Saturday, January 16, 2010

And the children shall lead...

With a little help from the adults--both with vested interests.

Funny how this supposedly fair and balanced "news" article in (ARHS) The Graphic extensively quotes Nina Koch, a teacher, and Rick Hood, a pro status quo School Committee member wanna-be, slamming Catherine Sanderson's School Committee blog for being too negative, and then of course they pile on some more.

Yet each of them chime in rather regularly on Sanderson's blog. A blog is a perfect example of interactive free speech: if readers don't like what you publish then they can freely rebut. As the ACLU would say, "The way to counter bad speech is with good speech--not censorship."

In the Free Market of ideas and opinions, may the best one win.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are refuting the high school newspaper which has a readership of zero? Get a life.

LarryK4 said...

Well obviously Rick Hood and Nina Koch read it. And now, so did you.

But you're an Anon--so I guess that doesn't much matter.

Anonymous said...

"You are refuting the high school newspaper which has a readership of zero? Get a life."


You've let your town get hollowed out by a cancerous corruption and you tell Larry to get a life?!

Bring it.

You'll lose.

Perplexed said...

Larry,
Isn't that what these students are doing (and Nina and Rick)... countering one opinion with another? I think "using good speech to counter bad speech" is too strong a description of what's going on here, regardless of whose views you most agree with. What we're talking about is people who have opinions about our school system and how to improve and/or preserve it. Those opinions happen to differ. Neither branch of opinion is inherently good or bad, so why are the students' (or Nina's or Rick's) stated opinion taken as an effort to censor, while Catherine's are taken as an effort to enlighten? This whole dynamic continues to puzzle me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we SHOULD be giving our bread money to these prozac sucking anarchists... I mean, the way they look down at people who don't think and act like they do MUST mean there's something wrong with ME, right???

Wow, compared to them, I guess I am an animal.

arhs78 said...

The quality of the discussion about the students article from LK's post through the comments is exactly what Sanderson wanted to avoid.

Do not use the students article to make political hay. Leave him and it out of your discussion of the politics of blog or topics relevant to school committee concerns.

I don;t hink I have to remind you what Sanderson told us in her last posting. Her 11 year old son wants to know why people hate her. Please let the kids alone. You too, LK.

arhs78 said...

Your inference that the student internalized the opinion of nina and Rick, and your inference that their points of view are flawed are equally unfair and ungrounded by the evidence.

By drawing the student into the debate, you are opening up your own children to become objects of controversy in debates about topics they may not want to be a part of.

LarryK4 said...

"Perplexed"--I like that. Anons make me "Nauseous". And at least the High School journalism effort did point out the problem with what I call Cowardly, Anon, Nitwits.

Yes, this article counters one opinion with another--but they are doing it with an advantage, as in ganging up using outdated technology that does not allow fair real time rebuttal (probably with taxpayer subsidy).

Why don't Nina, Rick or you start a blog? It's free you know.

Anonymous said...

"...they are afraid to speak out because they worry that criticizing the schools will lead them to experience personal attacks (as I've experienced this week), and thus they really prefer to express their concerns quietly (and I've been told now by many parents that although they share our beliefs and admire our courage, they fear supporting me/Steve in a public way would be harmful to them in some way -- their ability to get clients for their real estate practice/medical practice/law firm, their ability to effectively teach INCLUDING in our very own schools, their ability to get letters of recommendation for their kids from high school teachers, etc.)."


Myyy oh myyy oh myyy... Pity those who HAVE been hurt.

They are out there.

Anonymous said...

"(probably with taxpayer subsidy)."


Bingo.

arhs78 said...

The guy who objected so vigorously to what plays are performed and not performed at the High School, now wants to subject the school newspaper to his idea of what opinions can be written and which ones cannot be written and how the whole thing should be on a blog because then he can criticize without writing a letter to the editor of the The Graphic.

What a maroon.

Anonymous said...

arhs78,


I will chase you with my broom as well...


Run!


Run!!!


Before I sweep you away, nasty liddle anarchist cridder you!

LarryK4 said...

