Middletown transcript story on Physics Teacher Camp
Physics Teacher Camp was featured in the hometown newspaper of St. Andrew’s, the Middletown Transcript:
I want to again extend a sincere thanks to Jennifer Hayes, the Transcript reporter, who spent over an hour with us, simply observing our meeting, then taking pictures, conducting one-on-one interviews with most of the participants and then even taking the time to learn about the physics of the electron beam in the oscilloscope. It was a generous gift of her time, made all the more impressive when you realize that Jennifer is the only reporter for the Middletown Transcript.
It seems to me that maybe hometown papers are facing a similar crisis as many schools. Budget cuts are cutting them to the bone, and yet teachers and reporters are persisting in doing simply incredible work, day-in, day-out. In schools, the drive for accountability and test industry are pushing a simplified model of education driven by NCLB and the high stakes test, which fails to measure so much of the good taking place in schools today. Similar things are happening in journalism as newsrooms are hollowed out, papers migrate to the web, and become driven by simplistic metrics like click rates and page views. Stories are dumbed down, and face to face interviews become 20 questions via email. You saw seasons 4 and 5 of the Wire, didn’t you?
So if the media is facing the same problem as education, what can we do to share the rich, complex and compelling narrative of what is happening in our schools every day? The optimistic part of me thinks that if the media can get back to telling these stories, then they might find their situation to be less dire as well.