The Never-Ending Debate Over John Oliver’s Testing Segment

Alexander Russo, May 08, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Alexander Russo has a new blog on The Washington Monthly called "the Grade". Think of it as NPR's On the Media for education, he writes. Well, I can try, but what I see here is far from what I see there. In this, one of his first segments, he takes on John Oliver's excellent commentary about schools and testing. He doesn't find it very funny, which is fine, as not everyone likes insightful and cutting humour. On Monday, in his other blog, he complains that it's one-sided. "It ignored the benefits of testing and reporting achievement data for poor and minority kids," he said. Let's revisit that On the Media segment again, shall we? He mention's Pearson's response in the Valerie Strauss's Washington Post blog but comments only, "No word yet that I know of from the HBO show team — or from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker." On the Media meanwhile cites has good coverage of Pearson from parent WNYC. The really great thing about On the Media (and I'm a regular listener) is that gets well beyond the snark, and dives deep into issues. That's what he needs to do if he wants to be seen as the On the Media of education.

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