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Living in the Fake News era: While We’re Waiting

The world of sports have been incredibly entertaining and a welcome respite from the ongoings outside it the past year. Even league sources citing to be debunked rumors about players demanding trades of their teammates feels mild given the current political climate. The worst of it has been people’s eagerness to glom onto alternative facts and fake news alongside the media’s willingness to satiate those desires. So, while we Stick to Sports in our other posts today, here’s a deeper dive into the current state of media to start your Wednesday morning.

The Superbowl is not immune to the trials of our society. Tom Brady reportedly had his jersey stolen during postgame festivities, and a few Boston fans decided to have some fun by taking a selfie with a Brady jersey and posting it under the hashtag #stolehisjersey. A full minute of investigative work would have divulged this particular jersey was not the Superbowl 51 model that Brady wore during the game. Instead, Ian Rapoport tweeted the news out to his 1.21 million followers. Thankfully, this episode is rather innocuous, but that is not always the case.

RapSheet Fake News

Fake news started trending as a mainstream topic during the election cycle though it had been creeping up on us since news organizations started caring more about page clicks, social media reach, and immediately pushing information rather than vetting and providing journalism value. Far too rarely are the purveyors of the faulty information held accountable. Only the extreme cases, such as when Rolling Stone featured a gang rape at the University of Virginia that never happened,1 are penalized.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, is having a word war with CNN by calling it fake news,2 while White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talks about a Bowling Green massacre that never happened and White House press secretary Sean Spicer is said to use alternative facts.

CNN has not been guilt-free on their side as they continue to issue silent retractions after outlandish lies have spread like crazy. For instance, CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny tweeted to his 191,000 followers that the SCOTUS nominee would be announced via a reality show style contest due to twitter pages being set up for both potential nominees. No checking was done. The pages were note verified, not setup by the White House, and the entire premise was completely fraudulent. A retraction was issued, but the orginal tweet (already spread like wildfire and continuing to spread) was not deleted. As Winston Churchill noted “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

The Atlantic recently noted fake news coming more from left-side of the aisle since the inauguration. Most of these are non-serious news organizations taking advantage of emotional response amongst liberals from the Trump becoming POTUS. Brooke Binkowski, the managing editor of Snopes, noted people gravitate towards baseless claims they want to believe.

If it arouses an emotional response is you—if you see the headline and go, I can’t believe this, I’m so angry—then it’s probably something you need to check against something else. News is going to be rage-inducing, it’s going to be terrifying, it will make you happy. But if you have that visceral a response to something, then it is written specifically to arouse that response so you’ll share it. Just say no.

One of the examples of this desire for something to be truth happened shortly after the Executive Order on immigration. There were some who so wanted to decry the measure they latched onto a gut-wrenching story of an Iraqi man whose mother died shortly after being denied entry, while the man was allowed through. Retractions followed days later after some fact-checking revealed the woman died before the order was ever signed, but the headline now mentality allowed this to be one of the calling cards of the protests that sprung up that weekend.

Throwing our emotional baggage into the traffic of the internet ends up causing a pile up of opposing forces clashing rather than allow for any semblence of sane discussion. Instead of focusing on the portions of the EO that were possibly unconstitutional and might well be struck down as they go to the judiciary branch, anecdotal evidence was utilized to villify the order. When this supposed evidence turns out to be false, the argument on both sides shift to debating the validity of the anecdotes rather than the issues. It might feel good in the moment to meme Betsy Devos and grizzly bears out of context,3 but everyone that does is building a wall to block out meaningful discussion.

The result has been continuing an extreme bipartisanship that has ramped up the past decade. Neither congressmen nor the executive office appear to be willing to cooperate on even simple issues for the betterment of the country. While it would be great to label them dirty politicians and move on, the fault appears to lie directly in the constituents. Yeah, you and me.

Lest anyone think this is a Trump isolated occurence, here is the same data used to compare Barack Obama’s last year with Trump’s current session. Note that President Obama did enjoy a honeymoon to begin his first 100 days in office in the mind of public opinion. The social media world has led us to a much different place just eight years later.

Are we doomed?

At the micro level, people are great. We treat each other with respect. We empathize with the struggles we see others going through. Commonalities are found and differences are discussed through a mutual understanding even when agreement cannot be found.

