Education is not the stuff of nightly news. Or, perhaps, it isn’t news because the media is unsure of the critical importance of education reporting.
Walk into any bookstore in this country and you’ll notice that the education section is either in the far back of the store, on the very top floor or (in most large books stores), it is in the basement. It’s not a wonder our educational system is likewise in the basement. Education doesn’t seem to matter.
We need examples of quality education and clear pictures of what works in schools. Absent knowing what to ask for, the people cannot point out what they want for their children. This is a matter, not of only our country’s place in the global economy, but a matter of our democracy.
Without good schools, the children in this country cannot grow up to be informed and active citizens. Without citizens who understand their rights, our democracy is in jeopardy. Without examples of what good schools are, people cannot protest because they do not know what to ask for in place of what they have. The media has a role in raising awareness — not only of the problems, not simply when there is shooting or a scandal, but also of the positive examples and the great possibilities. The media does this with the Green Movement, with health and with lifestyles. It’s time for the media to recognize that education matters. Let’s lift it out of the basement, put it on the front page, challenge weaknesses and celebrate successes—the media has the power to make education matter.
The importance of this is so that parents all over this nation know what is possible—so they know what to demand. This is a matter of social justice, equity and the future of democracy.
Education is not simply a matter of bake sales and backpacks, nor is it a matter of mass shootings and improper relationships. Learning is more than standardized tests and the debate over uniforms.
The people deserve to know about examples of great teaching and learning so they can demand it for their own children.
The media has the power to show parents what it looks like. The time for this is now.