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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:57 AM

More "Education Nation" drek on the Today Show

Nice one-sided fact free panel discussion with the so called "Professionals" (though given Starr Jones I typically think professionals who can't quite hack it in their chosen careers) about parents taking over schools. What schools you might ask? Underperforming of course. What criteria? What schools? Under what authority? Well, this is the Today show so we don't get that much depth of course...

Matt Lauer talked about how "some" parents were so frustrated they can go into public schools, "fire teachers and administrators" and bring in a private management company. I presume they were talking about the trigger laws and the U.S. Conference of Mayors vote of support yesterday but of course there was NO background because this is the Today show and it's all about the emotion and product placement rather than the actual facts. Actually, in trying to picture WHY this session was even aired I conclude it must just be some pre-buzz for the newest Walden Media flick coming -- NBC all but got engaged to "Waiting for Superman" after all.

Anyway, from the enlightened "professionals" came a stream of vague but enthusiastic agreement:

"Can't even see what the 'other side' could have to say about this...."

"Our responsibility is to our kids and not the teachers' union"

"Teaching is a critical function -- we can't ALLOW failures to continue"

Near the end a single comment about how we should be careful because "helicopter parents" sometimes think they know it all when they don't formed the only contrarian quote.

Anyway, finishing up this fact-free 3 minutes I felt compelled to do some Google searches to try to figure out what this was all about because it was too weird otherwise.

Reuters had a story about the Mayors' vote with a bit more of the story: The money quote -- "So far, though, the concept has never successfully been used to turn around a school."

Found a GREAT editorial from April in the LA Times which backs my hyptothesis that it was Walden and not the education industry that was the financial reason behind Today's segment....

[link:http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/08/opinion/la-ed-trigger-parent-20120408|"...charter organizations are showing no interest in trigger schools.

There are several reasons for this. Charter schools have generally thrived under a lottery enrollment system, in which motivated parents sign up their children for a random drawing that might allow them a seat in the school. But under the parent trigger, charter schools have to accept all students within the low-performing school's attendance boundaries, just as regular public schools do. Few charter operators have been willing to work under that scenario, which tends to result in less dramatic test results for them. "]

Translation: Wahhhh, we don't WANT to serve everybody -- we want to cherry pick our students!

Oh hells yeah, corporate education is da bomb!

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