At the macro level, people are terrible. We resort to the lowest common denominator through snark, memes, and hateful words. We rigidly abide by the messaging of our particlar groups without thought towards others.

Hope is found through humanity’s ability to perservere through trials often better than periods of peace. More people seem to be invested in politics, which is a start. The problem is too many are quick to accept whatever headline or news line comes by without digesting and using critical thought. The next step needs to be getting people interested in going deeper than their emotional responses.

There are people already helping create resources to combat the fake news era. Librarians in Washington state have developed a class to teach elementary students how to spot articles and headlines meant to rile up rather than inform. There are websites such as AllSides dedicated towards breaking down the barriers people have put up. This particular site lays out the news from across the spectrum with the hope that understanding our personal biases and the viewpoints of others can help navigate towards useful debate.

The current era of fake news and overreacting to every headline is upon us. What are you doing to steer us away from it?

  1. Penalties cost them one million dollars in damages. []
  2. Note: The war itself is quite common for an incoming POTUS as Barack Obama attempted to freeze out FOX News in 2009. []
  3. The context was she was asked a specific question about why she felt a federal mandate to ban guns in schools would not work. She noted those laws needed to be done at a local level and provided an anecdotal evidence of a specific school in Wyoming. “I think that is a unique need to Wyoming, certainly,” DeVos remarked. “But certainly rural schools and rural settings require different approaches and different options.” []

  • scripty

    A lifettime of consultancy and Board roles, Ari Fleischer has made money hand over fist with consultant work, even though he cut a deal for being reckless in the Plame affair.

  • Believelander

    Thanks for this discussion. I remember when WFNY got their chestnuts roasted on an open fire by the national media for daring (DARING! the temerity!) to report that a source had said that Tom Izzo was going to the Cavaliers. “Never would be irresponsible like that BLOG,” said the news sources who promulgate nonsense and speculation for views on a daily basis.

    Fast forward a couple of years, and we’re in a full-on war because sites like Facebook don’t even bother to clean up their fake news problem during an election cycle, and demagogues latch on to any term used to legitimately criticize a problem and start accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being that thing. The media world looks like it’s about to tear itself apart at the stitches.

    I wonder (hope?) if we may see news sources finally rein themselves in, realize the credibility they’ve been mortgaging for clicks and tweets and ratings needs to be regained, or they risk destroying themselves and some of our most cherished freedoms if they keep making news about monetizing instead of truth. We have an administration now that thinks they can turn the media into a mouthpiece of the State, and that’s a scary, scary place to be in.

    Every stupid misstep for clicks that ‘legitimate’ media gives people like Sean Spicer ammo, erodes the peoples’ trust in them and makes the people less likely to get their dander up if our executive government ‘punishes’ the media in ways that undermine our most fundamental freedoms.

  • Steve

    Were the ones shes going to get, that is, ones that are far right to alt-right friendly, unavailable to her before this? Unlike Fleischer, she’s going to be considered abhorrent by a large part of the country.

  • Sherryeknott

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  • tigersbrowns2

    hi EMR … welcome to the board , good post … did you know besides playing tackle on his high school football team , he was also a

    placekicker & punter … he also lettered 4 years in track in discus & shotput … I’ll bet he has a pretty good arm.

    so , how do you know he can’t play CF until you put him out there & give him a chance ??

  • scripty

    Her subset is smaller but there’s a big payoff, that’s why they do this. It’s a temporary step down paywise anyways.

  • mgbode

    There are legit sections to each news outlet. It is up to us to seek those portions out rather than the clickbait. The problem is that it is becoming much more difficult to figure out how to get to those pages and straight reporting is often mixed with commentary.

  • WFNY_DP

    You’re right, but I view that as the symptom, not the disease. Like the entire “Brawndo has what plants crave” bit from “Idiocracy”, children are often attracted to the loudest/shiniest thing because they don’t know the difference; adults simply don’t have the logically skills to discern the difference.

  • WFNY_DP

    “As in all things, depends on the charter school.”

