Saturday, October 14, 2017

Doing to the Times What the Times Does to ATR Teachers

Judith Miller was a reporter at the NY Times. She was known for "anti-Isiamic bias," and was famous for perpetrating the weapons of mass destruction nonsense that dragged us into a costly and endless involvement in Iraq. She was also involved in the disastrous matter of Valerie Plame. Though she acknowledged having used inaccurate sources, she went on to work for Fox News and Newsmax, likely offering the same crap she did at the Times.

Jayson Blair was famously caught fabricating sources, yet continued on writing. Blair wrote a book called Burning Down My Master's House, and people not only bought it, but also evidently read it. In the book, Blair revealed substance abuse, and revealed that he had committed said abuse before he left the NY Times.

Numerous columnists on the NY Times write baseless reformy nonsense. This includes Nicholas Kristof, who put forth the absurd notion that teacher certification was keeping Colin Powell and Meryl Streep from careers as teachers, though neither of them had expressed any remote interest in doing so. Kristof also thinks that students need to learn Spanish before they learn Chinese, as though no American child has Chinese family, or interest in learning the most-spoken language in the world.

NY Times Columnist Charles Blow thinks Eli Broad is fighting the good fight to "reform" education. Diane Ravitch deems him hopelessly misinformed, and says he relies on flawed information. He's one of several NY Times columnist who got on board with the Common Core lovefest the paper seemed to embrace.

Former food critic Frank Bruni was made a columnist, and writes a whole lot of nonsense about city teachers. He indulges in stereotype and says it's nearly impossible to fire teachers. Oddly, I know teachers who have been fired, and I'm just a lowly teacher, without nearly the resources of a NY Times reporter. Bruni relies on interviews with E4E folk for information, and that's good enough for him. Bruni relies on logical fallacy like appeal to authority to make his point.

Do you see what I'm doing here? I'm using stereotype to bash the NY Times. I'm giving you several examples, drawn from who knows how many, and painting a picture of the entire organization. This is the same as when people point to members of a religion, racial group, or nationality and attribute some quality to said group as a result. I'm an ESL teacher. I have taught students from every corner of the earth, from many religions and countries. One thing I've learned is that no stereotype is true.

Over at the NY Times, education reporter Kate Taylor has learned no such thing. Thus, she takes a handful of anecdotes about ATR teachers, places them all into a story, and paints the entire group with one brush. That's stereotype, that's logical fallacy, and make no mistake, that's what the Times is offering us as reporting.

This is no different from the trash we see in NY Post and Fox News editorials. I read education reporting all the time, and the Times is way behind the News and the Post. I remember, years ago, reading that the February break was a big loss for parents, because they'd have to find some way to care for their children. Unlike every single teacher in NY, the Times was unaware that NYC's preferred alternative to the week off was teachers going in for PD. There was no scenario under which the students were going to attend, but that didn't get in their way of demonizing the UFT.

This Times story is a disgraceful piece of trash. This is exactly how Campbell Brown made her career as a reformy, and the Times story is no better than any of the nonsense propagated in the tabloids by Brown. Kate Taylor should get in touch with her inner sense of shame, if indeed she has one.
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