Media Blog

Reporter Rewrites Teachers’ Union Press Releases

Busted in Jersey! Paul Mulshine finds a reporter doing lefty advocacy work on behalf of the teachers’ unions:

I am not one of those conservatives who goes looking for liberal media bias on every page of the paper, but the Star-Ledger was guilty of offering up a heaping helping thereof on the front page of Tuesday’s newspaper.

It came in the form of that front-page article in which we reprinted a propaganda piece from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers.

The institute’s “scientific” study purported to show that preschool education actually saves taxpayers money because children who go to preschool do better in grammar school.

But the reason I put “scientific” in quotes is that to have any validity, any such study would have to have been done by a neutral authority, one that has not prejudged the question of preschool education one way or the other.

That’s not the institute. … What are the chances that the employees of an institute that exists to “support” publicly funded preschool would construct a study that showed anything less than glowing success?

… Also grounds for disqualification would have been the fact, unmentioned in this obviously slanted news article, that the co-director of the institute, Ellen Frede, designed the very program her institute purports to be studying back when she worked for the state Department of Education. Again, this is such an obvious source of bias that it precludes the institute from performing a study with any scientific validity.

And here’s the gem:

This passage could have come from the teachers’ union website:

“Quality preschools include a maximum class size of 15; certified teachers with early childhood expertise; and developmentally-appropriate curriculum. The focus is on getting children ready for reading, as well as preparing them for the learning process.”

Oops, it looks like it did. I did a Google on the NJEA site and came up with this description of preschool, which was taken from state regulations:

1. A certified teacher and an assistant for each class;

2. Maximum class size of 15 students;

3. Developmentally appropriate curriculum;

And then there is the obvious bias shown by quoting only supporters of the program. …

Read the whole thing!

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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.