Sunday, March 09, 2014

Just a Blogger

As Diane Ravitch said, when starting the Network for Public Education (NPE),

We are many.  There is power in our numbers.  Together,
we will save our schools.

I felt very embraced at the 500-person conference.  We were parents, teachers, bloggers, public education writers and activists. We want a bigger and more diverse tent. 

What was amazing was to heard many stories - from across the country - about what other states were experiencing.  I can tell you that Washington State is not half as bad off as other states (and the people in Louisiana, Florida and New York are really having to fight major battles.) 

The conference was the #1 trending hashtag on that Saturday (and this was with the Oscars coming on Sunday and the issues in the Ukraine.)  

One topic was blogging.  I learned that Diane's own blog, at one year old, had passed one million hits in April 2013.  In January 2014, her blog passed nine (9!) million page views.   One hedge fund manager (another education philanthropist) asked why a 75-year grandmother was kicking their side's ass in social media?

So I am always amused at those who try to marginalize public education activists and bloggers.

For one there is Pando, a blogger, who has been following Enron billionaire John Arnold and his donations to PBS.  It's funny to see the Wall Street Journal - run by "honest Abe" Rupert Murdoch - try to call out others for their reporting.  They take Pando to task for calling out what seemed to be a biased piece running on PBS called "Pension Peril."  What got left out of the WSJ's editorial? 

Carefully omitted from the editorial is what Pando previously reported: Arnold is not just pushing for transparency or any “reforms,” he is, according to his own foundation, pushing lawmakers in states across the country “to stop promising a (retirement) benefit” to public employees.

Oh, and the Journal somehow forgot to mention that the larger Corporation for Public Broadcasting also weighed in by praising Pando’s reporting and similarly concluding that “PBS had a conflict of interest here and were correct in returning the money.”

Oh and one other thing about Murdoch - he owns Amplify Education, which built inBloom (Gates Foundation created) where about a million students' data was uploaded - without telling parents - in New York State.

I like the company I keep.


n said...

You must mention David Sirota who investigate and wrote the article. His last incarnation(besides being a best-selling author) was as a radio host at AM760 in Denver. He became my hero on the left for his crusty honesty about the right nationally and locally and his staunch defense of teachers and public education. Emily, his wife, ran for school board unsuccessfully.

I still send him occasional emails telling him how much I miss him on the radio.

n said...

Also, he interned with Bernie Sanders. Unlike Thom Hartmann who is always professional and civil, David would resort to the idiot word from time to time. He was a breath of fresh air on the left where "uncivil" is rarely heard.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you N. He is a great guy.