Guest Post by Dr. Gary Thompson
Forward by Christel Swasey: Dr. Gary Thompson is a valiant defender of children, not only in his clinic, but also in the public square. He’s written and spoken extensively about the damages to children via Common Core testing and standards. See his previous writings here and here and here and here.
This week, Dr. Thompson took on a reporter at the Deseret News, calling his reporting on Common Core “a case study of deception and lies by omission.” He points out that the reporter has omitted key facts such as the biggest elephant-in-the-room: the fact that huge financial interests are driving the marketing of Common Core in Utah. Thompson points out that the reporter did no follow up to fact-check the School Improvment Network’s (Common Core proponents) claims that opponents of Common Core are “misled”.
Thompson points out that Deseret News readers deserve to know what’s motivating Common Core proponents who throw out accusations against those questioning Common Core: they’re defending their financial interests, tooth and nail. They fight the idea of allowing full and legitimate public debate about Common Core to happen. It’s their rice bowl.
But it’s OUR KIDS.
The fact remains that there are serious questions about Common Core that remain unexplored by the general public despite the fact that the Common Core standards, tests and data collecting now governs their children’s lives.
Guest Post by Dr. Thompson: (shortened from the original)
Deseret News and Common Core: A Case Study Of Deception and Lies by Omission.
16 September 2013 at 16:51
The following note is based on today’s Deseret News article titled, “Survey Shows Parent, Educator Support of Common Core” by Benjamin Woods. The link is provided here:
I have no personal or monetary stake in the Common Core civil war unfolding all around us and gaining traction and attention nationwide. In fact, I have much to lose writing this post. First off, I have a clinic to run and manage that is not being managed while I waste an hour out of my day commenting on the latest Deseret News Article (“Survey Shows Parent Educator Support of Common Core” Benjamin Wood, September 13, 2013). Secondly, our clinic has a legal and ethical duty by law and practice not to produce misleading articles under the penalty of…well….not being able to feed our children. I am not a Common Core activist, I am not a member of the Tea Party, and we have previously announced our intention of getting out of the Common Core debate so that we focus on client care.
This, however, is different.
Pro or anti Common Core, I think we all as parents, taxpayers and citizens want to have accurate information on the subject so that we can all make independent choices regarding this very important issue. Considering what is at stake, having accurate, non-biased information is crucial. As a mainstream, well respected source of information, it is imperative that the Deseret News be a source of accurate and unbiased information when it comes to reporting what is going on in our public schools.
Unfortunately, the above cited article by Benjamin Woods of the Deseret News does not meet this criteria of accuracy and ethics. What Mr. Woods offered to parents in my community was simply a case study of “lies by omission.” Here is the definition of “lies by omission”:
“A “lie by omission” is a misrepresentation of fact when the failure to say something or to provide complete information would lead a reasonable person to an incorrect conclusion.”
As a local clinical community scientist, whenever I read information regarding the Common Core, I now only ask myself three questions:
1. Where are the references that support factual statements?
2. Are their any potential conflicts of interest or biases associated with the either the writer or the person being interviewed for the article?
3. What is this persons/organizations current or future financial stake in the issue presented?
In the case at hand, Deseret News does not provide one source of verification, reference or peer reviewed citations to support over 10 statements regarded as “factual” throughout the article. In addition, the subject being interviewed (Chet Linton) has multiple conflicts of interest not mentioned or reported by Mr. Woods, the biggest being a HUGE financial interest.
The Deseret News published the results of a survey from a private citizen from a private company. That in and of itself is fine. The following is what Deseret News & Mr. Wood omitted from their article:
Mr. Linton, a executive at the “School Improvement Network” is a unabashed, cheerleading supporter of Common Core with a obvious financial stake regarding the final outcome of Common Core…
…in summary, Deseret News published results of a “survey” and a subsequent “fact based article” that pretends that there is support for Common Core by teachers and parents based on and validated by the following flawed sources:
1. A private corporation that has a contract with the State of Utah education complex that is probably worth several millions of dollars.
2. An interview of a young executive from this same company who is probably receiving a hefty salary from the company.
3. The company that produced the survey has a very prominent link on its web page to private Common Core training items that it sells and distributes nationwide.
4. Allowing the subject of the article to bash opponents of Common Core as “misled” without naming who the opponents are (other than the psychologically manipulative link to “Republicans”) failing to interview the referenced “misled” people, and failing to provide one shred of data that supports the conjecture that Common Core opponents are, in fact, “misled.”
Read the rest: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Early-Life-Child-Psychological-Educational-Services-Inc/131916893532057#!/notes/early-life-child-psychological-educational-services-inc/deseret-news-common-core-a-case-study-of-deception-lies-by-omission/635753799778544