    Not as much in Ohio. The majority of them are just not good. And, I’ve heard enough stories about false qualification of students for services and double-billing–simply for the purposes of making a profit and NOT for anything having to do with the actual education of children or improvement of their life skills–to make my skin crawl. But hey, much like Trump avoiding paying taxes for a decade and a half, bilking all of that tax money off of the public while not being held to any kind of standard “makes them smart” I guess. That they can wrap it up in the package of something called “school choice” is just the icing on the cake.

  • WFNY_DP

    I held out a tiny sliver of hope that the larger effect of the ’09-’10 Tea Party movement would be that the furthest-right 10-15% of people would break off into their own party and would instantly cede any power they once held. If a part of moderate Republicans stood up and was completely separate from the fringe right, I believe so, so much more could have been accomplished over the last eight years. Obama was hardly the far-left socialist he was portrayed to be in some outlets. If, say, 80% of the GOP Congressional establishment was made up of fiscal conservatives who didn’t give a crap about Bible-thumping social regression, I think they, Obama, and the large swath of center-left Democrats could have actually solved quite a few things.

    What a pipe dream that was.

  • WFNY_DP

    Will there be spending of the click monies, Sashi?

  • mgbode

    That is quite demonizing. There are charters dedicated to being autistic or special need schools, there are charters for the gifted, schools specifically aimed to the lower socioeconomic class. There are good things. There are undoubtedly bad ones too.

    http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/charter-schools-better-than-traditional/

    That one is a summary of a detailed report on CA charter schools. I think it is fair to the good and the bad of them.

    The biggest obstacle is figuring out how to assess and rate them and make sure people are aware of such and able to opt-out of them if they find themselves in a school not serving their child’s interests.

  • WFNY_DP

    Following is an over-simplification, but it touches on something I brought up above: profit motive.

    News channels aren’t owned by news corporations anymore; they’re owned by large companies that don’t really care about credibility in the news. They only care about profit. Rupert Murdoch is somewhat of an exception in that he has more money that Davey Crockett (and also has a clear agenda), but he’s also managed to straddle the line perfectly between “raking in stacks of cash” and “pushing his specific agenda”… which has allowed him to expand his media empire. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    But, in some ways, the fact that media is owned by larger groups is a deeper problem. When GE owned NBC, I don’t really think they were interested in directing the specific content of the news (like Murdoch and Ailes at Fox) so much as they were looking at it as an investment in their portfolio. “NBC News” was a line item in a spreadsheet to them, and it needed to make money.

    CBS is owned by a company called “National Amusements” which is a movie theater chain created by the Redstone family. CBS Corporation is a publicly-traded stock. (!!!) One wonders whether the Redstones would care about CBS becoming the bastion of pure, unbiased reporting if it meant a sudden drop in CBS’s share price from it’s current $63.50 to, say, $40 since National Amusements owns 80% of the voting shares of CBS.

  • mgbode

    it is a fair argument. only allowing non-profit charters (of which there are a bunch) to receive public funding is one option.

  • WFNY_DP

    Sometimes to truth sounds demonizing, but I’m not going to retract what I said. It’s certainly not true of all charter schools in Ohio, and if my comment came across as saying that, then that I do retract. But, the broad brush strokes? I stand by it, both in things reported in the media and in things I’ve heard from educators and service providers, both in my family and outside of it.

    For example:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/02/10/the-education-mess-in-ohio-under-gov-john-kasich/?utm_term=.35a39a4b5567
    “A June 2015 story by the Akron Beacon Journal said it found that Ohio charter schools appeared to have misspent public money ‘nearly four times more often than any other type of taxpayer-funded agency.’ It said that ‘since 2001, state auditors have uncovered $27.3 million improperly spent by charter schools, many run by for-profit companies, enrolling thousands of children and producing academic results that rival the worst in the nation’ — and that that amount could be low.”

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/05/ohio_is_paying_charter_schools.html
    “A series of unannounced visits to charter and traditional district schools in November by Yost’s staff found that on average, only one of every three students in dropout prevention charter schools attended school that day.

    That’s a concern for Yost, who tracks attendance issues because the state pays schools about $6,000 per student each year.

