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The Miseducation of CNN (And Bernie Sanders)

A question posed to Bernie Sanders at last night’s Ohio democratic debate was a missed opportunity to powerfully educate the public about charter schools.  Typically, information is power, but when the information is bad, all we have is mush.  Following is Sanders’ exchange with the questioner and Roland Martin, a well-informed media commentator with a passion for education: (with some of my own commentary sprinkled in)

MARTIN:  Since I have a brother and two sisters who are teachers, and one who is a teacher’s aide, let’s go to a teacher.  We have Caitlyn Dunn, she helps lead a charter school here in Columbus, Ohio.  She did Teach for America and saw the inequities in our school system, and she says she is undecided.  So, you got a shot.  Go for it.

DUNN:  Thank you so much for taking my question.  An article was released in the Columbus Dispatch Friday announcing the schools producing top student gains from around the state of Ohio.  Of these, one-third of those schools producing these results were charters right here in Columbus, Ohio.  So, knowing this, and also having similar narratives from across the country, do you think that charter schools are a viable way to educate children in low-income communities, or do you think that you would continue, as President, giving money to traditional public schools?

During this time, apparently CNN’s Teleprompter was miscued by an ill-informed editor, because rather than abbreviate the question correctly, CNN produced this bastardized version, suggesting that charters were not public schools.

dunnberniecnn

Adding insult to injury, Mr. Sanders seemed to create a new class of charter schools, one that does

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A Call for Candidates – How We Expect Our Leaders to Speak

The other day we developed and distributed our wishlist for the State of The Union and what we hoped to hear the president discuss. While he touched on education more than in most previous speeches and amplified the importance of technology and preparing students for the future, we were looking for more about the most important quest this nation faces – the importance of ensuring opportunity for every child, and underserved and unsatisfied students.

So with another important national event happening tonight — the Republican Presidential debates — we offer the same, consistent vision for how we expect our leaders to speak. Once again, our recommendations reflect the philosophies of those who work on the ground daily to advance innovation, freedom, and flexibility in American education. To all you candidates, please consider and lend your voice to the following important guidelines by which all efforts should be driven:

Education is not about space, a place, or time. Education is not a brick and mortar building; it is not about one person, concentrated on one methodology, or about one option. Innovative education transcends such confines to ensure that our students are prepared to be the future of our country.

  • WE MUST DO BETTER. Despite national graduation rates touted at 82%, our students still lack proficiency in the basic necessities of life such as reading and mathematics; and do not possess the knowledge necessary to preserve our freedom and ensure America’s national and international success.
  • EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITY AGENDA. America needs educational opportunity for every child, regardless of zip code, time, and place. From Pre-K through post-secondary education, candidates could consider informing the American people that ‘one size fits all’ education is an archaic vision that negatively impacts our children, specifically those who lack opportunity. Students of all ages should have the opportunity to

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