Here are examples of media
lies misrepresentation. The first example is a lie misstatement of fact that has quickly taken a life of its own:
The larger truth is that graduation is the last stop for an academic train whose passengers mostly disembark at earlier stations. According to statistics released last week by America's Promise Alliance, only 53 percent of African American students complete high school.
I'm sorry, but that's not what the report stated. (The report in PDF is here). The report stated:
This report concentrates on the performance of America’s largest cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas. The 50 most heavily populated cities in the nation were identified using 2006 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. With a population of 8.2 million, New York is by far the largest city in the country. Los Angeles and Chicago follow with 3.8 and 2.8 million residents respectively. Wichita rounds out the top 50. With a population of about 358,000, the leading city of Kansas is less than one-twentieth the size of New York City.
Concentrating on the largest cities is different from all African American students.
The second example, to me, is purposeful and insidious.
Here is what the authors of the opinion piece state:
Of those, federal data show, just over half enroll in college -- and most of those in two-year colleges. In other words, by the time college begins, nearly three-quarters of African American students already have been left behind. And even for those who enroll at four-year colleges, African Americans make it through at two-thirds the rate of their white peers.
Rather than placing blame solely on university athletic departments, it's time we looked more deeply into why so many low-income African American students (and Latinos, whose dropout rates are slightly greater) don't complete college.
If you didn't notice, they went from using the entire universe of Black college students to using low-income Black students. That reminded me of this that I posted about one year ago about an article in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education:
According to a study by Nellie Mae, the largest nonprofit provider of federal and private education loan funds in this country, 69 percent of African Americans who enrolled in college but did not finish said that they left college because of high student loan debt as opposed to 43 percent of white students who cited the same reason.
So, we have an article that states 69% of those who didn't finish college did so because of money. Meanwhile, the authors mix the general Black college population with the low income segment. That's just sloppy.
NewSchools Venture Fund believes that all children are entitled to a high-quality public education and that the best way to reach this goal is to transform our current systems of public schools into performance-driven organizations that focus on student achievement. We believe that education entrepreneurs can spark this broader transformation in the public school system.
As a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm, we raise capital from both individual and institutional investors; we then use those funds to support promising education entrepreneurs, help them grow their organizations to scale, and connect their work with public school systems — particularly within targeted urban areas. We analyze the national education landscape and the “ecosystem” for this type of dramatic change in each our key urban areas to determine how education entrepreneurs are poised to make a difference.
I have no problem with the idea of what they are doing, in fact, I wish them well. But they didn't have to lie to make themselves seem more relevant. Of course the cynic -- realist? -- in me says that is exactly what they have to do.