    “Ohio’s school funding is largely based on enrollment as supported, in part, by student counts and attendance, as opposed to estimates of the amount of learning that takes place,” Yost said in the report he and staff released Tuesday.”
    [editorial comment: that means that for every $18,000 the state sends to those charter schools in question, $12,000 isn’t actually being directly used to educate the students it’s allocated for. How is that not a grift?]

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/06/12/troubled-ohio-charter-schools-have-become-a-joke-literally/?utm_term=.fcee8bcd74b4
    “The Columbus Dispatch, whose editorials have been supportive of charters, ran an editorial titled ‘Open the books’ that said in part: ‘[C]harter-reform legislation should require companies paid to operate charter schools to disclose how they spend the tax dollars they’re given. To date, some large companies have been paid millions of tax dollars and made no accounting to the public or, in some cases, even to the charter-school boards that hired them.'”

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/03/ohios_charter_schools_ridicule.html
    “Stanford’s Center for Research of Educational Outcomes (CREDO), found that students learn less in Ohio’s charter schools than in traditional districts – the equivalent of 36 days of learning in math and 14 days in reading.

    The National Education Association’s David Welker, a member of NEA’s charter policy team, said Ohio’s system has been taken over by “grifters” and “cheats” – the for-profit companies that run many Ohio schools.”

    So, yeah. They’re taking tax money and turning a profit, and they’re essentially (again, as a whole, not each and every specific charter school) making a mockery of education. I view it as a grift of public money under false pretenses, and I will stand by that because I believe that the evidence tends to agree with me.

  • WFNY_DP

    I would absolutely support that. I would also ask for accounting of public monies and how they’re spent, as well as applying *some* kind of academic standards. These could vary depending on the aim of the school (i.e., a school focusing on special needs or job training or dropout retention should probably be much differently judged than a traditional charter school).

  • WFNY_DP

    This, also, has been one of my biggest complaints about John Kasich:

    Google “John Kasich David Hansen”

    It’s crony politics at its worst. Kasich’s chief of staff and campaign manager’s husband was appointed to run the school choice program, and then basically cooked the books before resigning in 2015.
    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/07/states_top_school_choice_offic.html
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/charter-school-scandal-haunts-john-kasich-220700

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/ohio-charter-schools-john-kasich-imagine
    (Mother Jones, so grains of salt needed, but the subject of the article has interesting things to say)
    “‘It clicked for me. Aha! This is self-dealing. That’s why we are massively overpaying for the lease,” says Sinoff, who resigned with the other board members this summer. He adds, ‘Imagine is perfectly happy cranking out low-quality schools and profiting off them. They don’t care particularly about the quality of the kids’ education.’

    Before Imagine Columbus Primary Academy opened, a different Imagine school operated in the building for eight years. Its story was nearly identical: The struggling school was paying enormous sums to Schoolhouse Finance while languishing on the state’s ‘academic emergency’ list—a designation reserved for F-rated schools—before its board voted to shut it down. One member of that board was David Hansen, who shortly after the school’s closing was appointed by Gov. John Kasich to a newly created position: executive director of Ohio’s Office of Quality School Choice and Funding. Kasich tasked Hansen with overseeing the expansion of the state’s charter schools and virtual schools, which are online charter schools typically used by homeschoolers.”

    Summary: company gets big chunks of money from state to run charter school. Company pays its parent company almost HALF of its budget on a building lease. School fails, closes. Company opens new school in same location, repeats same practices. Member of board is then tapped by Kasich to run “school choice” on a state level.

    The Ohio charter program under Kasich has been a rotten joke on a macro level. That there are some successful and honest charter schools should go un-noticed or un-celebrated, and if I gave that impression, I do apologize. Still, you’re not going to convince me that, at least in terms of Ohio’s charter school work and the fact that Betsy DeVos is cut from the same cloth as Kasich in this regard, isn’t a giant red flag for the underlying issues with charter schools overall in the way they’re currently operated in certain states. Opening those floodgates nation-wide, and essentially inviting profiteers to come in and take public money with no accountability, is a bad, bad recipe.

  • WFNY_DP

    Around what time-frame did your sister get her masters in school psych from OSU? Just curious if she overlapped with my wife at all…

  • mgbode

    what the standards are and how to hold them is the issue. we don’t want to get into a pure “funding tied to test score” issue either. that’s one of the tougher items (not just for charter but any school).

