Head Start or some of these programs that are really helping kids. This is the greatest country in the world; is it really that much worse if you pay 6% more in taxes? Give me a break. Look at what you get for it: you get to be American."
His response to the notion that tax cuts and the wealthy who receive them are job creators, was: "I didn't go start a small business with my tax break, and I don't know anyone else who did. No, everybody's socking their money away," he said. "I was against those tax cuts. I thought they were ridiculous. So little is asked of the upper class anyway. I mean, what percent of them or their kids are fighting in any of these wars? What percent of their day is occupied by the fact that there are men and women in positions over the world, risking their lives. If you walk down 5th Avenue, there's no sense of shared sacrifice."
But staying on the topic of education and teachers, you can view a very passionate response from a teacher on one of my favorite sites MoveOn.org when Taylor Mali was asked at a dinner party, "What do you make?":
One of the best breakdowns I have found regarding the education system as a whole:
The solution is not privatization, creating a bigger gap between what is available to children dependent upon social status/class. The public school system in the country needs a serious overhaul! As someone who has just registered to take the GRE's for the second time--the general exam for graduate school admission because apparently having an undergraduate degree is not sufficient enough, nor is the desire to get more schooling in a specific field of study-- I am extremely against the standardized-test-mentality that has infiltrated the education system; I believe it, as well as the mistreatment of our educators, are some the biggest issues we as a country need to face. If it's important to keep with the times, it's extremely imperative that our education system get with it!