Friday, March 27, 2015

Sadness of Arrowhead and the Unlikeliness of Independence

My prayers go out to the children, parents, and staff at Arrowhead -- and that is not simply a repeat of a nuanced nicety, so to speak. I really do pray for all of them.

I write to point out what I believe to be well-worn rhetoric emanating from board president Kevin O'Brien. As quoted in the latest edition of The Olentangy Valley News, O'Brien claims he will be asking "the board to complete a comprehensive, independent investigation of those events to find answers and to help us move forward."

Keep your eye on "independent."

To conduct an independent investigation, the board would have to hire outside investigators without interference from the superintendent or linked organization, such as the Ohio School Boards Association.

That means O'Brien would have to have the internal strength of character to ask the superintendent to leave closed door sessions so the board could interview, hire, and charge the investigators without input from the superintendent. That also means the investigators would have to be given broad authority to access district information and interview employees without question from the administration. And the findings would have to be delivered directly to the board, not funneled through the superintendent's office.

I do not believe that will happen under O'Brien. I just do not see him challenging the superintendent in such a manner.

Does that mean the district covered up something or that justice will not be served? Certainly not.

However, O'Brien's banal rhetoric is offensive under these circumstances.

Note: O'Brien's comment is similar to the typical politician making the rounds who claims, after some tragedy, that he "is doing everything humanly possible to ...," when he really means he is making the rounds of talk shows to preen and posture for the microphones and cameras, all the while campaigning for reelection.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Bias of The Dispatch

Dear Editor:

Your bias is showing.

Reporter, Jessica Wehrman, opens her article, "War on Science," with this claim, "Among scientists, questions about climate change and childhood vaccinations have long been settled." Yet, later in the article she notes a survey which claims only 87 percent of scientists accept the notion that climate change is caused mostly by human activity.

So, what is it: the implied 100 percent claim attributed to the reporter in the opening statement or the 87 percent claim arising from a survey -- a survey that itself has been challenged as overstating acceptance?

Newspapers are supposed to report the news -- the facts. So how did the editors allow a reporter's bias to lead off an article? Could it be a reflection of editorial bias as well? Hmmm.