Truth in education debate

Bryan O’Keefe’s recent account of my remarks in the Sept. 21 edition of The Hatchet titled Convocation education is a gross distortion of what I actually said at the Convocation Sept. 19. Those who attended the meeting will recall that I did give fair hearing to the positions of both Vice President Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush on the issue of how education would fair if either of them were elected president. I spoke from a prepared text and, therefore, if Mr. O’Keefe or others would contact me, I will be glad to give them a copy of my remarks in which will be found the presidential candidates education records and proposals delineated.

Mr. O’Keefe’s main complaint seems to be that I did not go far enough in praise of Governor Bush’s education record in Texas or far enough in detailing his educational platform for a national role. I will only respond to that complaint by saying that one can only report what the record states, and the educational records of the two candidates are very clear.

I must respond, however, to his allegations that I attacked and misrepresented Governor Bush’s stances and that my presentation was not a collection of facts. Mr. O’Keefe is entitled to his opinions about the candidates, and he certainly has the right to supplement students’ knowledge of Governor Bush with additional detail. But he has no basis upon which to question my integrity.

Everything I said in reporting the positions of both candidates was entirely factual, thus, there was no need to attack or misrepresent the governor’s position. Again, the facts, which are in the candidates’ records of educational achievements and proposals, speak for themselves.

-Mary Hatwood FutrellGraduate School of Education and Human Development dean

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