ERIC Number: EJ763279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: N/A
No Distortion Left Behind: The "New York Times" Education Columnist Gets It Wrong
Rotherham, Andrew J.
Education Next, v5 n1 p68-71 Win 2005
The author presents his opinion regarding the September 24, 2003, column, of New York Times education columnist, Michael Winerip. Under the headline "On Front Lines, Casualties Tied to New U.S. Law," Winerip reported that NCLB funding shortfalls were "devastating" for New York City. The author argues that Winerip neglected to mention that the city had received more than $260 million in new dollars for poor students "alone" under NCLB in the previous two years. As former Los Angeles Times education writer Richard Colvin, who now heads the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, says, Winerip's "On Education" column in the New York Times is "agenda setting" because of its influence on policymakers: "Editors across the country read what is in that column and it informs their decisions." Winerip's misleading writing about NCLB is particularly surprising because he has produced an impressive body of important journalism in a career of more than 20 years at the Times, reporting on everything from city politics in the 1980s to vital national issues in the 1990s. In 2000, Winerip was part of a Times team that produced a Pulitzer Prize-winning series on race in America. Many of his education columns are outstanding because of his clear eye for important subjects. The author considers the very skills that produced this career of important work to be missing in Winerip's writing about NCLB. The problem the author sees with Winerip's NCLB columns is that in his view, they often turn on incomplete, outlandishly selective, and even inaccurate presentations of the facts. He further argues that when it comes to reporting on NCLB, Winerip does not do what policymakers must do every day-- offer solutions to or ideas to resolve the vexing problems surrounding NCLB.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001