Witness the latest example-- Christina Blizzard's column from earlier this week about schools in Huron County (specifically Zurich). It got a fair amount of pickup when it was tossed onto the comment pages for the Sun chain this week.
The school column really has to be seen in the light of the wind turbine / gas column Blizzard wrote before this one-- perhaps the reason she travelled out to Zurich in the first place. While I'm sure the community loves the fact that a Toronto columnist actually paid attention to their concerns (be they in education or other affairs), Blizzard is hopelessly unable to do more than go skin deep. From the piece:
Right now, 80% of the kids walk to school.Well, anyone covering school closures in the past five years could read this script from memory as it's been heard over and over and over. Why, clicking the accommodation reviews label here would show the same pattern of responses writ large outside the GTA. Yet Blizzard didn't bother to speak with a school board official. Ditto with any of the trustees that may have explained the decision. Neither with the group of parents that proposed the North Maitland Centre of Excellence school model (which was somewhat followed, mostly not). Heck, she didn't even bother to check to see if any other schools in this province are 7-12 schools (um, there are plenty).
In 2012, they’ll all be bused.
So not only will they get less exercise, they won’t be able to take part in after-school sports and other activities.
It’s a double whammy. They can’t stay late at school to play hockey or be in the school play.
And they won’t get home in time to take part in those activities in their home communities.
So much for healthy living.
It’s just one more step in a devastating trend that is killing rural Ontario, said Bayfield Coun. Geordie Palmer.
“It started 15 years ago with factory farms, which have virtually destroyed the family farm.
“We’re going to green energy, but now we’re building factory-style windmills.
“The bottom line is we are now developing factory schools — consolidating them all in one spot, so the children are spending more time on buses than they are on education,” he said
How could she know about all these things?
Maybe, just maybe, big-city media and chains should think carefully about who they send beyond the city lights to write about these things. Moira MacDonald files for the same newspaper and is consistently one of the smartest columnists writing about education in the GTA (yeah, I've got a bit of a crush going, so what? For comparative purposes, look at what she wrote this week about the sale of West Toronto Collegiate). I would bet donuts and coffee MacDonald would have written a very different column, instead of this drive-by effort from Blizzard.