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Need arguments to empower your journalism program? Check these out

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The school year is just starting and already those who want to control student thinking and decision-making are hard at work.

In an Ohio school that boasts the state’s highest testing scores, prior restraint started last year and a nearly 20-year adviser was removed against her will over the summer. The reason given, one heard so often over the last six months, was the administration wanted to go in a different direction.

In Indiana, an adviser was stripped of journalism classes and the publication subjected to prior review. The reason: too many typos and grammatical errors. The principal might not even be conducting the private review; instead, that might be the job of a committee of students, faculty and others.

Thanks to the New York Times, teachers and advisers like the ones above, ones who face administrative control or work for those who don’t see the value of journalism to promote authentic learning, now have something to promote their values.

In using The Learning Network coverage for their Student Journalism Week, The Times provides advisers with an opportunity to reinforce the myriad of scholastic journalism positives by making creative use of the following topics:

A Guide to Rights and Responsibilities
The Value of  School Newspapers
• Three Benefits of  Newspaper Programs
• Using News Models for Authentic Writing
Resources for School Newspaper Advisers

These articles present principles that should enable all of us to embrace and spread the values of scholastic journalism either in our own schools or with others who need to know what we so strongly believe:

Scholastic journalists, when empowered and trusted, produce coherent reporting and thinking in authentic, accurate and substantive communication.

And that is what education is all about.

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