  • mgbode

    as we’ve noted and agreed upon, it is about how to sift those schools out that would need to be determined.

    it’s like homeschooling — there are parents who do it so they can have their kids pursue sports or acting and such. they don’t take it seriously and it’s reflected in their kids. drives those of us who are doing homeschooling to push harder than a larger school ever could absolutely crazy.

  • mgbode

    the last point is something that absolutely needs to be tracked.

  • Saggy

    According to the teachers and administrators I have talked to, NO.
    According to the way she “answered” questions at her hearing, absolutely not.

    She is amazingly unqualified. Her involvement with her husband’s company, and her ability to manipulate the student loan industry should be reason enough to keep her far, far away from the public educational system – which, by the way, she has no experience with nor supports.

  • Saggy

    Hmmm….it would have to have been around 1998/99, i think. But I’m not sure her masters was in school psych – it may just have been some sort of psych. but again, not sure. Happy to ask.

  • Saggy

    Have you read Chaos Monkeys? The author explains that you can click on ads just to screw the companies who pay for them. Isn’t mesothelioma the most expensive ad-word?

  • tigersbrowns2

    hmmm … she has been an advocate of the Detroit charter school system , she is a member of the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education … she has also served as chairwoman of the board of Alliance for School Choice and Acton Institute , and she heads the All Children Matter PAC.

    she & her husband’s foundation donate much toward education … but the lion’s share of it goes to Christian & Charter schools , with less than 1% going to public schools.

    so yes , she supports charter schools over public schools … but to still use the public funding to provide kids with vouchers to attend a private or charter school … i can’t really comment on whether this is a great idea or not. i can only imagine attending a public school in Detroit , or somewhere like Chicago , is much much different than in small town USA.

    but for Al Franken , or anyone else , to claim she is grossly under-qualified , not sure i can wholeheartedly agree with that.

  • Saggy

    She is now in charge of America’s PUBLIC schools. She has ZERO experience in public school administration. She has no educational credentials whatsoever. Is this the kind of person you want in charge of educating your children?

    It would be as silly as hiring a retired surgeon to lead the Housing and Urban Development program.

  • Saggy

    So you’d be comfortable dropping a 3-year old in the middle of the ocean?

    He has no experience swimming but, hey, let’s see how he does first before passing judgment.

  • tigersbrowns2

    if you say so … i guess the public school system & HUD will be going up in flames … well , i guess everything under Trump will be as well.

    prepare for doomsday …

  • tigersbrowns2

    no … my point is to give someone a flippin’ chance. everyone is in a rush to judge … i’m pretty sure you can dig up something questionable on every single person that walks on this planet , including you & i .

  • tigersbrowns2

    here in Toledo , the Toledo Schools for The Arts received an excellent rating from the Ohio DOE & national honors as well … it was nice to have a choice like this to send my daughter to.

    Overall , i think Toledo has done well on the Charter side of things.

  • tigersbrowns2

    good post MG …

  • tigersbrowns2

    i’m probably opening myself up for the kill , but hey , you only live once … if there is money involved , is it not a business ? yes , Trump is going to run the government like a business … who can run a business better , a politician or a businessman ??

    i know where you stand on Trump & his cabinet … how about we wait & see what he’s accomplished after his 4 years as far as the deficit , the trade deficit , job creation / growth , the GNP & all things business related.

    i can see your upset about DeVos … you must’ve deleted your post to me about her this morning. i can’t tell you (nobody can) on how Trump will do on education , HUD , foreign affairs & immigration , but he should be able to do well on the “business” end of it.

  • tigersbrowns2

    … and i don’t think i’d be knocking Devos about charter schools just yet … you don’t have to send your kids to the Detroit Public Schools … just imagine that for a second.

  • tigersbrowns2

    man , i should’ve commented on this yesterday … do you really think a billionaire like DeVos would’ve put herself through all this scrutiny & criticism so she could join Trump’s “need for profit” group ??

    she doesn’t need the money … and neither does anyone else in his cabinet … you let your blind dislike cloud your judgement.

