'Where is the evidence?' A very good question for teachers union
A post on the National Education Association’s website used a Michigan teacher to address how educators deal with news stories that are alleged to be “fake news.”
The big teachers union looked at Dave Stuart, a Cedar Springs High School teacher in Michigan’s Kent County.
Here’s an excerpt from the NEA’s article:
The conversation in Dave Stuart’s class, however, was focused more on larger questions of how students as news consumers reach conclusions and how they can and should use evidence to support these conclusions.
“I don’t think my students are intentionally looking for conspiracy web sites or blatantly misleading information,” Stuart explains. “So I would just redirect the discussion to questions about credibility without passing judgement. Is this source valid? Where is the evidence? The conversations were respectful and the kids handled it really well. Let them do the thinking.”
ForTheRecord: One wonders how Stuart’s class would handle various pronouncements from Michigan’s NEA affiliate, the Michigan Education Association. The state union has a demonstrated record of promoting false narratives with misleading claims. If the Kent County educator pointed his students at examples, they might ask, “Is the source valid? Where’s the evidence?”
For example, the MEA has long claimed that school funding in this state has been cut.
When students bring that up in class, a teacher could easily expose this as “fake news” by directing them to documents on the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency website showing a steady increase in state support for public schools. That data shows the MEA claims to be “blatantly misleading information.”
Other false MEA assertions would take more digging. Michigan Capitol Confidential routinely submits Freedom of Information Act requests to school districts when examining specific MEA claims. The process can take a month or more to produce data that refutes other “blatantly misleading” claims made by the MEA.
For example, CapCon previously reported:
The article in the Michigan Education Association’s monthly publication Voice claimed, “A teacher who started in the district 10 years ago still makes beginners’ pay of less than $30,000 a year. …”
A FOIA proved that, too, was “fake news.” The lowest salary of the full-time teachers provided by the district was $34,000.