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

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

National Boycott of MSNBC

(Photo: MSNBC Leaning Forward) How long can the "progressive network" ignore progressive educators?  No longer.  Pretending to be stupid about the anti-democratic corporate takeover of American public education is no longer acceptable.  My advice to Maddow and the rest of the nightly liberal crew:  Get educated on the issues or get lost.

From Tim Slekar:

January 7, 2013 by Timothy D. Slekar
Why in the hell would MSNBC’s morning joe prominently feature Michelle Rhee and her ridiculous state report card?  Why does this woman continue to get media attention? Every reform that she either implemented or advocates for has been demonstrated to lead to deceitful behavior or simply not work!  She advocates an ideologically driven, corporate-based reform movement that puts money first—not students.
Corporate based education reform is killing the American system of public education and eroding any democratic tendencies left in the public sphere.  After spending more than $1 trillion dollars on 10 years of No Child Left Behind and four years of Race to the Top we have successfully 1) sent poor and minority students to a failing system of privately managed charter schools, 2) defunded and closed community schools, 3)defiled professional teachers, and 4) harmed our most vulnerable children.  However, to me, the biggest crime is that the media remains silent or serves as a mouthpiecefor the people responsible for the damage and harm.
In the past I wrote a letter to Ed Shultz asking for his help.  Ed seems to be one of the few hosts in the national media that occasionally attempts to expose the corporate education reform disaster.  However, he just never takes it to the next level.  My guess is that this is not a character flaw of Mr. Shultz but rather the reality of the situation he finds himself.
He works for MSNBC.  And as much as MSNBC tries to “Lean Forward” their hosts can only lean so far—MSNBC is a corporate-owned media conglomerate.  The hosts’ freedom to report has a limit and right now for some reason (Bill Gates maybe?) the only time a semi critical look at corporate education reform occurs is when the blame can be easily ascribed to a Republican.
I hate that I am suggesting this but I believe the time has come.
  1. If the one media outlet—MSNBC—that claims to be “progressive” continues to fawn all over the likes of Michelle Rhee,
  2. If the hosts on MSNBC fail to unveil corporate education reform as an attack by the wealthy to destroy American public education,
  3. If MSNBC continues to ignore the informed voices (professionals with legitimate education credentials),
Then I can think of nothing else to do other than launch a boycott of the most popular shows and hosts on MSNBC—The Ed ShowThe Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and The Rachel Maddow Show.
Why these?  Why not?  Obviously writing letters, sending emails, tweeting, and posting to the Facebook pages of these MSNBC hosts results in nothing but crickets.  If you’re an individual or a group please push this boycott announcement to your friends and members.
Extreme? Only if you think shuffling our most vulnerable children off to for-profit charter schools that practice prison style behavior management and employ the least qualified teachers is how you put students first.
Follow Timothy D. Slekar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/slekar


  1. I certainly appreciate the sentiment here. But it flies in the face of, well, the obvious to imagine that this isn't "the way things are." That is to say, to imagine there is a national media outlet that speaks "against" its own "skin."

    Anyway, Opt Out means start over to this guy. Get your kids out and start on your own terms with your own friends in your own community. Your "public" school is no longer (if it ever was) for you or your children.

    Also, spend some time with Arthur Silber and get a little wiser: http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/11/warning-meanness-ahead.html

  2. Don't kid yourself Tim, my sister works for CNBC and Maddow and the rest of them know that corporate ed reform is off the table and if they were to cover the story and expose this faux ed reform that is making so many people so rich, they would be out of a job in five minutes .It is sickening to watch Rhee get the media attention and the fact that the NYT published Students First ridiculous report and it got so much media attention with no questioning by any "reporters" shows just how bankrupt corporate media is - things are so dysfunctional in DC and teachers are just trying to hang on to their jobs and benefits and survive. The older ones are trying to get out and they are brainwashing this generation of teachers to follow the script.

    You wouldn't want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg, now would you?

  3. It is such a sad time in the history of school reform. The two groups that are suffering from it are teachers and the students.