Friday, July 19, 2013

Gotham Schools Values

Yesterday I went to a rally at City Hall to protest Bloomberg's plan to extend co-locations for years into the term of his successor (assuming he doesn't buy off the City Council and change the law again).  I saw a group of reporters there, and cameras. For example, it merited a story at NY1. You can see it at Schoolbook. I was pretty surprised to this was all I found at Gotham Schools.

But, after all, it was only the United Federation of Teachers, which represents every single public school teacher in the city, so why should their event merit coverage? And those were real parent activists up there, rather than those enlisted to pursue a Gates agenda, so why should we worry about them?

On the other hand, when an astroturf group like Students First NY holds a rally to announce something that's not actually going to happen, there's a picture right there so everyone can see. Gotham Schools readers can ask one another, "Gee, what is Michelle Rhee's NY branch going to not do next? Are they going to not tape kids' mouths shut? After all, Rhee found it hilarious when she herself did it."

But no, the rally itself did not make the Gotham cut. Perhaps it was because the UFT is actually going to go through with this. Or maybe it was due to the vital nature of covering every little thing reformy, real, imaginary, or whatever.

This notion is supported by the fact that, while Gotham didn't bother to cover the UFT/ parent rally, they saw fit to cover how charter supporters felt about the UFT lawsuit. There are extensive quotes from astroturf folks, but not a single one from any of the varied speakers at yesterday's rally.

Way to go, Gotham Schools!

Update: In tweets with Gotham Schools, they pointed out that they had covered the story twice, and that the first time was not entirely from the POV of charter supporters. However, I'd argue that their first story gave short shrift to the union's POV,  giving it only one line in the entire piece while extensively covering contrary positions. Rally was yesterday, and Gotham can certainly correct this by covering it today. Update 2: Gotham Schools, apparently, did not consider this rally as newsworthy as the Students First rally that announced a non-event.
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