Target: Nancy Gibbs, Managing Editor of TIME magazine
Goal: Call on TIME to end its attack on public school teachers, highlighted by a recent anti-teacher cover
Magazine covers are often sensationalized in order to increase sales. This truth is, sadly, not surprising; yet publishers of “serious” news still have a responsibility to do so as objectively as possible. As one of America’s best-selling magazines TIME reaches millions of readers each week. The publication has come under fire for a recent cover’s malicious attack on teachers.
When teachers are regularly blamed for failing public schools starved of funding, for TIME to publish such a cover was hugely irresponsible. Common Dreams reports that the American Federation of Teachers has demanded a formal apology for what it calls a “misleading and hyperbolic attack.” The November 3rd issue cover reads “ROTTEN APPLES: It’s Nearly Impossible to Fire a Bad Teacher. Some Tech Millionaires May Have Found a Way to Change That.” And this wasn’t an isolated incident. A 2008 issue hailed infamous union-buster and corporate “reformer” Michelle Rhee as a savior of public education.
The editors of TIME seem content to occasionally churn out propaganda for privatization supporters, despite the wealth of research showing that a corporate model for education does not benefit children–or save taxpayers money. Privately operated charter schools often trade quality teachers for high-paid administrators, and deepen both racial inequalities and poverty. Defunded public schools have failed America’s children, promoters argue, and teachers are responsible. Fortunately corporations are there to save the day.
Teachers are real heroes, and TME should be ashamed for painting them in such a false light. Demand that the magazine issue a formal apology for its anti-teacher cover and end its misleading attach on public educators.
Dear Ms. Gibbs,
Your publication’s November 3rd cover story “Rotten Apples” was blatantly misleading in its attempt to cast teachers as undeserving recipients of public funds. And it wasn’t the first article TIME has published arguing an anti-teacher, pro-privatization take on education reform.
Historian Diane Ravitch has spoken out against this “malicious” cover, rightly asking: “Since when do tech millionaires know anything about teaching children?” Ravitch went on to argue, “Why should they determine the lives and careers of educators? Why don’t they volunteer to teach for a week and then share their new wisdom?” I agree with Ravitch, and add to her critique the fact that privatized education doesn’t benefit anyone but investors. Kids, parents, teachers and communities have all been failed by the very reforms you are promoting.
I must insist that you issue a formal apology for the November 3rd cover, as demanded by the American Federation of Teachers. And I urge you and the editing staff at TIME to end this misleading and misplaced attack on public school teachers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Census Bureau via Wikimedia Commons