Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Washington Post Education Reporter 

I have to admit that I am not impressed so far by the Washington Post's new education reporter V. Dion Haynes. Here is the evidence for my conclusion. First, I explained the WEDJ permanent facility story to Valerie Strauss over at the newspaper, who was excited about what I was telling her and who told me that it was definitely worth an article. Then I reached Mr. Haynes who acted like the fact that one charter school was able to rent space from a developer was like getting out of bed in the morning. He expressed no interest at all in the fact that we had accomplished the impossible.

Today, he pens a report which can only be news to him, namely that People for the American Way, a group that has ferociously fought private school vouchers wherever they have been introduced, finds serious problems with D.C.'s program. Worse, he even calls them a "civil rights organization." It took me a google search of 0.13 seconds to find two first page references to their opposition to school choice.

The story goes on to report that these wonderful people, through a freedom of information request, found that Nina Rees, assistant deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, discussed in emails what should be said publicly about the D.C. program with Sally Sachar, president and chief executive of the Washington Scholarship Fund, which implemented the plan. I can tell you without hesitation that there are few people on this planet with more personal integrity than Ms. Rees. Considering the political environment in which vouchers operate how could we not expect the architects of this initiative to talk strategy.

One more thing. Nathan, my friend at the D.C. Education Blog, also covers the findings of the People for the American Way Foundation as a valid research study. I think he should remove it from his site.

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