Wednesday, May 10, 2006

As Michigan Goes...

This whole NY Times editorial calling for more bureaucratic red tape for charter schools (because of some bad experiences in Michigan and Ohio) reminds me of the scene from the Michael Keaton movie The Paper from a few years ago. Keaton plays an editor at a NYC tabloid who goes for a job interview at a stodgy, out-of-touch paper that is supposed to be the Times. During the interview, he steals a story idea off the desk of the editor who is interviewing him. Keaton is then offered the job, and told that by leaving the city tabloid, he will "cover the world!" rather than just the mundane news of New York.

Later, after it becomes clear that Keaton stole a bona fide scoop, the bow tie-wearing Times guy calls back to rescind the offer. "You lost your chance to cover the world!" Times-guy screams.

Keaton's all-time-classic response: "Yeah, we'll I don't live in the (bleeping) world. I LIVE IN NEW YORK (BLEEPING) CITY!!!!"

What does all of this have to do with the editorial? Once again, the NY Times is weighing in on an important topic impacting New York charter schools without ever comparing/contrasting the reality of New York's rich local experience with chartering. Rigorous oversight? Closing bad schools? Been there, doing that.

Worth noting that this editorial was targeted for the New York State Legislature, not for regular Times readers. So what are you going to do about it now Charter Chuck?

Andy Smarick weighs in here, though I take exception to his negative portrayal of "someone slurping a martini at a high class dinner party." If there is any other way to endure such an occasion, The Chalkboard isn't aware of it.

UPDATE: Julie at the School of Blog is confused by the editorial, particularly "why the NY Times has suddenly become so frosty toward charter schools."

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