Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Learn to Separate Fact from Fiction via Governor Rick Perry

Yesterday I noticed my blog was getting a great deal of traffic courtesy of the website. I'm always curious about these things, and when I went to investigate, I found that TexasISD had linked to my blog post about the inaccurate information Governor Perry is spreading regarding teacher layoffs and teacher to administrator ratios in Texas public schools.

I found it ironic, to say the least, that just above their link to my blog post, TexasISD had linked to an article published in the Austin American-Statesman titled "Perry: Learn to separate fact from fiction." It turned out to be an editorial written by Perry himself.

On reading the editorial, the gist of which was that a disinformation campaign across Texas is not accurately representing the Governor's record on funding research in higher education, I was struck in particular by two quotes:
One proven tactic of propaganda is that if you want to distract people from the conversation you should be having, don't be afraid to lie ... and lie big.


Public debates about university excellence and accountability are necessary and healthy. But these false claims about university research are damaging our universities and Texas as a whole.
I agree wholeheartedly with Governor Perry's points here. And I wonder if he realizes he himself is guilty of the damaging tactics he is pointing out as he continues to insist that widespread education layoffs are not occurring and that there is one administrator for every teacher in Texas schools?

I also wonder if anyone else notices that the second quote above could still be true with just a couple of word substitutions:
Public debates about Texas K-12 education and accountability are necessary and healthy. But these false claims about Texas public schools are damaging our education system and Texas as a whole.
How I wish we - that's all of us, on all sides of public education issues in Texas - could live up to the ideal that HONEST public debate is necessary and healthy.