12/18/2006

Feature, Facts Or Scare Tactics?

Several national media covered the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce report on Friday. My first question is, why Friday? Isn't Friday the day to bury your news? Is that the intent? Either way each national media had their take on the story - some with the facts, others with scare tactics and then fluffy feature-like opening sentences.

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Stateline.org avoids the feature-like opening sentence and comes out with the facts (which I personally find more appealing), "Students would go to community college after 10th grade, local schools would be run by private contractors, and teachers’ salaries would shoot up as high as $110,000 but their pensions would be slashed."

The Chicago Tribune
also had some facts to open the article - but just the fact that some 10th graders would be able to go to community colleges. It goes on to compare the proposal to European-style education.

AP and NYT (though much more subtly) bring in the scare tactics, "
A high-profile commission warned Thursday that U.S. workers will lose more jobs overseas and will see their standard of living drop unless dramatic steps are taken to improve how children are educated." NYT softened the blow with a fuzzy feature-like opening sentence but said essentially the same thing that AP said.

WaPo stayed avoided scare tactics and stuck to their feature-like sentence and the facts that Stateline.org opened with.


1 Comments:

Blogger Spunky said...

This is just Outcome Based Education with a twist, it's international standards not just national outcomes that will be considered. The idea that students would be able to go to college after 10th grade is nothing new. Homeschoolers have been doing it for years. The fact that the government through testing will "allow" some to do it, means others won't be given the chance that they once had. This is all predicated on a high stakes test that students will take. Eventually leading up to an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Florida has already passed legislation requiring middle schoolers to declare a career major. This was a foretold in the early 90's with the first Marc Tucker report. Any wonder who the architect of this is?

And just like then, this report is beginning looked at in the details without even considering the bigger picture. So they'll get teachers to dicker for a while or pensions and financing and school boards to make a few concessions, but because they don't understand the bigger scheme they'll miss the overall objective entirely; and sadly so is most of the American public.

5:14 PM  

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