March 25, 2008

Abington School Board Update

I attended tonight's Abington School Board meeting to express my opinion about their actions in person.

First, given the way I picked apart their actions two weeks ago, they were measured in their reaction, with one slight exception.

Second, apparently the event Bush attended in 2000 was a little more than first described here.

According to a plaque given to the High School by President Bush and one of two Philadelphia Inquirer articles about the visit, the event was more than just 12 students in the library. Additionally, Ray McGarry made sure to emphatically point out a banner (from a picture with the Inquirer article) was present during the event. I stand corrected.

However, the report in the Times Chronicle I referenced differs on the numbers who attended. While they mentioned the 12 panelists who were present, they made no mention of others, and no mention of a banner. But as Robert Zousner's Inquirer article about the event pointed out...
Offering proposals that were alternately tough and caring, Bush assured a receptive audience of about 100 packed into the school library that he had no interest in becoming a "federal superintendent" of schools, and that he preferred to have ideas and programs "bubble up" from the local level.

Still, whether 12 or 100, the library event was not a rally. And while Mr. McGarry stated Bush spent most of his time talking about campaign-related issues that day, there is no evidence in the three articles to support his claim. In fact, the Inquirer's Margie Fishman's April 5th, 2000 article states...
Bush took about 10 minutes at the start of the forum to reassert his education platform: Likening low expectations to "soft bigotry," he called for more equity, accountability and values in education - ideas, he said, that helped boost student performance in Texas.

When asked, neither Mr. McGarry nor Ms. Sichel seemed to know whether a temporary suspension of the policy was given to allow for the 2000 visit. They also seemed to believe the school board was never informed of the event. I find that difficult to swallow, but I'll cut both of them slack until I hear otherwise.

The new policy is what it is for the remainder of this election cycle. I made my point and stand by my conclusions. The letter sent home to parents announcing the event touted the visit as recognition of Abington's achievements. However, as evidence shows here, it was just an excuse used to cover for a political rally.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

"a little more" then reported here- try about ten times more. way to tell it like it isn't. I suppose you will write a letter to the editor now correcting your mis-statement from last week, right? Yea, i thought so. Great integrity.

Speaking of the "real" story, why did you remove the posts from the "sacrificial lamb" post? Too real for you?

Anonymous said...

Not sure if
you check back to older posts, but you did send your correction to the paper. So, for what it is worth, even though i don't agree with your conclusion, i admire your willingness to try to set the record straight on this one.

page13 said...

I think we may have a few things we agree with each other on. Thanks for your comments.

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