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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holding Journalists, the Media Accountable

While the current corporate-education reform narrative includes idealistic and oppressive chants of "no excuses" and "poverty is not destiny" (always coming from those not living in poverty) as well as focused attacks on teachers and teacher quality, these messages are recycled and accepted blindly almost daily by journalists and all types of media.

I recently posted about a Charleston Post and Courier article praising the planning hiring of Teach for America candidates to staff classrooms of students in poverty, students with special needs, and English language learners. This sort of thoughtless support fails to ask why leaders are so quick to experiment and allow uncertified and inexperienced college graduates teach other people's children.

After contacting the journalist (Diette Courrégé), I am moderately optimistic because she has followed up, talked extensively with me Monday, and is studying/reading the materials I supplied her. My skepticism, though, lies with one important comment she made, asking me, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't most of the research on Teach for America positive?"

Of course, this journalist has been swayed by the propaganda machine—like the public—and has now become a part of that machine. (See this solid unmasking of TfA research by Philip Kovacs at Anthony Cody's blog.)

Now comes this:

Newark's child poverty rate spikes 32 percent in 2009-10

Published: Friday, December 16, 2011, 8:00 AM
Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011, 10:21 AM

blog from Jersey Jazzman, unmasking yet another careless perpetuation of misusing data and seeking "miracle" antidotes to real problems. (See HERE for an update.)

No excuses? No excuse for not looking at data before making claims about miracle leadership causing higher outcomes:

Accountability for teachers and schools?

How about accountability for leaders, journalists, and the media?

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