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Newswire: December 6, 2011

Vol. 13, No. 48

NEW YORK TIMES SHARPENING ITS PRINTERS… for all kinds of ideological opposition to school reform. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephanie Saul’s alleged exposé on the online learning company, K12, was pulled we hear over lack of veracity or an incomplete (unbalanced?) picture of the company and online learning in general. Similar assaults have been waged against private companies including Education Alternatives and Edison, as well as on charter schools and scholarship programs for private education. What gives? Before you relax over the article being pulled, keep in mind that it most likely will be published soon. Now, here are the real facts about online learning.

MISGUIDED ASSAULT ON VIRTUAL SCHOOLS. A New York Times opinion piece by Gail Collins did run and did bash online schools for one of the oddest reasons. Collins questions why K12 is trying to encourage students from disadvantaged communities to enroll in online schools, as if online schools are only for the economically privileged. The ability to choose an education, the civil rights crusade of this century, must be available for all families, regardless of income level or zip code. Fortunately, a Getting Smart blog takes on Collin’s confusion over online learning, pointing out flaws in the reporting and uncovering biases against cyber learning. Enjoy and be informed.

NEW YORK TIMES ON A ROLL. On their op ed page, a D.C. resident attacks school choice because it makes her anxious and because she believes that only black parents are forced to make choices these days. Forced?? Perhaps she hasn’t visited an inner-city school that has been failing its students not for a year or two, but for decades, with sub-standard classes, an environment that harkens the wild, wild, west, and teachers who, even if they once did, don’t care about student success anymore. The Times must have relished this piece as it, just like the ones mentioned above, is filled with inaccuracies about reform and choice. Read a response to the Times’ op ed here.

MORE FALSE FACTS. This time regarding the Garden State Virtual charter school. A group of New Jersey parents incorrectly fears that this virtual charter proposal will suck money from traditional public schools. And, the Teaneck school board has sued the charter and the New Jersey Department of Education, seeking an injunction to ban this cyber school. Distortions and lies abound – and on school time, taking away from student learning.

LUNACY. Idaho Statesman reports that Superintendent Tom Luna received campaign contribution from K12, Inc., an online school. So what? The Media Bullpen calls this a strike out for the paper. See why.

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