A lot of people don’t get it when I claim not to be a journalist. I understand how their education and training lead them to present articles in a certain format. I never studied journalism so it should be expected that I don’t follow their format.

Today’s editorial in the Delaware County Daily Times is a perfect example to demonstrate the differences in approach to saying the same thing.

On Education

CHESTER MATTERS BLOG: First of all, Glen Mills isn’t even a school. It’s a jail fronting as a school. Do they have a graduation rate? What percentage of their students get admitted to college? How do they rank in the state proficiency measures? I couldn’t find any of those numbers in my search. Can you?

DAILY TIMES: Glen Mills could hardly even claim to be a school…it also failed its other mission, providing these troubled young men with an education. But if you believe the claims in this legal filing, one of the underpinnings of life at Glen Mills was not what it appeared to be. In fact, the education offered bordered on fraud. “The educational offerings were a sham,” said Marsha Levick, chief legal officer of the Juvenile Law Center in a release.

On Sports

DAILY TIMES: “Once considered one of the crown jewels of Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system, with its myriad state athletic awards…”
CHESTER MATTERS BLOG: Nobody cares about the education going on in Glen Mills. All some folks are worried about is Glen Mills’ sports – as long as they’re losing.

On the Culprits

CHESTER MATTERS BLOG: …the problems at Glen Mills Reform School are not solely the responsibly of the 250 employees who are losing their jobs, but are shared even more greatly by the folks responsible for keeping an eye on what’s going on at Glen Mills Reform School and those spending tax payer money there.
DAILY TIMES: The problems at Glen Mills are a reminder of the failures of too many such institutions, and call for a wake-up call in the way the nation treats young offenders.

What We Both Agree On

Journalistic or not, the last few sentences in the Daily Times is as plain and simple as I could have ever presented…

They are supposed to be offered a way back to a solid, productive life. Not simply beaten or intimidated into submission. That it is being alleged to have happened repeatedly for years is troubling. That it went unchecked for that long is a condemnation of more than just the staff and officials at Glen Mills.

The lawsuit alleges students at Glen Mills were denied an education. In laying out these claims in the starkest of terms, it provides a valuable lesson in how so many officials at so many levels failed these kids.