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Media: How AP Got Hold Of All Those Waiver Letters

image from www.bettergov.org

Conventional wisdom has it that FOIA requests are so cumbersom to file and agencies are so slow to respond to FOIA requests that they're almost not worth doing.  (Indeed, it took the USDE until a couple of weeks ago to send me a highly redacted response to a FOIA request I submitted in July 2009.)  There's no reliable way to find out what's already been FOIAd, which journalists consider semi-secret, except through FOIAing others' FOIAs, which seems sort of ridiculous.  But it was just that kind of straightforward work through which Miami-based AP writer Christine Armario scooped pretty much everyone a couple of weeks ago.  When the USDE declined to provide the feedback letters they'd sent to the states applying for NCLB waivers, Armario filed FOIA requests to the states and 10 of 12 responded.  Here's a FOIA letter generator that education writer Cathy Grimes told me about yers ago.  Get to work! 

Previous posts:  FOIA Backlog, SuperSecret™ RTTT Judging,Duncan Doesn't Publish Staff Salaries.
 What Education Journalists Should Be Doing.  


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Why did you include the link to your old piece, "What education journalists should be doing"? Is this kind of beaureaucratic tail-chasing all you meant, all along?

I just spent 3 hours grading labs for my new students this term, updating Power Teacher and searching Pearson's bogus billion dollar "data" base for clues to what I can do to help them. For an actual child, all this hallowed standards-based data is just a few pieces of random gravel, rattling in a can.

Your whole data-driven-corporate-reform-advocacy industry is so remote from them, "reporting" on political maneuvers to conquer smoke-and mirrors market share. Thieves; liars; frauds. Who cares which of them gets to the trough first?

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