County school officials say they feel good about the progress made at Annapolis High.Note the quote: "If we didn't really feel the school was making progress, we would most likely remain where we were or move in a different direction." I had to read it over several times before I believed what I was reading. Since it's not possible for a thing to simultaneously be both one thing and its opposite, the sentence is logically meaningless as a statement of fact.
So good, in fact, that they're going to pull funding from some of the changes that helped revive the troubled school, like paying teachers extra to work year-round.
"I think this is more fine-tuning," said George Arlotto, an assistant superintendent. "If we didn't really feel the school was making progress, we would most likely remain where we were or move in a different direction."
Why would the Capital print such meaningless political mumbo jumbo as an explanation for a public policy?
Despite the logical inconsistency, the quote does contain useful information. What it conveys is that the school representative wanted to say nothing controversial, thus hiding the true reason. The technique used was to make a statement and negate it in the same sentence. Politicians making such self-serving inconsistent statements to create political cover is hardly unusual. But it's unusual to have the inconsistency both violate the rules of logic and be expressed in the same sentence. It also raises eyebrows to have a newspaper that purports to be more than a PR outlet report such a statement as though it contained useful information to explain a public policy. The problem could have been mitigated if the article contained at least one other source with a coherent explanation of the school system's decision. But none was provided.