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Oh, New Yorker Magazine, How Could You?


The New Yorker Magazine is one of my favorites, and I have been a faithful subscriber for at least twenty years, and probably longer.

I could not believe what I saw when I opened the latest issue — an advertising supplement from The University of Phoenix reporting on a recent New Yorker panel on “American Education In The 21st Century.” The “highlights” in the magazine were absolutely awful, and I certainly couldn’t bring my self to go to see the video of the panel online.

Of course, the panel did not have any teachers on it, or anyone who even works anywhere near a school.

Here are some of the quotes:

“We need good teachers, high expectations, and an effective feedback loop to measure success. By and large, we fail at all three,” said a retired CEO of Intel. Note to Mr. Barrett — how about if we don’t critique you on how to make a microchip, which most of us don’t know anything about, and you don’t tell us how to teach, which you obviously don’t know anything about?

“…there’s no relationship between money and student achievement,” said the Vice-President for Education Policy from the Center For American Progress. Ms. Brown, I’d encourage you to read The Best Sites For Learning That Money Does Matter For Schools. In looking at her biography, it does not appear like she has ever taught a student. That, of course, is obvious by her comment.

” We also have to think about the business community as the primary investor and innovator in education, K-12 and post-secondary. University of Phoenix and other institutions are the people who are reinventing the model,” said former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Can I suggest she read The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses. Of course, it would have been nice if The New Yorker had mentioned that she’s a paid lobbyist for these for-profit colleges.

Oh, New Yorker Magazine, how could you?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. New Yorker is a repository of disinformaton about school reform. Remember Steve Brill’s piece of propaganda about the rubber rooms, blaming them on the teachers instead of DOE , which created this awful situation? Remember Malcolm Gladwell’s ridiculous piece, comparing teacher recruitment to recruiting players for the NFL, and devaluing class size?

  2. I can’t press the Like button simply because I do not use the FB but I think “for an article like this really matter to open one account there”. I see the 3 strong points:
    1. “how about if we don’t critique you on how to make a microchip, which most of us don’t know anything about, and you don’t tell us how to teach, which you obviously don’t know anything about?”…. SO TRUE…
    2. how can she be the Vice-President for Education, without being a student? OMG!
    3. YES, Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses! True! (but life beats the movie).

  3. Larry,

    I feel the same way so often.

    Get Harpers, stick with Harpers. They have a great article forthcoming on edubusiness America. You really can’t trust anyone else – it’s all up for sale except Harpers. Plus a third of the price of any good magazine out there. (as it should be, knowledge should not be held hostage for profit).


  4. I have been a New Yorker subscriber for a long time and couldn’t believe that (1) the magazine had anything to do with a conference involving the University of Phoenix and (2) that the magazine accepted such an ad. Wasn’t the University of Phoenix recently under scrutiny for having a large number of students defaulting on their huge loans? And there were questions about accreditation and the quality of the education that students were receiving. The University’s mode of operation in signing up students with mighty loans and promises of good jobs seems parallel to that of the banking institutions in signing up homeowners for large loans, assuring them that would be able to pay in the future as their property gained in value. The U of Phoenix folks are the ones reinventing the education wheel? Wow! Larry, you know this stuff–I should be writing to the New Yorker.

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