Today we get another sad example of “objective” journalism, where advocates from opposing sides of an issue are given a platform to face off—without any independent investigation of the underlying merits. In particular, the possibility that one point of view may just be the public face of a wad of cash is not considered.
So we have a “controversy” piece in the New York Times about black attitudes toward charter schools, the NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives (whose platform really deserves your attention) against and the Black Alliance for Educational Options for. The Times hands the pro-charter mike over to Howard Fuller of BAEO, naming his organization and identifying him only as a professor at Marquette University.
Anyone who knows anything about the education “reform” “movement” anticipates there will be more to the story, and there is. See this revealing piece on Fuller and BAEO by Julian Vasquez Heilig of CSU, Sacramento. (Hat tip: Diane Ravitch.) Sure enough, there’s seed money from right wing foundations (Bradley, Milton and Rose Friedman) and continuing sugar from Walton and Gates. In fact, Fuller started out pushing vouchers and only gravitated to charters as the movement (and money) against public education shifted from far right to near right. Heilig gives a nice example of a BAEO “survey” that is actually a thinly disguised propaganda effort.
Here’s the thing: I, who am just a casual follower of K-12 education politics, found all this in about five minutes. Maybe a Times reporter could do the same.