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Public Education v. Baby Einstein

| 7 Comments

Don't get me wrong. I like Baby Einstein. The way my boyfriend's baby nephews gaze at the TV screen when those farm animals bobble about to Old McDonald mesmerizes me. And early childhood educational programming is a lucrative industry I wouldn't mind tapping into one of these days.

But in the meantime, as my good friend and fellow teacher Joan Lee asked me after the State of the Union address...

"Why the hell did Baby Einstein get more play than FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLS?"

Questions? Comments? Tips on how I too can take part in this multi-million dollar enterprising spirit of education?

EDIT:

I'm all for the entrepeneurial spirit. I come from a long line of business folk. This blog entry was simply to point out, not my bitterness toward innovation and ingenuity, but our apparent lack of commitment to public education.

I don't usually link to blog comments, but in this case, I think A Big Fan of Baby Einstein clarified my point more articulately than me:

Private efforts in education are to be supported, appreciated, and encouraged; and many do a fantastic and much needed job. But the fact remains that private efforts **ALONE** will not solve our public school difficulties. I think Ms. Shyu was merely lamenting the fact that public education is not a greater federal priority for the current Administration (beyond the controversial NCLB).
This should not be seen (and I’m sure she did not mean) as an affront to the outstanding work of Ms. Aigner-Clark.

7 Comments

G-dub, as we like to call him in Iowa, doesn't understand education in the United States. Baby Einstein got more play because g-dub understands it.

I agree Education is becoming BIG Business.

Baby Einstein's originator was merely being recognized for her ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that makes our country great. President Bush gave no more attention to her than to any of the other "regular" people who were recogized for the good things they have done. To compare that comment to his views of education would be the same as saying that by recognizing the man who saved another man's life on the subway means he must not care about the healthcare system. Get real.

I agree. Baby Einstein reference was to reinforce entrepreneurial spirit; it was a rally for US democracy.

Baby Einstein wasn't the entire point; some of the profits have been used to create the child safety videos in cooperation with John Walsh. If you go back and look at the actual text, this was one paragraph-- at least schools got two paragraphs.

There are other shortcomings to the Baby Einstein videos that also deserve further research and discussion:
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0125-24.htm

I think Ms. Shyu was not as clear in writing as she might have been, and that has led some to SUBSTANTIALLY misinterpret. I believe all she is saying is that the (well deserved) kudos given to Baby Einstein’s creator had about as much actual airtime in the speech as the President's references to public education and No Child Left Behind.
Private efforts in education are to be supported, appreciated, and encouraged; and many do a fantastic and much needed job. But the fact remains that private efforts **ALONE** will not solve our public school difficulties. I think Ms. Shyu was merely lamenting the fact that public education is not a greater federal priority for the current Administration (beyond the controversial NCLB).
This should not be seen (and I’m sure she did not mean) as an affront to the outstanding work of Ms. Aigner-Clark.

Comments are now closed for this post.

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Recent Comments

  • A Big Fan of Baby Einstein: I think Ms. Shyu was not as clear in writing read more
  • Phil Nash: There are other shortcomings to the Baby Einstein videos that read more
  • Susie H.: Baby Einstein wasn't the entire point; some of the profits read more
  • janet valentour: I agree. Baby Einstein reference was to reinforce entrepreneurial spirit; read more
  • Sandi B.: Baby Einstein's originator was merely being recognized for her ingenuity read more

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