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Friday, January 21, 2011

Education Matters calls for Oprah Winfrey Boycott

Perhaps the biggest appeal Oprah Winfrey has for her millions of fans is her every woman demeanor. She comes across as someone you could sit down and have coffee with, there is an innate connection. Unfortunately when it comes to education and what to do next Ms. Winfrey proves how disconnected she is.

Her stance on education reform puts her squarely in the billionaires for education reform, blame the teacher camp. Her solutions like theirs are punitive and seek to dismantle public schools. In effect whenever she talks about education she snubs her nose at the hundreds of thousands of hard working dedicated professionals nationwide and the children they teach too.

I think it is time we snubbed our noses back.

I think it’s time we said Ms. Winfrey when you want to talk about education bring teachers on your show, not billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckenberg, or public school hating film directors like David Guggenheim. Teachers more than them will have a better idea what works and what doesn’t. Even Oprah’s education idol Michelle Rhee only spent three years in a class room, before her running a Teach or America like program landed her the chancellorship of Washington D.C.s schools, of which I will add, her tenure was so polarizing that when the people of the capital voted for a new mayor in reality they were voting against her.

Oprah Winfrey has a powerful soap box which she could use for positive change but instead she has used it to denigrate teachers and public education. As a teacher I say enough and hope all other teachers and people who care about and believe in public schools will say enough as well

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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