I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Saturday, August 13, 2011


ADDING: Here's the contact page for MSNBC. Consider telling them what you think about an education special with no advocate for teachers or their unions on the show - politely, of course.

MSNBC is going to be doing a show on education tomorrow, August 14, from noon to 2 PM EDT. The show's producers have tweeted the panelists on the show.

Not ONE panelist for this show is a practicing K-12 teacher or principal. Not ONE panelist represents a teachers union.

This is appalling - especially when Derrell Bradford, committed teachers union basher, will be sitting on the panel. See the panelists and their Twitter bios, or links to their on-line bios, below.

Every teacher, principal, parent, student, and person interested in real education reform should tell MSNBC they are insulted by this slight. They should then try to watch and participate in this program. If they won't represent us on the air, at least we can be represented on-line.

You can participate in live chats on the show's Facebook page:


You can also tweet during the show by using the #MakingTheGrade Twitter hashtag, and by following their Twitter account: @strongeramerica

Here are the panelists the show confirmed via Twitter who will participate:

TODAY Show Parenting Contributor/Dateline,Dr Phil,CNN,MSNBC/ Psychologist/Educator/Bullying Expert/Author 22 bks-The Big Book of Parenting Solutions/MOM

President and Founder of University of the People, the world's tuition-free, non-profit and online University.

Emergency Manager of Detroit Public Schools

Youth advo­cate, Army com­bat vet­eran, promis­ing busi­ness leader and author

Ed Reformer, School Choicer, Gamer, Exec. Director at B4K. Occasionally says really, really irreverent stuff in print and online, so be prepared. 

 : Telemundo Network News Anchor+host of Enfoque, Sunday morning public affairs show.Presentador del Noticiero Telemundo y de Enfoque. Colaboro con 

This is the OFFICIAL Robert Townsend (You know, the actor.)

Panelists not on Twitter:

Dr. Patricia Ackerman, The Chalkdust Foundation (a retired teacher - I guess that's all we get)

Laura Pappano, Author

Dr. Ben Chavis, CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Turns out to be the other Ben Chavis.

Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, University of Detroit Mercy President (at least someone with academic eduction credentials)

ADDING: The producers have added Sharlonda Buckman of Detroit Parent Network to the panelist list. At least there's a parent advocate. But a teacher advocate? Yeah, not so much...


CommutingTeacher said...

I expect more from MSNBC, what are they thinking?! It's as I keep saying, we're not being obstructionist, we are always excluded.

calugg said...

This is how we know the game is rigged. Until they include public school teachers and REGULAR administrators (not the Broad, etc crew), this effort smells rather "Reformy" to me. Thanks for the heads-up.

Monica said...

Sounds like another media gossip session. They only want to talk about us, not with us.

Anonymous said...

"As long as you work hard, you can be anything that you want to be!" That saying rung through Hollywood and through schools during the 90s. Today we know it is not true. Education starts with the youngest kids. If their parents are not able to provide for them the chance to know their shapes, colors, letters, seasons, food groups, holidays, etc. before they enter school, than they are already behind. But somehow it is always thrown back to the teachers as a scapegoat. You want a stronger America, you need smarter parents, an better community, Hollywood backing education and not bashing it all the time, and well trained teachers. Without that you have our current system. That's what they don't want to hear, hence why teachers were not invited!

Lisa said...

Duke, whom can we email now, PRIOR to the airing, such as the show's producers, to complain that a show about education--especially about strengthening it--has no credibility, and is basically ridiculous, without practicing teachers on the panel.

I searched online and on the msnbc site but couldn't find an email address. Any suggestions?

Duke said...

Lisa, great point. I added the MSNBC contact page to the top of this post.

Suzanne Libourel said...

Here's what I wrote on their contact page:

I was looking forward to the upcoming show "A Stronger America: Making the Grade" because I had high hopes MSNBC would be covering all aspects of the topic of improving public education in the US. As an educator, I am pleased at the attention education is receiving currently, but dismayed at continuing attacks on public education and teachers in particular. When I reviewed the list of guests invited to participate, I was distressed to find that there are NO current public school teachers or administrators on the panel! In fact, this panel appears to be heavily weighted with proponents of charters, vouchers, and the dismantling of public education. Without the voices of public school teachers and administrators, MSNBC is continuing and advancing the mistaken view that public school teachers are not in support of improvements in public education. This panel of this show also does not have any researchers with proven track records of in-depth investigations of education policy, such as Diane Ravitch. Without the voices of education researchers and social scientists, MSNBC is providing a one-sided and, frankly, destructive view of public education in America. In the description of the show is the following quote; “MSNBC is committed to not only being part of the discussion, but part of the solution.” With no public school teachers or administrators on the panel of this show, I find MSNBC to indeed be part of the problem.

czarejs said...

