Monday, May 30, 2005

California Connected and the Governor's Viewpoint

It is good that California Connected is covering issues related to public schools, but your story for May 27, which I watched on May 30, 2005, on KVIE in Sacramento. uses an inappropriate and biased frame for the story. Your intro to the teachers said that there was a conflict between the Governor and the Teachers Union, and that teachers were caught in the middle. Your frame repeats the viewpoint of the governor’s press people which is far from objective. Notice that the teachers did not respond to your frame and instead commented on some of the current problems of schools.
Last week you gave the Governor the opportunity to tell his view. Now, you have selected three teachers to give their view. It would be appropriate to provide the union with the opportunity to respond. After all, they were able to turn out 20,000 teachers this week in Sacramento and some 10,000 in Los Angeles. They may well represent a significant viewpoint in this conflict.
In your framing of the story you have revealed an anti union bias. If you are unwilling to provide a fair and balanced approach, then I recommend that you at least contact Scott Plotkin of the California School Boards Association for a position independent of the Governor’s office. He is a well informed observor of these conflicts and he is not an advocate of the union position.
I posted an excerpt of the script from your prior show on my web log
www.choosingdemocracy.blogspot. com I will also be posting this response there. Feel free to respond to my criticism. This is a web log focusing on public education. I recommend that your producers do further reading in the field. The title of the log Choosing Democracy is the title of a book on education which I have written. ( 3rd. edition, 2004)
There is much to be said about public schooling. I encourage your program to provide a more balanced and more comprehensive coverage.

Dr. Duane E. Campbell

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