"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Time Magazine Deserves the Same Fate As Newsweek

Recently the scandalously vapid and opinionated "news" magazine, Newsweek, sold for one dollar to the highest bidder, Sidney Harmon.  Not long before it went broke, it published one final salvo of public school bashing in an issue that was universally panned as one-sided, unfair, and inaccurate.

Now it looks as though Time is following the same pattern, choosing to pick up where Newsweek's failure left off by choosing to print as news the perspectives of the ed industry and the vulture philanthropists.  The latest example is last week's issue on education, which provided Morning Joe and his wifey-styled sidekick, Meek Mika, all the research they needed to reinforce the neoliberal party line to the hundreds who watch them every day. 

My favorite example of Time's editorial position gone wild is in this question from its survey of public views on teachers and ed issues:
7. Do you support or oppose tenure for teachers, the practice of guaranteeing teachers lifetime job security after they have worked for a certain amount of time?
Which one of Eli Broad's underlings could have written this kind of question that perpetuates a basic lie about what tenure is?  Sadly, any one of hundreds who have infiltrated the corporate media to spread the gospel according to the Oligarchs.
For those who would like a thumbnail on what tenure really is, here is a pretty good gloss:
The term tenure has different legal definitions. In real property law, it refers to landholding of any type; it usually implies, however, that the landholder does not have absolute possession but derives the right from some other person.

The common usage of the term tenure relates to the employment of teachers. Tenure is a guarantee of due process for a tenured teacher facing dismissal charges. Tenure is not a guarantee of a teaching job for life. Tenure laws are designed to protect the free speech rights of teachers and minimize the political pressures affecting their performance in the classroom. Under state laws, which vary by state, the teacher tenure law sets out strict termination and due process requirements for teachers, whether or not they have tenure. It covers certified professional employees below the rank of superintendent employed by a board of education for at least a minimum time period. . . .

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