ERIC Number: EJ763280
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: N/A
Who Got the Raw Deal in Gotham? The Kids or "New York Times" Readers?
Education Next, v5 n1 p72-73 Win 2005
When public schools opened in New York City in September 2003 amid reports of widespread classroom overcrowding, parents, educators, and policymakers demanded an explanation. There, at the ready, was Michael Winerip, the education columnist for the "New York Times." The crowding, wrote Winerip in the first of a series of hard-hitting columns in September and October of that year, was caused by the "new students with challenging problems" whose parents took advantage of the No Child Left Behind law allowing them to transfer from a persistently failing school to one that was better. The 1,000-word reports were so convincing that even Mayor Michael Bloomberg began blaming NCLB for what Winerip called the "overloading" of Gotham's middle and high schools. "What the federal law says is that if you are in a failing school, you have a right to demand that your child go to a good school," the mayor said. "There are not any seats in the good schools. Those are full already anyway." In this article, Joe Williams, staff writer on education for the New York Daily News argues that months after the Winerip columns appeared, after the federal law had been trashed by editorial writers, teachers, and parents, city education officials released transfer tallies showing that kids looking for better schools under NCLB had gotten a bad rap. If there was new overcrowding--and even that was doubtful in many cases-- the federal law had not caused it. (In many cases, in fact, overcrowded classrooms turned out to be in school buildings that had additional space, suggesting that the problem was one of local management.) Williams comments on the columns written by Winerip, who is criticized as having played fast and loose with the facts, and how the columns may have helped fan the flames of the anti NCLB hysteria.
Descriptors: Mass Media Effects, Federal Legislation, Crowding, Transfer Students, Urban Schools, School Choice
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.hoover.org/publications/ednext
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