More on CJR, Embarassed in Minneapolis, and Daring to Enter the Blogosphere (Media Coverage)

Lots of comments about the CJR article on education news from last week. There are about 10 comments from education writers around the country -- and a rebuttal of sorts from the CJR author herself -- all located here. If you want to know how real education writers think about how to report on education, this is a great place to look. Eduwonk takes the CJR piece to task for wildly over-emphasizing the privatization angle in NCLB: CJR comes out against NCLB. Over on the Alternative Reform Network listserve, Substance's George Schmidt uses the CJR article as a jumping off point to castigate the Chicago Tribune's coverage of education news, which Schmidt views as even worse than the Houston Chronicle's during the 1990s. Another series of comments on the Atlanta Journal Constitution site can be found here.

What Passes for Education Journalism...

This week's award for the most daffy piece of education journalism goes to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, whose piece -- Kids who need help don't get it under No Child Left Behind law -- is so misleading, inaccurate, and addle-brained that I might hate it even if it was praising NCLB. (I promise to take on a pro-NCLB article soon.)

In essence, the piece argues that NCLB isn't doing its job because there are so many low-performing kids out there who aren't being "helped" under the law. And, true enough, NCLB rates and sanctions districts and schools, not individual kids, and so there are lots of kids whose needs aren't identified and targeted under the law.

It sounds horrifying to me, but I guess there's an argument to be made that NCLB should focus on kids, not schools. But no one --not even the reporter -- makes that argument or even explains how that would work. Even worse, the piece goes on to blame the fact that many schools in Minnesota aren't caught up in NCLB's net on the law, rather than the state, which, like many others, found a bunch of ways to keep schools making AYP. Last and least, the pro forma quote from the state superintendent tacked on at the end as a fig leaf to journalistic balance doesn't make sense.

Where was the editor on this piece, and who wrote the headline? Is this a real paper? Yikes. Any scholarships left for the next EWA conference? I know some folks who need to attend.

The Education Blogs -- Do You Dare to Go There?

Last but not least, there are as usual some interesting thoughts and links floating in the education blogosphere -- if you dare go there. For example, JoanneJacobs.com traces the twisted story of whether there are enough female columnists out there: Mad Women. OQE lists some of the most ridiculous terms used in education circles (though I forgot to see if "scaffolding" is in there: Edubabble: a glossary (via The Instructivist). The Spectator's blog says to parents "don't buy that toy:" A plague of toys The American Spectator (via Number 2 Pencil). The Education Wonks have gathered this and that from nearly everywhere, it seems: Carnival of Education, Week 6.


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