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Monday, June 22, 2015

The fake outrage of the Times Union (rough draft)

The Times Union did an editorial about the district kicking the media out of a community meeting at First Coast High School to discuss the performance of Principal Brennan and the spike in violence there and I thought it was well done.

The problem however is all the stories the Times Union has ignored because they either didn't care enough to inform the public or they backed what the district was doing. 

Take for example how the media and the public were both being excluded from the QEA meetings where a group of rich individuals were dictating how the district spent the money they were giving them. These meetings had lots of policy ramifications and who knows maybe some quid pro quo too. Sine them the district has allowed a massive and I think undeserved expansion of the KIPP schools, a continuation of Teach for America, and an unprecedented commingling with the JPEF all of which the people who write the editorial pages of the Times Union loved. Instead of asking tough questions they have written multiple puff pieces. 

They collectively shrugged their shoulders most likely because of their not so secret love affair with Gary Chartrand and because they liked the things they were doing. Which makes it clear they are okay with the public being kept in the dark when it is about subjects they are okay with. Funny I thought it was the Times Union's job to present the facts and let the public make up their minds. 

This is something I wrote the day after the media was kicked out and I not only invited the media but I also  passed their contact info along to the demand change group which in less than a month has 2000 members and encouraged them to invite the media too.

Furthermore I have been writing about the problems at First Coast passing the posts along to the Times Union since last Fall, perhaps if they would have done stories back then we could have avoided many of the problems we are having now. My blog gets thousands of hits a day because people feel they can't get education news from the Times Union and what they get shows they are in the bag for the district, this last editorial non-withstanding.Maybe now the Times Union will take its responsibilities seriously and realize that the districts main goal is to protect the district. 

I will say I think Denise Smith Amos and Rhema Thompson are solid but they need to be unleashed, I cannot handle much more of the regurgitation of what the district tells them. 

Finally while I have you let me remind you once again that your Butler single gender piece was terrible for all it left out, the toughest question asked was how was your day and that shouldn't be anywhere remotely acceptable. Not one mention of the huge staff resources paints the wrong picture.

The Times Union needs to start doing better.


  1. I had to laugh when I read the editorial, they got EXACTLY the school board and Superintendent they promoted. It would have been nice if they had bothered to raise their ire when Vitti's contract extension came up 10 months early and BEFORE the testing debacle but they said nothing. It would be great if they did have their knives out for them now and came at them hard when the inevitable revelation of how serious the test mess really was. It would have been even nicer if they had held their duty to inform the public so seriously when it could have made a real difference. So much dirty water passed under the bridge while they averted their eyes and paraphrased press releases I can't even think straight let alone feel sorry for their bruised feelings.

  2. The Times-Union should be ashamed of themselves! The problems in our schools affect far more than the people within their walls every day. They have economic and social repercussions that affect every person who lives in Jacksonville, and their complacency in covering what is happening in our schools is, I believe, the absolute worst thing that a journalistic institution can do. It is THEIR JOB to inform the public of the facts, the public is smart enough to form their own opinions! N
    Our paper is a joke. They do not exist to inform the people of jacksonville, and they are doing a terrible job. I sincerely hope that their editorial will be the beginning of a more impartial look at what is happening in DCPS, but I have to admit I am doubtful that anything has really changed.
    The fact that print media can be bought and sold to the richest bidder is one of the reasons it is a dying breed. They are too afraid of telling the truth - it might piss off their rich friends.

    1. I agree that the media is failing the public and that's why people are turning to alternate sources of info, which can be easily found on the internet.

      I canceled my TU subscription a few days ago. Why pay for nothing?

    2. Cancelled ours a few weeks ago as well.

    3. I would cancel mine as well, were it not for the fact that I am trying to support a family on a teacher's salary and I desperately have to keep clipping coupons. It's a Sunday-only subscription, but I still feel guilty.