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Friday, June 15, 2012

What role does the Times Union play in education reporting? Hint it’s not what you think it is.

I have long been frustrated with the Times Union. Their editorial staff is decidedly anti-teacher and public education and this stance has recently crept into their news reporting as well; type Times Union, Topher Sanders or Matt Dixon into the search box to see what I am talking about.

Today in an e-mail to the education reporters and editor I asked them: I was wondering if you saw this and if so planned to give her a pass?


The link is to a piece detailing Betty Burney’s ethic violations. I recently sent them proof as to how she lied on camera but they never followed up on it, so I thought asking if they were going to give her another pass was a legitimate question.

Topher Sanders didn’t answer the question but he did reply: I'd appreciate it if you would deal with us like professionals. We treat you professionally -- like we do everyone else -- because we value our readers and the relationships we build in the community. Lately you've not been professional and I'd just ask that you treat us like professionals, as we do you.

Funny how asking a difficult question makes you unprofessional but what really caught my eye was: we value our readers and the relationships we build in the community.

I thought thier job was to report the news and let the chips lay where they fall not to build relationships in the community and maybe that’s become the problem, they are too close to the superintendent and the school board to be objective. As for respecting their readers, how can that be the case when they only report one side of the issue and ignore other legitimate voices. How can that be the case when the Times Union’s editorial board is invariably anti-teacher and they allow their reporters to let this bias creep into their news reporting. This isn’t respecting readers; this is disrespecting readers by not allowing them to make informed decisions.

All I ask from the Times Union, all I ask from anybody is lets have an honest debate about education and that becomes impossible to do when the stewards of the public trust violate that trust.


  1. Someone at PEARSON must have a friend at the TU. Go to the Orlando Sentinal and search "PEARSON".There are quite a few recent articles about PEARSON or they reference them as it relates to the FCAT discussion. Most of the articles are not complimentary. One of the articles (either in the Orlando paper or Miami Herald) misspoke and said PEARSON administers the FCAT which is not true; but unless I missed something I never see PEARSON mentioned in the TIMES UNION.

  2. See what I wrote above. Really the main complaint I see against PEARSON is about the enormous ammount of money being paid to them for all this testing, scoring, etc. They just do what their client (the state) tells them to do. The State of Florida and the individual school districts are the ones mainly responsible for all these testing woes. I know for example DCPS put all the responsibility and blame on the teachers. As a result morale is at an all time low. PEARSON of course lobbies for all of this testing to continue.