Friday, June 08, 2007

A Contrite P & C Manufactures Puff Piece

Bill Hawkins, executive editor of the Post and Courier was properly contrite this morning. Oh, you won't find his name on Courrege's puff piece about Goodloe-Johnson's speaking at two graduations this week. No, the payback for being critical of the contractor-paid farewell party in an article on the front page last week (see June 2nd post here) was to mend district fences with a contrived "news" piece.


What was the news, you ask? There wasn't any, but since principals at "two of the district's most troubled high schools" had asked Goodloe-Johnson to speak at graduations, the occasion lent itself to Courrege's highlighting G-J's "accomplishments."


What accomplishments? Let's see. According to the salutatorian of North Charleston High, who doesn't even know G-J, " The superintendent motivated and cared about her and her classmates, . . . and the superintendent did all she could to make her school better academically. 'It's like we're her children.'"


According to Courrege, "The schools were among those in most need of help in Charleston County, and she was their champion." In support of that statement Courrege points out that G-J managed to prevent the state takeover of Burke a few months ago. Does she also point out that, of the more-than-a-dozen other high schools also facing takeover, NONE was selected? In fact, the state made a point of NOT taking any over. Is anyone sure that this non-takeover was the result of G=J's actions and/or a solution? Not me.


Burke principal Charles Benton, who owes his job to G-J, was quoted making the proper noises, and a Burke junior who had been treated to special "lunch dates" with G-J gushed her thanks.

The P & C provided the same puffery in its coverage of the North Charleston ceremony, stating that "[North Charleston High] isn't the same as it was two years ago; it's safer and stronger academically." Where is Courrege's evidence that the school is "safer and stronger academically'? Missing in action.


Oh, its principal thanked G-J for being "a supporter, cheerleader and advocate of the school"(her job?) and said that G=J "talked at faculty meetings and assured them [faculty?] she understood their challenges and that their school was not failing. She led a pep rally to motivate students before they took important standardized tests." However, this flattery is not evidence that the school has improved, although I sincerely hope it has.

It seems that editor Hawkins received many nasty emails regarding the original front-page story. As he wrote on his blog of June 4th, "The gist of the e-mails is that we weren’t being fair to Goodloe-Johnson, as this was a practice that apparently started with the farewell party for her predecessor, Ron McWhirt." He went on to echo my posting of June 2nd on that issue (hmmm).

Now, I agree that if the P & C didn't cover the previous party in the same manner, it could be interpreted as unfair to G-J. What's needed now is some investigation of who contributed to the cost of McWhirt's party and what they expected (or got) in return.

THAT would be useful information. Let's send Hawkins some emails. He can be reached at bhawkins@postandcourier.com

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

GOODLOE QUIT...... MCWHIRT RETIRED AFTER WORKING FOR CCSD FOR MANY YEARS. THAT IS WHY SHE DIDN'T DESERVE A 'PARTY'. ONE IS REWARDED FOR QUITTING!

ex post carrier said...

If Diette Courrege ever thought she had a chance at being considered a serious journalist, it disappeared with this morning's latest puff piece on CCSD. In the vocabulary of TV journalism, she might as well get used to doing nothing more serious than short reports on birthday parties given for zoo animals from now on. There's no excuse for this stuff. The P&C editors should be flogged every time one of their reporters abuses the public this way. This isn't news; it's the ravings of sycophants.

Anonymous said...

You people are sad. You hide behind this crappy blog and criticize everyone else. You're cowards.

Anonymous said...

OK, 9:36 PM, who are you if you are so brave? Why not identify yourself? What do you think isn't true on this blog? Sadly everything seems to check out.

Anonymous said...

And 9:36 PM, you're not a coward? The facts are if you speak out, if only to make a suggestion on how to improve things, CCSD's inner circle will exact a price. Just look at what happened when a popular and talented principal recently suggested that West Ashley High School might entertain the idea of going charter. He was canned in the middle of a school year. Sure, they kicked him upstairs. That's CCSD's version of "in school suspension" for employees they can't "expell" outright. And if you're not a CCSD employee, they can get at you, too. CCSD is a big money pit that benefits some who will do anything to keep it just as it is. That's why anonymous is posted instead of real names. By whatever name, truth spoken is still the truth. Sometimes it take courage just to do it anonymously.

Anonymous said...

No, 9:36 has it all wrong. The cowards are officials and board members of CCSD who hide behind their positions as they abuse our public school system for personal advantage and gain. Cowards are people who refuse to enter into an open discussions with the people they represent and supposedly serve.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the pressure the P&C must be under now! On the front page this morning they are back peddling from the conflict of interest report on the party scam. Here's a definition of a coward. It's a billion dollar governmental corporation (CCSD) trying to hide its financial indiscretions behind school bake sales, sports banquets and yearbook patrons. And if the public accepts this type of weaseling, then we deserve what CCSD (with the P&C's approval) is doing with our trust, our schools and our kids. I suppose this is what the newest new math people call, “ethics education”. Now wonder our kids are such cynics before they reach middle school. Charleston is lost.

Burke parent said...

Were any of you at these graduations?
I attended Burke's graduation and I don't recall any "We love you" yelling when Dr. Johnson spoke. Her speech was awful. She quoted people and accidentally read one quote twice. Did she write the speech that day? Speak as the first African-American woman to be Superintendent of CCSD, dammitt! Your introduction (given by a Burke student) was 100 times better than your ridiculous speech. Speak to the students you call your children!! It could have been such an incredible speech of your journey, but it wasn't. Where is Oprah when we need her? You're so out of touch with the black community, it's not even funny. Good riddance. You showed your true colors a long time ago and we were stupid to continue to believe in you.

Anonymous said...

I think the "Burke parent" has said just about everything that could be said, and said it accurately. I hope Dr. McGinley is listening to these parents, but I'm afraid it will be more of the same. It's not just a tone deaf superintendent that's been the problem; it's the board that hired her that is the ultimate root of our public school problems for these many years. Let's not wait another three years to recognize a failure. If Dr. McGinley isn't committed to changing what Dr. Goodloe wouldn't, then she should be gone in a year. This is her one and only chance to demonstrate professional integrity by reaching out to restore trust. What about it Dr. McGinley? Maria obviously never cared.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of graduation speeches.....Edward Tichi was booted mid year too at Charles Town Academy. The new principal that spoke at the graduation Thursday was by far the worst public speaker I have ever heard. She lost her way in her pages several times often repeating the previous comments. It was an embarassment to all, even her!

retired teacher said...

Maria often used interim appointments in order to avoid having her preferences for principal positions publicly vetted with school level review committees and by constituent board. She simply removed a principal with some excuse and then made an interim appointment. How many of these appointments are being carried over to the new administration? When will these positions be properly filled as the law requires? Don't these school (and the personel involved) deserve to know they have a commitment for reasonable leadership that will be in place for at least a few years? Goodloe caused Burke to have no less than 4 principals in her three and a half years in Charleston. It's worst one was one of her "interim" appointments.