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NCLB Outrages

Saving Our Schools [sic]

Ohanian Comment:
According to Wikipedia, PARADE is a national
Sunday newspaper magazine, distributed in more
than 400 newspapers in the United States. It
was founded in 1941 and is owned by Advance
Publications. The most widely read magazine in
America, PARADE has a circulation of 32 million
and a readership of 71 million.
you'll see the message they're getting about
public schools.

Here is Parade's Mission Statement:

PARADE needs no introduction to its 72.6
million readers, who value it for the fun and
information of Personality Parade and James
Brady's celebrity profiles, for the challenge
and wit of Ask Marilyn, the currency of ideas
in Intelligence Report and, above all, for its
relevance. PARADE begins with a single,
powerful image that draws readers in and then
holds them with stories that educate, entertain
and empower. Joining the right writer to the
right idea, PARADE consistently provides its
readers with quality stories. That quality
itself is defined by three elements: clarity,
authority and substance. Each article must be
clear in design and content and well researched
and written with a voice of authority. It must
also have substance, telling readers something
they didn't know before and giving them an
opportunity to effect change.

That being the case, it must be our charge,
after reading the interview below, to figure
out how we're going to effect change about
teacher-bashing entrepreneurs of Rhee's ilk and
how we're going to end NCLB. End it.

Here's how PARADE describes Lyric Wallwork

Every Sunday, PARADE readers turn to Lyric
Wallwork Winik's Special Intelligence Report
column for domestic and international news that
affect [sic] their lives. Winik is one of
America's most respected young journalists. She
has written nearly 25 cover stories for PARADE
and has interviewed such prominent movers and
shakers as Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsefeld, First Lady Laura Bush, former
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, former
Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Former
New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Microsoft
founder Bill Gates.

Anybody notice a pattern here?

Winik's 2007 PARADE interview with Labor
Secretary Elaine Chao drew a firestorm of
indignation. As noted on Barbara Ehrenreich's
blog, "Chao is quoted saying that American
workers not only have bad attitudes and lousy
work ethics, they also need to dress better and
to have better personal hygiene. Let's be
blunt--Chao thinks American workers have bad
body odor. On top of all that, Chao thinks that
Americans need to take anger management

It is interesting that we now get an interview
with the D. C. schools chancellor whose
attitude about teachers lines up with Chao's
attitude about workers.

Anybody notice a pattern here?

Here is some information about the owners of
PARADE. Advance Publications, Inc., is an
American media company owned by the descendants
of S.I. Newhouse. In addition to Parade,
the company owns many leading publications
including (but not limited to) The New
Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Architectural
Digest, Glamour, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Bride,
GQ, Golf Digest,
and Footwear News,
among others, as well as newspapers in more
than 20 cities, and the business newspaper
group American City Business Journals.

Whew! Lots of places to put messages about
public schools and the people who work in them.

The company is privately owned by Samuel "Si"
Newhouse Jr.(According to SourceWatch, he has a
personal fortune $7.5 billion) and his brother,
Donald (personal fortune $7.3 billion). Advance
Publications had sales of $5.9 billion in 2003.

Here are the top 20 U.S. Media Owners

1. Time Warner Inc.
2. Walt Disney Company
3. Viacom Inc.
4. News Corporation (Murdoch)
5. CBS Corporation
6. Cox Enterprises
7. NBC Universal
8. Gannett Company, Inc.
9. Clear Channel Communications Inc.
10. Advance Publications, Inc.
11. Tribune Company
12. McGraw-Hill Companies
13. Hearst Corporation
14. Washington Post Company
15. The New York Times Company
16. E.W. Scripps Co.
17. McClatchy Company
18. Thomson Corporation
19. Freedom Communications, Inc.
20. A&E Television Networks

A poll question accompanying this article:
Should schools pay students for good grades?

Yes: 29%
No: 71%

Surely this must prove that the corporate
politicos and their pseudo-educationist allies
with their hands out for foundation filthy
lucre can't fool all the people all the time.

by Lyric Wallwork Winik

In her first year as schools chancellor in
Washington, D.C., Michelle Rhee closed 23
schools and fired 36 principals. Now in her
second year, Rhee, 38, spoke with PARADE about
how to help failing schools—and students—

What can the new President and Congress do
to help education?

The federal government needs to be bold and
aggressive about reform and take on entrenched
interests, including the teachers’ unions. The
government likes to cut deals, but cutting
deals does not do the right thing for kids.

What’s your opinion of No Child Left Behind
and its effect on U.S. schools?

I’m a huge proponent. The most important thing
is that it has set up an accountability system
for students, and it emphasizes teacher
quality. It could use a shift in mind-set away
from focusing on what credentials teachers have
to how effective they are. The degrees teachers
have are much less important than the gains
they make in achievement inside the classroom.

Is that why you support merit-based pay for

There are teachers working their butts off, and
then there are teachers who are absent 80 out
of 180 days, and they all get the same salary.
We need to value employees who get the biggest

You’ve introduced a controversial program
that pays students for good grades and
attendance. Why?

When critics say that it’s sad to pay students,
I say it’s sad that only 8% of D.C. eighth-
graders are proficient in math. People in the
suburbs use incentives for their kids all the
time, like giving them $10 for an “A.” Kids in
our program can save money for college or get a
bank account.

So is more money what’s needed to fix

Spending alone doesn’t produce results—it has
to go to the right places. We closed 23 schools
because some of them were operating half-full.
We were spending on lights, heat, and air-
conditioning, and that money was not being felt
by the kids in the classroom. After closing the
schools, we could pay to put a librarian and an
art, music, and PE teacher in every school for
the first time.

— Lyric Wallwork Winik
Parade Magazine


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