Thursday, April 10, 2008

Did she finish high school?

Front page Funny Paper article today about the spike in high school dropouts. State Sup't Susan Castillo was quoted:

"There is no way a student can expect to be successful in the future if they do not graduate from high school today," said Oregon schools Superintendent Susan Castillo.

Anybody else see the glaring grammatical error? Kind of ironic, isn't it, for the leader of our public school system to give such a quote when discussing dropouts.

Update: I was curious whether this quote was given in an interview, or if The Funny Paper took it from a press release, so I went to the Oregon Department of Education website to check. Sure enough, the press release is there, but the grammatical error is not. Which left me to wonder: did The Funny Paper transcribe the quote wrong? Or was the error in the original press release, and then changed after it was pointed out.

Odds are, it was the latter. Whoever writes her press releases needs a grammar check.

I reminds me of when I was running against Ms. Castillo, and her campaign website actually misspelled the word "Superintendent." No kidding!

Update #2: It would be unfair of me to not fess up to a grammatical mistake of my own that happened during my campaign back then. It was in an interview with the Statesman Journal, talking about my early fundraising success. The reporter couldn't believe I had raised so much money so soon, and asked if I had loaned the money to my campaign. I said something like "There's no loans...".

He made sure that the grammar misake was not just printed in the story, but also was a pull quote, prominently displayed.

5 comments:

Gene Evans said...

Rob --
This is Gene Evans, and I'm Superintendent Castillo's Communications Director. I wrote the press release (which was sent in DRAFT form to some reporters and all schools via our listserv). I caught the error in the DRAFT, and it was corrected as soon as I found it. People make mistakes, and I made one here. Thanks for the grammar check.

Anonymous said...

Rob I'll bet the reporter from the Statesman was Steve Law. He's a chickenshit hack who can't keep his own bias out of how he treats issues and candidates.

Oldest trick in the newsman's book - talk with the subject until he says something, anything, they can print that makes him look bad and make sure to quote it. And ALWAYS put it in the pull quote box.

Steve Law is a hack.

Anonymous said...

" I wrote the press release (which was sent in DRAFT form to some reporters and all schools via our listserv)."
--------

Second oldest trick in the book:

Claim all your work is in "draft" mode, until all your errors are detected and corrected (usually by others), then fix them in the "final" version.

Really, who sends out "draft" press releases to the press? "Drafts" are meant to be 'internal' until fully vetted. Interesting how Gene and the ODE work. Maybe for Gene/ODE 'internal' does include some of the press.

Any chance Gene would like to share who his 'inside' reporters are?

Do they come back with nice suggestions on how Gene/ODE might change the "draft" to improve it?

Any other relationships with the press you would like to share?

Anonymous said...

Grammatical errors aside, Castillo and her cronies (like this Gene Evans person) continue to harp about supposed under-funding while our schools continually under-perform.

Why should we dump more money into a broken system? What, $10K per student per year isn't enough? Give that money to me and I'll stay home and teach my kid myself. And I guaran-damn-tee you'll get a child that surpasses every aptitude test the state can throw at him.

I'd also like to know why our schools have a lower drop out rate now than in the 90s. All you hear from the NEA-led Castillo is how little funding schools received over the past decade. If funding is the key to performance, why then have drop-out rates improved?

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