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Print media coverage of K-12 education

By Laurie H. Rogers
This page lists a series of articles and public records regarding Spokane education "coverage" (to use the word loosely). This series articulates part of the reason why Spokane, WA needs a new print news source. The situation reflected in these records and articles can easily be extrapolated across the country, from border to border and from coast to coast.

Essentially, the American print and television media are flatly refusing to tell the public what it needs to know in order to help our children. The nation's reporters -- with few exceptions, notably in radio -- don't know, don't want to know, don't want to investigate, don't know how to investigate, try to investigate and are shut down, don't believe in doing what's actually required ... probably a mixture of all of these. It's hard to say why a reporter -- whose job is to investigate and tell us the truth -- won't tell the truth about public education.

But make no mistake about it: Most have not told us the alarming truth. Meanwhile, when citizens report on the truth ourselves, we often are attacked by those same media "watchdogs."

January 2011: My book "Betrayed," about public education and Spokane Public Schools, was published by Rowman & Littlefield. The local newspaper and television were told but said nothing.

From January through April 2011, two local citizens and I held free public forums to tell the people about the math problem. A newspaper reporter attended one of the forums but didn't say a word to us. We were subsequently criticized in a newspaper editorial (without ever being contacted) for not being able to contain the district staff who purposefully disrupted our forums. That was the entire newspaper "coverage." Television said nothing.

Meanwhile, the newspaper maintains a friendly relationship with the district. In this February 2011 recorda district administrator says the education reporter discussed how education stories don't just fall into her lap. The reporter has to go and find them herself. (Aw.) The administrator found the reporter a pro-district-agenda story.

In this April 2011 record, the education reporter concludes that low graduation rates in Spokane are due "mainly" to poverty (and so not the fault of the district). She wants someone from the district to say this for her. The district obliges.

August 21, 2011: Barbie and Jim Brady agree: Math is hard

Oct. 25, 2011: Newspapers neglect critical information about PDC issues

Dec. 25, 2011: Paper pursues a political agenda as it accuses teacher of pursuing a political agenda

Dec. 28, 2011: Paper declines to inform voters about critical school-district election issues

Jan. 6, 2012: Papers display political agenda and weak skills in attacking teacher

Jan. 15, 2012: Yes, vote for kids by asking the adult questions about levies

Jan. 23, 2012: Hold district accountable for deceit, academic failure, and questionable activity

Jan. 31, 2012: Media, district advocacy not appropriate, not leadership

Feb. 15, 2012: Leadership seems filled with predators, sheep. Where are the sheepdogs?

March 7, 2012: Satire: In long-expected move, legislators and school districts outlaw the children

April 15, 2012: In defense of public-records requesters

May 31, 2012: Hold education bureaucracy accountable, or lose your right to do it

June 10, 2012: School district budget forums showcase half-truths, contempt for the public

Nov. 25, 2012: Political indoctrination replacing academics as the mission of K-12 public education

June 6, 2013: Public education's "culture of power": Small minds, thin skins, fragile egos

Nov. 11, 2013: Spokane print media failing all of us, especially the children

September 25, 2014: Reframing the Common Core discussion: A battle for our freedom