Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Times Union Fails to Address...

The Albany Times Union has become my newest favorite source of aggravation (it used to be FOX News). A recent editorial continued the drum beat of education reform (why it isn't going so well, why we need to stick with it, what can we do more of or do better...), with no hard look at the real issues with education reform: the justification for reform to begin with; the validity and significance of the data that supposedly indicates the need for reform; the defined and agreed upon goals of reform (not empty "college and career" slogans)... it is all a frustrating shell game that is falling apart on the three-card-monte hustlers who have gamed the system well for so long, and are still trying to escape their responsibilities.

Here is my response to the piece I read. It would normally be longer, but 200 words is their limit. Probably a good thing-I use too many words.

"School Reform Can't Wait" (Dec.26, Times Union) did not address the true problems with education reform, and in fact was an example of the problem. Centering the debate around the cost of education, and continually placing faith in test numbers and those outside of the classroom in the diagnosing and treating of symptoms is the least likely way to arrive at a cure. In fact-there has been no rational debate on what is important to the public in the directing and managing of public schools to begin with. Do we continue to ignore that the U.S. has the second highest level of child poverty in the 34 economically advanced nations? Do we continue to avoid mentioning that when controlling for poverty our scores are among the best? Instead of either, let's just talk priorities: do we continue to allow private interests at the very economic top put our public schools to work for them and frame the issue in the press and media? "College and career" ready should give pause. College debt and growing corporate wealth with shrinking job return is the reality. More recent calls to "compete" with India and China should sound alarms. Are those our new "standards"? 


  1. It's almost all editorial boards. Times, Post, Newsday and DN as well. I think that's how you get a gig as an editor for the rich people or corporate conglomerates that own these outlets - you shill for education reform. Often times the editorials in these papers directly contradict the news sections of the same papers. Certainly was true of the Bloomberg Years in NYC. Papers would report test scores down in the news section while the editorial writers still hailed Bloomberg test scores going up on the editorial pages.

  2. You are so right, and this is only a milder example. The NY Post just had one that more or less advocates for pedal-to-the-medal advancement of more difficult tests (our students deserve it, our schools need it...etc). Absolute avoidance of real issues. But I expect it from the Post. Where is the REAL media?


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