Over the past year, I have gotten several invitations to events by Education Week. All were promoting technology in the classroom and were sponsored by technology companies hawking their wares. I found this upsetting, even offensive. How can a newspaper report on companies while collaborating to sell their products? Why not just let these corporations buy advertising? Why have conferences to promote them?
Now Education Week is holding a conference selling the Common Core standards, featuring two prominent advocates. (Tony Bennett was supposed to speak in Indianapolis but he has been scrubbed since his electoral defeat; by March, he is likely to be State Commissioner in Florida and he could rejoin the panel).
Wouldn’t it be more fitting for a respected journal to have a conference debating the pluses and minuses of the standards, rather than a one-sided presentation (“the train has left the station, don’t ask where it’s going or who is driving it”)?
Why no acknowledgment of the issues and controversies around Common Core? Why no critical thinking? Why is the day devoted to “how,” with no discussion of “why”?
I blogged at Education Week for five years and have great respect for the editorial staff, who were scrupulous in their willingness to allow me complete editorial freedom. Similarly, every reporter from Edweek who has ever interviewed me was impartial and adhered to the highest journalistic standards.
But I wonder how long a journal can maintain its high journalistic standards when its very existence depends on the largesse of the big corporations that are selling stuff to the schools? And I don’t mean by accepting their advertising–that’s a given–but becoming an outlet to promote their vision.
Here is the latest invitation:
I hope you and your team will join me at Road Maps to Common Core Success. This Education Week Leadership Forum is taking place in Indianapolis, IN on March 11, 2013 and in White Plains, NY on March 21, 2013. At this day-long event, you will hear from state and district leaders, education experts, and other colleagues on their common core implementations, and discover and share new ideas on curricula, teacher training, and assessment.
Please register by January 9, 2013 to save $150 on your registration.
Not only is attending Road Maps to Common Core Success a great way to expand your network of contacts, but you’ll also take back to your district advice and guidance to help you conquer the challenges of implementing new curricula, effective approaches for the new literacy and math standards, finding PD strategies that work, and more. See the full agendas for Indianapolis and White Plains.
Speakers include John B. King, Jr., Commissioner of Education, New York State Education Department and Wesley Bruce, Chief Assessment Officer, Indiana Department of Education. These speakers will be joined by several other special guests as well as over 100 of your fellow education leaders, administrators, and curriculum experts. Join me at Road Maps to Common Core Success, but hurry! Space is limited, so register now.
See you at the Leadership Forum,
Virginia B. Edwards
Editor-in-Chief, Education Week
President, Editorial Projects in Education