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article imageOp-Ed: Uber loves teachers

By Aron Solomon     Sep 30, 2014 in Technology
Today, Uber announced their Uber for Teachers program and it deeply hurts my heart. There's no better way to say this, though I wish there were.
The blog post came out early this afternoon and as I write this around 6 hours later I'm both shocked and totally unsurprised that this truly horrific post hasn't yet been deleted. And I'm more upset at my realization that, even with a strong social media outcry against the piece, it won't be.
The thesis of the piece is quite simple. Uber loves teachers and, because they do, they want to create opportunities for teachers to earn the extra money they need in order to survive.
By driving taxis for Uber.
It would be difficult to argue that a more tone-deaf piece has ever been written. Notable designer, writer, and, um, personality, Mike Monteiro, summed it up best on Twitter:
Everything that is wrong with everything summed up in one blog post.
I respect my time and yours too much to deconstruct the Uber piece, to refute deeply asinine claims such as:
Uber opens the door for more possibilities and delivers a meaningful impact to the communities we serve.
But I will take enough of each other's time to remind us of the words of the education philosopher Jacques Barzun:
Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
When and how did we collectively lose the thread?
Capitalizing upon opportunity can be a good thing and it can also quickly become a very tarnished trophy. John Collison, co-founder of Stripe, wrote:
Uber: celebrating our nation's woefully underpaid professions with targeted landing pages.
Worth noting, also from this afternoon, Forbes invited us to meet the newest members of the Forbes 400, the self-explanatory list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick was one of 23 additions to this list, with a net worth of $3 billion.
Mr. Kalanick is 38 years old, quite young for a CEO. If we estimate that the average young American teacher earns $35,000 per year, Mr. Kalanick's net worth is equivalent to the annual salary of 85,714 teachers.
And that's where we are tonight. And that's nothing to celebrate.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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