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

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ohanian's Supplement to NYTimes Piece on Bill Gates

From Susan O.:
This is a supplement to Sam Dillon's front-page New York Times article Behind Grass-Roots School Advocacy, Bill Gates, May 22, 2011.

Mr. Gates is creating entirely new advocacy groups. The foundation is also paying Harvard-trained data specialists to work inside school districts, not only to crunch numbers but also to change practices. It is bankrolling many of the Washington analysts who interpret education issues for journalists and giving grants to some media organizations.

--Sam Dillon, The New York Times, front page, May 22, 2011
What Good News: Sam Dillon at the New York Times has discovered that "local teachers who favor school reform" are actually operatives for a national organization, Teach Plus, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What Bad News: For years, a number of us have been screaming about Gates buying up education policy but nobody would listen.

But let's celebrate what has happened. This story revealing Gates funding everything from the development (and evaluation) of Common Core Standards to the promotion of the public school-bashing "Waiting for 'Superman'" film was front-page news in the paper of record. And until this happened, the Gates' Foundation's wealth has put it beyond criticism--except by those of us marginalized as the lunatic fringe. In a spirit of collegiality, I offer a few notes to flesh out Dillon's account.

For starters, take a look at the way the Gates Foundation is commonly portrayed: Paul Hill's A Foundation Goes to School, in Education Next, Winter 2006.

Although the Hoover Institution publishes Education Next, the business office is at Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard Kennedy School. Paul Peterson,Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, is the editor-in-chief. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Chester Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution is senior editor. Finn also lists himself as "public servant." The Next mission statement takes the high road, professing that the publication "partakes of no program, campaign, or ideology. It goes where the evidence points." That said, in February 2010 the Gates Foundation gave Next $224,030 to support their Charter Initiative.

On June 7, 2007, Bill Gates, at the time, the world’s richest man, received an honorary doctorate from Harvard.

Few Degrees of Separation
Gates operates in a small world of kissing kin. Everybody is inter-connected. Dillon doesn't mention that Monique Burns Thompson, President of Teach Plus, is a co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools. Before that, she was assistant brand manager at Quaker Oats. Heather Peske, National Director of Programs, was formerly Director of Teacher Quality at Education Trust. She launched her career in education as a Teach for America corps member.

There are plenty of Ivy League graduates on their Board of Advisors, which means:
1) They have the connections to make things happen; 2) They have both of Barack Obama's ears. Obama can't seem to say no to Ivy League pundits.

Teach Plus Advisory Committee Members
• Margaret Boasberg, The Bridgespan Group [worked extensively on strategies to increase the philanthropy of high net worth individuals]
• Stacey Childress, Harvard Business School
• Rachel Curtis, Human Capital Strategies for Urban Schools [paid $2,000 a day for services on human capital for Chicago Public Schools when Arne Duncan was in charge]
• Ben Fenton, New Leaders for New Schools [cofounder and chief strategy and knowledge officer; formerly at McKinsey & Co]
• Ethan Gray, The Mind Trust [After college, worked as a research assistant at Education Sector in Washington, DC; at Mind Trust he's in charge of "spreading entrepreneurship nationwide"]
• Ellen Guiney, Boston Plan for Excellence [Executive Director of BPE, which now focuses its efforts on "the use of formative assessments to help teachers tailor instruction to individual students, and increased data analysis to inform instructional decisions and professional development"
• Amanda Hillman, Teach for America
• Joanna Jacobson, Strategic Grant Partners
• Jason Kamras, District of Columbia Public Schools [2005 National Teacher of the Year, now director of human capital strategy for teachers in D.C. Public Schools, which includes enthusiastic support of "pay for performance"; former Teach for America corps member]
• Sandra Licon, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [Program Officer, Education Advocacy; office located in Washington D. C.
• John Luczak, Joyce Foundation [conservative foundation gives "innovation grants" to charter schools; previously worked at US Department of Education]
• Julie Mikuta, New Schools Venture Fund [partner focusing on the firm's human capital investment strategy as well as management assistance for a variety of portfolio ventures. She serves on the board of directors of Bellwether Education Partners, Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), KIPP DC, New Teacher Center (NTC), Pacific Charter School Development, and Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC); led trainings for school board and superintendent-teams of large urban districts at the Center for Reform of School Systems, through an initiative supported by The Broad Foundation; Vice President of Alumni Affairs for Teach For America]
• Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Carnegie Corporation [previously Project Director of System Transformation at the New York City Department of Education, working as part of Chancellor Joel Klein's team]
• Lynn Olson, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [one of participants in SMART OPTIONS: INVESTING THE RECOVERY FUNDS FOR STUDENT SUCCESS; former senior editor of Education Week and project editor of their Quality Counts report]
• Elizabeth Pauley, The Boston Foundation [former Teach for America corps member]
• Ari Rozman, The New Teacher Project
• Cara Delzer Stadlin, New Schools Venture Fund
• Mary Wells, Connect the Dots
--reported at http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_atrocities.php?id=4014 Aug. 9, 2010

