Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dualing Accounts of the Hoboken, NJ Laptop Program

Mothballed laptops locked inside a storage closet at 
Hoboken Junior Senior High School. (Jill Barshay) 
Recently the incoming interim Superintendent of Schools in Hoboken, New Jersey responded to report that went viral concerning a laptop program in the district. The article is titled "Why Hoboken is Throwing Away All of its Student Laptops" and was authored by Jill Barshay of The Hechinger Report. The interim Superintendent claims that Ms. Barshay "did not include some important details" in her reporting and posits that there were facts left out of the original article. The interim Superintendent also seems to be trying to keep this story from getting any bigger by pointing out that there are a "variety of news media wishing to create additional stories" from this incident. 
Below is a brief summary of Ms. Barshay's journalistic experience. I think I place a little more objectivity in her journalistic and investigative reporting skills than the current interim superintendent. Especially since the interim has had 1) no first hand experience of the laptop program and was simply 2) "briefed" on this issue by people in the district who were responsible for the programs implementation and success and 3) appears to be in damage control by questioning the journalistic expertise of an accomplished and nationally recognized reporter. 

Jill Barshay, a contributing editor, is the founding editor and writer of Education By The NumbersThe Hechinger Report’s blog about education data. Previously she was the New York bureau chief for Marketplace, a national business show on public radio stations. Barshay has worked at Congressional QuarterlyThe Asian Wall Street Journal and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She has also written for The New York Times, the Financial TimesThe Economist and The Washington Post, appeared on CNN, ABC News and C-SPAN and was a podcaster for Slate. A graduate of Brown University, the London School of Economics and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Barshay spent the 2010-11 academic year as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in economics and business journalism at Columbia.