Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nixonian style democracy at District 150

Get a load of the weasel words coming out of Peoria School District 150 now that the word is out that the administration has picked Manual High School for closure.

"At this point, the superintendent has made no formal recommendation regarding the closing of any high school, nor has he polled any board members regarding this topic," according to a written statement Hinton's office issued this afternoon.

The Journal Star rushed a breaking news update into its Website, and characterized the statement as a denial of "reports" that Hinton is suggestion Manual be closed to help eliminate the district's budget deficit.

How like the Nixon administration during Watergate scandal. The Washington Post or some other newspaper would print some damaging information, but all that the rest of the nation saw wasn't the Associated Press version of the original story, but the White House denial. The Journal Star was one of those newspapers that played along back then, and things haven't changed all that much.

The problem is that NOTHING in this statement contradicts ANYTHING in WMBD 1470's report. WMBD's story includes includes Hinton's statement that he isn't polling members. The article didn't say he was polling members, but was meeting with them to discuss his decisions about what to recommend to the board. And what's the purpose of denying that there's been no "formal recommendation" (a term that has no real definition in this context, anyway) about what high school to close, if any. The question instead is if and when Hinton will put his recommendation into an action item on the agenda of some future board meeting.

The WMBD report -- which is a billion times more credible than anything coming out of School District 150 -- also said the vote could come next month and the that if it passes, there's not going to be a Manual High School next year.

Next month? And the district is pretending like no one is even discussing this out loud? These people have learned nothing from the Glen Oak School debacle. They are doing all the discussion on this behind the scenes, and they want the first public comment on this to happen on the very day a fleshed out final proposal is presented to the board, to be voted upon that meeting or the next. The school board wants to, once again, make it difficult for those inclined to oppose closure to mount any kind of resistance. If the timetable is accurate, it's a certainty that District 150 has no interest in giving the public time to digest this news and ask intelligent questions or independently research the pros and cons.

They are The District. They know best.

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.


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