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Commentary: API story misplaced gains at Adams

October 17, 2012|By Karen Mack

The article published in the Daily Pilot ("State data: Newport-Mesa's API scores improve Oct. 12), is a prime example of irresponsible journalism.

The last paragraph of the front page states the following:

"Adams, College Park, Whittier and Wilson elementary schools, TeWinkle Middle School, and Costa Mesa and Estancia high schools were some of the lowest performers."

The very next paragraph, on Page 12 of the Daily Pilot states:

"All the schools, with the exception of Estancia, improved. TeWinkle, Wilson, Whittier, College Park and Adams had significant growth of at least 20 points."

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As a reader, if you chose to stop at the front page, you would never know that Adams was one of just five schools with the highest growth. You wouldn't know that Adams grew at least 20 points. You wouldn't know any of the positive information about this amazing elementary school.

The story's writer and editors should have flipped the paragraphs. Yes, negative information sells newspapers. But what is wrong with reporting the positive and accurate information first?

Instead, you chose to focus on the negative first. This negativity is the perpetually inaccurate image that we, as parents of outstanding Adams students, are constantly fighting.

I don't know how many people read the entire article. I'd like to think that anyone who started it, also finished it. Unfortunately, many people with their busy schedules just read parts of articles. If people stopped at the front page and didn't bother to open the entire paper, they'd never know about the incredible strides Adams has made.

As a Mesa Verde resident, I made the conscience decision for my children to attend our local public school, Adams. I have never regretted that decision. My children are bright, articulate, social, responsible, generous, understanding kids, and I am glad I chose my local public school for their educational needs.

KAREN MACK is a parent at Adams Elementary School in Costa Mesa. She lives in Mesa Verde.

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