While reporting a story about Michelle Rhee, the controversial former District of Columbia school chancellor seeking to take her brand of education reform to statehouses across the country, the Los Angeles Times asked her spokeswoman a simple question:
Do Rhee's children attend public or private school?
The response from Erin Shaw seemed clear. "She is a public school parent," Shaw told the paper in an email.
So The Times reported that Rhee's two children attend public school. After the story ran in Wednesday's newspaper, one of Rhee's biggest critics, the American Federation of Teachers, challenged that statement, saying that one of her daughters attends a private school in Tennessee, where her ex-husband lives.
The Times followed up, but Shaw declined to respond directly. After emails and calls, she issued a statement.
"It was not our intention to be misleading. It is our policy not to discuss where Michelle's children attend school out of respect for their privacy," the statement says. "While it is true Michelle is a public school parent, we understand how that statement was misleading, and we apologize to the Los Angeles Times."
Asked if at least one of the children attends private school, Shaw declined to answer.
Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown has convened an unpaid 18-member Governor's Military Council to advise the state on efforts to expand its defense industry and to protect against federal budget cuts. Brown appointed Ellen Tauscher, a former Democratic congresswoman and undersecretary in the State Department, to chair the panel, which is scheduled to convene for a year.
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GOV. JERRY BROWN, officially proclaiming Sunday to be Cesar Chavez Day