Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ravitch: Why is PBS running this education documentary? - The Washington Post

Ravitch: Why is PBS running this education documentary? - The Washington Post:

Ravitch: Why is PBS running this education documentary?


If you go to the website of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington that believes in privatizing the public education system, you will learn about a three-part documentary called “School Inc.,” which is narrated by the late director of the organization’s Center for Educational Freedom. The documentary has been called the magnum opus of Andrew Coulson, who was a researcher and author who promoted the idea that free markets and the profit motive would improve education in the United States. Coulson called traditional public schools “government-run” and was a strong proponent of school tax credit programs that use public money to fund private education.
It is no surprise, then, that School Inc. — whose primary funders have the same educational beliefs as Coulson — would extol the virtues of privatized education and attack public education. What is surprising to some public education activists, however, is that the documentary is being shown on publicly funded PBS stations.
Diane Ravitch, the education historian and former assistant secretary of education who became the titular head of the movement fighting corporate school reform and the privatization of the public education system, watched the documentary and wrote in the following piece that viewers will not get anything close to a balanced view of the education reform debate in the country and around the world.
A PBS spokesman said in an email (you can see the full response below) that the network stations “offer programs that reflect diverse viewpoints and promote civic dialogue” and that School Inc. is “an independent production that reflects the personal viewpoint of series creator Andrew Coulson.”


It also said that PBS has “high editorial standards” that ensure “that the creative and Ravitch: Why is PBS running this education documentary? - The Washington Post:


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