One parent’s important complaint: What actually makes a good school good? That’s an important question.
On Monday night, Chris Hayes did a segment about Park Slope Collegiate, a Brooklyn public school which is suddenly attracting upper-income white students from the surrounding neighborhood.
Yesterday, we did a post about this segment. We forgot to include this videotaped exchange, in which Hayes discussed the school with a black parent:
HAYES (6/23/14): Casey Robinson, a parent whose son attends Collegiate, has seen the influx of white neighborhood students in the building bring not only more diversity, but also more resources.That was the full exchange on this important topic. On a journalistic basis, we call Hayes’ conduct just this side of heinous.
Do you feel like, “Oh, OK! The city starts paying attention, like funds start to flow, like stuff starts getting done, when there’s a certain kind of parent who’s got their kid there?”
Do you feel that’s true?
ROBINSON: Yes, but you can’t get around it because it’s true.
ROBINSON: It’s not something that you want to sugarcoat and say, “That’s not true.” It is true.
This segment was a pre-recorded, videotaped report. Hayes interviewed teachers, students and parents about Park Slope Collegiate.
He also interviewed Jill Bloomberg, principal of Park Slope over the past ten years.
In the brief exchange shown above, a parent makes a very serious charge about the recent operation of this public school. Is the charge accurate?
Hayes prompts the parent, then quickly agrees with what the parent says. He is never shown asking Bloomberg, or anyone else, about this serious charge.
Again, this was a prerecorded report. As a piece of journalism, that exchange is heinous.
On the brighter side, we liberal viewers got to feel good when the parent made this charge. We heard a pleasing, feel-good, simple story:
The problem with low-income urban schools? Such schools are under-resourced!
Was Park Slope Collegiate under-resourced before the white neighborhood kids arrived? Was the school suddenly better equipped when it got its first few upper-income white students?
We have no idea. But there’s a reason for our ignorance:
We learned about this public school from watching the Chris Hayes program. And on a journalistic basis, Hayes wasn’t working real hard.
To watch the full segment, click here.