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Education, Tests, and Chess on The Daily Show

Posted by Dana Bennis on Nov 09, 2012 - 10:33 AM

Thanks to Valerie Strauss for the heads up on this. 

Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart spoke with the director and a student from a new film about a highly successful chess program at an intermediate school in Brooklyn.  The film is Brooklyn Castle, and the conversation focused on budget cuts that threatened the chess program that has more victories than any other intermediate school in the nation.  Stewart is a long-time supporter of teachers and meaningful learning and critic of many so-called reforms, and this brief spot isn't to be missed.  Some key quotes, and the full video - complete with the humor you'd expect from the Daily Show - below.

Jon Stewart:

We talk so much about No Child Left Behind and we teach to the tests.  There is a program at this school that is clearly lighting up these children's hearts and minds and bringing out the absolute best in them, and the first thing we do in that situation is say, 'Well that's the thing that has to go.' You're cutting the vital appendage and spending all that money for tests.

Pobo Efekoro (student):

I was annoyed by the exams. I thought it was a complete waste of time. . . (and) I really respect teachers.  The teachers work so hard, and for them to get targeted and demonized as the problem for why our education system is bad, I think that's just absurd. The teachers are fabulous.  And a lot of the teachers I had, according to the city, are bad, but the fact of the matter is I love them.

 



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