Sun-Times Sexes Up School Violence Stats

What do you do when you want so bad to find something juicy and unequivocal -- but it's just not quite there? 

If you're the Bush administration,  .. we all all know what they did.

If you're the Sun-Times, you sex up the presentation of your own data to make it seem like school violence is worse than it is.

Hidden well below the blaring headine of the recent Sun Times story
on school violence was an interesting bit of news that most probably
won't notice:  school violence isn't actually higher than it was last year.

"The
violence level is lower so far this school year than last school year
in most receiving schools -- though it's still higher generally than
when those schools began accepting students diverted from troubled
schools."

You'd never get that reading the story. The headline makes it
sound like the spike is taking place now (it isn't), and the nut graf
(the story's thesis) -- "all
eight
schools have posted an increase in reported violence that is at least
twice as high as the average for similar high schools systemwide"
omits the key information that violence rates are lower this year than
last.

Now, I'm a big fan of much of what the Sun Times does on education.  I'm no cheerleader for Renaissance 2010.  And there's
obviously a school violence story there.  But the ST's
treatment seems unfortunatley rushed and overheated this time around.   

Filed under: Media Watch

Leave a comment