Opinion
Education Opinion

COWAbunga! Post-Convention Edition

By skoolboy — September 05, 2008 1 min read

No, there’s no convention commentary here (or else skoolboy would have to shoot himself). This week’s “Comment of the Week Award,” also known as the COWAbunga Award, goes to NYC Educator, for a comment on yesterday’s Coffee Talk question about which big-city school district is the worst-managed. NYC Educator wrote:

I see the system in which I work on a daily basis, and I don't always see its reality reflected in the press--although they've made great strides over the last few years.
Really, when you're a teacher and you find blatantly preposterous statements in the NY Times, you have to wonder about the reporting from other cities. Who knows whether or not they're telling the truth, or whether they've sent anyone to find out what was really happening. Certainly it's easier to just ask City Hall what's going on and write whatever they tell you.

Big-city school districts are notorious for turning inward—transparency has never been their strong suit. A vigorous press is one of the ways that those in charge of these districts can be held to account for their responsibilities as public servants. This is one of the reasons why yesterday’s announcement that the New York Sun may be folding at the end of the month was so disappointing. skoolboy didn’t often agree with the editorial pages of the Sun, but I always felt better knowing that there was a venue for opinions different from mine to be aired and debated.

Even more importantly, though, the shutdown of the Sun would mean less daily beat reporting on New York City schools. eduwonkette has said repeatedly, and I agree wholeheartedly, that Sun reporter Elizabeth Green has been breaking important stories since she arrived on the scene last year, and it would be a shame if those of us with a stake in New York City schools were to be deprived of her investigative skills. (And yes, she wrote a feature on eduwonkette, and I’ve assisted her in a story or two, but the quality of her work speaks for itself.) Alexander Russo over at This Week in Education has also lamented the recent transitions of a number of well-regarded education writers to new positions that remove them from day-to-day beat reporting. Really, is it possible to have too much high-quality reporting on public education? Maybe … but we have a long way to go before that’s a serious question to consider.

In the meantime, the gap between the person-power devoted by school systems to transmitting messages about public schools to the public and the person-power available in an independent press to interpret these messages in a critical and thoughtful way for the public continues to widen. This, in skoolboy’s view, does not serve the public interest.

The opinions expressed in eduwonkette are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read