Monday, September 24, 2012

Did Education Nation Blacklist Me for a Press Pass?

I have a funny feeling The Wave will not be invited back [to Education Nation] next year. -- Ed Notes, September 30, 2011
Hi Norm,
Unfortunately, I’m way over capacity at the moment for press. I will add you to the waitlist and see if something opens up before Sunday. Everything is streaming on
"I've never heard of a claim of overcapacity for press before." --- a knowledgeable source.

[See previous post: NBC's Education Nation: [Laughably] One-Sided Once Again? Where is Karen Lewis?]

Education Nation press pass blacklist?
As the Education Editor of The Wave, having received a press pass last year, I figured there would be no problem this time. When I received the email from the Education Nation press office telling me there was no more room, I remembered what I wrote a year ago: I have a funny feeling The Wave will not be invited back [to Education Nation] next year. But to be sure, I asked again today after the teacher town hall and was denied again.

Funny, but I was sitting with people who were not even press who had received passes. It was like they were practically handing them out on the street.

Yes, I shouldn't have been surprised that my prediction of year ago came true. Here is an excerpt from my Sept. 30, 2011 column:
I had a chance to do a WAVE one-on-one with NBC News chief Steve Capus, the major domo of Education Nation. I’ll let Huffington Post education reporter Joy Resmovits [Huffington Post] describe the encounter:
While some lauded the increased balance and depth at this year's Education Nation, retired New York City teacher and Grassroots Education Movement member Norm Scott gave Capus an earful on Tuesday. "People see an absence of the word 'class size' in these debates," he told Capus. "This notion that somehow we're skewed too close to the reformers, I just don't buy it and completely disagree," Capus responded. "How did a guy like Jonathan Alter end up as an expert on Sunday night's panel?" Scott asked. He was referring to the Bloomberg columnist and MSNBC contributor who has taken hard-line stances on charter schools and teacher evaluations. "We had Jonathan Alter and 300 teachers," Capus countered.

I have a funny feeling The Wave will not be invited back next year.
And so it has come to pass. I wonder if the NY Times was told to cover Education Nation by watching the live stream.

After my Capus caper, I entered the world of Rheedom when I saw her on a pane and I was able to get to the microphone. The panel was moderated by Rahema Ellis and she questioned  a former school board member from Atlanta about the cheating scandal. I was incredulous that Ellis only talked about the cheating scandal in Atlanta with super-cheat Rhee sitting right next to her. I asked Ellis how can she was ignoring the cheating scandal in DC under Rhee - Rhee looked like she swallowed a frog and said it was minor and under investigation [which ended up being whitewashed]. Subversives usually don't get to confront her publicly, which might explain why I am on a wait list for a press pass.

More from my Sept. 30, 2011 column in The Wave with a little more background:
I went back to Education Nation on Monday for a panel on teacher evaluation and accountability featuring Michelle Rhee the former Washington DC superintendent who was run out on a rail and now is trying to raise a billion dollars to use to undermine the nation’s public school systems. Rhee calls her organization, ahem, “Students First.” After Rhee left DC, a large cheating scandal emerged but much of it has been pushed under the rug. Another panel member had been on the school board in Atlanta, which has had a massive cheating scandal that was exposed when the state put a major team of investigators on the case. Beverly Hall, the Atlanta Superintendent had pulled down somewhere around 600 grand in bonuses for “raising” the scores. And she won’t have to give it back since she resigned while the teachers who were pressured into cheating will be fired.

NBC’s Rehema Eliis who was chairing the panel raised the Atlanta cheating issue twice with a sense of outrage while sitting right next to Rhee without bringing up her cheating scandal. So when I got to the microphone I asked why not bring up DC? Rhee, on the defensive, claimed it was only a few places (sure, without any real kind of Atlanta-like investigation) and said she welcomed an investigation, knowing full well that will never happen. The former Atlanta school board member challenged her by saying, “even if one child is affected it is an outrage” and pointed to all the good things in Atlanta being overwhelmed by the scandal, putting Rhee, glory be, further on the defensive. I’m glad I played my part.
If you saw our movie, we had an excerpt from a great clip of a 2010 Ed Nation panel with Brian Jones confronting Rhee, Canada, Randi (they love having Randi instead of people like Karen -- see if you find even a hint of Lewis at Ed Nation just one week after she lead one of the most significant ed events in a decade). Brian was NOT on the invite list last year -- or this.

Education Nation has been accused of being extremely biased toward ed deform, though in 2011 bit less biased than in 2010. If you check the panels and schedule, this year looks worse than 2010.

See Ravitch for the Education Nation Schedule


The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.


  1. I thought the NYTimes was having its own Town Hall with teachers (during the week when they can't make it).

    As for reporters: I have yet to see Winerip on any show discussing education and that includes Charlie Rose. Is Winerip still working for the NYTimes but just in a different capacity???

    And Norm...You never seemed like a Jimmy Choo's guy to me. Six inch stilettos would look great on you. But after reading the above comment, I can see you going totally GQ :)

  2. It's not a "blacklist", silly. That's for totalitarian dictatorships.

    It's an "INELIGIBLE List".


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