It’s hard to believe that February break is halfway done. Fortunately, it gives me a chance to write.
I had the pleasure of getting to see a taping of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last Thursday with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as guest. In a Q&A before the show, I asked Stewart “if, as a teacher, I would be grinding my teeth in anger during the interview with Duncan,” and expressed my interest in hearing an honest conversation about education policy, rather than just a set of talking points.
Overall, Stewart made a valiant effort at trying to make this happen. Stewart made the point very eloquently that the rhetoric that comes from the administration does not resonate with teachers, because it doesn’t match what we see on the ground day-to-day. Unfortunately, time and time again Duncan reverted to his script…talking points about increasing standards, fostering ingenuity in education, recruiting teachers, and spending billions of dollars.
Stewart should be commended for trying to have a real dialogue with Duncan. Unfortunately, he knew at the end of the interview that he had not succeeded and he apologized to the audience afterward for it.
P.S. The teacher Stewart refers to in the audience is indeed me, but for the record, I did not curse like a sailor…or maybe I did…it sounds cooler that way…