Actually there arhs78, it was NOT an "opinion" piece. It was a Front Page "news" article.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, this article counters one opinion with another--but they are doing it with an advantage, as in ganging up using outdated technology that does not allow fair real time rebuttal (probably with taxpayer subsidy)."

And this differs from the Sanderson/Rivkin column how?

Anonymous said...

REALLY LARRY, GET A LIFE. OR A REAL JOB. OR SOMETHING....

STOP CONCERNING YOURSELF WITH THE AMHERST HIGH SCHOOL.

YOU ARE NOT PERSONALLY INVOLVED WITH THE HS, AND THEREFORE, YOU HAVE NO PLACE IN ANY OF THESE ARGUMENTS.

I know you feed on these kind of comments, so from now on, I am simply going to ignore you and your ridiculous blog. But really, I think you should move.

LarryK4 said...

Anon 8:05 PM, not to be confused with ANGRY! Anon 8:08 PM.

Try to pay attention: As i just said to arhs1978 the "news" article slamming Catherine's blog was not on the Opinion Page, where you expect a slanted view. It was on the Front Page where you expect fair and balanced.

Sanderson/Rivkin's opinion piece, which I was the first person to criticize both on her blog and the Amherst Bulletin website, is clearly marked a Column.

LarryK4 said...

AND, the Amherst Bulletin unlike The Graphic is a private business and receives no taxpayer subsidy (although they will make out like bandits selling ads for the upcoming Override election.)

Anonymous said...

Jesus Larry, this is the high school newspaper.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah I know. But this is ARHS--the only High School in the nation where the darling kids were mature enough for 'Vagina Monologues'.

I have high expectations.

arhs78 said...

Whether its news or opinion is really beside the point and you know it. It is a high school newspaper. How long has it been since you graduate from ARHS? You did graduate didn't you, Larry? Auto shop major?

The only action you need to defend is taking this article up a fodder for your demagoguery. Leave the kids out of it.

Do I need to caution you that stalking is a charge that sticks whether the facts fit the case or not? In other words, leave the kids out of it.

Anonymous said...

Well at least he's not hanging out in elementary school bathrooms anymore.

Anonymous said...

dumb vagina

LarryK4 said...

Actually I graduated from St. Mike's in Northampton.

My mother was a public school teacher (actually taught in Amherst in the late 1940s) and thought a little Catholic school was superior.

Anything that happens in the public arena is fair game.

Don't threaten me. And especially do not threaten my family. I will hunt you down.

Suddenly there came a tapping, a tapping at your chamber door. Quote the Anon nevermore.

arhs78 said...

"Anything that happens in the public arena is fair game."

That goes for your kids too, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey arhs78,


It's over. Understand?


It's finally over...

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE NOT PERSONALLY INVOLVED WITH THE HS, AND THEREFORE, YOU HAVE NO PLACE IN ANY OF THESE ARGUMENTS.

OK, only those who have children in the schools have to pay taxes. Those of us who don't, who are tired of our money being wasted for foolishness, don't.

It is called the "Golden Rule" folks -- those who are forced to provide the gold get to make the rules. And that means people like Larry....

Ed said...

arhs78 said...
The only action you need to defend is taking this article up a fodder for your demagoguery. Leave the kids out of it.


When kids do adult things, they get to be treated as adults. When kids get caught downloading pirated music, they get sued. When the kids drive around drunk, they get arrested. And why shouldn't that apply here?

Besides, doesn't the school newspaper have a faculty advisor?

Besides, don't the kids WANT their newspaper taken seriously? (Wonder what would happen if everyone sent in an EdOp in response to it.....)


Do I need to caution you that stalking is a charge that sticks whether the facts fit the case or not? In other words, leave the kids out of it.


This is so far over the edge that all decent people must condemn it. It is the same thing as saying that we will fabricate totally bogus 51As against the teachers, adding that "once word is that you are sleeping with students, facts don't matter."

Need I also remind ARHS78 that "filing a false public report" is a criminal offense in the Commonwealth? And as it would be an attempt to restrict Larry's free speech, a civil rights, it well could be considered a Federal Civil Rights offense as well.

Ed said...

