Blogger and Inky to Abington: Mea Culpa
Article and blog post improperly name Abington as a school district identified as cheating in a 2009 state report
Abington School Board President Raymond McGarry kicked off the March 27 school board meeting by saying that Abington was erroneously mentioned in a March 14 Philadelphia Inquirer commentary piece and a March 3 post on the blog “Chalk and Talk.”
Both pieces —written by Christopher Paslay — said Abington was one of 39 school districts and 10 charter schools across the state to be identified as possibly cheating on the 2009 11th-grade PSSA tests.
Abington Heights School District was flagged.
“The fact is, the article and the blog [were] incorrect,” McGarry said. “The report referenced in 2009 cites Abington Heights School District in Lackawanna County for grade 11 as possibly cheating.
“Once we were notified that this was printed, we immediately took steps to clear the record,” McGarry continued.
McGarry said the district’s solicitor reached out to the Inquirer and Paslay demanding a correction.
The Inquirer and Paslay both acknowledged the mistake, and fixed the posts. Paslay wrote on March 15:
"… the school district should have been Abington Heights, not Abington in Montgomery County. The post has been updated to reflect the correct district. The Inquirer article has also been corrected and updated. I apologize to the Abington School District and its community for the misunderstanding.”
The editor of the Inquirer also wrote an apology to the district.
According to the article, 89 schools were flagged in 2009; the state report didn’t surface until July 2011.