Not content to quietly commit credibility suicide debating the various pop-culture frames for terrorism, (hint: it isn't terrorism when Americans do it) Newsweek is this week butchering articles about education.
The first one I ran across was promoted as Why Teachers Can't Control Their Classrooms. This was emerging as the number one problem for teachers as I was graduating from high school and was the primary challenge when I spent a year teaching for New Orleans' RSD. My friends who continue to teach call this their number one problem.
I have my own opinions and theories to answer "why teachers can't control their classrooms," and I know what solutions I would propose to improve the situation. I was hoping this article may explore something, anything along those lines.
What I read was this.
Really? A tired personal expression of the "good ole days" followed by the breathless information from a Department of Education press release?
One reason things are so bad in schools is because there aren't many individuals in the mainstream media who will dedicate the time to really investigate what is going on and actually inform the voting population about it.
Exhibit B: Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers. Inflammatory promo, dud article. I don't know a single teacher who hasn't had to pick up a mountain of slack for some shitty teacher that didn't deserve their paycheck. Fire bad teachers? Hell Fing Yes.
That's not what the article is about, however. Do not be fooled.
I'll sum it up: "Teachers bad, teachers unions bad; KIPP, Teach for America good, like Marines & Special Forces. New Orleans should be thankful for Hurricane Katrina." Or: no real information, just a bunch of tired old cliches framing an Arne Duncan press release.
We all remember how Arne investigates a situation and the wise things he has to say about it, don't we? Lets have more of that, please. Luckily, Arne proves Obama's bipartisanship is real, as Duncan would have fit right in with the Bush administration.
Heckuva job, Dunkie.
The Final Straw: The War On Education (WOE).
Wait. I'm sorry, the actual promo for that one was The Battle for Education Reform. My bad. I can get my media-driven, inappropriate military metaphors confused sometimes, what with my public school education and all.
This two-page article can be summed up thusly: "Randi Weingarten and Michelle Rhee are powerful, well connected women who do not like each other or communicate well; their lives are dominated by politics and media-types. They have something to do with public schools in Washington, D.C."
Lost in all of this is any actual discussion of education or any in-depth reporting. Maybe Newsweek ought to act like the small-government types they're shilling for here and contract their work out to the likes of the New Orleans Times-Picayune or The Lens.