NOTE: In "Michelle Rhee is 'Not Done Fighting' against public school teachers and unions,” Adam Neenan reported for Substance, Dec. 16, 2010, on one Teach Plus data-collecting strategy as they hosted a by-invitation-only discussion with educational entrepreneur Michelle Rhee.

The unnamed Washington Post blogger referred to by Dillon is, of course, Valerie Strauss. She revealed some of Gates Foundation shady funding in Gates spends millions to sway public on ed reform. She included hot links to important documents in this operation. You won’t want to miss the Confidential Letter.

Don’t you wonder why journalists are so reluctant to acknowledge the good work of other journalists? Why does Valerie Strauss remain unnamed?

In June 2006, Joshua Benton of the Dallas Morning News reported that within the Texas Education Agency, contracts often were not competitively bid but depended on whom one knew at the Gates Foundation.

Diane Ravitch was on target in a July 30, 2006 Los Angeles Times piece: "In light of the size of the foundation's endowment, Bill Gates is now the nation's superintendent of schools. He can support whatever he wants, based on any theory or philosophy that appeals to him." This was positioned as an opinion piece and there was no follow-up from the education press.

Nor was there any media mention of my heavily documented piece in Extra!, September 2010, "'Race to the Top' and the Bill Gates Connection: Who gets to speak about what schools need?"

Wanting to see which "independent experts" reporters called upon to explain Race to the Top and the Common Core standards, I examined over 700 articles published between mid-May 2009 and mid-July 2010. I eliminated cites from state ed officials, union officials and politicos. This left me with 152 outside experts quoted in 414 articles. Of the 23 experts quoted five times or more, 15 have connections with institutions receiving Gates funding and 13 with strong charter advocacy institutions. Who doesn't gets cited, raised very troubling questions. [See Appendix for whom Sam Dillon quoted in this time frame.]

Dillon's mention that National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CSSEO) received "millions of dollars" is rather like identifying half a dozen root canals as "a dental procedure." Since January 2008, Gates has shelled out more than $35 million to the Council of Chief School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the two primary organizations charged with drafting and promoting common standards. Daniel Goldman's Bill Gates' School Crusade (Bloomberg Businessweek, 7/15/10) was one of two articles I found revealing that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation "bankrolled the development of the common curriculum standards." Golden observed that our U. S. Department of Education and the Gates Foundation "move in apparent lockstep" on an agenda which is "an intellectual cousin of the Bush administration's 2002 No Child Left Behind law." As I said on my website, this kind of detail separates the real reporter from those who crib from press releases and call it a day.

In the Lowell Sun (7/18/10), Matt Murphy provided dollar amounts of Gates funding received by the Council of Chief School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practice, Achieve, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, provoking Sam Smith of the Progressive Review to offer this headline (7/23/10): Is the Gates Foundation Involved in Bribery?

Sam Smith seemed to be the only one who noticed.

