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Awards Season

Lunch_oscarstatue_325 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.


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 
William Spady.

The 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judged by an unpublished report from American Federation of Teachers.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.

Quality Counts 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 principle 
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 
Education Week.

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.

Telephone contacts:

David Marshak  (360) 676-1635

Philip Kovacs  (678) 612-9242


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If 'Quality Counts' was an all-out assault on all things NCLB-and-standards, this press release would be about how QC is a courageous, informed example helping to lead us to the promise land.

These are "well known" educators? Philip Kovacs?

quality counts is a report, right? there are some news articles in it, but it isnt a newspaper...isnt it hosued under editorial projects in education.

there seems to be a bunch of nitpicking going on. Also, who cares? what does it impact?

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