Thursday, August 7, 2008

John Merrow Cover Blown

It's nice to see how John Merrow is increasingly blowing his cover as a supposed "honest" commentator on education.

Merrow chaired an online conference this week on what to do about NCLB. Lots of familiar faces: Sol Stern, Randi, Ravitch, Cerf, Finn, Hess (American Enterprise Institute) and lots of others- Alexander Russo's TWIE has pics of them here.

Russo said, "These folks are talking about what to do with NCLB here. Let me know if they say anything new or interesting." Sorry Alexander.

My comment at TWIE:

Can anyone find a real teacher - someone who has taught in an urban school for more than a few minutes - in this group? The lack of teacher voices and ideas for solutions is one of the real problems in education reform.

...and that is a whole lot of white people

Hey, Merrow could have invited Al Sharpton and the whole gang of black people who signed onto the Education Equality Project – Fenty, Booker, Watts, etc.

I had a little debate at Russo's place with (classroom teacher- how refreshing) John Thompson, someone who I agree with 90% of the time. But at the time, we disagreed on Merrow, who Thompon looked at as an honest broker. He seems to have changed his mind. The other day he posted this comment at TWIE:

The blogosphere works again, and again I stand corrected. Until now, I was glad you cited my previous discussion with Norm where I defended John Merrow. But Merrow's attending that shindig to push that agenda with that crowd. I would like to hear Merrow or any other progressive explain how they can countenance Michelle Rhee's behavior. That Washington Post article you cited today about her intrusion into the D.C. bargaining process was huge. What is it about "good faith" that she finds so objectionable? How can they be so sure that they are right that they use any means to reach their ends? What is next, Pinkerton spies? Oh yeah, they already tried that on Diane Ravitch in NYC.

While in Colorado, maybe someone could take Merrow on a side trip to Ludlow. Come to think of it, didn't the mine owner down there also get praised for being progressive and wasn't he also certain of the justice of his cause?

Maybe I'm naive. Maybe we need to go back to "Which Side Are You On?"

Boy, I wish I could say stuff like this as well as John.

Fred Klonsky at Prea Prez also jumped in (Who is Missing?)

Sherman Dorn takes a break from his vacation from blogging to ask this question:

I promised not to comment on anything during my two-week break, but the NewTalk NCLBfest made me wonder who’s missing from this debate. Your observations in the comments are most welcome.

The obvious answer: A classroom teacher.

Plus, the panel John Merrow does select is so tilted right it threatens to fall off the edge of the earth. Merrow used to care about what went on in classrooms. But he seems to have turned into a shill for the Rhee/Klein crowd these days.


Back in May I wrote this commentary

John Merrow - Only an Idiot...

...would overlook Merrow's one-sided coverage of education on the News Hour With Jim Lehrer after he wrote a teacher union bashing op ed in the Wall St. Journal.

I could say only an idiot would write, "Only an idiot would overlook student performance, be it dismal or outstanding" and then go on to talk about the narrowest form of assessment possible while ignoring all the other assessments of student "performance" - how about attendance? how about functioning effectively in a social setting? - what's the matter, John, too hard to figure all this stuff out for a supposed "expert" on education.

It is no surprise Murdoch's Wall Street Journal gives him a platform. What's next? The NY Post?

Merrow's Learning Matters is funded by Annenberg, Gates, Broad, Kellogg - the usual suspects in the phony ed reform movement.

Check Eduwonkette's take: Who Slipped a Mickey in John Merrow's Kool-Aid?

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