Her 11 year old son wants to know why people hate her

The same reason why some people hate police officers. They are doing bad things and the policeman holds them accountable. And if it is *school employees* saying this to her son, that is a 51A....

Are we also going to go harass the kids of cops in this town?

Good lord.....

arhs78 said...

Funny how this ... "news" article in (ARHS) The Graphic extensively quotes Nina Koch, a teacher, and Rick Hood ..., slamming Catherine Sanderson's School Committee blog for being too negative

Funny how Catherine had exactly the same thing to say about many of the comments on her blog:

people choose to simply engage in personal attacks and slams that oppose the person, and not their view. So, I'm not having this blog so that people can attack me, or teachers, or other SC members, or the superintendent, or other posters
- Catherine A. Sanderson 1/15/10

What are you lookin moron?

arhs78 said...

"I will hunt you down."

I take your threats of stalking seriously but you won't silence me with them.

LarryK4 said...

And I only take Anons seriously when they threaten my children.

Anonymous said...

i wash my vagina in the cool cool water of the high school newspaper.

and i like penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis penis

Anonymous said...

larry, you sould call your blog the penis dialoques

Ed said...

Section 51A. Any physician, medical intern, hospital personnel engaged in the examination, care or treatment of persons, medical examiner, psychologist, emergency medical technician, dentist, nurse, chiropractor, podiatrist, optometrist, osteopath, public or private school teacher, educational administrator, guidance or family counselor, day care worker or any person paid to care for or work with a child in any public or private facility, or home or program funded by the commonwealth or licensed pursuant to the provisions of chapter twenty-eight A, which provides day care or residential services to children or which provides the services of child care resource and referral agencies, voucher management agencies, family day care systems and child care food programs, probation officer, clerk/magistrate of the district courts, parole officer, social worker, foster parent, firefighter or policeman, licensor of the office of child care services or any successor agency, school attendance officer, allied mental health and human services professional as licensed pursuant to the provisions of section one hundred and sixty-five of chapter one hundred and twelve, drug and alcoholism counselor, psychiatrist, and clinical social worker, priest, rabbi, clergy member, ordained or licensed minister, leader of any church or religious body, accredited Christian Science practitioner, person performing official duties on behalf of a church or religious body that are recognized as the duties of a priest, rabbi, clergy, ordained or licensed minister, leader of any church or religious body, or accredited Christian Science practitioner, or person employed by a church or religious body to supervise, educate, coach, train or counsel a child on a regular basis, who, in his professional capacity shall have reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of eighteen years is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse inflicted upon him which causes harm or substantial risk of harm to the child's health or welfare including sexual abuse, or from neglect, including malnutrition, or who is determined to be physically dependent upon an addictive drug at birth, shall immediately report such condition to the department by oral communication and by making a written report within forty-eight hours after such oral communication

Anonymous said...

Larry,

I think the Graphic article is extremely well written for a high school student. It is actually written better than the Gazette's articles.

Anonymous said...

Funny, the reporter didn't contact me.

I wonder why.

Yes, the blogosphere has its limitations and, if the young writer is just figuring that out, that's all to the good.

I thought it was interesting that this reporter's work shares some of the same limitations as the work of her adult professional counterparts: choosing to regurgitate the opinions of a selected few instead of doing her own INDEPENDENT reporting. Did she spend any time studying the content of Catherine's blog? I see no signs of it. Instead, I see a reporter simply accepting the word of Ms. Koch.

I think the blogosphere demonstrates on a daily basis that there's an appetite for more information out there that's not being met. And I understand that the free market should resolve all of these problems, but it doesn't. For example, why would public radio stations all over America be among the ratings leaders in so many media markets IF the free market of private radio stations were responding to an appetite for news and certain forms of music?

In looking at the fairly ferocious pushback against bloggers going on in town, of which this high school article seems to be either knowingly or unknowingly a part, it is interesting how few people really believe in free speech, a right that is most crucially protected when one is disgusted, outraged, or disappointed by what is being said. We are lucky that our founding fathers understood as well as anyone would afterwards: once one scratches through the patina of courtesy and civility that we all carry around with us, we're all tyrants underneath.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

No one is saying that Sanderson shouldn't have her blog. They are just saying that she should not ignore the positives in the public schools and that she should check her facts better. That's different than she shouldn't have a blog.

