K–12: Media Should Help for A Change

The Press and the People — this was supposed to be a marriage made in populist heaven.

The People don't always know what's going on.  But the Press, they always know!  They have contacts, sources, international news bureaus, undercover informants.  The Press are so smart and well trained.  They can find the facts and double-check the facts.  That's their job.

If a situation arises where the People are threatened or abused, we expect the Press to protect us.

A movie appeared in 1980 titled My Bodyguard.  This kid couldn't defend himself.  He found a much larger boy and hired him as a personal bodyguard.  If there were problems, the bodyguard intervened.  That's the role of the Press, to be our bodyguard.

Historically, when this system is working, the Press are always there to make sure the People are not pushed around.

But what happens if the system isn't working?  The bodyguard gets drunk and passes out.  Or he takes a bribe.  Or he himself has been intimidated.  Or he is corrupted in some way.  What a nightmare that would be.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the nightmare we are living through.

One aspect of this problem is that the People are spoiled.  If there is some type of abuse, they don't worry too much, because they know that the Press always come to their rescue.  Tomorrow, surely, the Press will provide the answer.  But what if the answer never appears?  The People won't know what to do.

For example, education.  Our public schools have been declining for 100 years.  Have the Press ever bothered to explain why this is happening to us?

And all this takes place in front of the world.  We can search the paper each day for the answer.  We can check the archives next month or the next year.  We don't mind being patient.  The answer has to appear, doesn't it?  The Press has to solve our problems, don't they?

Finally, we realize that the Press may want to pretend to cover education but not actually do it.  So they have prestige and win awards.  People make good salaries by doing a bad job.  There seems to be a gentleman's agreement to stay silent.  Or a scoundrel's agreement.

The Press have pretended to cover K–12 education even as the schools created, for example, 50 million functional illiterates.  Have you ever seen an explanation in your newspaper for this wicked phenomenon?

Many people wonder, what do the Press do instead of their job? 

One common technique is to discuss administrative and financial details that few people understand.  One hundred million for this, two hundred million for that — does anybody have any idea whether these numbers are high, low, reasonable, or blatantly criminal?  Of course not.

Another technique is to focus on test scores and standings.  Children are two points higher in math this year but three points lower in reading.  A few years from now, results will be flipped.  Scores are higher in reading but lower in math.  These stories have no depth, no explanation, no guidance for the People. 

The Press act as if they're doing a good job.  The Education Establishment beams approval of this disingenuous performance.  There does seem to be an unhealthy (indeed, unholy) alliance between the Press and the school system.  Instead of reporting, instead of a bodyguard, we have a news blackout.  We may have a hostile conspiracy.

This blackout is fundamental if you want to understand why education is in decline.  The blackout protects the schemers who have abandoned the schools and students.  You see nothing in the media about one of the fundamental aspects of your life.  You have been assuming that if it's not in the paper, it doesn't exist.  That's a mistake.  The sad truth is, your bodyguard may have left town or switched sides.

Conversely, suppose that throughout the last century, the Press had done their job.  People always understood what was going on in the classrooms.  There would be no decline in our schools.  Millions of non-readers would be readers.  Trillions of dollars wasted on counterproductive educational methods would have been saved.

Is there hope?  Alcoholics do stop drinking.  Burglars do stop stealing.  Child-molesters do stop molesting.  The media could turn themselves around and serve the people instead of far-left social engineering.

The People need help from the Press.  The Press need to step up and do their job.  What a wonderful world it would be.

Check your own local media.  Have they helped you understand, for a few examples of many, why phonics is necessary, why sight-words cause illiteracy, why Common Core Math causes innumeracy, or why Constructivism causes ignorance

If not, write a letter urging they do their job for a change.

Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is Saving K-12: What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?  Price deconstructs educational methods on Improve-Education.org.

The Press and the People — this was supposed to be a marriage made in populist heaven.

The People don't always know what's going on.  But the Press, they always know!  They have contacts, sources, international news bureaus, undercover informants.  The Press are so smart and well trained.  They can find the facts and double-check the facts.  That's their job.

If a situation arises where the People are threatened or abused, we expect the Press to protect us.

A movie appeared in 1980 titled My Bodyguard.  This kid couldn't defend himself.  He found a much larger boy and hired him as a personal bodyguard.  If there were problems, the bodyguard intervened.  That's the role of the Press, to be our bodyguard.

Historically, when this system is working, the Press are always there to make sure the People are not pushed around.

But what happens if the system isn't working?  The bodyguard gets drunk and passes out.  Or he takes a bribe.  Or he himself has been intimidated.  Or he is corrupted in some way.  What a nightmare that would be.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the nightmare we are living through.

One aspect of this problem is that the People are spoiled.  If there is some type of abuse, they don't worry too much, because they know that the Press always come to their rescue.  Tomorrow, surely, the Press will provide the answer.  But what if the answer never appears?  The People won't know what to do.

For example, education.  Our public schools have been declining for 100 years.  Have the Press ever bothered to explain why this is happening to us?

And all this takes place in front of the world.  We can search the paper each day for the answer.  We can check the archives next month or the next year.  We don't mind being patient.  The answer has to appear, doesn't it?  The Press has to solve our problems, don't they?

Finally, we realize that the Press may want to pretend to cover education but not actually do it.  So they have prestige and win awards.  People make good salaries by doing a bad job.  There seems to be a gentleman's agreement to stay silent.  Or a scoundrel's agreement.

The Press have pretended to cover K–12 education even as the schools created, for example, 50 million functional illiterates.  Have you ever seen an explanation in your newspaper for this wicked phenomenon?

Many people wonder, what do the Press do instead of their job? 

One common technique is to discuss administrative and financial details that few people understand.  One hundred million for this, two hundred million for that — does anybody have any idea whether these numbers are high, low, reasonable, or blatantly criminal?  Of course not.

Another technique is to focus on test scores and standings.  Children are two points higher in math this year but three points lower in reading.  A few years from now, results will be flipped.  Scores are higher in reading but lower in math.  These stories have no depth, no explanation, no guidance for the People. 

The Press act as if they're doing a good job.  The Education Establishment beams approval of this disingenuous performance.  There does seem to be an unhealthy (indeed, unholy) alliance between the Press and the school system.  Instead of reporting, instead of a bodyguard, we have a news blackout.  We may have a hostile conspiracy.

This blackout is fundamental if you want to understand why education is in decline.  The blackout protects the schemers who have abandoned the schools and students.  You see nothing in the media about one of the fundamental aspects of your life.  You have been assuming that if it's not in the paper, it doesn't exist.  That's a mistake.  The sad truth is, your bodyguard may have left town or switched sides.

Conversely, suppose that throughout the last century, the Press had done their job.  People always understood what was going on in the classrooms.  There would be no decline in our schools.  Millions of non-readers would be readers.  Trillions of dollars wasted on counterproductive educational methods would have been saved.

Is there hope?  Alcoholics do stop drinking.  Burglars do stop stealing.  Child-molesters do stop molesting.  The media could turn themselves around and serve the people instead of far-left social engineering.

The People need help from the Press.  The Press need to step up and do their job.  What a wonderful world it would be.

Check your own local media.  Have they helped you understand, for a few examples of many, why phonics is necessary, why sight-words cause illiteracy, why Common Core Math causes innumeracy, or why Constructivism causes ignorance

If not, write a letter urging they do their job for a change.

Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is Saving K-12: What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?  Price deconstructs educational methods on Improve-Education.org.