    SAGGY accused me of being the “epitome of disconnect” … i can take it & i was civil about it. in reality , i think it’s the other way around … all of the Trump haters are the ones who are disconnected … you have all gotten used to the way things were & Trump & his cronies are way too radical for some of you all.

    i may be one of his only vocal supporters in this forum , but apparently many others around this country helped get him in there as well. the Government & this country was in bad need of an enema … everyone is cringing & squirming over Trump & i am loving it.

  • WFNY_DP

    I’m so tired of the “government as business” argument. That it needs to be explained the differences between the government and a business is exasperating.

    A business is created by the person/persons as a means to make profit.
    Government is not designed to make profit.

    That should suffice.

    If you want to go deeper, however, the idea that we would want a President interested in “making money” first and foremost seems counter-productive. Electing a very bad businessman (with multiple bankruptcies, questionable business ethics, and many conflicts of interest) as the person to “run government like a business”… well, you get what you pay for.

    “i know where you stand on Trump & his cabinet … how about we wait & see what he’s accomplished after his 4 years as far as the deficit , the trade deficit , job creation / growth , the GNP & all things business related.”

    It floors me that many (not necessarily you, per se) on the right are repeating this “let’s wait and see!” mantra. To which the retort is and will always be: Just like the right did with Obama, right?

    Personally, there are *some* areas in which I’m curious to see what happens. Trump’s repeated call for a large infrastructure bill is one of them. I’m anxious to see what such a bill looks like, because it’s a serious need for the country. If it resembles the infrastructure portion of the ARRA, I’ll be more than willing to give him some credit. I’ll also be curious to see how he offsets the spend, but I’m not going to simply dismiss anything out of hand as “Trump! BAD!”

    Some of us progressives are capable of rational thought sometimes, ya know?

    (I did delete one comment which essentially mirrored another comment. It seemed redundant.)

  • WFNY_DP

    Yes, but you’re unwittingly making the progressive argument. Detroit’s public schools are poorly funded. As are many of Columbus’s schools, where I live and where my wife works. When they struggle, under NCLB they get LESS funding. Staff are stretched thinner and thinner and asked to make more and more chicken salad out of more and more chicken poo.

    As someone said above, good charter schools are a great choice… for those that can afford them. This myth of “school choice” is just that: a myth. Poor people in urban areas can’t afford charter schools (not the good ones, anyway). Ohio’s school funding was voted unconstitutional FOUR TIMES by the OH Supreme Court. The first was in 1997 (!!!!!) and still nothing has been done.

    But, sure, Betsy DeVos is probably just the person to come in and fix it all, what with her literally-none experience in actual education beyond sitting on some charter school boards in Detroit.

    Me, my belief is that rather than offer “school choice” to the people of means, why not make the all schools a more level playing field? What would force these failing charter schools to be better? If they had to compete with actual functional public schools. Pulling kids out of struggling schools (and forcing the state to pay for it) is the ultimate corner-cut to fixing the overall problem: instead of chastising public schools and then pulling the rug out from under them, maybe let’s try making them better for everyone.

    Editorializing, it all smacks of a system set up to siphon off the kids who come from means as well as the funding. It becomes, then, a self-fulfilling prophecy to say “[insert big city]’s public schools are terrible.” No kidding. They’ve been systematically forced to fight with two hands tied behind their backs.

  • WFNY_DP

    That pre-dates my wife by a full degree cycle, so my guess is they don’t know each other, especially if your sister didn’t do any school psych work in Columbus.

  • WFNY_DP

    You missed the point. It’s not about them specifically. It’s about the entire business community (though Trump is certainly working to make his share of money already). DeVos isn’t doing it for herself; she’s doing it on behalf of all of the people she’s connected to via her charter school boards.

    Trump’s not radical. He’s doing the same thing the GOP has been trying to do for years. He’s just much more brazen about it.

  • Saggy

    My sister worked at these places:

    5th Ave Elementary (near campus), Westwood Elementary (west side), Eastwood elementary (east side), buckeye Middle school (south side), Eakin Elementary (west side), Moler Elementary (southeast side)

  • Believelander

    Yes, those legit sections exist, but I disagree that it should be up to the news recipient to seek out legitimate news amongst a bunch of clickbait. It would be one thing if they were clickbaiting in ways to whoop up the content without taking things horribly out of context to the point of dishonesty, but we’ve reached the point where that’s the case, and the content itself is fact-lite to boot.

