As we reported here at the Washington Monthly, President Obama announced the launch of the Department of Education's College Scorecard yesterday. Given our commitment to providing information to students and parents as they look for their "best bang for the buck" in a college education, we viewed this as a major milestone in that quest - even as Daniel Lunzer pointed out that political pressure kept the President from reaching his ultimate goal.
But take a look at the headline from the New York Times on the story: With Website to Research Colleges, Obama Abandons Ranking System. And here's the opening paragraph:
President Obama on Saturday abandoned his two-year effort to have the government create a system that explicitly rates the quality of the nation’s colleges and universities, a plan that was bitterly opposed by presidents at many of those institutions.While they eventually get to the story of how this new tool will help prospective students, you have to wade through paragraphs detailing how President Obama's ultimate goal was derailed in order to get there. In other words, they decided that the story was all about what didn't happen with a tiny nod to what did happen as an afterthought.
I'm not going to try to analyze what is going on at the New York Times. I'll simply say that I've seen enough by now to know that I have to take their frame on any story with a grain of salt. That is a sad commentary on our country's supposed "newspaper of record."