Bill Maher’s insult to teachers

March 27, 2009

I'M OUTRAGED about Bill Maher's recent rant against teachers unions on his show Real Time with Bill Maher. Maher stated, "Teacher's unions--now that's one union we must break." He went on to say that such unions just "protect bad teachers."

This is the same tired argument made by conservatives in blaming the poor educational system in this country on teachers. This ignores, of course, the decades of social science research that shows that the better the resources a school has, the better the results.

As pointed out by Sarah Knopp in her recent article "Charter schools and the attack on public education" in the International Socialist Review, "There is nothing complicated about the fact that more resources make better schools. If politicians didn't believe this, they wouldn't send their students to private schools."

Additionally, teachers unions have been at the forefront of fighting for better schools.

Finally, Maher's logic feeds into the real conservative agenda, which is to attack all unions. If (some) workers are to blame for the school or company failing, then those who really make the decisions--politicians, administrators and CEOs--get let off the hook.

Sure, fire a few teachers--that'll make all those closet-sized classrooms, non-existent books and supplies, peeling paint and broken windows so much better.

This one's for you, Bill Maher. New rule--before opening your big mouth on national television about an issue, try reading a book or two about it first.
David Bliven, Briarwood, N.Y.

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