Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Journal Times Misleads Public Again

Brent Killackey's latest front page article is entitled "Unified teachers' tentative deal better than state average on compensation." A more accurate title would be "Unified teachers' compensation increase is highest in the the state."

Killackey reports compensation numbers provided by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Total compensation increases ranged from 3.75% to 6.09%, according to Killackey. Yet he goes on to report that the RUSD contract calls for a compensation increase of 6.98% for 2005/2006. As 6.98 is higher than 6.09, one can safely conclude that RUSD teachers have secured the greatest compensation increase in Wisconsin.

Now it is possible that another school district has rewarded their teachers more handsomely, (because most contracts are at least two years) though it is impossible to tell from Killackey's article. Killackey cites compensation ranges of 3.75% to 6.09% (excluding Unified's 6.98% increase) for the first year, and 2.16% to 5.48% for the second year. If another school district offered the highest compensation increases of 6.09% for the first year and 5.48% for the second year, their total compensation increase would be slightly higher than Unified's. A call to the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, to detirmine whether any school district has offered a more generous compensation package than RUSD, has not been returned as of this time.

Based on the information reported thus far, RUSD has secured the highest compensation increase in the state. Yet the Journal Times title reads that it is better than average. While it is true that the highest compensation increase is better than average, one wonders why the Journal Times does not more accurately inform their readers. Could it be that the Journal Times realizes that a full exposure of the truth will harm RUSD's efforts to convince the public that the referendum cash is "for the children"? Has the Journal Times detirmined that passing school referendum is more important than accurately informing their readers?

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