Jon Stewart’s greatest education hits ’13

From 2013, in no particular order, with a bonus at the end.

 

Jon Stewart ridicules preschool critics — 3/7/13

About the stupidity of some of the criticism of the idea of government support for high-quality preschool for all kids.

Highlights:

…. If these children want an education, they should get jobs and pay for it themselves. But that’s illegal, Thanks nanny state…

Jon Stewart ridicules bill linking welfare to good grades – 3/17/13

Stewart goes after a Tennessee state senator, Republican Stacey Campfield,who advanced legislation that would cut welfare payments to families whose kids get really bad report cards and test scores. Campfield was quoted in the Knoxville News Sentinel as saying this was a great way to “break the cycle of poverty.”

Highlights:

Little Billy is poor, and he’s not doing very well in school. I have an idea. What if we made him poorer and told his family it was his fault?

‘Last semester my grades were bad because I was hungry and cold but this semester I am hungrier and colder and my family isn’t talking to me, so bring on the long division.’

Is Stacey Campfield a state senator senator or a villain from a Dickens novel?

The amazing Malala Yousafzai talks about education with Jon Stewart – 10/19/13

 

 

 

 

Malala Yousafzai was on a bus returning home from school on Oct. 9, 2012, when she was shot in the head by a gunman from the Taliban, which had earlier banned girls from going to school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where Malala lived. She blogged anonymously against the edict and later came to be publicly known as an advocate for education for girls. Malala survived the shooting but had to have intensive rehabilitation in England. She recently released a memoir titled “I am Malala,” a phrase that has been invoked around the world as a symbol for the right of girls to be educated.

Highlights:

Stewart asked her what she would do if a Taliban gunman approached her again, given that the Taliban has said it would target her again if it got the chance. Her answer:

“I’ll tell him how important education is, and that I even want education for your children as well. And I would tell him, ‘That’s what I want to tell you, now do what you want.’”

 Jon Stewart’s pointed lesson on the U.S. Constitution, 4/25/13

 

A withering lesson on the U.S. Constitution — at the expense of Fox news commentators — offered in the context of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Highlights:

Stewart: Anybody can toss away the lesser known amendments. Only a  true patriot can set a course straight for the First.

Fox commentator: Given the fact that so many people hate us…we are going to have to cut off letting Muslim students from coming to this country for some time.

Stewart: Yes a religious litmus test for school enrollment…

and

Ann Coulter: I want to know about this wife… I don’t care if she knew about this. She ought to be in prison for wearing a hijab.

Stewart: And down goes the Ninth Amendment! Down goes the Ninth Amendment! Ann Coulter doesn’t just want a police state. She wants a fashion police state.

 

 

Jon Stewart on Harvard cheating scandal in U.S. government class, 2/2/13

 

Jon Stewart tests Michelle Rhee, defends teachers, 2/5/13

 

Stewart challenged her about whether her brand of school reform unfairly targets teachers and about the impact of poverty on student achievement, a subject Rhee has in the past preferred to stay away from, except for saying that people who bring it up are using poverty as “an excuse” for poor teaching.

Highlights:

He asked her about teachers:

Are we hanging them out to dry, coming in every three years, saying here’s the new reform, you are going to teach to that… increase your scores or you are fired?

He said the education scene is “like a football team who gets a new offensive coordinator every year.”

When Rhee said that poverty only makes things more “challenging,”  Stewart said:

It seems like education can only be put in place once the soil is fertile.

 

Stewart talks with Diane Ravitch, 10/30/13

Ravitch talked about her new book, “Reign of Error,” a condemnation of corporate-based school reform.

 

And a bonus, from 2011, which is probably the funniest of all

Jon Stewart’s hysterical defense of teachers

 

 Highlights:

First he showed clips  of commentators and guests on Fox News saying that teachers only work part-time, are lazy, and other such nonsense.

Stewart skewered such thinking, and then spoke directly to teachers, starting by saying:

You are destroying America. Yeah. Look at you, with your chalk-stained irregular blouses from Loehmans, and your Hyundai with its powered steering and its wind shield. I guess bugs hitting you in the face doesn’t cut it for old Mr. Chips. … Three months vacation every summer. Special textbooks with all the answers in them. … The greed that led you into the teaching profession has led to the corruption of it. [Then in a high mimicking voice:] ‘But John, there is a correlation between poverty and poor test scores. Teachers shouldn’t bear the total blame for a larger systemic failure.’ Pish posh piffle! If you can’t create a competitive labor environment for us to school our children, someone else will. I’m recommending right now that … Americans look into outsourcing our children’s education. Now obviously, we cannot fly in thousands of Chinese teachers … [Let's] disassemble our children, ship them and have them reassembled over there.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss | December 28, 2013