Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

The gentle reader is aware that the education profiteer group School Choice Wisconsin sent out a massive amount of open record requests to school districts across the state to troll for information on the children that attend school in those districts.  Fortunately, due to public outrage, the profiteers modified their requests, at least in Green Bay.

Over the weekend, Molly Beck, of the Wisconsin State Journal, wrote about the "creep factor" of the these requests.  Overall, it's a pretty decent article.  However, there is one part that needs to be corrected.

Beck wrote this:
The matter was brought to light in February after liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now disclosed that the Green Bay School District received a request from the voucher advocates.

“I think this points to a larger concern that public education advocates have about the unaccountable privatization movement and that is they see children as commodities and our children’s education is a product to generate profit from,” said OWN executive director Scot Ross.

Because some school districts either allow a student’s information to be included in all directory data requests or none, Ross said “it doesn’t seem fair a kid can’t be in a yearbook just because they don’t want to get calls at their house from some private entity.”
Now, I love me some One Wisconsin Now and have relied on their research and reporting a lot.  I have the highest esteem for Scot Ross. I consider myself to be fortunate to call him my friend.  Trust me, the state would be in even more dire straits if it weren't for these good people.

But Ms. Beck is incorrect in stating that OWN, as wonderful as they are, broke the story.

That was actually my friend and colleague, Jeff Simpson, who wrote about the creep factor first, first at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Purple Wisconsin blog page and then at this here blog.

Now, Jeff and I have been doing this long enough to know what it feels like to have someone else use one of our stories without being given credit for it.  But I have to call this one out, especially since Jeff was the one that had to deal with all the faux outrage to the point at losing his privileges at Purple Wisconsin.

If a person has to go through all that crap, he should get some acknowledgement for it.


  1. Your good friend and colleague Jeff Simpson was certainly the first one to declare that Jim Bender was a NAMBLA supporter, among other things.

    Unfortunately, that libelous statement is what got him kicked off the Journal's editorial pages, and frankly speaks more about the deranged mindset of your good friend and colleague than anything else.

    I'm glad that you think he's special, though.

  2. Anony 8:54 - Jeff Simpson was quite emphatic in his writing that he was NOT accusing Bender of any "creep factor," but he did point out that if a private commercial entity, or an individual such as Bender, could access personal contact information of minor children, then so could creeps. Sounds like a real concern to me.

  3. Lying again Capper.

    Erin Richards wrote about it days before Simpson did:


    1. Ah, but she did not write about the creep factor, which is the subject of the post. Nice try.