Media: Tin-Eared Reactions To NYT "Private School" Column
While I disagree with Russo's view on Winerip's column, it's worth considering it:
#Reformy types were all kinds of apoplectic about Mike Winerip's column in the New York Times yesterday, which has the gall to note that several of the country's most prominent reformers went to private school. By the angry/miffed responses -- EdSector, Andywonk, and others -- it's a delicate issue. It shouldn't matter, really. Of course it shouldn't. But -- let's be honest -- it does. People care where you're from, where you live, and where you send your kids to school (especially if you're prone to wagging your finger in other peoples' faces). They also care what you make, they care that you're (mostly) white and male. Now I have my own complaints about Winerip's column, which mixes NCLB accountability hawks with Obama-era charter/value-added types together, leaves out "it" reformer Jonah Edelman (Sidwell Friends!), and hilariously calls Michelle Rhee's organization "Sunshine First" (since corrected). But the fact that reformers don't like having the private school issue raised and respond to it so angrily suggests (a) some sensitivity, (b)a bit of a tin ear on issues of class, and (c) a corrosive sense of entitlement when it comes to media coverage and commentary. Even the most occasional criticism or skepticism is cause for an attack. It's an alienating, and amateurish response given how credulous and complimentary the media (including the New York Times) have generally been towards reform efforts.