‘Teachers Rock’ – but this celebration undercuts itself
A star-studded lineup of entertainers is set to perform this month at a benefit concert billed as a salute to teachers, but critics see the event as a showcase for anti-union sentiment.
Teachers Rock, which will air live on Aug. 17 on CBS, will feature actors Morgan Freeman and Meryl Streep and musicians Dave Grohl, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Josh Groban and more.
A preview of an upcoming movie, Wont Back Down, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, will be shown. Critics say the movie glamorizes the controversial parent trigger, a law allowing dissatisfied parents to seize control of a school. It is a tool supported by school reform proponents.
Strange way to honor teachers – by firing them and giving the school to a non-union private entity to manage, which may hire only young teachers willing to work a 50-60 hour week at low wages, writes education historian Diane Ravitch on her blog, dianeravitch.net. More honors like this and there wont be a teaching profession in America, just teaching temps.
The concert is sponsored by Wal-Mart and Anschutz Entertainment Group/Walden Media, which produced the anti-public education film, Waiting for Superman. The Walton Family Foundation donated almost $160 million last year to candidates and groups pushing school vouchers and charter school expansion.
One of actress Streeps most memorable roles, ironically, was union activist Karen Silkwood, in 1983.