Vulture Philanthropy

Please Note: We--you and I--are paying for Gates' pet projects. Kenneth Saltman points out something few people seem to realize: For every ten dollars given by the Gates Foundation, four dollars is lost from the public wealth in taxes. The philanthropist’s dollars would otherwise go to the public in the form of taxes. So a big chunk of all that money Gates is spending to get teachers on script, destroy tenure, and standardize curriculum is actually OUR money; Bill Gates is using our tax dollars to mold America. And part of the plan--well on its way-- is to de-professionalize teachers. Saltman calls on readers "to stop applying business metaphors and logic to educational thinking derived from discredited market fundamentalism." Such terms as choice, monopoly, turnaround, efficiency need to be dropped in favor of public language and assumptions. Taxpayers are subsidizing (as tax-free) an organization bent on undermining their best interests. [See Kenneth Saltman's The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy and Philip Kovacs' edited collection, The Gates Foundation and the Future of U. S. "Public" Schools.

You can see for yourself where your money goes: The New York Times has put excerpts from the Bill and Melinda Gates 2009 Tax 990 Form online along with Dillon's article.

Why only excerpts? The form runs 263 pages and includes about 360 education grants. If you want more details, watch for Ken Libby's work. His expertise on foundation largess is acknowledged in Dillon's article.

Dillon calls Gates' work "assertive philanthropy," surely a euphemism of our time. Usage: the Obama-Duncan era:he U. S. Department of Education holds hands with assertive philanthropists.

Dillon says another Gates pet project, the Education Equality Project, is "less well known." It did turn out to be pretty much small potatoes, but not because the usual suspects didn't try. Dillon doesn't point out that this outfit was founded by Reverend Al Sharpton and then-New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. In his June 12, 2008 story on this new group, Democrats Offer Plans to Revamp Schools Law, Dillon called "the principles" involved "prominent educators and lawmakers."

• Andres A. Alonso, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO
• Cory A. Booker, Newark, NJ Mayor
• Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children's Zone President and CEO
• Kevin P. Chavous, attorney, author, and national school reform leader
• Arne Duncan, Chicago Public Schools CEO
• Howard Fuller, Former Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent, Education Professor and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University
• Peter Groff, Colorado Senate President
• Kati Haycock, The Education Trust President
• Joel I. Klein, New York City Schools Chancellor, Education Equality Project Co-chairman
• Marc Lampkin, Strong American Schools �" ED in ’08 Executive Director
• James Mtume, KISS FM Radio "Open Line" Host
• Michelle Rhee, Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor
• The Honorable Roy Romer, Strong American Schools �" ED in'’08 Chairman
• Andrew Rotherham, Education Sector Co-founder and Co-director
• Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network President, Education Equality Project Co-chairman
• Joe Williams, Democrats for Education Reform Executive Director
• J.C. Watts, Jr., Strong American Schools �" ED in '08 National Spokesman

More Gates Awardees
Education Trust, another Gates favorite, needs no introduction. They received $1.5 million and change in 2007 and another million in 2010.

The National PTA received $1 millon grant to mobilize parents for the Common Core Standards in four states. -- Dec. 2, 2009

The May 18, 2011 Education Week (which gets its own Gates funding, as in $2,534,757 in 2005, another $100,000 in 2005, and $1,997,280 in 2009.) ran a ¾ page ad from ASCD. It was presented in the form on an opinion piece by Executive Director Gene R. Carter offering strong support of the Common Core. The ad doesn’t mention that The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $3 million to ASCD> "to support that group's efforts to help education leaders and educators themselves understand the standards and implement them." -- The Journal, April 5, 2011

Stand for Children Leadership Center
Date: December 2009
Purpose: to support the grassroots organization, policy development, and coalition work of Stand for Children Leadership Center focused on advancing common policy priorities in early learning and college ready
Gates lists support of the Common Core as "college-ready education."
Amount: $971,280

This was reported as a three-year grant, but the next year, Stand For Children was back with a $3,476,300 grant “to support education reforms, training, technical assistance, and tools designed to increase teacher effectiveness.”
Substance has had plenty of coverage on this outfit’s union-busting activities. Here are a few:

Jonah Edelman, identified as "intense leader of reform group Stand for Children," was the subject of an April 2011 New York Times puff piece which does not mention any Gates funding.

