Get Me Rewrite!

by Robert Pondiscio
April 9th, 2008

Milwaukee Journal-SentinelColumnist Eugene Kane is upset by the performance of Wisconsin’s black 8th graders on the recently released NAEP Writing results. He’s just as upset with how his paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel played the story.

“State black 8th-graders rank worst in nation in writing,” the headline read.

“There’s always plenty of blame to go around when things get this dismal,” Kane writes. “I’m talking teachers, principals, politicians, business leaders, and of course, the parents of all those low-achieving students. But don’t worry about blaming the kids. They already got theirs in that screaming headline.”

“Any story about failing black kids always includes the usual comments from adults embarrassed by the situation who insist things can get better. The problem is too many people are already way too familiar with the below-par performance of black students in Milwaukee to believe anybody cares,” he concludes.

Kane’s kicker delivers a kick in the teeth:

“To be fair, the headline should probably be more inclusive next time, naming Wisconsin as the home of “the worst teachers and parents of black eighth-grade students in the nation. Doesn’t feel too good, does it?”

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