Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Was LA Times Practicing Independent Journalism When They Ranked Teachers? - Living in Dialogue

Was LA Times Practicing Independent Journalism When They Ranked Teachers? - Living in Dialogue:

Was LA Times Practicing Independent Journalism When They Ranked Teachers? 



By Anthony Cody.
A fresh debate has emerged in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Times’ critique of the Gates Foundation’s education reform project. As I noted here, they seem to have forgotten their own role in promoting the Gates Foundation’s efforts – namely, their “Teachers investigation,” in which they hired an economist, and using several years of test score data, generated and published their very own VAM ratings for thousands of Los Angeles teachers.
Here was the debate on Twitter:
I tweeted my post:
LA Times Criticizes Gates & Deasy, Forgets OWN rolehttp://www.livingindialogue.com/la-times-criticizes-gates-deasy-forgets-role/ 
Alexander Russo retweeted this, adding: The publication of teachers’ scores is one of the most questionable pieces of edjournalism of the last decade. (and he has posted a followup here.)
I replied: thank you. These ‘journalists’ won 2nd place award fr. EWA for this hatchet job on teachers
Greg Toppo, who covers education for USA Today, and is Vice President of the Education Writers Association, replied:
“Say what you will about the stories. They are not journalists in quotes.”
To which I replied:
“If you define journos so as to exclude bloggers due to the latter’s advocacy, that applies to LAT also.”
Greg Toppo then replied:
“No. Journos, LAT included, go where evidence sends them, sometimes badly but always independently.”
So let’s dig in a bit here, because obviously Twitter is not the place to reach any real clarity.
A bit of context underscores why it is useful to delve into the ethics of this work. I have been engaged in a bit of a debate with the leaders of the Education Writers Association for the past couple of years, since they Was LA Times Practicing Independent Journalism When They Ranked Teachers? - Living in Dialogue:



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