April 2011
Purpose: to invest in projects related to the Common Core and to assist in carrying out a Standards Rollout
Amount: $1,000,000
Term: 1 year and 3 months
Topic: College-Ready Education

July 2010
Purpose: to continue the American Federation Of Teachers Innovation Fund’s efforts to support local affiliates that engage in research-based, union-developed teacher quality initiatives and to work with a consortium of local and state affiliates�"the Teacher Excellence Collaborative�"to create and implement a comprehensive development and evaluation system based upon the American Federation Of Teachers framework
Amount: $3,421,725
Term: 2 years and 1 month
Topic: College-Ready Education

June 2009
Purpose: to support the work of a teacher evaluation task force, which is made up of progressive local and state leaders who will develop a comprehensive framework for teacher evaluation that focuses on research-based instructional practices and how to incorporate student-achievement results, to support the work of the task force, the publication and widespread dissemination of the final report, and a national conference dedicated to the framework, with some technical assistance to interested districts
Amount: $250,000
Term: 1 year and 2 months
Topic: College-Ready Education

A link to the 2008 AFT report Sizing up the State Standards is posted on the Gates website.

The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education
Date: March 2010
Purpose: to support an in-person meeting of the Planning Committee of the NEA Foundation Institute for Local Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Amount: $38,420
Term: 2 months
Topic: College-Ready Education

The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education
Date: October 2009
Purpose: to support training for local NEA affiliates to take on a leadership role in improving teaching practice and student achievement in their districts
Amount: $358,915
Term: 11 months
Topic: College-Ready Education

Just a Coincidence
In Nov. 2009, the Hillsborough County Public Schools received $100 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to radically change teacher practices. This Gates plan also involves Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Denver, District of Columbia, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Prince George's County, Rochester, and Seattle. They operate under the aegis of the Gates-funded Aspen Urban Superintendents Network, which has been made possible by generous grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.

In 2009, Gates alone gave the Aspen Institute $3,878,680.
Purpose: to continue support for Human Capital Framework, Senior Congressional Staff Network, and the Urban Superintendents Network to address common issues of teacher effectiveness, standards, and assessments

AFT President Randi Weingarten offers the AFT congratulations for the Hillsborough, Memphis, Pittsburgh seduction on the Gates website: "These Gates Intensive Partnership grants will show that when dedicated adults engage in true collaboration, the real winners are the students."

Further Reading
For those of you gasping for breath, I suggest subscribing to http://www.susanohanian.org, where such information comes regularly but in smaller doses.

Joanne Barkin's brilliant summary of the Gates-Broad chicanery,"Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools," published in Dissent Magazine, January 2011 offers a substantial and damning read. Barkin sees fit to put on her short identifier that she is a graduate of Chicago public schools.

Christopher H. Tienken's Common Core State Standards: An Example of Data-less Decision Making," from AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice, Vol. 7, No. 4 Winter 2011, offers a readable, coherent look at the Common Core--even with good lines as well as good research:
Size matters because size brings complexity. Finland, the country that usually ranks in the top five on international tests has 5.5 million people. In the U.S. we call that Wisconsin.
I offer a suggested topic for Mr. Dillon's next front page expose: We produce more researchers and scientists and qualified engineers than our economy can employ, have even more in the pipeline, and we are one of the most economically competitive nations on the globe.

It's staggering to realize that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had an endowment of $33 billion as of June 2010, with an additional $30 billion from Warren Buffett, spread out over multiple years in annual contributions. This makes a lot of people lose hope. Some of us don't even operate on a shoestring but on Social Security stipends. But when we don't keep shouting, when we don't insist on government of the people, by the people and for the people, then we let thugs like Bill Gates triumph. Writing in Undernews, Is the Gates Foundation Involved in Bribery? longtime political commentator Sam Smith noted:
If an individual were to influence governmental decisions with this sort of money, it would be clearly a criminal offense. Why should it be any different for a foundation?

Gates has opened the door to a manifestly corrupt approach to government where a handful of well funded groups and individuals override the democratic legislative process by the prospect of funding or the threat of losing it. If you can't go to jail now for doing this, there should be laws that make it clear that you do from here on out.
Here's who Dillon quotes as experts on the issue of Race to the Top and/or Common Core Standards�"and how he identifies them. As you read the identifiers, remember these appeared in articles meant to inform the public about education policy.

