John Merrow says that he has flunked retirement. He is starting a new organization called “Stars for Schools.” He hopes to enlist celebrities to call attention to the vital role of schools and teachers.

 

He writes:

 

“I’ve been reaching out to celebrities (stars!) to engage them in this work. Among those who have already agreed to participate or have been invited but haven’t yet responded are Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Mike Huckabee, Jane Pauley, Spike Lee, Charles Barkley, Billy Jean King, Steven Spielberg, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, Tina Fey, Steph Curry, Charlie Rose, Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Tony Bennett, Steven Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Marco Rubio, J.K. Rowling, Monica Lewinsky, LeBron James, Johnny Mathis, Peyton Manning, Jim Lehrer, Amy Schumer, Bill Clinton, Laura Bush, Justin Bieber, Mitt Romney, Samantha Bee, Chris Rock, Helen Mirren, Kim Kardashian, Will Ferrell, John Travolta, Jon Stewart, and Michelle Rhee. The list goes on and on…..

 

“If you are a big star, I urge you to sign yourself up. Even if you aren’t a big enough star, you can still be involved by donating to contribution at starsforschools.org. It’s tax-deductible!

 

“Every year “Stars for Schools” will sponsor a Day of Action to call attention to the vital role that schools play in American life.

 

“We’re calling the 2016 Day of Action “Celebrity Crossing Guard Day,” when some of America’s biggest stars will don the crossing guard’s bright yellow (orange in some states) uniforms and actually do the important work of making sure our children get across dangerous intersections and into their schools safely. That’s right: these dedicated men and women aren’t just sitting on the sidelines; they’re in the mix, in the arena. Of course, this media event will attract hours of local and national television coverage and set the social media world of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram afire….

 

 

“Stars for Schools” is also going to change the public image of teachers, who for too long have been stereotyped as boring and unsexy. In fact, in the latest Gallup/Phi Delta Kappan poll, teachers scored lower on the ‘Sexy’ scale than even dentists and accountants. That has to change, and I believe that these subtly suggestive T-shirts will turn that image on its head.

 

 

DRAMA TEACHERS DO IT BACKSTAGE!

 

BIOLOGY TEACHERS KNOW ALL YOUR BODY PARTS!

 

MUSIC TEACHERS DO IT RHYTHMICALLY!

 

BAND TEACHERS KNOW THE SCORE!

 

LET A COMPUTER TEACHER PUSH YOUR BUTTONS!

 

GUIDANCE TEACHERS CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY

 

GEOMETRY TEACHERS KNOW THE ANGLES

 

CHEMISTRY TEACHERS DO IT PERIODICALLY

 

When they see their children’s teachers wearing these snappy slogans, parents will certainly see them in a new light. Shirts are $39.95 and come in four sizes, S, M, L and XL.

 

Okay, here is the punch line. Given the odd combination of “stars,” including Michelle Rhee, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, and John Legend–all of whom are known for their support of charters and/or vouchers– I contacted John and asked in all serious whether he was defining “public education” to include charters and vouchers. He got me. April Fool’s Day, and I was fooled. Last year, he announced that he was joining the board of Pearson; many of his fans were shocked. He announced it on April 1.