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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

A New Generation of Corporate Spinners at Ed Week

I read the corporate media's flagship education magazine, Education Week as a reliable barometer of the story lines being pushed by corporate education reformers.  As in the recent coverage by reporter/editorialist, Madeline Will, who is listed on Ed Week's "Experts" page as having a bachelor's degree in journalism/political science from UNC (Class of '14).

I would expect Ms. Will to move up quickly within the corporate ed reformer reporter ranks at EW, for she already demonstrates strong potential in bending news to fit the ideological needs of a penurious corporate edugarchy that has damn near demolished the idea of school as a humane and creative public space for learning and working.

A couple of Ms. Will's recent pieces demonstrate that she is more than willing to manufacture division out of unity and to take old news and give it new spin.

In "When Strikes Happen, Teachers' Aides Have the Most to Lose," Ms. Will tries to make a distinction between teachers who don't get paid for strike days and teachers' aides who don't get paid for strike days.  What results is a subtle propaganda piece that attempts to create division among the teachers, aides, parents, and kids who are now bonded together in a growing number of states attempting to reclaim the potential for public schools to serve the public, rather than to exploit the public.

It must be scary, indeed, for the billionaires' educarchy and their stooge unions (AFT and NEA) to see a unified front of adults and children who are willing to finally stand up and say, ENOUGH!

Ms. Will's other piece says plenty about her focus with just the title: "Nearly Half of Public School Teachers Are Satisfied with Their Salaries, Data Show."  Another way to report the same facts might have used a headline that aims to capture the bigger point, which is, of course, that 55 percent of teachers were willing to say they were dissatisfied with their salaries, even when the Feds came asking.  Why not use a more appropriate headline: "The Majority of Public School Teachers Are Dissatisfied with Their Salaries, Data Show?"

More puzzling, still, is the use of data that Ms. Will refers to as "a new analysis."  The data, in fact, are from a 2015-2016 survey, which was reported out almost a year ago in August 2017.  What is new, however, is the spin on the data provided just this week by Betsy DeVos's Dept. of Education, which, by the way, focused also on the percentage of "satisfied" teachers.

So even though a new generation of "journalists" is moving to center stage at Ed Week, readers can count on, it seem, a magazine that continues its long tradition of kow-towing to the corporate misleaders and miseducators who have run public education into the ditch.  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:34 PM

    The totally unscientific survey of teachers of my aquaintance has just tabulated its results. The vast majority of teachers are dissatisfied.

    Abigail Shure