    Opinion pieces also should never, ever be run in a news outlet that contain false information. That’s unacceptable. It’s become SOP (or maybe it always was?) to publish op-eds that contain flat out lies. Why are you letting someone print lies in your paper? It doesn’t matter what their opinion is – they should not be allowed to lie to people to support that opinion and expect to have that published.

    It’s a fricking jungle out there, man. And we have a public with all-time low regard for the news right at a time where an administration is threatening to remove First Amendment protections of the press.

  • tigersbrowns2

    good post …

  • tigersbrowns2

    another great post … you obviously are knowledgeable on education. i did not have to pay for my daughter to go to the Toledo School for the Arts … of course , they did ask for donations , which we were happy to do … the kids merely have to maintain a certain grade level. any kid from any district can attend this school.

    my youngest son attends Toledo Technology Academy … a specialized school geared at engineering … they made it part of the Toledo Public School system instead of making it a charter school … any kid , from any background & from any district can attend this school … it’s tuition free & again, you just have to maintain a good grade average.

    i don’t have any of the answers , but here in Toledo , i can see a poor kid from a real bad neighborhood at least have these choices … and if this kid is interested & motivated , he will be successful. giving every kid a choice & having it tuition free , seems like a great thing.

  • WFNY_DP

    To be honest, I’m glad that you’ve had a good experience with charter schools. It sounds like the situation you’re in is ideally what I’d love to see: ACCOUNTABILITY.

    Maybe it comes across that I don’t like the idea of charter schools, which actually isn’t true. More and more, I’m in favor of identifying and specializing education to kids at the secondary level, especially; and working to develop gifted/talented kids; and working to get kids with special learning needs into the right situations. Some of that can reasonably be done in public schools with the right work being done, but some of it is probably better suited in a charter school setting.

    My issue–in Ohio, specifically, since that’s where I live and where my wife works–is the way the rules are set up for charter schools. I firmly believe that no public tax money should be going to schools that make a profit and aren’t forced to show any kind of accountability; to me, that’s just common sense. If charter schools could be governed in such a way as to make them a legit alternative–while also fairly compensating franchise owners and operators that ARE taking some financial risk–then by all means… let’s go.

    But, that’s not what people like Kasich and DeVos want.

  • WFNY_DP

    I’m all about achievement growth, personally. Like, maybe you can’t pass a proficiency test as it’s constructed, but can you demonstrate that you’ve LEARNED a bunch of stuff and are making quantifiable progress?

  • mgbode

    question is how to quantify & do so to make it scaleable for the whole country — or should we have multiple ways of testing and you only need to prove through one?

    example:
    Elementary programs here are focusing on learning words. We are a “building block” learning base, so we taught phonograms. Early on, the books that those other programs could say “Hey, my kid can ‘read’ this book” while our little girl took a minute to even read any word. But now, she has far surpassed as she can read any book and those programs are still stuck on reading ‘the books where they’ve memorized the words’

    Even beyond what construct is best (quite likely it depends on the kid – my sisters will tell you many autistic kids need to learn the memorization way because it is how their brain works). The ebbs and flows of different ways of teaching can make it tough to level-set across at any particular point.

  • mgbode

    part of the issue of that hope was the origins of that Tea Party were fiscal conservatives that were outraged at the policies of the past 2 presidents + Obama’s plans. the spend to prop up the economy and spend some more policies (not that they stopped anything as Obama took the debt as a ratio of GDP to heights unknown by any predecessor – something to still be leery of now)

    anyway, there wasn’t enough traction on that rail (though I argue there should have been), so the entire movement was hijacked by the far right.

    to the last point, Obama was far from a center-left as can be seen by the fact he lost so many of the sub-urban counties the Dems once held (why they have lost so many state and national congressional seats). they pushed out the conservative liberals. it made them more popular than ever in the cities, but has hurt them everywhere else. the votes are probably about the same or maybe even better but the countries system is setup to not allow specific concentrated areas to have control.

    so, the questoin now is if Trump and company will make a big enough mistake that they give back all those areas won. I wouldn’t bet against them giving them back (history says the constituents will naturally balance legislation againts executive).