Reporter Refutes Claims Of Junk Journalism
Refusing to knuckle under to the bullying views of know-nothing education bloggers like Kevin Carey and me, a brave education reporter named John Krupa from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Northwest takes on the notion that, in this case at least, the Wall Street Journal's recent story on parents moving across the country to get better schooling for their children was a "fake" trend.
Writes Krupa: "I agree we need to be mindful of turning isolated anecdotes into trend stories. But it's not obvious to me that the Journal reporter committed this sin after reading her story. I feel like she did her homework. She cites examples of 10 families — attending three separate schools in three separate states — who moved to put a child into a private school. She gets anecdotal confirmation that the phenomenon is happening from admissions officers, principals and school consultants (I'll acknowledge all are biased to answer affirmatively). She gets anecdotal confirmation this is happening from the president of the National Association of Independent Schools (Again, I acknowledge the potential for bias). Ideally, the story should present data to back up the sources' anecdotal claims, but frankly, I don't think anyone is collecting this information. And there should have been a public-school voice saying that the story's premise is bunk. But I think the reporter gathered ample evidence to write what she did: "A small but growing number of parents .... are dramatically altering their families lives to pursue the perfect private school for their children."