Week in Review, July 10-17

Here are some of the most notable posts from the past week's education news:

Most Popular Post Of The Week:
Education Writers: Who's Who -- And Where Are They Now?

Washingt0n Update
Ed Sector, The Unions, & Eduwonk*
Go, Lutheran Schools!
Capitalizing On Boys

Gary Orfield And The NEA
What You Missed At Today's Hearing
NCLB Leaves Readers Behind?

Media Matters
The Monitor's Disappearing Coverage
The Last NYT Winerip Column
Is There A "Girl Crisis" In The EduSphere?
What Makes A "Scholar"? Not The New York Times.

Best Of The Rest
Evolution Of An Epithet: "You're Such A Slut"
Why No Successor In Boston?
Will Boards Just Say No To HPV Vaccine For Girls?

*Correction: The NEA responded to the EdSector report in the USAT story itself, and its talking points on the report are in the comments section below.


Anonymous miguel gonzalez said...




A report released by Education Sector alleges that NEA “is conducting a stealth campaign against President Bush’s” so-called No Child Left Behind Act. The report is titled “Connecting the Dots—The Echo Chamber: The National Education Association’s Campaign Against NCLB.” USA Today reporter Greg Toppo wrote a story about the report. NEA President Reg Weaver and the Director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, Professor Gary Orfield, were quoted in the story. This document debunks the myths included in the report.

MYTH 1: NEA opposes the No Child Left Behind Act.

FACT: The National Education Association firmly supports—and its members have been working hard to meet—the stated goals of the so-called No Child Left Behind Act. It is no secret, however, that the law, as it is currently written, is fundamentally flawed and major changes need to happen. And nobody is more qualified to lead that effort than those who are on the front lines every day—the 2.8 million members of NEA.

MYTH 2: NEA is secretive about its work with groups critical of NCLB.

FACT: NEA’s 2.8 million members expect the Association to work with groups and organizations that share a common agenda: to improve the so-called No Child Left Behind Act. NEA is not alone in calling for changes to NCLB. Republicans and Democrats alike also are calling for changes; 31 bills have been introduced in Congress to date to change the law. Eighty-six groups have joined NEA in signing a Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB that calls for 14 changes to the law. It is no secret that these organizations are calling for major changes to the law; their names are published on NEA’s Web site and in other publicly distributed documents.

MYTH 3: NEA pays groups to be critical of NCLB.

FACT: NEA contributes to a broad range of organizations that share its policy goals on NCLB and other education issues. NEA provides contributions to coalitions such as the Committee on Education Funding and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; it supports individuals as well as organizations and provides grants to think tanks and research groups to conduct much needed research and policy analysis on important education issues. In no case has NEA ever tied its financial support or contributions to any coalition or organization on their taking specific positions on NCLB or any other policy issue. Other independent organizations such as the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute also have raised concerns about NCLB.

MYTH 4: NEA does not disclose ties with groups that oppose NCLB.

FACT: As required by law, NEA is transparent about its financial ties to groups. The Association fully complies with all applicable public disclosure laws as required by the federal Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The information NEA provides to the U.S. Department of Labor is publicly available on the department’s Web site.

MYTH 5: External independent researchers work for NEA.

FACT: NEA does not influence in any way, shape or form external research or the independent process by which researchers conduct their work. Research commissioned by NEA is conducted with the highest degree of professionalism and adheres to the strict peer review processes established—and enforced—by the respective research institutions. Further, NEA publicly discloses its contributions to fund research in the final reports of said research.

MYTH 6: NCLB is failing thanks to the work of NEA.

FACT: The so-called No Child Left Behind Act was flawed from its inception, and NEA has been sounding that alarm for some time. For many months, NEA was alone. Now, after nearly five years of coping with the negative consequences of the law, there is a growing chorus calling for changes to the law—these voices include parents, educators, state legislators, state commissioners of education, members of Congress, independent research experts and many groups that have independently reached the same conclusion: NCLB is flawed and it needs to be changed.

MYTH 7: Education Sector is an independent think tank.

FACT: Contrary to its claims, it is not an independent think tank. One of Education Sector’s founders and a co-director is Andrew Rotherham. Formerly with the Progressive Policy Institute at the Democratic Leadership Council, Rotherham regularly wrote pieces highly critical of NEA. The other cofounder and co-director, Thomas Toch, has also written many pieces critical of NEA and teachers unions. Education Sector’s board of directors also lacks the representation of teachers or other public school employees.

MYTH 8: Education Sector Fellow Joe Williams is an independent researcher.

Fact: Joe Williams is the editor of a blog called The Chalkboard. The Chalkboard is sponsored by the New York Charter Schools Association. Most of NYCSA’s funds come from the biggest names in the anti-public education movement, including the Walton Family Foundation, Club For Growth founder Richard Gilder, Club For Growth contributor Bruce Kovner of the Kovner Foundation, the Pumpkin Foundation, the Charles Hayden Foundation and other voucher and charter school foundations. NYCSA also advocates for the continued power to deter and intimidate teachers who want to exercise their rights to join unions.

For more information contact:

Joel Packer, Manager, ESEA Policy (JPacker@nea.org, 202-822-7329) or

Miguel Gonzalez, NEA Public Relations (MGonzalez@nea.org, 202-822-7758)

9:52 AM  

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