Monday, May 29, 2006

Press Largely Uncritical

Overall, press coverage in Seattle has been uncritical of the school closure plan. Both the PI and the Times, had editorial statements in support of the plan issued before any of the Town Meetings happened. Were the editorial boards so knowledgeable about Seattle schools that they could draw a conclusion about the worth of the plan without hearing a single public comment?

After the editorial statement, the Times treated Seattle readers to articles like Closure strategy is valid, which described critics of the school closure plan as "lost in emotional diatribes and conspiracy theorizing." Other prominent stories covered the emotional upheaval in the community, but didn't dig deeply into the facts.

Tomorrow, the PI publishes the first article I have seen that actually questions the statements being made by the district. Be sure to read Will school closures do job?.

We need more articles that:

  • Explore the hidden costs of the proposed closures and consolidations.
  • Question the data, particularly the demographic data, presented by the district.
  • Discuss the political pressure that is motivating the closure plan.

Thank you, Jessica Blanchard, for writing an insightful article on school closure. Here's hoping we see more.