Rumor has it that the Daily News editorial page is under orders — when called by City Hall or Tweed — to ask only “how high” they need to jump, particularly if it gives the editorialists a chance to pursue their rabid anti-union agenda. But the editorial page apparently got its signals crossed over two issues that the UFT helped negotiate in Albany — a new teacher evaluation system and a charter school reform measure.
On May 27 the editorial page praised the approval of “a breakthrough plan to identify and weed out subpar teachers.” Then on May 29 the DN editorialists described the passage of the charter reform legislation backed by the the UFT and other groups as “a major victory” in “the battle for education reform.”
But just as the headlines in Pravda and Izvestia, the former Soviet newspapers, could easily be reversed to reflect changes in Russian policy, someone apparently decided that a mistake had been made.“New York again scores poorly on making education reforms,” thundered a June 6 editorial headline, referring to exactly the same issues that had won praise the previous week. “Numerous states backed charter schools and systems for holding teachers accountable for student achievement with far more enthusiasm than New York did,” said the editorial. And the culprit? How about: “the UFT’s power and wrongheaded opposition to change.”
Who ordered the change in the party line? We may never know. But the words Pravda and Izvestia mean “the truth” and “the news” in Russian. Cynical Russians used to observe that the Truth had no news, and the News no truth.