Michael Cohen
• president of Achieve, a Washington-based organization that is coordinating the effort (Sam Dillon, "New Push Seeks to End Need for Pre-College Remedial Classes," New York Times, May 28, 2009)
• Education Department official in the Clinton administration who is president of Achieve. (Sam Dillon, "Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools," New York Times, March 11, 2010)
Timothy Daly
• president, New Teacher Project, which advocates for improved educator evaluation systems (Sam Dillon, "Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition," New York Times, Jan 19, 2010)
• president, New Teacher Project, a nonprofit group (Sam Dillon, "States Create Flood of Bills To Overhaul Education," New York Times, June 2, 2010)
• president, New Teacher Project, a nonprofit that has pressed for changes in the way teachers are evaluated (Sam Dillon, "New Tension In Obama's Tie To Teachers," New York Times, July 5, 2010)
Chester Finn
• former assistant secretary of education who has been an advocate for national standards for nearly two decades (Sam Dillon, "Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools," New York Times, March 10, 2010)
• president of an education research group in Washington (Sam Dillon and Tamar Lewin, "Education Chief Vies to Expand U.S. Role as Partner on Local Schools," The New York Times, May 3, 2010)
• a Republican, writer of influential education blog, Flypaper (Sam Dillon, "New Tension In Obama's Tie To Teachers," New York Times, July 5, 2010)
Frederick M. Hess
• education director at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research policy group (Sam Dillon, "States Rush to Prepare For School Grant Contest," New York Times, Nov. 11, 2009)
• a director at the American Enterprise Institute (Sam Dillon, "In School Aid Race, Many States Are Left Behind," New York Times, April 5, 2010)
Jack Jennings
• former Democratic Congressional staff member who is president of the Center on Education Policy, a research group (Sam Dillon, "Array of Hurdles Awaits New Education Agenda," The New York Times, March 16, 2010)
Carl Kaestle
• education historian at Brown University (Sam Dillon and Tamar Lewin, "Education Chief Vies to Expand U.S. Role as Partner on Local Schools," The New York Times, May 3, 2010)
Michael W. Kirst
• Stanford University professor emeritus who has studied the proliferation of remedial courses on American campuses (Sam Dillon, "New Push Seeks to End Need for Pre-College Remedial Classes," New York Times, May 28, 2009
Richard D. Kahlenberg
• senior fellow at the Century Foundation (Sam Dillon, "New Tension In Obama's Tie To Teachers," New York Times, July 5, 2010)
Leah Lechleiter-Luke
• Spanish teacher from Mauston, Wis., who is that state's 2010 teacher of the year (Sam Dillon, "States Receive a Reading List: New Standards for Education," New York Times, June 2, 2010)
The New Teacher Project
• a nonprofit group (Sam Dillon, "Dangling $4.3 Billion, Dangling $4.3 Billion, Obama Pushes States to Shift on Education," New York Times, Aug. 17, 2009)
Paul Pastorek
• state superintendent of education . (Sam Dillon, "Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition," Jan 19, 2010)
Rick Perry
• Governor of Texas (Sam Dillon,"Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition," Jan 19, 2010)
Mike Petrilli
• A vice president at Thomas B. Fordham Institute who served in George W. Bush's Education Department (Sam Dillon, "Array of Hurdles Awaits New Education Agenda," The New York Times, March 16, 2010)
Susan Pimentel
• consultant in New Hampshire who helped write the English standards. (Sam Dillon, "Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools," New York Times, March 10, 2010)
Diane Ravitch
• Education historian (Sam Dillon, "Dangling $4.3 Billion, Dangling $4.3 Billion, Obama Pushes States to Shift on Education," New York Times, Aug. 17, 2009)
• education historian (Sam Dillon, "Education Standards Likely to See Toughening," New York Times, April 15, 2010)
John Schnur
• education adviser to the Obama campaign who helped design Race to the Top. (Sam Dillon, "States Create Flood of Bills To Overhaul Education," New York Times, June 1, 2010)
Van Shoales
• executive director of Education Reform Now, a national advocacy group (Sam Dillon, "In School Aid Race, Many States Are Left Behind," New York Times, April 5, 2010)
Jim Stergios
• executive director, Pioneer Institute, a Boston nonprofit group that helped Massachusetts revise its state benchmarks in the 1990s. (Sam Dillon, "Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools," New York Times, March 10, 2010)
Kate Walsh
• president of the nonprofit National Council on Teacher Quality who has advised several states on Race to the Top strategy (Sam Dillon, "States Rush to Prepare For School Grant Contest," New York Times, Nov. 11, 2009)
Grover "Russ" Whitehurst
• director of the Department of Education's research division under President George W. Bush, now at the Brookings Institution. (Sam Dillon, "Education Grant Effort Faces Late Opposition," Jan 19, 2010)
• senior fellow at Brooking Institution (Sam Dillon, "Array of Hurdles Awaits New Education Agenda," The New York Times, March 16, 2010)
Gene Wilhoit
• executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, a nonpartisan association of state superintendents of education (Sam Dillon, "States Rush to Prepare For School Grant Contest," New York Times, Nov. 11, 2009)
• executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. (Sam Dillon, "Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools," New York Times, March 10, 2010)
Joe Williams
• Executive Director, Democrats for Education Reform (Sam Dillon, "Dangling $4.3 Billion, Dangling $4.3 Billion, Obama Pushes States to Shift on Education," New York Times, Aug. 17, 2009)
• executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a group often critical of the teachers' unions (Sam Dillon, "After Criticism, the Administration Is Praised for Final Rules on Education Grants," New York Times, Nov. 12, 2009)

