Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Comments on NY Times Lovefest
Joel Klein has been doing a media blitz, even saying he wants to remain beyond Bloomberg’s term in office to finish the job of driving the entire NYC school system into oblivion so it could be “rescued” by privateers. (Thousands of teachers had to be talked down from their roofs upon hearing this news.)
Boy, all you have to do is write a critical piece about the NY Times and it gets noticed. In particular the comparison of the coverage of education to the way the Times covered the weapons of mass destruction story in Iraq.
Vera Pavone, a former NYC teacher and school secretary, responded with this comment, but it deserves a post all its own.
I should point out that everyone who knows Vera and Leonie agree that these are two of the most respected, clearheaded people they know. Just to emphasize the point that critics of the NY Times are not just coming from fringeville (as a certain ed reporter from the Times once characterized me.)
“My blood started to boil when I read the article, especially because it shows the Times and their lackey reporters continuing to give credibility to the big lies:
1. "He [Klein] has sought to break what he regarded as a vise grip by the teachers' union on work rules”;
“Can't experienced reporters Herszenhorn and Medina find anyone (union leaders, teachers, other people in the educational community) who can explain how work rules actually benefit students and the educational environment?
2. "To divide large failing schools into small schools" and "to put traditional public schools into competition with charter schools"
“Couldn't H & M read their own publication to find out all the questions that have been raised about small schools and charter schools actually being more successful: getting a higher achieving pool of students and eliminating students with special needs; getting a disproportionate share of resources; forcing the larger, traditional schools to be even more overcrowded and receiving those students who have the least chance of succeeding.
3. "To end what he viewed as a monopoly by the mostly white, middle and upper middle class on good public education services"
“Do H & M really believe that Klein and Bloomberg are the champions of the non-white, non-middle class children just as the Bush administration and NCLB really want to equalize educational opportunity nationwide? Has their investigative reporting shown that quality educational services exist only in white, middle and upper middle class public schools? Do they believe that test scores tell the whole story? Even if it's true that on average teachers in higher achieving schools have more "credentials", this doesn't explain why so many highly skilled, educated, talented, and hardworking teachers don't produce higher test scores in failing schools. Both H & M have been writing about education for some time now and should be able to recognize that "good public education services" have to be suited to the needs of the students, something that is very rare now for any of our students, rich or poor, white or non-white.
“And did I miss it, or did they forget to mention class size?”