John and I are huge fans of Bill Maher. We try to catch his show on HBO Friday nights whenever we can. We also had the pleasure of watching him live at the Florida Theater a few months ago (it was my anniversary present to John). One of the reasons we love him so much is because he tells it how it is. He's very honest with his views and he doesn't make excuses for anyone (unlike many Americans these days, who seem to make excuses for everything and maintain such an unrealistic sense of entitlement). We agree with a lot of Maher's political views, although his are a bit more liberal than ours. But one of the main reasons we like him so much is because of his support for teachers and his opinions on our educational system.
So if you are a parent, PLEASE instill the value of hard work and a good education in your kids. Hold your children accountable. Give them responsibility. Pry that cell phone out of their hands (and that calculator while you're at it). Encourage reading (books, newspapers, magazines, whatever!), good spelling, and for heaven's sake, punctuation! (OMG shkspear wud roll ova n his grave wit da way kidz sp dese daiz.) Trust me, a well-educated child starts in the home.