Special Report Finds The Detroit Free Press Only Ten Percent Reliable on ‘State of Charter Schools’

 WASHINGTON, DC –  Measuring the Reliability of the Detroit Free Press: State of Charter Schools released today by The Media Bullpen©, found the major news outlet to be only ten percent reliable in its June 22-29, 2014 series on charter schools.The Media Bullpen© – an entirely separate, editorially independent news arm of The Center for Education Reform (CER) — analyzed the 8-day, 42-article series based on its reliability, objectivity and whether the full context of the issues were presented. This special report found the Detroit Free Press failed to take “journalistic integrity and impartiality seriously.”Through its own investigation, The Media Bullpen© also discovered that the Free Press reprinted the series, intentionally omitting any counter editorials from charter school operators, parents, authorizers, and supporters that originally ran over the summer. On September 18, 2014, every legislator in Michigan received the reprint from theFree Press, which happened to be the very same day legislators opposed to charter schools introduced legislation to place a moratorium on these innovative public schools.”The fact that this series failed to present all sides of the story is troubling enough,” said Kara Kerwin, CER president. “But what’s even more concerning is that a news organization that is supposed to educate the public and lawmakers by presenting fair and balanced information unethically used this so-called ‘investigative’ series to engage in state politics in a really blatant way.”

“Contrary to the Free Press’ claims, Michigan spends $13 billion of taxpaers’ dollars on K-12 public education, yet not a single traditional public school has been closed by the Michigan Department of Education or a Michigan school district for academic reasons,” noted Kerwin. “Michigan’s charter school closure rate is twenty-two percent, while the national charter school closure rate is 15 percent. The fact that Michigan has one of the highest charter school closure rates in the nation shows that authorizers in the state take accountability and the public’s trust to educate students to their fullest potential very seriously.”

Measuring the Reliability of the Detroit Free Press: State of Charter Schools examines the most egregious statements from all articles in the Free Press series regarding achievement, authorizers and accountability, approvals, education service providers, funding and student demographics. Download or access the Special Report from The Media Bullpen©  here.


Founded in 1993, to bridge the gap between policy and practice, The Center for Education Reform is the pioneer and leading voice for substantive change that transforms learning opportunities and outcomes for America’s children. Additional information about CER and its activities can be found at


Education Social Media Icons Launch Edchat Interactive

Steven Anderson, Tom Whitby and Mitch Weisburgh Revolutionize online Professional Development


New York, NY (October 20, 2014) – Today Edchat Interactive announces the platform that replaces talking head webinars with an interactive, online Professional Development web experience.

Nationally recognized authors and social media icons, Steven Anderson, and Tom Whitby join with humanitarian and veteran edtech consultant Mitch Weisburgh to launch Edchat Interactive, transforming the way educators participate in live online professional development.

The inaugural Edchat Interactive web event takes place Wednesday October 22 at 8:00 PM EST. The first session will highlight Anderson and Whitby’s co-authored book, The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning. Participants in this interactive session will examine how connectedness empowers educators to be better professionals, to share tips and techniques to save time, to overcome obstacles, and to develop new skills.

“There are so many incredible educators out there doing absolutely amazing things with their students,“ explains Mitch Weisburgh. “But we saw that there is no effective way to transfer these practices across the country and around the world. Live face to face PD isn’t scalable, and webinars just don’t teach the way we all learn.”

“The three of us saw an opportunity to conduct PD that is more in tune with the way we learn,” stated Steven Anderson. “Educators are far too busy to sit and watch a lengthy talking head presentation. They want to interact, reflect, and participate in their learning. We believe the Edchat Interactive model fits into the busy lives of educators. Five years ago we started the Edchat Twitter chats because we saw an opportunity for educators to direct their own development by interacting with other educators. We see a next generation opportunity today with Edchat Interactive.”

“We wanted to replicate the presence, interactivity, and social learning that takes place in great face to face PD with the scalability offered through the Internet and we believe that Edchat Interactive provides the platform for learners to be in charge of their learning,” stated Whitby. “Participants will work in small groups to discuss the challenges faced by connected educators and how we all can over come them.”

Together these education experts and founders of Edchat Interaction bring years of successful teaching and consulting experience in both the K-12 and EdTech industry.

Steven Anderson, a former teacher and Director of Instructional Technology is highly sought after for his expertise in educational technology integration and using social media for learning.


Tom Whitby, founder of Edchat Interactive, is a highly recognized expert in Social Media for Education. He served as a social media consultant for SmartBrief and a contributing Editor for SmartBlog on Education for SmartBrief. Currently, he blogs for Edutopia.


Mitch Weisburgh, co-founder of Academic Business Advisors, applies his knowledge of business, instructional design, and systems to help organizations align their products and services with academic needs and education market funding requirements so that they can scale and make a difference to kids and educators.

For more information about Edchat Interactive and to sign up for the event, please visit

About Edchat Interactive:

Edchat Interactive utilizes technology, pedagogy, and education innovators to transform education outcomes and to revolutionize the way we participate in online Professional Development.


NASBE Leaders Learn from Leaders
DENVER—Oct. 17, 2014—Inspiring words, backed up with examples of strong action, took center stage today at the National Association of State Boards of Education annual conference. Aneesh Chopra, the first U.S. chief technology officer, implored state board members to “liberate the data” created in education in order to spur greater innovation in the K–12 system.
Leaders from Georgia, Massachusetts and Oregon shared how they have implemented innovative policies to improve teacher effectiveness.
NASBE also honored Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education, as its Policy Leader of the Year for his leadership during the state’s the transition to new college and career readiness standards. Dr. Holliday noted that the percentage of high school students meeting readiness benchmarks rose 28 percent over the last four years.
During a breakfast session, attendees learned about the link between health and academics through a presentation from Melissa Fahrenbruch with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a panel on career readiness, business leaders urged state boards to help schools make better use of their expertise in helping students develop the skills they need to enter the work force.
Other panels covered advancing education in science, technology, engineering, and math; and improving the recruitment and preparation of school principals.
Election Results
NASBE attendees selected Kansas State Board of Education member Jim McNiece as president-elect for 2015. McNiece has 39 years of experience as a teacher, coach and principal in Kansas, serving both public and private schools. He is a former Principal of the Year and recipient of the “Excellence in Public Service” award.
Maryland board member Madhu Sidhu was selected as a NASBE board member and Southern Area Director. Oregon board member Dr. Samuel Henry was selected as a NASBE board member and Western Area Director. Michigan board member Dr. Richard Zeile was voted in as NASBE treasurer and Central Area Director. Allan Taylor will serve as Northeast Area Director.
Washington, D.C., board member Mary Lord will serve as president in 2015. This is the largest annual gathering of members of state education boards. The theme this year is
“Leaders Leaning from Leaders.”
The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the
education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more