Mark McCormick’s Wichita School Bond Bias


Writing from Scottsdale, Arizona

Today’s Mark McCormick column in the Wichita Eagle (Opponents of school bond skip specifics) provides an example of this columnist’s bias, and how this bias leads to his rapidly losing credibility among Wichitans.

Bias is okay for a columnist. Everyone is entitled to a point of view. After reading a few of McCormick’s columns you get used to his way of looking at the world. Then you can either read his column, filtering it as you do. Or, like many people tell me, they’ve simply stopped reading his column. Sometimes they stop the entire newspaper.

Here’s one of the problems with this column: In allowing Wichita school board president Lynn Rogers a “big-league rebuttal,” McCormick wrote “The board members, who aren’t paid for this work, are responsible for answering the most pressing challenges.”

This makes it sound like the bond issue has been planned and managed only by volunteers.

This ignores, however, the huge staff at USD 259, many highly paid to advance the interests of the public school bureaucracy and monopoly, many now working on educational campaigns for the bond issue.

This ignores the tremendous effort by Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture in promoting the bond issue. They are working for free, but this firm stands to earn millions in fees if the bond issue passes. As shown in the posts Wichita School Bond Issue Economic Fallacy and Wichita School Safe Rooms: At No Cost? this firm’s head, Joe Johnson, often says things that make me wonder in amazement.

This ignores the efforts of many construction companies and contractors that have, at least according to their sponsorship of an event, lined up behind the bond issue, hoping to profit from the building of public works — whether they’re needed or not.

The bond issue opponents are the true volunteers, if that makes any difference. As outsiders, we don’t have access to the type of information that Lynn Rogers and USD 259 insiders have. And, as I’ve illustrated, getting information from this district is problematic.


4 responses to “Mark McCormick’s Wichita School Bond Bias”

  1. Kate

    Thanks for your column, Bob. It’s always refreshing to hear your point of view.

  2. Mike

    Who appointed McCormick the mediator on the bond issue? McCormick is only keeping the folks at Wichita for Effective Education busy with his requests for information while at the same time acquiring comments and quotes to use against the bond opponents.
    Dump The Bond!

  3. […] September 10, 2008 · No Comments Mark McCormick doesn’t like answers in the form of a question. Bob Weeks responds to Mark’s response. […]

  4. My question about this is: Do you really believe that this bond issue is a coordinated effort on the part of contractors and an arch firm to line their pockets for money and nothing else?

    Yes! Any contractor doing anything for a government entity, stands to make money and many often bid for those lucrative contracts.

    But I find it hard to believe, that in this day and age, a massive bond issue, such as this one is a coordinated effort for local firms to stuff their pockets with taxpayers money all in the name of enriching themselves, with no regards for the purposes and the occupants of those buildings they will build.

    I just don’t think that is a good enough reason to justify voting down the bond issue.

    My opinion is: 1. Do we need (not want) but need the improvements and new schools?

    2. Is it affordable to the taxpayers.

    If no is the answer to any or both of those questions, then vote it down.

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