Friday, October 23, 2009

teachers' unions take beating from "liberal media"

Which newspaper in recent editorials called teachers unions "indefensible" and a barrier to reform? You'd be excused for guessing one of the conservative outlets, but it was that bastion of liberalism, the New York Times.

The New Yorker published a scathing piece on the problems with New York City's "rubber room," a union-negotiated arrangement that lets incompetent teachers while away the day at full salary while doing nothing....

A Washington Post editorial about charter schools carried this sarcastic headline: "Poor children learn. Teachers unions are not pleased." And the Times weighed in again Monday, calling a national teachers union "aggressively hidebound."

In recent months, the press has not merely been harsh on unions—it has championed some controversial school reformers. Washington's schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, who won't win any popularity contests among teachers, enjoys unwavering support from the Post editorial page for her plans to institute merit pay and abolish tenure....

Editorial pages of major papers nationwide have begun to demand accountability for schools, despite objections from vested interests. Since the Obama administration took an unexpectedly tough line on school reform, the elite media response has been overwhelmingly positive....


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