LarryK4 said...

Try to read between the lines. They would be ever soooooo much happier if she gave up her blog.

Why don't you start one that promotes the "positives in the public schools."

Hell, Umass has three of four flacks who make more than the average Amherst teacher doing nothing but positive spin for the University.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying that Sanderson shouldn't have her blog. They are just saying that she should not ignore the positives in the public schools and that she should check her facts better. That's different than she shouldn't have a blog.

Of course this is true and Larry is all wet.

Naturally, some people don't like some of the criticism CS posts on her blog, nor the prescription for change she posts that accompanies the criticism.

There is no change without a proposition. That is what CS does; propose change and reasons for the change she proposes.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you could start using the word "corruption", you do know that right?

Anonymous said...

"No one is saying that Sanderson shouldn't have her blog."

Yeah, they are. Who knew that there were so many different creative ways to tell one uppity female elected official to "just shut up"?

Her situation begs the question: just how much democratic scrutiny can our governmental institutions in Amherst stand?

I think this effort to cast Catherine as, as we used to say in our high school days, "lacking in school spirit" may backfire.

Let's remember, folks: in Amherst, the only real accountability to the voters is via the overrides. No, not via the Select Board, which has far less actual power than its visibility would suggest, not via Town Meeting, which residents essentially ignore and/or can't understand, and not via 1-2 seats on the School Committee up on the ballot every election year. The buck stops nowhere except on the override votes.

So, if voters were to get the idea that those tasked with the oversight function are being systematically intimidated out of performing that function, they'll have their say about that on March 23rd. I can't help but notice that the vast majority of the pro-override petitioners cite the impact on the schools. But I'm just not sure that parents hold the balance of power at the ballot box in town. And voters seem to be most uncertain about the schools in terms of how effectively their tax dollars are being spent.

And, nothing about their characters, mind you, but when both Andrew Churchill and Elaine Brighty acknowledge in the same week that they can't explain why educating students costs so much more per pupil in Amherst than in Northampton, this does not inspire confidence.

I'm voting for the override for other reasons beyond the schools. If it fails, perhaps those that have been casting Catherine Sanderson as the villain might want to rethink their strategy.

Rich Morse

Rick said...

“Rick Hood, a pro status quo School Committee member wanna-be..” No way am I “pro status quo”.

This whole debate about Catherine Sanderson’s blog is – for me at least – simply a debate about what works and what doesn’t to get the job done. Catherine and others think the tone she (sometimes) uses is necessary to get the job done. My view is that it usually has the opposite effect. There is a middle ground between “rubber-stamping” and alienating the people you have to work with to get the job done. Catherine and I have had this discussion many times and we just have to agree to disagree.

ARPS does sometimes stonewall on things that need to be done or looked into. My view on the way to deal with that is to calmly repeat over and over and over again, at every SC meeting and anywhere you can, what it is ARPS is not doing, reminding all the while how many times you have had to repeat it, and how long its been since the issue existed. Don’t ever give up on re-stating the facts of a situation and don’t let it devolve into a discussion of motives. Motives don’t interest me, only results (or lack of results) do.

Catherine works her butt off on the blog and as an SC member, so you have to admire that and I do. I would also note that one area where her efforts produced results because of her pushing was in the closing of Marks Meadow, where she provided lots of facts and reasoned arguments in a logical way. Not the same as “Deep probing of schools needed”. My guess is that a call for “deep probing of health clubs needed” is not going to get Larry to cooperate with somebody trying to “deep probe” him. ;-)

“Why don't Nina, Rick or you start a blog? It's free you know.”

I did, here you go: http://www.amherstschooltalk.org No “anon nitwits” allowed and it’s not for just me to author posts, it’s for guest authors as well, such as teachers, student and parents. Who decides what gets published? Me.

This is NOT an “anti-Catherine-blog” at all; her blog is great and I have learned a lot by reading it. This just a different blog, doing things in a somewhat different way.

LarryK4 said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. There's always room for more.

Rick said...

Thanks Larry.