Baltimore school reform criticism: Consider the source

August 27, 2010

Erica L. Green's article, "City gets 'C' on school reform" (Aug. 25) cites a study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, identifying that organization as a "nonprofit organization that conducts research in elementary and secondary education reform…". That's like saying a report by the Republican Party, a non-profit organization, has been critical of Governor Martin O'Malley.

The article should have said that the Fordham Institute is a right-wing organization tied to charter schools and anti-union activities.

The Fordham Institute has a right to publish its so-called findings, based on criteria that it, alone, deems valid. But The Baltimore Sun has a responsibility to give its readers the context of the story. Otherwise the public would be led to believe that the report came from a non-ideological source.

Failure to provide background information places a newspaper on the same level of the internet, publishing stories without vetting the source. We count on newspapers to do that extra bit of digging that assures us that we're getting the whole story.

Jeff Passe, Towson

The writer is a professor and chairman of the Department of Secondary Education at Towson University.

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