Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ordinary Response to School Failure: the Press

Unfortunately, because school failure is so common in America, it is not news, and so the ordinary response of the press to a failing school is none at all.

I remember the one time, when I was working at Locke High School, a perennially failing school, that Roy Romer, the superintendent for Los Angeles Unified at that time and a former governor of Colorado, came to our school: a student had been shot to death, and he needed to manage public relations. The press did show up for that tragedy and the succeeding funeral, and promises were made by the then-principal that the student, Deliesh Allen, would never be forgotten; but that principal, Frank Wells, got sacked two years later (in consequence of aiding our uprising to turn Locke High into a charter school), and I doubt that even one percent of the students or administration now working at Locke will have ever heard her name. Such are the ways of news cycles, and the cycling of administrators and superintendents. 

Failing anything dramatic, school failure is just not very newsworthy in the United States today.

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