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Fair,50°
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Look out for those ‘Suburban moms’
Howard Schwach

For years my sensitivities have rankled by the editorial boards of the local daily newspapers because they make determinations about school governance and education without the slightest knowledge of what they are writing about.

Why do they do that? Because they can, and because one does not become a member of an editorial board by teaching in a classroom for 25 years. No, one becomes a member of an editorial board because he or she has been a pundit — a writer of columns and a general know-it-all.

Also, newspapers tend to be owned by millionaires and those millionaires will always dictate an editorial policy that looks the other way when public employees are concerned, and teachers are public employees, after all.

Arne Duncan, the federal commissioner of education, blamed the controversy over the Common Core rollout on “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child’s isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.”

Duncan should have been excoriated for that comment, but instead, Newsday wrote in its editorial the next day, “Arne Duncan didn’t say it correctly, but what he said is correct, an nowhere is it truer than Long Island.”

Talk about being out of touch with its readers.

Another daily newspaper, this one in New York City, likened those complaining about the Common Core rollout to the Tea Party activists who recently closed down the government to make the point that they could.

Last month, more than a thousand parents and teachers — many of them both parents and teachers — crowded several high school auditoriums in both Nassau and Suffolk to tell state commissioner John King and Chancellor Meryl Tisch just what they thought of the way that the new standards and testing program have been rolled out and to complain about the aggregation of information about their children is being cavalierly placed into a cloud run by a group of non-profits with an agenda to privatize education and, they believe, to provide that information to businesses who will then use the sale of that information to enhance their own bottom lines.

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