Today’s Moment of Poignance, Old Newshound Division: Thousands of Michigan schoolchildren, perhaps including my own, will have to retake part of the MEAP, our state test to make sure no child is left behind (God FORBID), because of a security breach.
Which was? A newspaper doing a story on the testing revealed essay topics before all students in the state had been tested. The fear, evidently, is that perhaps an untested child in the Upper Peninsula read the website of the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, and might have gotten an early warning on the test topic. Yes, really.
And the moment of poignance? Ahem:
“It’s not like we were going to find out the answers,” Brooke Nemens, 10, a sixth-grader at L’Anse Creuse Middle School — North, said after she heard the news. “I don’t even read the newspaper.”
Well, Brooke, you should. God knows what you could have learned.
The offending newspaper in Jackson (motto: “Home of the Largest Maximum-Security Prison in Michigan, and also the Jackson Cascades“) is making the usual mea-culpa sounds, although this blog entry, by an “opinion columnist,” is sort of weird — “testicles on a pitchfork”? How times have changed. (I don’t generally talk about my last, strange months in the newspaper business, but in the interest of making wicked fun, I’ll reveal this: Upon my return to the paper post-fellowship, the editor felt compelled to propose a blogging policy. Among the proposed rules: All blogs must adhere to newspaper standards of content and propriety, which at that time included a blanket ban on the word “butt” as a description of the fleshy pads we all sit on. And now, barely three years later, a paper in a city just as conservative as Fort Wayne, arguably more so, is allowing pitchforked testicles under its online brand. Ha. Ha. Ha.)
So what do we think of Al Gore’s Nobel? Lost Bush v. Gore, but got a couple of nice consolation prizes — an Oscar and now this one, which also includes dinner with the King of Sweden. I’ll start: I’ll enjoy this if only for the apoplexy it will induce in the needs-more-evidence community.
Had a good interview yesterday, and now must go over notes to make sure I didn’t forget anything, because the subject leaves for two weeks in Fiji in about 12 hours. How’s that for a ducking-out-early excuse?
Later, maybe. If not, have a good weekend.