Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disseminating propaganda: The National Council on Teacher Quality

In two earlier posts I criticized the Minneapolis Star Tribune for relying on the research and integrity of an organization called the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), without ever telling readers what the organization was really about. To make a long story short, the NCTQ is a hard-right, corporate funded anti-teacher union agitator. It is funded by the same conservative philanthropies that have been agitating against teachers unions for decades, including the Bradley and Thomas B Fordham foundations. Its board is filled with anti-teacher union operatives like Chester Finn. In short, the NCTQ is nothing but a front for corporate anti-teacher union political operators.

But for the Star Tribune, none of that matters - the NCTQ was not qualified in ANY way in its story and editorial. Turns out that disseminating propaganda isn't a new thing for the NCTQ.  Seems that the NCTQ had a contract with the US Department of Education to ramp up support for the Bush administration's education policies. Part of the contract involved publishing propaganda in popular media, which the NCTQ did. However, the contract also required the NCTQ to disclose its connections and funding from the department of education, but for some reason in many cases there was no disclosure. A 2005 inspector general's report found that in the 11 op-eds placed by the NCTQ he could find NO instances of disclosure. In that case, the IG found, " all of the expenditures associated with goal one of the grant may have been improper." In other words, the people who run NCTQ are serial propagandists and might be actual criminals. That's who the Star Tribune hangs its anti-teacher stance on.

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