You have to admire Whittle Communications, the promoter of the in-school television program known as Channel One. For cash-strapped school systems, Whittle makes an offer that is hard to refuse: Use our 12-minute newscast every school day and we'll supply your system with satellite dishes, video recorders and television sets.
Baltimore City's resource-poor school system has signed up with Whittle. This fall, Channel One will premiere in all of the city's middle and high school classrooms. Every morning, Whittle will deliver by satellite a 10-minute news program with two minutes of ads to each of these classrooms.
While we have supported corporate-school partnerships in the past, this is one project that should be abandoned. In other partnerships with the city's public schools, both the corporations and the schools have benefited equally. Businesses have improved their public image by donating supplies, money or personnel. In return, school children get instruction or materials they might not otherwise receive.