Choices, Good and Mediocre

I feel a need to raise an issue concerning choices you made in the November 6 edition with the UCSB water polo team on the cover. I take nothing away from them; they have extraordinary talent in the pool and deserve their accolades. But I was jarred by the lack of attention for a different kind of champion; he was barely mentioned in an “Education Brief,” just a few inches of column space tucked in with other nominal news items.

A freshman at Dos Pueblos, James Roney, had just won a nationwide science competition of science fair winners. It was the World Series of science fairs, and our guy won! The best of the best in the whole country is a 9th grader right here in one of our public schools. Isn’t that a big deal? Do we value educational excellence as much as we value water polo? This brilliant young scholar, his parents, and every single one of his teachers should be on your cover. Where are your priorities?

You should have interviewed him. I’m sure he’s got some interesting things to say about science and his visit with President Obama. You should have focused on his eighth-grade science teacher Kim Miller at Goleta Valley Junior High, under whose guidance he formed his experiment. This is a terrific success of our local educational system, and yet it barely rises to the surface for you guys.

You definitely blew it, but you can fix it, if you fix your priorities first. Show us that a gifted young scholar and his equally talented educators are important points of brilliance in our community, and let us know that we have these homegrown gems in our midst. Show us that good news is worth your time to print, and worth our time to read. The choices you make about what’s “important” are messages in themselves, and you need to think about that.

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