MEDIA WATCH: Education Week virtually ignores Byrd Bennett guilty plea while featuring more corporate 'reform' propaganda on its front page the week after 'BBB' pleads guilty and begins to snitch on her old cronies in Detroit (and elsewhere?)...

While the Chicago Sun-Times managed to make sure that its readers were updated on the corruption investigation (and later guilty plea) by Barbara Byrd Bennett, Education Week, which pretentiously dubs itself 'AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD' buried the stories about Byrd Bennett on its inside pages. Could it be that Byrd Bennett's lucrative several-city career as a leader in corporate "education reform" led the editors of Ed Week to bury the stories of the biggest criminal conspiracy in recent American education? Or perhaps it was that one of the biggest corporate funders of Ed Week is the Broad Foundation, which had carried Byrd Bennett around as one of its star administrators for the better part of a decade from Cleveland to D.C. to Detroit and finally to Chicago.If you dug deep enough, you might have been able to locate a mention of the guilty plea in federal court by Barbara Byrd Bennett in the October 21, 2015, edition of Education Week. As readers have known since Ed Week began its pompous corporate career 30 years ago, the weekly touts itself as AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD. But as many of us have noted for decades, the "record" presented by Ed Week is the record of apologetics for corporate "school reform", privatization, union busting, and charterization in the USA.

Most readers would think that a federal guilty plea by one of the most famous (and peripatetic) "reform" administrators would be front page news. But while Ed Week did note (in a four-paragraph story buried in its "News in Brief" section) that Barbara Byrd Bennett had entered a guilty plea in Chicago, the most important news for Ed Week this week are the following stories, each of which begins on the front page...

-- "Are New Teacher Tests Vulnerable to Cheating"

-- Philanthropy Moves to Scale Up Digital Ed


-- Proposals Very on rethinking Title I Funding

Now there may be an editorial reasons for this careful selectivity in featuring (or downplaying) the articles chosen by 'AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD,' but probably a better way to figure out who is calling the tune at Ed Week is to go to the page where they list their corporate sponsors:

-- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

-- The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

-- The Joyce Foundation

-- The Walton Family Foundation

and a half dozen other funders for corporate so-called "reform."

And so it's little wonder that Ed Week found it possible to downplay the latest chapter in the lucrative but corrupt career of one of the favorites of corporate "school reform" as she continued her attempt to avoid as much prison time as possible, Barbara Byrd Bennett was not just any public school administrator who succumbed to her own greed (and, according to one email included in the federal indictment, "casinos"), but she was at the top of the list of those who were moved from place to place by the Broad Foundation and others at the top of the lucrative funding pyramid that pays well to those who promote charter schools and the privatization of public education in the USA.

Byrd Bennett's career included stints in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Detroit, as well as Chicago. And at each place, she found reasons to push privatization and denigrate the public schools according to the scripts prepared by corporate "reform" and repeated endlessly for the past 30 years in the pages of Ed Week.

And so, instead of being front page news in AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD, the biggest personal scandal to hit a major school district since Atlanta had to indict dozens of teachers (and its former award winning superintendent) for test cheating the saga of Barbara Byrd Bennett was buried, as journalists put it, in the "back of the book."