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MEDIA WATCH: New York Times continues promoting Arne Duncan's latest Chicago-style lies... Duncan claims, according to the Times, that opposition to his policies is "Zero"

On May 4, 2010, The New York Times continued its policy of publishing propaganda on behalf of corporate "school reform" as news. The latest example was an article entitled "Education Chief Vies to Expand U.S. Role as Partner on Local Schools..." (reported by Sam Dillon and Tamar Lewin). From the silly lead paragraph (Arne Duncan speeding — behind a police escort? — through the streets of Washington, D.C. to do an interview on NPR) to the Big Lie in the final paragraph (Arne's policies face "Zero" opposition), the article continues the mostly uncritical version of history that the Times has offered its readers since Barack Obama announced the Duncan appointment in December 2008. Since the Times has outsourced its Chicago news to an outfit called the "Chicago News Cooperative" (which is partly owned by Martin Koldyke, one of the city's fiercest corporate school reform chieftans), it's unlikely that a critical voice will be heard from Chicago itself.

Every month since December 2008, when Arne Duncan was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education by then President-elect Barack Obama, The New York Times has devoted a major "news" article to praising Duncan and the controversial policies that have been implemented since Obama was inaugurated President in January 2009. The most recent of the hagiographic versions of news appeared inside the National Edition of the Times on May 4, 2010 (above). So, once again, some samples of "news" as propaganda.

[img=1576]The beginning: "...there was Secretary of Education Arne Duncan one recent day, racing through Washington traffic in a black Chevrolet Suburban, sirens wailing to clear traffic on his 13-block trip to the National Public Radio studios for an hourlong call-in show that he crammed into his hectic schedule..."

The finale: "Mr. Duncan says he encounters no public opposition. "Zero," he said. "And as hard as we're pushing everybody else to change, we're pushing the department to change even more. There's just an outpouring of support for the common-sense changes and the unprecedented investments we're making."

Zero opposition.

Except, for Texas...

And Vermont...

And most of Michigan...

And the majority of the victims of Arne's experimental "Renaissance 2010" privatization programs in Chicago between 2004 and 2009...

And a dozen more states — and millions of people — saying "No" very loudly to "Race to the Top", turnaround, charter schools, and most of the other K-12 policies being pushed by Duncan.

Readers should never forget the thousands of people, most of them African American, who protested against Duncan's Chicago policies when he was Chief Executive Officer of CPS in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 (when Duncan's Hit List became Ron Huberman's Hit List). Even if The New York Times ignored them (after all, why write about "nobodies" when you can do propaganda for all the somebodies within the Beltway?), we've kept the stories up at www.substancenews.net (since 2008) and at our old site (www.substancenews.com) for the years from 2002 through 2007.

Or, Derrion Albert...

Derrion Albert didn't die last September because, as former Chicago Teachers Union President Deborah Lynch wrote, "Turnaround" was "the deadliest reform of all..."

He died because Chicago didn't yet have a "Culture of Calm." So Arne Duncan came to Chicago and gave Mayor Daley $60 million to spend on patronage for "Calm" coaches (at $80,000 per year) to make sure that the kids who had worked to elect Barack Obama would have jobs, Chicago style, during the years when most large school districts were laying off thousands of teachers, and everyone was facing austerity.

Why bother with the facts on the ground, especially if the victims of Duncan's policies are black people — teachers, parents, students, and their communities — and his critics can be kept out of the breakfast meeting (Advance Illinois, June 19, 2009) and threatened with arrest if they try to talk with the most powerful education official in the USA, less than a year after many of them showed the audacity of hope by electing Duncan's boss President of the United States. 



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