Sunday, November 2, 2014

BREAKING: America's poorest schools have the poorest children

It's telling that the Apple that is about to
be gavelled is indeed fresh and ripe. 
Good journalism is hard to come by -- finding good journalism on education is like discovering a four leaf clover on February 29 during a Venus Transit eclipse

Over decades, American main stream media has shifted their relationship with public education and teachers from neglectful to abusive.

Like Time Magazine's teacher bashing cover, a recent headline out of Minneapolis is indicative of how most American Media are so drunk on teacher bashing that they can't report the real news: Minneapolis' worst teachers are in the poorest schools, data show.

Too often, when American media looks at poverty, they don't see poor children, they see bad teachers. What's worse is that some education leaders (who should understand how poverty is education's kryptonite) are made to be accomplices to the teacher witch-hunt.

In Minneapolis, Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson is quoted as saying, "It's alarming that it took this to understand where teachers are. We probably knew that, but now have the hard evidence." Johnson is referring to the junk science of using standardized test scores to identify good and bad teachers.

In my article Telling Time with a Broken Clock: the trouble with standardized testing, I take a closer look at what standardized tests really tell us. Too many people assume that standardized test scores are the window into the quality of our schools and teachers when the inconvenient truth about standardized testing is that socio-economic status is responsible for the majority of the results:
Ultimately, great teachers make great schools, but great teachers can’t do it alone – they require the support of an equitable society. If we are not careful, we risk misinterpreting the scores, and instead of waging war on poverty and inequity, we end up waging war on teachers and schools.
What's alarming is that so many Americans have declared war on teachers and public education. Some people are so desperate not to address poverty that when they should see poor children, they need to see bad teachers.

Real journalism is not distracted by teacher witch-hunts. Real journalism doesn't report that there are bad teachers in poor schools -- real journalism reports America's poorest schools have the poorest children.

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