It’s Because Media Are Lazy. Duh.

From an exasperated FBvian:

For the second morning in three days, Channel 8 has made a big deal about kids getting off at the wrong bus stop in HEB. While I sympathize with the parents, this is NOT news. This is something that the parents and the school district need to work out. The whole hyperlocal thing has just gone too extreme. I half expected to see a news crew when I burped after eating my sausage biscuit on the way to work this morning.

I hear you, brother. Speaking of, my brother got on the wrong bus his first day of first or second grade. Spent an hour traveling about all parts of the city. It was scary for a few minutes, but, you know, he got on the wrong bus. What’re you gonna do? Tell him to ranch up and get on the right one. Same thing as when I whizzed my britches the first day of first grade. If that happened today, there’d be a five-car pile-up of news vans on the way to the school to figure out who to blame.

Let me use your point to go off on a rant, here. The reason this happens is the daily media have no idea how to cover public schools, or education in general. It’s hard. There are big issues to tackle. It’s complicated. And, believe me, test scores RARELY tell the story. It’s like trying to explain the complexities of a city by looking at its bond rating. Any parent knows this. So you get multiple screaming reports about $200K misspent in a $1.8 billion budget, stuff like that. Oh, and then you get letters to the Morning News censored when people complain about this. Like the one after the jump.

Published on May 20th but with the first line deleted and the italicized added.

Dallas Morning News
Letter to the editor,

When a major newspaper misrepresented circulation numbers, how many times was that
reported?  
Re: “We wont’ forgive, forget as quickly as DISD would like,” by Jacquielynn Floyd,
Tuesday Metro.
  With Floyd’s opinion piece, the total story count on the P card obsession with
Dallas ISD is well past 30.

Have you asked CPAs about audit sampling?  They try not to spend more money on the audit
than what they expect to recover in findings.  It’s analogous to a newspaper spending money and
time on a lead that doesn’t yield a story.

I’m under-whelmed by the discovery of less than $200,000 in theft from the school district when
the annual budget exceeds $1.8 billion and the $1.3 billion bond program was clean.  I believe
that’s the point school board president and TDIndustries executive Jack Lowe put forth.  What’s
the fraud occurrence for corporations of similar size to the school district?

Furthermore, I don’t remember any mention that P cards were first recommended to Dallas ISD
by the state comptroller.  Did you call Mastercard to determine usage by other organizations and
businesses?

As best I know, you’re journalists not CPAs trained to balance accounts.  You were trained to
balance a story.  Have you?

Louisa Meyer
Dallas Achieves Commission
2006 Dallas ISD Secondary Volunteer of the Year

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