Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whither Gotham Schools?

I don't know about you, but I used to read Gotham Schools religiously, no matter how much they disappointed me with their reformy crap. Sure, half of it was about the adventures of Eva Moskowitz and her gang of privatizers, and they linked to every inane piece of nonsense mustered by Murdoch. But Rise and Shine often featured interesting articles outside of Murdoch's rag, and there was their Nightcap, in which I sometimes found cool blogs I hadn't seen before. Now they link to crap from TNTP, if you can even find it.

It appears to be a glitzy piece of junk in which you can't tell whether or not headlines are current, or reprised info about some stated topic, or simply their repository of wisdom on charters, Bill de Blasio, or whatever the headline or topic is. And the comments, which used to be full of ridiculous nonsense about the perfidy of unionized teachers, or sometimes interesting conversations, are now full of nothing. Even the guy who always wrote about teacher pensions and nothing else writes innocuous things about who knows what.

Recently, another blogger sent me a comment he'd tried to post. They rejected it, saying it was too long. It's interesting that a venue, ostensibly there for discussion of education, would cut off letters because they're too detailed. I've been checking City Hall Pro lately for education links, and of course they're all over Facebook and Twitter, if you go in for that sort of thing.

It's a lot more colorful over at Gotham, but it appears they took a brand they built for years and simply tossed it into the trash. I suppose a newspaper, with hundreds of stories on a given day, has to put up a site like that. But even the NY Times shows you the first few sentences of each story on its front page.

Likely as not I'm not their desired demographic. After all, I'm a teacher, I believe in science, and I honestly think things like merit pay (which has been around for a hundred years and has never worked) do not even bear discussion. I believe strongly that it behooves us to build and maintain an excellent public education system, even if Rupert Murdoch can't make a dime from it. And as I'm not even sure what a hedge fund is, my chances of running one anytime soon are pretty poor.

I'm really surprised they decided to redo a perfectly good site and make it so much less user-friendly. I don't know which genius advised them to change the website into what it is now, but if I were them, I'd open up another can of geniuses.
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