On Sept.27, President Obama admitted on NBC's "Today" show that Washington, D.C.'s "struggling" public schools wouldn't educate his daughters as well as the posh, private Sidwell Friends school they currently attend. That night, NBC Nightly News delivered the second half of a one-two punch at public education.
That night, as part of it's "Education Nation" series, Nightly News highlighted a comment from a young teacher at the meeting hosted the day before by NBC anchor Brian Williams. But unlike predictable calls for more government spending or blaming dysfunctional homes and neighborhoods, she spoke out about the damaging effects that teacher's unions are having on the American education system.
"I think we don't understand tenure. I don't see a need for it. I don't need a piece of paper to tell me I have to be hired each year. And I think as younger teachers we're seeing a lot of things we need and the union contract is getting in the way," she said.
"I know in the south Bronx, my kids who don't speak English need an extra vocabulary bloc. I need extra time to do extra test prep, but we have a union contract that says a school day is 8:20am to 3:30pm. That's what is so attractive about charter schools. They can do what their kids need. If they need an extra hour on Saturday, they bring them in on Saturday. I'm not allowed to do that. The reality is the union contract is in the way."
Acknowledging the importance of a teacher so publicly taking sides against her union, Williams said, "Whoa. So a new generation comes into education. She just goes over to that third rail and touches it. What do you think?"
Nightly News education correspondent Rehema Ellis responded, "It's a generational divide. These folks want to do their job, that's all they want to do. They get into the business of education to do what? Make money? No. They get in to teach kids. And to see kids learn. She's saying get out of my way, let me do my job."
Kudos to Nightly News for offering airtime to a viewpoint antithetical to the liberal media's worldview.