Russo Takes On Education Media To Varying Degree Of Success

December 19, 2008

I've been railing against the superficial and inaccurate national reporting about Chicago schools under Arne Duncan all week, alienating colleagues and apparently convincing no one.  See examples like this one: The Myth Of Union Innovation & Collaboration In Chicago

Local coverage -- what's left of it -- hasn't been much better, in part due to the distractions of budget cuts and board meetings. 

Neither the Trib or the Sun Times has had much to say.  The CTDN has been focused ont he Board meeting.

The most useful part of the extremely  Catalyst coverage (Duncan's track record, part 2,Duncan's track record) has been the chart they put together showing Duncan's numbers (above).  The pieces have been timely and informative on the specifics. 

But Catalyst -- which hosts and pays me a stipend for writing this blog but has no editorial control of its contents -- comes from the journalistic tradition where you give readers

information and let them decide for themselves, studiously avoiding any

in-house analysis or interpretation. 

This sounds ideal, but in practice sometimes comes out as bland or even hesitant.  At times like this, I think readers want something more than Duncan has "taken on a host of urban education policy challenges to varying degrees

of success." 

Then again, my form of journalism -- in which I report what I find and say what I think while trying to be fair to both sides -- probably discredits me in the eyes of many who write me off as a crackpot or loose cannon.