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Tuesday's forum was great start, let's keep conversation flowing
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Tuesday’s Antigo school board forum could have devolved into a case of herding chickens, especially with a fox or two in the henhouse.

It did not.

Over 100 well-meaning and concerned people with varied ideas—along with a few from the perpetually negative side of the aisle—crowded into the media tech room on a blustery evening when it would have been easy to stay home. But instead of the chaos that so often comes with size and opinions, the format divided the large group into smaller, more manageable units for individual presentations, questions and comments.

It was remarkably well-done.

Over the decades, we have gone to thousands of board meetings, read reams of studies, and sat through more forums than we care to consider. Frankly, we were dubious Tuesday’s format would work.

We’re glad we were wrong.

Useful information was gained. And the district now has a solid core of folks who know the ideas and are contributing to the process, free of the filters of outside interest groups prompting specific agendas. Those people, joined by others as the fact-finding and opinion-gathering continues, will prove invaluable.

To those who
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'Do-It-Yourself' journalism is scary in this modern world
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(Editor’s note: The Antigo Daily Journal takes its gatekeeper role very seriously, even more so in an era of “instant news” from the Internet, often from dubious sources. We thought this column by Mary Schmidt, a public relations and marketing consultant and president of Schmidt Communicates, perfectly reflected our concerns. It first appeared in the Aug. 3 edition of The Business News and is reprinted with permission.)

The great thing about the Internet: it is the ultimate democracy. Anyone has access to the “airwaves" and can present their opinions just as I'm doing now in traditional media.

The bad thing about the Internet: how do you know what you're reading is true?

Having gatekeeper journalists report the news consoles to me to a degree because I know trained journalists are playing by the rules. They are confirming sources. They are getting unrelated sources to confirm information before "publishing." They are reporting truth, not rumor. There's an editor checking the copy.

Just to make sure my information is current, I checked with pals who are currently teaching journalism and they still really do teach these things to aspiring reporters
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Clark Palmer takes issue with Journal's 'hurtful' editorial
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To the Antigo Journal:

On Friday, June 26, an astounding and deeply hurtful Journal-generated editorial was published on Page 4, claiming that the paper had a "duty" to publish "public discourse". Then, on July 8, I was stunned to discover that the Journal posted their contribution to "public discourse" on the paper's website without posting my original June 24th essay to ADJ, leaving the average visitor to speculate about its contents. As the author of the original opinion-piece, I am duty-bound to confess my sin: I criticized the Unified School District of Antigo(USDA)'s staff and administration, as well as the School Board. The Journal also claims I criticized USDA students and the Antigo community in general, which I vigorously deny. Of course, without re-publishing my original essay, who can tell?

The students are victims of the system, and the community has been misled by its own daily paper, which also claims a century-long "tradition" of promoting "public discourse". Phooey. I lay claim to the truth: I have the facts, all of them. For this I am viciously labelled as a "myopic" "naysayer" acting like a wet blanket on this fine city's "optimism and enthusiasm
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Journal has duty to publish letters, not to agree with them
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One of the responsibilities we take very seriously at the Antigo Daily Journal is to promote public discourse.

Guided by our founders Fred and Henry Berner just past the turn of the 20th Century, through the long tenure of Marie Berner and into the present day, it is a duty we have fulfilled on issues ranging from water fluoridation and school referendums through local, state and presidential elections and every conceivable topic in between.

It is a job we do even when we disagree vehemently with the writer.

No truer example of that philosophy can be found than in Wednesday’s newspaper, when we published a letter critical of the local education system, its instructors and, sadly, its students.

Using a cherry-picked list of statistics and measurements, the letter suggested our students were inferior due to the ineptness of a school system and teachers.

But statistics aren’t facts, they are merely measurements used to arrive at a conclusion, and one lacking in details.

We take pride in the Antigo school district, its staff and the thousands of students it has produced. Antigo has traditionally been well-represented at the state’s flags
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The dismal results in school tests of students
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To the Antigo Journal:

For years there has been a perception that our government schools are dumbing-down their curricula in an effort to increase the students' "self-worth" and "ability to achieve.’’ Even the standardized tests (SAT, WKCE, ACT, etc) have been criticized as "less rigorous" now than 20-30 years ago.

Recent test results in the Antigo school district (USDA) revealed that 26 percent or less of Middle School (AMS) 8th-graders were reading AT or ABOVE their 8th-grade level. There were similar dismal results for kids at other USDA elementary levels-all this to say: there has been NO dropoff (in numbers) of kids reaching honor-roll status at AMS or AHS (Antigo High School).

For example, 103 of approximately 188 9th-graders (55 plus percent) recently "made honors’’ (high honors, honors, or B-honors roll) at AHS—and this only one year after testing-out at 26 percent reading proficiency (and even lower in math).

USDA ranks LAST in our CESA#9 region, and in the bottom quintile for Wisconsin, on State-wide testing, but Board President Boldig says our students "perform well on State tests.’’ So, somehow "Antigo Pride" miraculously "doubles" the
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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