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Disturbing commercial, important message (video)

I find this commercial deeply disturbing and difficult to watch. Yes, it upset me enough to make me seek out the organization that had made it, Too Small to Fail. They have a very important message about how we should pay more attention to the issues that affect children every day. Good message. Important. But the ad haunts me. That was probably the point. But I don’t like it. I wish they’d found another way to get my attention.

(More about the ad here.)

Update, July 17, 2013: I just noticed the video above has been pulled and found a story saying the commercial was withdrawn a few weeks after it first aired. Here’s an image from the commercial:

drowningWithdrawing it was, I believe, the right thing to do.



  1. It’s certainly effective all right. Leaves me wondering though, because the simple message, “education is failing”, leaves the void of what to do about it. For sure it is not as simple as raising teachers’ pay. I have always thought that any viable solution would have to mimic a business model by engaging competition in a capitalistic manner, allowing consumer (parental) choice and being willing for some schools to fail. That would entail a significant cultural change and considerable public angst, but I can’t see it happening any other way. Teachers’ unions will not like my idea.

    • Of course they won’t like it. They are the ones insisting on tenure and making sure poor teachers aren’t fired. Schools are no better and no worse than the teachers who staff them. Until the poor teachers can be fired and replaced with good ones, I don’t think much will change. And, incidentally, the best teachers need to be amply rewarded. There is nothing more important to our children’s success and the future of our country than their education.

      I heard someone say recently that teachers should not be education majors. They should have majors in the subjects they teach. Another good suggestion for improving our system.

      • ” . . . that teachers should not be education majors. They should have majors in the subjects they teach. Another good suggestion for improving our system.

        Very good point, PT. That could be a good starting point.

        • Jim – this should be in huge print on billboards. It’s the critical need and would make huge difference in the classroom.
          It made a huge difference when the “best performing” districts required all applicants to pass the Grad. Entrance Exam.
          Student populations have changed (all kids can learn), student behavior has changed ( yes I took up guns, knives and got socked in the face…how many people are willing to risk that long term?), and parent support has changed – but education is still do-able.
          But it’s gonna take strong, well paid ( non union), well educated determined people to go in there – and society must respect them for their talents and efforts.
          There are plenty of teachers out there – but many not willing to be beaten down and demeaned by the system – so they work elsewhere.
          Great post – great comments

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. ~ Dr. Seuss

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