Daily’s editorial on WEMU contained factual errors

To the Daily:

As a music show host on WEMU-FM, I want to point out incorrect information printed in Monday’s Daily (Whitewashing radio, 04/07/03). The editorial board apparently based its opinion upon hearsay and have not verified the facts in the case of Terry Hughes. Firstly: the Daily mistakenly reported that Hughes’ Bone Conduction Radio Show included newscasts. Bone Conduction was one of the few shows on WEMU that did not have hourly newscasts. Furthermore: Rather than opting for nonstop talkathon war coverage, WEMU chose to keep the music shows on the air and provide listeners with a brief news update at the top of each hour.

Apparently Hughes felt that his show was above the rest and that he didn’t have to air news like the rest of us. (My own Sunday morning show has had hourly newsbreaks for the sixteen years I’ve been with it.) This is not about freedom of speech, although he certainly pushed the limits of what was acceptable. This is about a music show host refusing to air newscasts, and announcing over the air that “NPR News is nowhere – get your news from Fox TV.” Lastly, let it be observed that the management of WEMU offered to have him back on the air if he would air newscasts like everybody else. Hughes refused this offer. The wounds are self-inflicted. He got himself taken off of WEMU and he kept himself off of WEMU.

Theodore Grenier

LSA Media Services

Former teacher agrees with criticism of MEAP

To the Daily:

I want to thank the Daily for the editorial concerning the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP vs. Medicaid, 04/08/03). I was a teacher for 32 years. In that span of time, I have seen tests come and go. But one of the main reasons that I retired early was the MEAP. I have always taught in inner-city or high-needs districts. The test is biased and very difficult for our students, not because of any fault of their abilities, but experience. I found myself spending hours during the day, teaching to standards to be found on the test, and not allowing for true teaching and experiences necessary for positive growth. I became a secretary to tests, scores and standards. I was recording online, in my grade book and reporting to everyone from principal to board of education. The stress on my students not to fail was overwhelming. I felt it was also a great insult to my students because, as always, scores are posted in the local paper. Most people don’t realize how the test is scored, and by only one point they can show failure, instead of showing their successes. Not that we don’t need some sort of standardized tests, but what we do with MEAP scores afterward also distresses me.

Hopefully, in these times of violence, and poverty, and families disjointed, teachers need to spend lots of time bringing order, peace and safety in our students lives. It has been shown in studies that if children are in danger they are not as able to learn as more secure students. Once again, testing is important, but learning and enjoying learning, so that it will be a lifelong endeavor, is more important.

Angie Noble


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