For observers who feel that Rupert Murdoch and Joel Klein are driving propaganda against public school educators through the news section of the NY Post, yesterday’s hit piece on Lisa Michelle Nielsen reached a new low. Author of Teaching Generation Text: Using Cellphones to Enhance Learning, Nielson has worked for New York City’s DOE since 2010 as a technology specialist and of and on since 1997 while maintaining her opposition to high-stakes testing as the end-all guys like Klein feel they should be. Post reporters Susan Edelman and Candice M. Giove sifted through some of Nielsen’s recent social media postings and skewered her with a story Post editor slugged with Ed. big is a class clown. The Post reporters attacked Neilsen with an angle they knew would provoke envy – her salary.
The newly minted DOE executive also advocates for home schooling, saying people she knows who were taught at home “seemed to be really smart, passionate, successful and satisfied with their lives. All that and they never had to be tortured in an algebra, history, science or English class!”
Nielsen said she has been developing teacher-training materials since starting her DOE job in September.
“We show teachers how to use social media, like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Wikis,” she told The Hechinger Report, an education news Web site.
“We give teachers a ‘digital makeover’ so that they can control how they want to be seen online. And finally, they get practice creating their own social-media page or group,” she said.
She said the DOE created her post after issuing guidelines for teachers on the proper use of social media and how to avoid getting into trouble.
According to a DOE job description, the position came with a salary of up to $170,000.
She last worked as director of technology innovation, earning $117,929 a year, 2010 records show.
She has worked on and off for the DOE since 1997 in a variety of jobs, including teacher, librarian, reading coach and teacher trainer.
The DOE would not say whether it had been aware of her rebellious views when they named her to the new post.
“The department is always open to working with people with different ideas,” said spokeswoman Erin Hughes.
The Post’s war on teachers continues and apparently has no boundaries. They printed a picture from Nielsen’s Facebook page which they knew would reflect the degrading slug they used. Attacking and demonizing educators brave enough to publicly state their views isn’t responsible journalism.