Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Exacting Standards at Gotham Schools

I used to write for Gotham Schools. They called me at home, and asked if I would do it. I said fine. The first post I wrote was about a Harlem public school experiencing an invasion by Eva Moskowitz. I quoted a person who spoke at the rally who said Eva was taking kids rated 3 and 4, but not those who scored lower. This proved not to be true. But I accurately reported what I heard.

After that, things were different, and my writing was subject to a pretty severe editing process. I was sometimes upset by this, as their E4E writer could post any outlandish assertion he saw fit. The last piece of mine they put up was about Cathie Black, and entitled Heckuva Job Blackie. This was a play on words, referring to GW's "Heckuva Job Brownie" quote. I insisted on retaining the title, and our discussions got pretty contentious. The next piece I wrote for them was this one.

Gotham objected that I called E4E, ERN, and Cathie Black billionaire-sponsored, though that isn't even debatable. They also objected to my implication that an Ivy League pedigree was helpful to getting into TFA, even though a whole lot of Ivy League students went to TFA. There was a third problem they had, and I don't remember what it was, but I sent the piece to Huffington Post, where they highlighted it and it received over a hundred comments.

A few months ago, Gotham asked me to write a piece about why folks like me don't feel E4E represents us. I wrote it for them. They not only didn't run it, but couldn't even be bothered getting back to me. Here is a sample of what Gotham schools finds absolutely acceptable:

Our children are being taught by a collection of ignoramouses whose principal objective is to feather their own nest, maintain the public school failure monopoly, and raid the fisc. You should be charged with child abuse (I mean, besides the collection of perverts that the UFT protects.)

That's fine, isn't it? How about this:

First, your comment is an excuse, nothing more.
Second, you write like a functional illiterate.
I hope you only teach gym.
So, let's see--at Gotham, it's OK to dispense personal insults. It's also just fine to stereotype tens of thousands of working teachers. But suggesting that E4E is sponsored by billionaires is beyond the pale.  Let's hear a few more Gotham-sanctioned words of wisdom:

Yes, "Gym" is now called "Physical Education", like "Teachers" are now called "Educators", no doubt to concoct the illusion that bottom of their class ed school graduates are "professional" on a par with doctors ("physicians") and lawyers.("attorneys").  

You see? I guess physical ed. teachers are even worse than the rest of us, who are perverts, feathering our own nest, and oh, here's one:

"You people" = government "educrats" riding the public dole for large sums of money (for the "work" you do) and producing miserable results.
You see that? And when someone accuses this stereotype-favoring commenter of bigotry, here's the response Gotham Schools thinks is just fine:

Yes, so typical of the Liberal Education Monopoly: if someone says something that you don't like or with which you disagree and pull out the "bigot" card to silence them.
Its one of the many reasons most New Yorkers and most Americans hate you.

I doubt most Americans hate us, and I doubt this person has done a survey or anything. But I know one thing.

Gotham Schools is a disgrace. They should be ashamed of themselves for giving a forum to this sort of trash.

Postscript: Gotham's favorite commenter appears to be appropriating someone else's identity.

Update: Anika Anand of Gotham Schools says they're actually going to delete this stuff. 
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