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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hess Concerned about "Commercialization of Tragedy"?

Staunch and relentless advocate for free market reform—enamored with terms such as "innovative"—Rick Hess at his EdWeek blog has offered a concern about coverage and reactions to the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary:
"But I've also been disheartened, once again, by the commercialization of tragedy. I've been appalled by news coverage that quickly bleeds from respectful to rapacious, as reporters and cable bookers find ever more angles to keep the story alive. I'm horrified by advocates and education pundits who seize upon Newtown as a 'hook' to place an op-ed or push their favorite talking points and agenda items. And I'm sickened that, in a few weeks, this industry of callow self-promotion will have casually forgotten its heart-rending sorrow, with everyone racing off to capitalize on the next Twitter meme."

To this I posted:
"Rick, take a moment to consider and then at some appropriate time (I am not being sarcastic) please address the root cause of your concern: 'the commercialization of tragedy.' 
"The free market ONLY mantra in the U.S. cannot be allowed a pass here. Maybe, just maybe, this could be a turning point for some reasonable and honest considerations of when the Commons trump the corporate, the commercial, and the invisible hand. 
"The Commons are the home of social agreements about what matters and about what is ethical. 
"Commercialism is about what sells, ethical be damned. 
"And it is exactly there that I turn against free market ideology for one of the most important Commons in a free society, universal public education. 
"Again, I am entirely serious here, peace to you and to the possibility a new dialogue can come from this."

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