Channel One Discussed At ASCD Meeting

December 14, 1998

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a well-respected educational organization held a panel discussion on commercialism in schools on Capitol Hill last week. Channel One had Dr. Paul Folkemer, VP Education, on the panel to defend its presence in classrooms. Mr. Folkemer had a difficult time with his fellow panelists. Dan Fuller, National School Boards Association, said the decision to sell children to advertisers is a local one (Amen) but called in-class advertising the most offensive type of commercial use of schools. (That means Channel One.) Another panelist, Ms. Vera Blake, an outstanding local middle school principal, does not have Channel One in her school and said after the meeting that her whole system refuses to allow Channel One’s marketing company into their classrooms. Professor Alex Molnar, “The Man” when it comes to studying commercial exploitation of students is a professor from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He called Channel One and other commercial abuses of schools “unethical”. Brita Butler-Wall, a PTA official and expert on commercialism in schools, was very much opposed to Channel One’s marketing to children. Even the other “commercial outlaw” Dan DeRose, D&D Marketing, told the audience that he is opposed to Channel One’s marketing taking place inside the classroom. (Mr. DeRose partners schools with businesses that provide exclusive soft drink contracts and such.) It was everyone against Channel One leaving Mr. Folkemer waving the Channel One flag. That’s as good as it gets for Channel One marketers.

Obligation asked Mr. Folkemer if he would provide our Alabama State Department of Education with a satellite dish and other hardware to receive and record the Channel One show. [ This is disturbing that a state has to “ask” a private company permission to record a program that makes all its money off of public school tax money. ] He gave a long answer that was basically “No” to the satellite dish idea, but did say that if our Superintendent or anyone wants tapes of any show he would send them the tapes. This is big news. This marks a sea-change at Channel One. Mr. Folkemer may have gotten in trouble for his statement, but Obligation and others will take him at his word. If you want tapes of Channel One programming, make a request of Mr. Paul Folkemer, Channel One Network, 600 Madison Avenue, Sixth Floor, NY, NY 10022, 212-508-6805. Request tapes for all future shows and state that you want the entire program from the first image to the last. (Channel One has cut out commercials and chopped off the end of the program

What We Believe:

Positions of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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Advertising in Schools

Schools should be cautious in their use of any materials designed to promote commercial products or containing commercial advertising because students are required to attend school and are therefore a captive audience.

Schools should have guidelines for use of materials provided by special-interest groups or by businesses that have a financial interest in advancing a particular point of view. Specifically, district policies should ensure that any commercial materials used in schools: (1) are consistent with the district’s values, goals, and objectives, (2) respond to a clearly defined educational need, (3) support the adopted curriculum, and (4) do not promote a brand-name product. If educators use business-sponsored materials in the classroom, they should help students identify any biases the materials may contain. If students are too young to understand the bias, the materials should not be used.

With reasonable exceptions (such as newspapers and magazines) materials containing advertising should not be used for instruction except when the purpose is to analyze the advertising itself.


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