Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Tell The Man You're Sorry"

Only in the rarified air of the politically correct world of modern politics does someone have to apologize for telling the truth.

Here is what happened:

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and/or his aides sat through an Education Roundtable meeting in which Dr. Sue Ellen Reed, Republican Superintendent for Instruction shared many of Indiana's improvements, and providing data regarding Indiana’s standing in the nation and the world. (See earlier post titled Top 10 Things You Won't Read in the Governor's Newsletter.)

Governor Daniels in his "state of the state" address announced his interpretation of where Indiana stands in the nation and the world, using no data whatsoever, but stating:

Our educational results lag behind other states, and other nations, but worse still, behind the potential of the kids and the devoted teachers in our classrooms.

Dr. Eugene White, the widely respected Superintendent of Schools for Washington Township Schools, is quoted in the Indy Star as allegedly calling the Governor a "liar" for his remarks about Indiana’s educational standing.

Now, my dog-eared 1968 copy of The Random House Dictionary uses this definition of "liar"
a. Liar – "one who lies"
b. Lie – "something intended or serving to convey a false impression"

So, the Governor ignores the facts about Indiana’s true educational standing in the nation and intentionally conveys to all Hoosiers the false impression that Indiana’s children "lag behind other states and other nations."

What does that sound like to you? Of course this is an old fashioned traditional dictionary from 1968. I guess the definition of "liar" and "lie" could have changed since then.

Would Dr. White have to apologize if he had said, "Governor Daniel’s selective use of the words "lag behind", have conveyed a false impression that Indiana is not keeping up with other states and other nations."

Is that sufficiently sanitized to pass the PC test? I am sure that Dr. White regrets using the emotionally laden word "liar," but that doesn’t mean that Eugene wasn’t telling the truth.

You can decide.

Mitch will gain more respect by dropping the demagoguery.

Try something like this Mitch:

Indiana has made educational progress and is now holding it's own against other states and other nations. But there is much work to do and a long journey ahead of us if we wish to prepare every child for a global economy few of us can predict.

Try that Mitch. We can live with it. At least its true.


At Friday, May 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whatever the term used by the Super, it is imperative that we lead by example. And demeaning the top officer of the state is not leading by example. An educational expert like him, should have been able to find a better phrase. THis has NOTHING to do with PC> It has everything to do witih decorum and respect. And I agree with NOTHING the governor does, which angers me even more...I'm forced to come to his defense.


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