A Portland State University journalist was fired from the Vanguard student newspaper last month for his characterization of a Muslim student's remarks at an April 26 campus panel discussion.His dismissal has drawn national attention from conservative media, which see it as an example of left-wing campuses muzzling free speech.But his firing also illustrates the challenges of producing ethical journalism in a social-media age--when a local story can turn global with provocative phrasing and a few retweets.Andy Ngo wasn't reporting for the Vanguard when he attended the panel. What he did was paraphrase a portion of a Muslim student's comments about the treatment of non-Muslims in Islamic countries via his personal Twitter account.Ngo's tweet went viral and caught the attention of the right-wing Breitbart News Network."Muslim student claims that non-believers will be killed in Islamic countries," the Breitbart headline read.Four days after the panel discussion, Ngo was fired. (The school awarded him $1,900 per term for his work as multimedia editor--money he gets to keep.)Ngo, 30, a lifelong Portlander and grad student in political science, says his crime was political incorrectness, not just what he tweeted. "Some of my past writing has been controversial on campus because of the subjects I've covered," he says.Those topics included profiles of ex-Muslims and pro-Trump students of color on campus. "I don't know if that played a factor in influencing the decision making of those who fired me, but it's something I think about," he says.His former boss disagrees."This is not partisan," says Colleen Leary, the Vanguard editor-in-chief who fired Ngo in person. "We aren't a left-leaning paper, and we aren't afraid to publish complex topics."Leary says she dismissed Ngo because his tweet summarized the panelist's remarks in a way that was unethical."The tweet was a half-truth," Leary says. "It incited a reaction and implicated the student panelist."
actually it's about ethics in liberal exercise of free speech
Quote from: teeming brown mass on May 24, 2017, 10:25:00 AMactually it's about ethics in liberal exercise of free speechI think I'm going to have to make a Cards Against Humanity card that says, "Actually, it's about __________ in _________." Good times.
DeVos's ties to--and support for--the profoundly troubled virtual school industry run deep.In a 2013 interview with Philanthropy Magazine, DeVos said her ultimate goals in education reform encompassed not just charter schools and voucher programs, but also virtual education. She said these forms were important because they would allow "all parents, regardless of their zip code, to have the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children." Also in 2013, one of the organizations that she founded, the American Federation for Children, put out a sharply critical statement after New Jersey's school chief, Chris Cerf, declined to authorize two virtual charter schools. The group said the decision "depriv[es] students of vital educational options." Yet another group DeVos founded and funded, the Michigan-based Great Lakes Education Project, has also advocated for expansion of online schools, and in a 2015 speech available on YouTube DeVos praised "virtual schools [and] online learning" as part of an "open system of choices." She then said, "We must open up the education industry--and let's not kid ourselves that it isn't an industry. We must open it up to entrepreneurs and innovators." DeVos's ties to--and support for--the profoundly troubled virtual school industry run deep.cutting_school_finalcutting_school_finalBuy the bookAt the time of her nomination, charter schools were likely familiar to most listeners given their rapid growth and ubiquity. However, the press surrounding the DeVos nomination may have been one of the first times most became aware of a particular offshoot of the charter school movement--virtual or cyber schools. Despite flying somewhat under the mainstream radar, online charter schools have faced a wave of both negative press and poor results in research studies. One large-scale study from 2015 found that the "academic benefits from online charter schools are currently the exception rather than the rule." By June of 2016, even a group that supports, runs, and owns charter schools published a report calling for more stringent oversight and regulation of online charter schools, saying, "The well-documented, disturbingly low performance by too many full-time virtual charter public schools should serve as a call to action for state leaders and authorizers across the country." The jointly authored research was sponsored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and 50Can, all groups that lobby state and federal agencies to loosen regulations to allow more robust charter-school growth. As one of the report's backers said, "I'm not concerned that Betsy DeVos supports virtual schools, because we support them too--we just want them to be a lot better." Such an upswing in quality seems highly unlikely to happen anytime soon. They are yet another trickle in the stream of apartheid forms of public education flowing down from the wealthy and politically well connected to communities that are poor, of color, or both.In Pennsylvania, Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio, and Florida, poor students from rural areas as well as those in underfunded urban schools that primarily educate students who are Black and Latino today face a new response to the question of how to solve the riddle of race, poverty, and educational underachievement. Increasingly, despite little supporting evidence, a growing number of states and local school districts no longer believe that the solution is merely about infrastructure, class size, funding, or hiring more teachers. In states with high levels of poverty and "hard to educate" Black and Latino students, virtual schools are on the rise. Such schools are not growing nearly as fast in school districts that are white and relatively wealthy, nor are they the educational strategy of choice in most private schools. As much a business strategy as one promoting learning, virtual education allows businesses to profit from racial inequality and poverty. Sadly, this particular cure to what ails our education system more often than not exacerbates the problems.* * * The very nature and meaning of education underwent a change.Though supported by Democrats as well, the expansion of virtual charter schools accelerated as Republicans increased their margin of control in governor's mansions and state legislatures across the country. At the start of 2016, Republicans occupied thirty-two of the nation's fifty governorships, ten more than they did in 2009. During that same period of time, Republican control of state legislatures doubled. What that means is that by 2016, Republicans controlled more legislative chambers than they did in the entire history of their party. The same political winds that have shifted to blow so many Republicans into office have, at the same time, pushed virtual education to the forefront of educational policy for a certain segment of our nation's youth.In December of 2015, Congress sent the long-awaited overhaul of the federal government's education bill to the White House for President Obama's signature. Called the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new bill updated the previous educational act signed into law in 2002 by President George W. Bush, No Child Left Behind. When introducing that new act, Bush said that it was a means for our nation's schools to begin to seriously combat what he termed "the soft bigotry of low expectations" that had so often stood in the way of ensuring the success of America's children who were poor, of color, special needs, or in any way struggling to achieve academically. President Bush promised the nation that No Child Left Behind would require that by 2014, 100 percent of all public school children could perform at grade level as measured by standardized tests in the areas of math and reading. However, by 2012, President Obama's administration and much of the rest of the country realized we as a nation were far from successfully achieving the previous president's promised outcomes. Obama's education bill made no grand promises such as those found in the previous law, and in many ways was most notable for the fact that, unlike No Child Left Behind, with its push to give the federal government authority to prescribe and enforce educational standards, curriculum, and consequences from Washington, the Every Child Succeeds Act by and large returned such matters to the control of the states and local governments.
According to a 2012 Philadelphia Citypaper article, "Who's Killing Philly Schools," in a district comprised of 80 percent Black and Latino students, the vast majority of whom are below the poverty line, cyber schools accounted for fully educating more than a third of the children in 2014. The goal is for that number to rise to at least three-quarters, if not more, in subsequent years. However, between 2011 and 2014, 100 percent of the children enrolled in Philadelphia-area cyber schools who took state achievement tests failed. The record of Pennsylvania's fourteen cyber charter schools was so abysmal that the state of Pennsylvania denied all applications to open new cyber charter schools in 2013 and 2014. Their poor track record has not derailed the long-term plan of increasing the numbers of students who take classes via virtual education, however.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the federal school safety commission formed by President Trump following the Florida school massacre that left 14 students and three adults dead will not study the role of guns in school violence.