It's awards season for journalists as well as film stars these days. Last week, Josh Marshall won the Polk Award (the first blogger ever to do so): Blogger wins major journalism award.
Now, EWA announces its winners for education journalism: here.
Not everyone's happy, however. The folks below are attacking EdWeek's Quality Counts as standards-based advocacy, rather than straight journalism.
EDUCATORS CALL ON EDUCATION WEEK TO CEASE
ITS VIOLATION OF BASIC
This week a group of
well-known educators is calling on Education
Week to cease its hypocritical violation of journalistic ethics and
either (1) cease its publication of Quality Counts or (2) establish
an editorial function that can be properly identified as such when it
publishes advocacy content. This group includes David Marshak,
Deborah Meier, Philip Kovacs, Susan Ohanian, Jerry Bracey, and
editors of Education Week claim to be objective journalists, but
with their Quality Counts publication, they abandon objectivity and
promote the standards-and-testing industrial school paradigm of No
Child Left Behind. In this context, they are no longer reporters;
they have chosen to act as political advocates.
Quality Counts gives a grade to
each state’s public school system.
In their ranking process, the editors of Education Week award
positive scores to states that have standardized curriculum, with
standards that are “clear, specific, and grounded in content” as
judged by an unpublished report from American Federation of Teachers.
While most corporate and political leaders and many school leaders
embrace this position, many educators and parents believe that
standards constrain learning more than they enable it, that
standardization of learning is an antiquated artifact of the 20th
century that hinders creativity and the personalization of learning.
Indeed polls now show that a majority of Americans believes that NCLB
is harming education, not helping it.
also awards positive scores for states that do the
· assign ratings to all schools,
· sanction low-performing schools,
· enact a policy that all high
school students…(should) take a
college-preparatory curriculum to earn a diploma, and
· tie teacher evaluation to student achievement.
Each of these positions is controversial, with much
argument on both
sides of the issue. In every example, Quality Counts comes down on
the side of standardization, the No Child Left Behind style of
Education Week claims to be the newspaper
of record for American K-12
schooling. Its editors claim that they take no positions. But all of
Quality Counts is positions.
The editors of Education Week violate the first ethical
of journalism: reporting should be as objective as possible, and
reporting should be separated from editorializing. Every reputable
newspaper in the US holds itself to this simple standard—except
This call has been sent to
Virginia Edwards and her colleagues at
Education Week and has also been distributed to thousands of
educators across the nation.
David Marshak (360) 676-1635
Philip Kovacs (678) 612-9242