Reporters who are new to the education beat have several challenges in front of them, including learning a ton of new information, figuring out how to get and keep their editor’s and readers’ attention, and figuring out who’s who and who to trust in the education world -- all the while being schmoozed and pitched by everyone in town.
Taken together, the challenges are not unlike arriving late to a party, trying to figure out who’s friends with whom and what’s being discussed around the room, and then having to report out accurately what happened when you get home.
That’s exactly the situation that relative newcomers like Amit Paley at the Post found himself in at yesterday’s NCLB hearing. What to make of that big mess?
Half a day later, some of the preliminary reviews are in. Ever optimistic, the AFT Blog butters Paley up with this post (Lightning and lightning bugs), praising him for making clear in his piece that the AFT and NEA are different organizations and sometimes have different views. Over at Eduwonk, Andy Rotherham mixes praise and criticism in his post (2014palooza!), noting that several of the criticisms Paley reports regarding the 100 percent proficiency goal are not as ridiculous or problematic as they are presented.
I agree with both points, but would add that Paley’s piece does a good job of exploring how the rhetoric of 100 percent has stymied opponents for so long (and, implicitly, that they should just give up on this), gets in some good quotes -- Kennedy admitting that 100 percent isn’t achievable and everyone knows it, and gives some new examples of schools that have achieved 100 proficiency. He’s learning, he’ll get it.
But then again I’m probably just schmoozing Paley, too.
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