Paul Thomas has written a series of posts about how poorly the media covers education. In this post, he lacerates the New York Times for its interview with Ed Boland, who wrote a book after teaching one year, and leaving.


He writes:


“Ed Boland wrote a really bad edu-book that all the mainstream media adores because, well, you know, nobody gives a crap what a teacher thinks, but let ANYbody dip a toe in education who isn’t an educator and then everyone is all gaga….


This will be a short post, one that simply notes that I have told you so, again and again—mainstream journalism about education is godawful.


I also want to turn your eyes to the promise of the New Media, where two posts have addressed the bad journalism and bad edu-book very well, I think.


Thomas then quotes from two devastating reviews on blogs.


Nobody Told Him How to Take a Cellphone Away from a Kid, Alan Singer

“My fear is that this will book will be used as another weapon in assaults on public schools and teacher certification programs. I have no question there are public schools that are not functioning and should be closed, although it would not be fair to make a judgment based on Boland’s report. Boland says he is in no way blaming the students, they are the victims of poverty….But that is not how it comes across in interviews or what sells books. The focus in “The Battle for Room 314” is on the horrors Boland feels he experienced because of the students and he offers a detailed description of their behavior, at least as he understood it.”

Education Tourists Can’t Save Anything or Anyone, John Warner:

“The desire for “control” runs through all of our education saviors. Mark Zuckerberg’s well-meaning $100 million gift to the Newark public schools assumed that they could move teachers and families out of the way to make room for his version of “reform.”…


“People like Ed Boland and these other reformers are not saviors. They are education tourists. Boland has used his year as an education tourist to launch a book that’s been reviewed everywhere, and is now a sought after public speaker, a supposed expert on education and our educational system.


“This is like a student pilot who crashes on his inaugural flight being asked by the FAA about aeronautical safety.


“More and more I’m starting to think we need someone who can save us from the saviors.”