'over the next year NPR will explore [efforts to improve teacher quality.] We'll take a look at the latest crop of teachers entering the profession. NPR's education correspondents, Claudio Sanchez and Larry Abramson are in the studio.'Gope notes that Sanchez has favorably reported on the disaster that was "educational entrepreneurs" in Chicago, pointing out that NPR hasn't exactly covered the latest stall of the Chicago experiment.
Gope highlights this sloppy hearsay of Sanchez regarding teacher colleges when he tells Hansen, "There are roughly something like 1300 colleges, and I've had people tell me that only 50 are doing a good job." Ohhh, some people have told him - then it must be true!
I have to say that I'm doubtful that anything original or progressive will come of NPR's series. Sanchez has also shown a fondness for the conservative education star, Michelle Rhee, while Abramson delivered a shameless promotion of a Louisiana junk-science education initiative.
My biggest complaint with NPR and its education coverage is how in spite of the dominant influence of socioeconomic status on student achievement, NPR insists on focusing on the far smaller influence of teachers. In the introduction to the series Hansen states,
"Everyone from President Obama on down seems to agree that a good teacher can make a huge difference in a child's life. American schools have been trying for decades to improve teacher quality. The results are mixed. Over the next year, NPR will explore those efforts and we'll take a look at the latest crop of teachers entering the profession."You have to love how in a month when census reports indicate that income disparity in the US is growing (hitting those at the bottom very hard), NPR takes a fine sentiment about how teachers can make a difference in a child's life (obviously) and turns it into a tool for placing the responsibility for student achievement at the feet of the teachers - instead of the institutions that continue to siphon the nation's wealth into the hands of the richest 1% of the population.