"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Mizzou Journalism Students Denied Access to Governor's Educational Policy Chat. Welcome to the Club.

The lack of involvement in Missouri educational decisions isn't reserved just for parents and taxpayers on the K-12 level. It apparently extends to college journalism students as well. The Columbia-Tribune reports:

A handful of student reporters were denied access to a meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon yesterday during which he spoke to invited reporters about higher education.

The Tribune and reporters from The Associated Press, the Kansas City Star, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Stateline and the Springfield News-Leader were asked to meet with Nixon to talk about his agenda for higher education.

Reporters from other media outlets and publications, including the Columbia Missourian, weren't invited.

Students at the University of Missouri have a vested interest in what Governor Nixon had to say about higher education in terms of budget and curriculum decisions. If a policy is going to affect a individual and/or group directly, it would be a valid assumption that the individual and/or group would want access to information. As the article continues:

Charles Davis, associate journalism professor at MU, also said he had a problem with a governor making a “favored list of reporters he’s going to talk to and exclude other people who want to engage in the same subject.”

Plus, Davis said, “It’s highly ironic that in a conversation about higher education, he excludes students.”

Professor Davis' statement about excluding students can be applied to the conversation we've been having about the "Vision for Missouri Public Education". Parents and taxpayers independent of the lobbying groups are on no planning committees.

Welcome to the "vision" of transparency and taxpayer input from the Governor's and DESE's office. The students and journalism professors can now understand the frustration citizens experience with these governmental entities. Parents and taxpayers have no voice at the table for educational decisions being mandated to their K-12 students and local school districts.

Perhaps the School of Journalism should start an investigation on the disenfranchisement of Missouri taxpayers and students from all educational levels in regard to how their taxes are being used for educational policy. That would be an interesting series of articles, don't you think?

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