It seems that our blog is getting quite the publicity these days. First, it was referenced and lambasted during public comment at the last board meeting. Then blogs in general (haha) were referenced in last week's Hinsdalean's editorial list of what to give up for lent. Specifically, their list included the following item that should be sacrificed during Lent: "Reading blogs that allow anonymous posts of unconfirmed information. Especially those that do so while claiming to be transparent."
We had quite the belly laugh when we read this suggestion, especially since the blog has gone out of its way to back up what it says either with links to D181's website/Board Docs/FOIA documents/Podcasts, Board member quotes, etc. or has labeled commentaries as "opinions." We don't make anyone pay to read our blog or buy space to post or advertise on our blog. We have repeatedly challenged critics to point out any factual errors in the blog and will continue to do so. We have provided a free forum for public discourse on the public education of our children and collection and spending of our tax dollars. So, thanks to any newspaper or community member who wants to spread the word about our blog.
"In our opinion," the hypocrisy of the Hinsdalean's editorial is that unconfirmed or misinformation comes in many forms. Sometimes, it is the presentation of incorrect information. Sometimes it is the presentation of incomplete information. Take last week's edition, for example. In its article on the HMS referendum, it claims that according to Bridgett McGuiggan, the D181 communications director, the 55th and County Line Developer quoted Don White a price for that large piece of property "upwards of $20 million." When we read this line, we kept reading, hoping that there would be some kind of independent verification of this number, such as the name of the person who White spoke to, a quote from the actual developer, or a quote perhaps from any one of the seven board members with a comment on when (if ever) this information was publicly discussed with the BOE and then rejected as an option that deserved further exploration. After all, whatever price that land would cost (and whatever piece of that land might be purchased -- since it is a huge parcel and might not all be needed), would be offset with proceeds from the sale of the prime real estate parcel the current middle school and adjacent field sit on. But none of that was covered in the "news" article.
Like we said, misinformation comes in many forms. Voters deciding on whether to support yet another capital project in D181 on March 15 through a property tax increase deserve a presentation of ALL of the information. But as in typical in D181, the regular parent/D181 taxpayer is not privy to all of the information that will help us make a fully informed decision. So for us, the parent bloggers, our choice on how to vote is obvious -- we will vote NO on the current plan to build a new HMS, not just because of the price and MULTI MILLION DOLLAR WANTS that "in our opinion" shouldn't be funded until Special Education and Curriculum services are fully funded and appropriately provided to ALL of D181's students, but because voters are once again being kept out in the cold and denied full information. Dr. White and the BOE have not publicly discussed and fully explored all options and even the local newspaper isn't digging deep enough to uncover all the "facts." Yet the local paper wants to criticize blogs for lack of transparency...
As always, SOUND OFF!