Now ask yourself this: Who's missing? For starters, noted researcher (and former New York Times education columnist) Richard Rothstein was not quoted in any of the 700 articles I studied.

Item: Let's do the numbers: Department of Education's Race to the Top Program Offers Only a Muddled Path to the Finish Line by William Peterson and Richard Rothstein, EPI Report, April 20, 2010, documents that the Race to the Top picks winners arbitrarily.

Item: A blueprint that needs more work by Richard Rothstein
EPI Policy Memo #162, March 27, 2010

That’s just for starters. Rothstein, the author of very influential work, is an acknowledged expert, and he's prolific--books, reports, papers--all relevant to the topics at hand. Yet reporters ignore him.

Likewise, David Berliner wasn't cited once in during the time period studied. So the question remains open: Why would the press shut out an expert, the co-author of the acclaimed Manufactured Crisis and Collateral Damage: How High-Stakes Testing  
Corrupts America's Schools and Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success --while calling up Joe Williams and his cohort Charles Barone of the Democrats for Education Reform, a political action committee (PAC) tied to hedge fund interests, for 40 citations?

I name only two of the missing. Think of all the other experts who are missing from every press account of education policy. My "expert" tally showed Education Week sometimes quoting people from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute three times in one issue.

Duncan created a firestorm among bloggers when he told Sam Dillon and Tamar Lewin of the New York Times

Progressive Texas journalist Molly Ivins once warned (in her George W. Bush biography Shrub), "People who have read only one book can be quite dangerous." Consider the danger of allowing one foundation to dominate our education policy. I worry about the press's very deliberate avoidance of this issue, and I fear I might have found the answer in the movie Three Days of the Condor, where Joubert, the contract assassin, sums things up: "I don't interest myself in 'why.' I think more often in terms of 'when,' sometimes 'where'; always 'how much.'... The fact is what I do is not a bad occupation. Someone is always willing to pay."

--by Susan Ohanian, who was invited to write a commentary for the New York Times-- and then dis-invited because she would not withdraw her one-word criticism of Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The editor insisted that Friedman has nothing to do with education policy.
— Susan Ohanian
(5/4/10) that his policies encounter no opposition: "Zero. There's just an outpouring of support for the common-sense changes and the unprecedented investments we're making." This outrageous claim was left to stand unquestioned in the newspaper that still claims "All the news fit to print" on its masthead. No comments were accepted online.

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