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TV: EdWeek's Take On "House Of Cards"

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.comLast week I told you about my failed attempt to slog through "House of Cards" and how much the show reminded me of a clunky retelling of the 2000 authorization of NCLB.  

This week, Politics K-12 has a review / recap of the series (Congress Won't Reauthorize ESEA, So Netflix Will Do It For Them) penned by someone named Ross Brenneman.  

While disappointingly unaware of my take on the show ( Netflix Show Revisits 2000's ESEA Authorization), Brenneman provides a couple of helpful tidbits, including a reminder that The West Wing also focused heavily on education and some reassurance that teachers aren't portrayed negatively (at least not in comparison with the anti-hero Democratic Congressman played by Kevin Spacey). This is no "Won't Back Down" in regards to its portrayal of union leaders, though I understand that there's a bigger role for them in the second half of the show which I didn't see.

 

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And both of you failed to connect the extensive Ed reform pedigree of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to the story line. #fail

Sorry, Bea, but you #fail to notice that I wrote about Hastings just a couple of posts afterwards, and have written about him numerous times on this site.

http://scholasticadministrator.typepad.com/thisweekineducation/2013/02/what-reforms-should-learn-from-reed-hastings.html

You also #fail to find or tell us about any real connection between Hastings' views/philanthropy and the show, if there are any.

Is the show pro-charter, or anti-teacher? Are union leaders portrayed particularly negatively?

Who's the journalist here, Mr. Russo? Are you suggesting that your commenters do the work?

Pointing to the GQ article as evidence of tying his education reform efforts to his own production yields no insight.

Virtually every story about "Waiting for Superman" or "Won't Back Down" included at least a mention of the funders and their particular interests. The man behind "House of Cards" has a point of view on education reform. That particular thread is not coincidental.

Reed is a complicated guy. His "philanthropy" is always strategic. He never gifts, it's always an investment with an expected return. He believes that teachers' unions prevent innovation, he is pushing policy to end local control of public education, he doesn't believe charters should accept or serve all students and he believes that competition and market forces should be the drivers that determine education policy.

But you could find all that if you spent a few minutes operating the Google machine. Now, write for us an interesting story that tells us more than "Hey! Look, a mini series mentions education!".

I don't watch TV and had barely heard of this show, from a friend whose addicted to it and doesn't follow education politics in the slightest. She wasn't even considering it particularly focused on education issues. I mentioned this discussion to her, and here's what she said -- reposting an e-mail with her permission:

"Oh, I remember they portrayed the teachers' union very very cynically and for example the teachers are protesting and the "bad guys" bring them leftovers from their party and the teachers take the food eagerly like dogs and drink too -- and the head of the union is just screwed by the low-classness of the rank and file -- totally anti-teacher propaganda! And ugly stuff too!"

Gosh, what a surprise.

"Who's addicted to it" -- sorry. My friend has no pre-existing opinions on union-bashing or any such think, so that was a very nonpartisan view.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.