It's teacher hunting season!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Support for WNYC, Basher of Public School Teachers

We are in a period of right-wing bashing of funding for public broadcasters, National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is outrageous; the right controls the agenda on corporate airways. Public broadcasting provides an alternative with mature content as opposed to the infantile attachment to cute news or celebrity news. I support the preservation for public broadcasting. It is essential for the preservation of the non-corporate news in isolated perts of the country that have a lopsided presence of FoxNews-like news-talk radio outlets and a paucity of mature, professional news.

However, when we hear pleas for support from New York City's National Public Radio affiliate, WNYC, we should withhold giving any individual contributions to the station. For when we hear WNYC's Brian Lehrer introduce segments on education we wince. He have to brace ourselves. Lehrer features charter school entrepreneur Eva Moskowitz with great frequency. When he chats with her there is an atmosphere of Moskowitz as the sole voice, with no recognition that she has an intense (personal, entrepreneurial) bias in the discussion of charter versus public school.

Last August Lehrer had then-New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein on the air. He let Klein speak soliloquy style on his views of the schools.
When we hear Klein or Moskowitz it is a solo presentation. On plenty of issues Lehrer has balance, opposing voices. Why no diversity of opinions on education? He has not had Sam Anderson, Betsy Combier or Norm Scott, or representatives of the burgeoning parent-teacher alliances, Campaign for Public Education or Grassroots Education Movement.

It has been suggested that money from the Broad Foundation's donations to WNYC influences this bias. We should have an open discussion: who funds WNYC? Why is there an apparent bias for the case for charter schools?