Here you will find observations and discussions regarding current issues in public policy. As an educator, a husband, a father of three beautiful girls-my goal is to save the world from itself, for them.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
My Letter to CNN on Rhee/Ravitch Segments
Don't know if my post was deleted and re-posted, so here is the post/ letter I mailed to you-which will more or less match the "snail mail" version. As you read (and review other posted comments), please consider "the most trusted name..." slogan, or RHEE-consider it (get it???..ha ha). The mystery of disappearing posts along with the lack of journalistic integrity on the ed-reform issue definitely pushes me away from your network. If I want a load of *&%$ I can listen to the GOP opine on reproduction, the economy, the environment...
CNN Attn: Randi Kaye One CNN Center, Box 105366 Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Re: Michelle Rhee, Diane Ravitch, Public Education
Dear CNN and Randi Kaye,
I tuned in to the August 18th segment featuring Randi Kaye hosting Diane Ravitch. The intent was, I thought, to provide alternate viewpoints and additional information following an earlier Kaye interview with Michelle Rhee. I did not tune in for the Rhee interview, because I know the Rhee narrative. Somehow she has managed to build an education expert’s reputation and career on a resume of suspicion (marred by a poorly investigated cheating scandal that may have propped test-score data) and little real experience or familiarity with public schools and their students. Her claims about public school failures go poorly examined. The data used is misused and/or cherry-picked. The players and their for-profit agenda go unexamined-even as they begin to monopolize on billions of public dollars for more tests and materials that will, in turn, continue to support their agenda (not to mention what Rhee is paid for a single speaking engagement). Needless to say I was thrilled to learn that Ravitch had a chance to come on CNN to provide an alternate view. It is very fashionable for most media outlets to jump on the public school-bashing train, and I internally congratulated CNN on their integrity for doing the right thing. That was before I watched the interview. You would almost think that powerful forces that own significant pieces of media outlets are helping to distract the nation from true causes of our economic struggles. Below is part of the message I posted to Diane’s blog, and on a CNN feedback page.
… There is some political/financial motivation for Randi/CNN to treat the chance to hear from you as instead a chance to discredit your point of view. I had to go and find the Rhee interview Kaye did, because I had avoided it (knowing what I would hear from Rhee). I was more interested in seeing if Rhee had survived the slings and arrows, the cherry picked and invalid use of data, the portrayal of struggles as automatic assumptions of systemic failure...
Rhee got no such treatment. Even questions posed as quasi-criticisms were only softballs lobbed for Rhee to continue Students First PR. Diane gets ambushed with 1 student letter, 1 poverty stricken district/state, data is used selectively to support Kaye’s foregone conclusion, and the devastation profiteering has already caused this nation and the bulk of its children is ignored.
Good teachers will reverse outsourcing and the undermining of the middle class family, Kaye? Really?
Rhee gets “tell us more about what you think”. CNN, Randi Kaye…do you not know Rhee’s history? How she benefits from “reform”? How ALEC really operates and what its legislative agenda is regarding public money to private pockets?
I would like to count on CNN for objective journalism and analysis. I already have one channel I watch for my brainless partisan source of information, just to see what silly thing they will present as news, and to learn how bought and paid for news and PR compare. Randi Kaye’s interview of Diane Ravitch was not only an obvious ambush with an interviewer who had an agenda and foregone conclusions, it was disrespectful to journalism, objective information, and people like me who would like to find both on a channel that should provide it. Please don’t continue to disrespect experts in their field, me, and other serious seekers of information with more transparent agendas and theater. I only have room for one “news” network of clowns in my schedule.
Dan McConnell, Jr.
P.S. I am adding this final note before I go to get an envelope and stamp for this letter. I am mailing this the old fashioned way because I just think it is more personal and respectful. As of this moment, I am not finding the video of the Kaye-Ravitch interview online. The Rhee interview was available and easy to find rather quickly. Your treatment of school reform lacks integrity and the kind of respectful treatment I expect in an organization providing news.