What Do Journolists and Education Reform Writers Have in Common? Forget the Facts: "Kill it, ignore it, call them haters."
Outcry about public education and opposition to its current state consisting of
- Common Core and its relatives: common core like state standards and assessments
- Curriculum aligned to those assessments
- Increased assessments in lieu of learning
- Teachers being directed on how to teach
- Data mining/tracking accessed by federal/state agencies and third party ‘researchers’
- Emphasis on Social Emotional Learning and equity and less concern about academic learning
- Increased use of technology which not only increases data mining/tracking but also wreaks havoc with school budgets
- Data competency badges increasing the ‘need’ of the cradle-work pipeline
- Increased alignment to a global set of educational reforms and policies
- The rise of public/private partnerships in education policy/delivery which bypasses the need for local school boards, voters, and accountability
has been raised for many years. What hasn’t happened is the cessation of these policies. The Obama/Duncan agenda is quite similar to the Trump/DeVos plan of education. If you have been studying education reform for some time, would you agree that neither the Democrats or the Republicans or even the non-partisan players (school board members, school administrators, state education agencies) care about the research you send them? ESSA was adopted which did little to return local control of education to the states. States must still ask ‘Mother, May I?” and federal funding is tied to ‘Mother’s’ approval. The charter programs are still popular with legislators with public money being used by private organizations with no local accountability. School boards are taught to utilize ‘group think’ and good luck to the rogue school board member who still naively believes he/she was elected to represent the local community. Federally funded Regional centers (unseen and hidden from the daily school day from the voters) ‘advise’ states and school districts on how best to align to federal policies so as not to lose funding.
Education ‘research’ used to develop these policies is largely from organizations paid by the organizations reaping the benefits of this education ‘disruption’: Gates Foundation, Lumina, Google, Microsoft, ALEC, etc. The education reformers extolling the virtue of Common Core like education and its baggage (technology, the implosion of FERPA, increased private/public partnerships) are paid for their public relations statements (masquerading as education research) by those same education organizations and the circle of control is complete as the politicians mandate those special interest policies. It should also be noted that these reformers are bipartisan in nature. It’s not solely a left/right concern. It’s a non-partisan movement toward centralization and privatization.
In a land far away and long removed, a show called ‘School House Rock’ had information for school children on how a bill was passed and laws were made.
Laws don’t matter in 2017…just have a Bill Gates or other philanthropist with an idea for ‘disruption’ to fund education writers/PR pushing a certain narrative, with little to no research to support the policy, and the fix is in. There is no debate/discussion allowed (how can you address your local school board and SEA in 3 minutes) and when federal funding becomes the ultimate goal. How to thwart FERPA? Gut it. How to cut any local voices out of education? Privatize it. It’s not as if school boards provide much of local control but at the least the vehicle is there to renovate if this education bus is ever turned around. With charters and virtual schools, kiss your local money and any semblance of control/accountability goodbye.
It is imperative to understand history and how the shift to private organizations running governmental agencies has happened: there has been a concerted effort to massage the message and pass research as facts. Call it the fake news of education. ‘Journalists’ from the Education Writers Association meet every year at an invitation only convention and are instructed on what education topics to write about and how to write about them. Want to hypothesize on how education is covered by these ‘journalists’ when the EWA is funded by such organizations?
A recent article from HotAir explains how a cadre of journalists can control the message, regardless of facts and the implosion of political process of oligarchs directing education policy and delivery. From Remembering Journolist and progressive media’s bag of tricks:
A couple weeks ago I came across an old article about Journolist which I found striking. In particular, I was struck by the ways in which some of the debates taking place among left-leaning journalists back in 2008 still seem to encompass the ways the left-wing media operates today.
For those who don’t remember it, Journolist was just a listserv created by Ezra Klein. The list was invitation only and was mostly made up of progressive journalists. In theory, the list was a kind of digital water cooler where like-minded people could talk to others in the field. That may have been all it was much of the time, but when candidate Obama got in trouble in 2008, it also became a place for partisans to discuss a coordinated media strategy.
In education reform, it’s not only the left-wing media or journalists, it’s practically ALL the media, including education reform writers, whether they designate themselves as left, right, disrupters or whatever label they use. The message is the same for the Ezra Kline Journolists and the Bill Gates, Lumina, Walton Journolists: Kill it, ignore it, call them haters. (Thanks to HotAir for that perfect subtitle to describe the education reformers plan to thwart authentic educational research and the political process.)
The philanthropists and the writers pushing the philanthropists’ policies have adopted the Journolist blueprint to implement their reforms. Fake news indeed. When PR nonsense is accepted as research, or if authentic research is not required for political policy adoption, or political messages to protect the system are more important than protecting children, the educational hell students/parents find themselves currently trapped in will only become worse. Until non-supported NGO educational groups can figure out how to circumvent or destroy the educational Journolists’ messages and capture the interest of the political/bureaucrat faction, the invasive federal/global educational reforms will continue.
And you are obligated to pay for in taxes for what you detest. Did you learn that this was the political process in your long ago Civics class?