“The study, by Education Reform Now, a nonprofit think tank…”

This column doesn’t usually address opinion writing, but this failed — careless, even? — description of Education Reform Now in today’s New York Times editorial page is pretty egregious.

The editorial focuses on a new report from ERN showing that middle-class kids and even affluent ones are taking remedial courses in college, too.

It seems like an important point to consider, given all the discussion about remediation, common standards, opting out, and academic rigor.

However, the editorial withholds giving any information about the group’s ideological or political leanings — is it progressive, centrist, or conservative? And it also neglects to mention that ERN is part of Democrats for Education Reform, a pro-charter, pro-Common Core education advocacy group and PAC.

I don’t have any sense that the research behind the report is flawed, and the political leanings of the host organization don’t necessarily discredit the report findings. But they are an important and relevant piece of information. Omitting such basic information distracts readers who might want to know more about the organization behind the report, and at least partially discredits the piece.

I’ve asked editorial page writer Brent Staples about the decision and will let you know if and when someone responds. 

Related posts: NYT Underplays Deep Race/Class Issues In Oakland School StoryA Problematic Common Core Story & Response

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Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at