The Los Angeles Times announced what seemed like good news for its readers in August: a new reporting initiative that would expand the paper’s coverage of local education.
“Our goal is to provide an ongoing, wide-ranging report card on K-12 education in Los Angeles, California and the nation,” wrote then-Publisher Austin Beutner. He noted that the project, called “Education Matters,” would be funded by a series of charitable organizations.
Except the newspaper left out a key detail: Some of the foundations funding “Education Matters” are among the most prominent advocates of public-education reform in Los Angeles. One of them is the principal backer of a proposal to convert nearly half of Los Angeles’s public schools into charter schools.