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Quotes: In Education, It's *Liberals* Who Oppose Choice

Quotes2Moderate liberals and conservatives want to expand and empower the public schools that admit everybody by random lottery. The lefties want to preserve geographic-based restrictions. - New York magazine article (Public Education’s Weird Ideological Divide)

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That varies completely from locale to locale, actually -- only because of my time active in Parents Across America do I have a clear view of how utterly different situations in different cities are. Not even on the same planet.

Here in San Francisco, there was a ballot measure calling for guaranteed/mandatory neighborhood school assignment in recent years (it failed), and the organization behind it called itself Students First -- same name as Michelle Rhee's operation. Both the Rhee operation and the local organization are coming from the right-wing viewpoint, but as you can see the similarity ends there. Some voices in SF that were not informed about different situations around the country did think they were the same operation, but clearly they weren't.

So the discussion around NYC is not analogous to the discussion in other parts of the country.

(The charter/so-called-"reform" sector has a very weak toehold in San Francisco, thanks mainly to a high-profile fiasco with failed for-profit Edison Schools that made international news back in 2001. That's ironic since KIPP is nominally based here -- because this is the hometown of a major KIPP backer, the late Don Fisher of the Gap -- yet the two KIPP schools here are not very popular and keep a pretty low profile.)

New York Magazine commentator Jonathan Chait framed the piece as a slam on Diane Ravitch. Many commenters point out that he failed to disclose that his wife is employed in the charter/so-called-"reform" sector, violating journalistic standards and ethics. As usual, follow the money.

i need to check about the disclosure issue but chait's wife has done a bunch of things in education -- including working for the liberal-leaning CAP think tank

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robin-chait/37/492/8aa

the attacks on character and motive of those you disagree with are pretty predictable at this point -- but no less objectionable.

should reporters who are members of unions have to disclose this in their education stories? should reform critics have to reveal where they sent their kids, or what private or for-profit institutions they have worked for, or whether their mutual funds are invested in for-profit companies?

Journalistic ethics call for disclosing conflict of interest. My husband is a teachers' union member and I have to make decisions in my work with that in mind -- disclosing or recusing. Pointing out that he has violated journalistic ethics is not an attack on his character and motives but a fact.

first off, you've never disclosed your husband's role here, so there's that.

also, that means that david sirota should disclose his wife's run for denver school board ... and that journalists who are unionized should disclose they work in union shops, and ..... what else? parents' jobs? stocks?

seems pretty endless, and often is just a proxy for folks you disagree with. have you ever brought it up otherwise?

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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.