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Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 09/ 3/2009

On D.C. Schools, No News Is Good News

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Matthew Hammond
Washington

This past week has been notable in the more than 10 years that I have lived in the District. With children returning to school this past week, there has been one noticeable absence in The Post: No article about a major disaster related to the opening of the D.C. public schools.

In past years, we’ve had students without schedules, not enough teachers or no textbooks. This year, the schools have opened without such a disaster. I consider this a small but significant victory in the reform efforts of Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. While it may not be improved test scores, it’s a good step. I look forward to future steps down this path.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 3, 2009; 10:12 AM ET
 
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Comments

You got it partly right: "This year, the schools have opened without [MUCH REPORTING ABOUT] such a disaster."

Don't forget the PTA-sponsored press conference at Burroughs school on renovations that weren't finished three days before school opening (and are still going on). http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/08/lew_burroughs_will_be_ready.html

And don't overlook unreported news, for example - what happened to the "Capital Gains" program, where kids got paid for good behavior, grades and attendance? After a heavily reported beginning, it seems to have quietly disappeared. I bet there’s news there – why don’t you go after it?

Then there’s Shaw Middle School, with its newly-hired principal and new young, energetic teachers with the proper attitude toward urban education. That story was heavily reported in the Post until the AYP scores came out and Shaw’s scores went down. There’s another lead for you to follow. Shaw’s disappointing scores were initially misreported by PBS, but they had the integrity to correct their error and report the facts.
http://learningmatters.tv/blog/on-the-newshour/michelle-rhee-in-dc-episode-10-testing-michelle-rhee/2476/comment-page-1/#comment-322

Posted by: efavorite | September 3, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

And lets not forget efavorite.... the report that came out showing that dcps had not accurately reported all criminal incidents over the last two years. I like the way you opened your post... THEY AREN'T DOING MUCH REPORTING ABOUT ANYTHING FENTY et al. He must be a part owner. Or he has them in his pocket. I wonder what he has on them?

Posted by: centsmytwo | September 3, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

9/6/09
I see this same piece is published in the Sunday print version without any corrections, and without any opportunity for reader comments.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/05/AR2009090502350.html

Apparently readers' comments, such as mine above, even when accurately referenced, don't count as news worth reporting or even checking - even when the source is the Post itself.

Instead, someone's erroneous opinion that the first day of school went smoothly makes the paper twice.

Posted by: efavorite | September 6, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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