The presidential campaign and administration of Donald Trump have spurred a focus on the role of mainstream media as well as the influence of fake news and post-truth discourse on political and public debate.
For those of us involved in education and the education reform movement, however, the negative consequences of post-truth discourse have been around for more than a century—and during the past three decades, a harbinger of what the Trump phenomenon has brought to the U.S.
While fake news is a specific term about using click-bait headlines and purposefully false “news” to generate revenue, the concept of post-truth is more complex, and adjacent to that is the much less often addressed issue of how media and politicians often mislead through ignorance and bias grounded in common-sense beliefs that are not supported by evidence.
In those latter gray areas rest the problems associated with claims about education and education reform.
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