17 April 2008

gannett/town talk sets the bar low in their setting the bar low editorial

we noticed that on tuesday 15 april 2008 the town talk editorial goofs published their latest nonsense captioned 'our view: setting the bar low keeps la. at the bottom" (see link)

their editorial is based on state representative ricky hardy's house bill no. 128. a bill that according to its digest "requires at least a 2.0 grade point average for public school students in grades six through 12 to participate in interscholastic athletics and other extracurricular activities..."

the town talk editorial starts out by stating "when it comes to success, expectations make all the difference. high expectations bring high results. low expectations bring little at all." from this they go on to tout "something called the 'wharton curve'" an old edition [31 may 2001] of the university of pennsylvania's penn current, had this to say about the 'wharton curve:'

One of the most talked-about aspects of the Wharton experience is the infamous Wharton curve. This mysterious curve, which allots the highest grades to the smallest percentage of each class, could have easily been a source of dissension. But, in my experience, the curve was just another example of a potential hardship that our class not only overcame, but that made us stronger.
so apparently this portion of the town talk's editorial was their attempt to show us that with adversity comes strength and by going to such great lengths to explain the 'wharton curve' that they are seeking to convince us that the town talk's editorialist's are all for higher academic standards, because, the next and final portion of their editorial is beneath a bold headline that reads Now consider this:
With little fanfare on the front end and no outcry on the back, Louisiana lawmakers gave superficial consideration to a proposal to require students in public schools to earn at least a C average to be eligible to play sports or participate in other extracurricular activities. Lawmakers punted the proposal and chose to keep the status quo: As long as Johnny gets a least a D, he can play ball.

Remember: A D average means Johnny is a poor student who is on the verge of failing.

What does that say about Louisiana? Only that some state lawmakers are happy to tolerate the status quo and willing to codify those low expectations for future generations.

Kudos to state Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, for introducing the bill to raise expectations. Too bad his colleagues on the House Education Committee are a) not smart enough to see the wisdom of his bill; b) not interested in helping the students and the state; c) not willing to go against the wishes of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association; or d) all of the above.

If you picked "d," go to the head of the class.
the important and germane part about the hb128 saga that the town talk editorialist's left out, was that central louisiana's own state representative and long time rapides parish school board member, herbert dixon spoke out against rep. hardy's bill.

which makes us wonder why would the town talk go to all the trouble to write an editorial like this and leave out the part about one of our own local legislators and "educators" speaking out against it? its not because the town talk was not aware of representative dixon's objection because we know that they saw our post on it. we dont know if they watched the video but they did see the post.

so we recommend that the town talk strongly consider raising their own bar of journalistic standards and report the whole issue before they go pontificating about what they perceive to be someone else's low standards or lack thereof.
see also
eric hufschmid
the media criminals