The Tribune's "Gantlet" Of Education Stories

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The Tribune went all out in its attempt to portray the dangers facing
Chicago students on Friday, shadowing teens from six high schools as they take
"perilous treks" and getting a somber quote from Michael Shields. (Stories here, here, here, here.) 

It's
sad that kids have to be so vigilant and are so frequently victims of
threats and violence, but I'm not sure that the observations that made it into print were all
that unexpected or interesting to anyone who's walked down a city
street or been in a high school before.  I liked the pictures but it seemed like overkill to me, or at least an awfully big effort for a fairly small return.

What did you think?  My favorite part of the whole package is the editor's note prissily defending its use of gantlet (rather than gauntlet, which is technically incorrect but increasingly common). 

Filed under: Media Watch

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  • I found the article deeply disappointing. I didn't think it was overkill, rather it didn't go far enough. For example, as a CPS educator, my first thought was that the interviews with the students were heavily edited--I'm sure they had more to say about school administration, teachers, and their surrounding community. Also, don't we all know that walking to and from school is the most dangerous part of most students' days? Tell us more then. Just the same old story. The girl, who obviously was involved in some gang activity, or at the very least travelled in those circles---I wanted more from her! I wanted the journalist to challenge her a bit, a wanted a more revealing interview with her obviously concerned parents. Just weak man.

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    These kids took a risk saying as much as they did to the newspaper. My 8th grader and I are currently evaluating the various selective enrollment HS's. I can't imagine having to also think about the life & death issues these kids face on a daily basis just getting to and from school. Very sad commentary on the state of the city as a whole-not just CPS

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    Maybe so, cpsmomtimes2. Good luck with your selective enrollment quest, it's not going to be easy this year AT ALL.

    My criticism was of the author of the piece and the trib, not the kids who took a giant risk in being interviewed for the article. And you're spot on. Forget all the debates over calenders, curriculums, TAP, mentoring, teachers and turnarounds. These issues, the ones following kids to and from school, often have NOTHING to with anything school related. Real issues: poverty, racism, violence.

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    Maybe so, cpsmomtimes2. Good luck with your selective enrollment quest, it's not going to be easy this year AT ALL.

    My criticism was of the author of the piece and the trib, not the kids who took a giant risk in being interviewed for the article. And you're spot on. Forget all the debates over calenders, curriculums, TAP, mentoring, teachers and turnarounds. These issues, the ones following kids to and from school, often have NOTHING to with anything school related. Real issues: poverty, racism, violence.

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    here's an altgeld garden senior's description of what it's like going to fenger -- from salon.com -- for those of you who wanted a little more depth than the tribune provided.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/10/19/chicago_fenger/

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    Meeks, Huberman and Dase:
    Meeks at PUSH update: Substance has confirmed that Senator James Meeks made the slanderous statements about Chicago teachers and the Chicago Teachers Union during the Operation PUSH meeting on Saturday October 17, 2009. Substance reporters are working on the story.
    Also can anyone confirm?: it has been reported that Mr. Jeffery Dase,Principal at Coles School, informed teachers of Huberman's findings and agreed with Huberman that White teachers in his school were more competent than African Americans AND ENCOURAGED the white teachers to deal with their classroom management issues because Huberman thinks if they can do that, they will have mastered the art of teaching AA children.

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    these kids are dressed like gang bangers and some like street walkers. When will we wake up and require some self esteem by not looking like some gangster or wannabe baby's mama?

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    Thank you Don Frynd! You are responsible for this-you should resign. No worries, Ronnie will

  • In reply to teacherlady:

    Sigh....

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