Can't say I'm surprised after seeing they're sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation. MSNBC's primetime people might speak the truth, but as GE owned entity MSNBC will sell out to their corporate backers in a heartbeat.

TFT said...

I started http://www.facebook.com/MiseducationNation last year because of the same issue.

It has grown, but could use some more fans. If we want to counter the nonsense, we need to show them we are united They are painfully aware of my FB page, and last year tried to get m to shut it down for a certain concession I refused.

Please go and "Like" the page, and tell everyone you know to do so!

TFT said...

I forgot to mention that they banned me last year for posting on their page, then after I created Miseducation Nations they let me back.

They have shut me out again. I cannot post over there. Not only do they fail to invite actual teachers to their summit, they won't even let us post at their FB page.

Go get em!!

Lisa said...

FWIW, here's what I wrote on their contact page, sent twice, once with the subject "Tamron Hall" and one with MSNBC TV - general. Hat tip to above commenter Suzanne Libourel :).


Re: A Stronger America: Making the Grade airing 8/14/11

As an MSNBC devotee, I'm surprised and dismayed--even disturbed--by the panel chosen for the 8/14/11 "Making the Grade" live discussion. A panel discussing education that does not include any current, practicing K-12 public educators has no credibility, cannot be perceived as "balanced," and is missing the second-most important stakeholder in education, the first being parents and students. Also missing are education policy researchers with proven track records of in-depth investigation, such as Diane Ravitch.

Your panel is heavily loaded with proponents of the privatization and corporatization of public education; advocates of vouchers and charters, the latter of which have been shown by empirical research to have only the same or lower student achievement as public schools when educating the same student demographic--which many do not.

I'm surprised that MSNBC is providing such a shallow, biased view without the voices of current public educators and education researchers. Public education in America cannot be strengthened without them, and no one knows more than the teachers in classrooms every day that a stronger America is impossible without them. So where are they in the solution...and your "Stronger America Initiative"?

Duke said...

TFT, I down with that!

Everyone, check out TFT's blog:


Duke said...

Everyone - you are all great. Thanks for stepping up here!

Edward said...

Everyone must watch this video about how things are shaking down behind the educational scene in California. The same is happening around the nation.


This is the depth of the dysfunction in education that David Simon didn't manage to get right in The Wire. He certainly understood the general pathology, as he nailed it regarding the war on drugs in Baltimore, and the social climbing and political maneuvering that keeps the rickety machinery ambling on.

Lowie said...

Fortunately, we still have time to make panel and/or topic recommendations PRIOR to the 2011 Education Nation Summit scheduled for the week of September 25th in New York City. The page below includes a special "contact us" link pertaining specifically to Education Nation.


Anonymous said...

I sent my email to MSNBC. BTW - THIS is Derrell Bradford in action. Frightening. http://bcove.me/4p1o35z5

Anonymous said...

True educators can view this as an opportunity to listen to obtuse people engage in a discourse on a subject of which they don't have a clue. By doing so, their plans however inane will become known. Nothing is more satisfying than watching people "talk themselves stupid". I truly believe that these people have had problems with their own teachers or were raised by people with low opinions of teachers; and, now find themselves with some power to create policy changes. They forget that they (unless homeschooled )are the result of the old ways they are attempting to change.

John Hyman said...

I look to MSNBC for the type of balanced and accurate reporting other station merely hype. And I look forward to this educational special "A Stronger America: Making the Grade" to air 8/14. But I have to agree: why there are no educators among the panelists?

We have enough sanctimonius attorney's, superintendent's, and so-called "experts" leading our system of public education toward ruin. Is it not time to get advice and counsel from people who actually spend time in the classroom?

The elimination of unions appears to the the driving force behind the tactics of local government decision making where education is concerned. I am saddened to see a fine network like MSNBC fall lockstep into this political direction and away from formative journalism.