Google V. Teachers

Ever since starting this blog, I have been required to stay on top of the latest news from the world of education. Sometimes a perusal of the links on my blogroll does the trick. Other times, Google serves as my old stand by. I have a Google account that automatically mines the latest stories by using some choice tags. Lately, it does not matter what sets of tags I use, the same types of results come up.

So, here is a list of the headlines that appeared on yesterday’s search. See if you can find a common theme among them:

Former LA Teacher Charged with Lewd Acts in Photographing on 23 Kids to be….

Report: Vietnamese high school teacher arrested for advocating multiparty….

Teacher critically injured in crash

Locked in dark room by teacher, six-year-old dies

White teacher sues to use the “N” word

Bayshore High teacher accused of being drunk on the job

This one promises to remain in the news a few days:

Spitting mad teacher faces off with student

The news loves these videos of teachers behaving badly. While it is obvious that the teacher was out of line here, there really is no way to tell what preceded all of this. Here is the video posted on the Daily News site:

At the start of the video, the teacher says “you can’t put your hands on me”, meaning that the student might have hit, or threatened to hit the teacher. Who knows?

What we do know is that this is just pure sensationalism, what used to be called Yellow Journalism. The Daily News headline begins with the words SEE IT in all capital letters. These headlines are all about the spectacle. Of course, they tend to prove teachers guilty in the court of public opinion before they go through any sort of due process.

This helps explains all the headway education reform has made over the past 10 years. Reformers have been screaming about a “crisis” in public schools for so long that a quick Google search of “schools” and “crisis” will assuredly turn up example after example of how crummy our schools are.

This is the 2012 version of the sinking of the USS Maine. The Maine sank under mysterious circumstances and the Yellow Journalists pinned it on Spain, stirring up the country for war. In the same way, the school crisis has been pinned on teachers, getting the country in line for a war on our profession.

Google is the perfect invention for our age. The television and print media already mindlessly parrot whatever politicians and tycoons say. Google is here to exponentially expand that parroting.

So next time you see something about a “bad” teacher, just remember why that story even made into the news at all. Then thank Google for finding it for you.

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