Why Does the NY Times Pay So Much Attention to An Accused Teacher and So Little to the Common Core ?

October 10, 2014

Over the past several years the New York Times, the paper of record and all that, has published article after article, editorial after editorial praising the wonders of the privately owned experiment on American children deceptively called the Common Core State Standards and painting all who opposed the instantly sacred writ as little more than right wing nut jobs. The paper has done all it can do to hide the fact that the Common Core exists solely because a private citizen, one Bill Gates, has decided that it is his right to undermine democratic process and dictate public policy even as our spineless politicians have helped him every step of the way. The information about the genesis and financing of the Common Core, though obscured and hidden, has been flushed out and is available to those who seek it. See especially the work of Mercedes Schneider. Apparently the New York Times does not seek it.

With this in mind, I read with astonishment the almost granular description and psychological profile of the life of one Sean Shaynak, a high school teacher arrested for multiple counts of sexual misconduct with his students.
The story is disturbing and disgusting and, yes, newsworthy but I have to ask myself: why does the horrific behavior of a single teacher merit such research and scrutiny while the imposition of a radical experiment, increasingly loathed by American parents, students and teachers, and created by an unelected, unaccountable monopolist given what results in a free pass by the paper of record?

Consider simply the level of research — research reminiscent of a NY Times profile of a presidential candidate — that went into the ridiculous citing of Shaynak’s favorite Pretenders song as he rode down the highway of life toward ignominy and worse. Try to find an a commensurate example of research in any NY Times article on the provenance of the Common Core or any of its principal creators and you will search in vain.

Consider that the admittedly sordid allegations against this one individual, horrible that they are, affected a tiny proportion of one school yet merited the front page of the most important paper in America while the stealth creation of a radical privately owned imposition that is currently upending almost every school in the country is scarcely worth a mention.

Something is wrong. Very, very wrong.
What is really going on here ?

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5 Responses to “Why Does the NY Times Pay So Much Attention to An Accused Teacher and So Little to the Common Core ?”

  1. Cas Ann Says:

    Maybe it is that one is a CRIME – the other advocating for a curriculum you don’t like. Do you really think a teacher abusing his students is a lesser offense? Good lord, get a grip!

    • patrickwalsh Says:

      What I think is that you have absolutely no idea of what I was writing about or what you are talking about.

  2. rastamick Says:

    I agree a “Bad Teacher” series feeds the larger narrative of the Ed Reform class. All teachers are bad and this dude is ust one we were able to catch so let’s turn his story into a mini series where we can spank all the other teachers in effigy. To stare down the Common Core as the fraudulent money grab that is is simply goes against the grain of the neo liberal sensibilities favored at the NYT.

  3. Harmiclir Says:

    My friend, you’ve answered your own questions. In addition, education reform is a foundation stone for the NYT and it returns like a dog on a leash periodically to enlighten us all about the latest horrors in the NYC public school system. Arthur Ochs Sulzburger has no interest in taking on Bill Gates or Eli Broad and I can’t imagine Motoko Rich ever being given an assignment to “investigate the real funding, power and influence of American plutocrats in American education” beyond the periodic account of the latest doings of the Koch Brothers.

    I am not quite so sure that the Times has any compelling position on teacher tenure beyond the many individual quotations scattered through its editorial columns that tsk-tsk about how hard it is to actually “fire” a teacher. For the rest, the Times gives its readers some of what they want–more or less detail about the doings of a particularly awful teacher whose relative “failure” in life can be used to give the story a dramatic arc that mere sexual assault of students in his care might not.

  4. Michael Fiorillo Says:

    What’s going on?

    Distraction and misdirection,as usual…


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