Apr 20, 2011

Mike Miorelli Fails to Credit Molovinsky

When I saw Joyce Marin's picture on the front page of The Morning Call yesterday, I was proud that molovinsky on allentown was able to bring the story to the attention of the public and media. The photo caption mentioned subsequent criticism of the hiring. That criticism occurred on my blog for the five days before Steve Esack printed his report. In those five days my blog story and comments grew to include an explanation by board member Zimmerman and a note from Superintendent Zahorchak. I didn't know if Esack's report would credit me as Michael Molovinsky, or molovinsky on allentown. I was shocked to instead find a local internet blogger. When I called Esack yesterday, he was genuinely embarrassed. He had written molovinsky on allentown in his story. It is journalism 101 to acknowledge who broke a story, when you write a subsequent piece based on it. This was not the first time a reporter has apologized to me for my name being deleted from his article. It was time to confront Miorelli. Although reporters have come and gone, Mike Miorelli has been metro editor of The Morning Call since 2001. Miorelli claimed that the reporter verified everything himself, including his own subsequent conversation with Dave Zimmerman, and didn't lift anything directly from my blog. That's true Mike, the only things that the newspaper got from this blog is the knowledge that Marin was hired, school directors were snookered, and that the public was upset.

UPDATE: Bill White, Morning Call columnist and journalism instructor at Lehigh, defends Mike Miorelli's position in the comment section of his blog. White invites bloggers to be guest instructors at his class, and his students to start a blog. I suppose he trains the student bloggers to be anonymous local internet bloggers to feed story ideas for the real writers at the Call.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

The Morning Call has a history of being a dollar short and an hour late on reporting the truth in Allentown. To compound the offense they have arrogantly treated those who dare speak it with derision.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,
We read yesterday's comments and wanted to politely add the following to your concerns regarding the forthright board member. Yes, it did take courage for him to reveal he hadn't read the document, but doesn't this entire episode offer the new superintendent more opportunities to "slip in" secret contracts in the future?

Anonymous said...

"Mike Miorelli has been metro editor of The Morning Call since 2001. Miorelli claimed that the reporter verified everything himself, including his own subsequent conversation with Dave Zimmerman, and didn't lift anything directly from my blog. That's true Mike, the only things that the newspaper got from this blog is the knowledge that Marin was hired, school directors were snookered, and that the public was upset."

Disgusting! Think Miorelli is a former Call reporter. Shame on him being so shallow as to not credit a source. MM, everyone knows you broke this story.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:29, i can assure you not with that board member. please understand that the list of personnel reassignments was 18 pages long, name after name; and that was just one section of a large packet of school board business to approve. boards rely on the administrator to point out non-routine items.

gary ledebur said...

It is outrageous and disgraceful for the Morning Call not to have identified you as the source of this important story!

Eighteen pages of personnel actions is no excuse for not reviewing each page closely.

Anonymous said...

i will be taking the morning call editor to task for changing the reporter's molovinsky on allentown mention to a local internet blogger

April 19, 2011 4:20 PM

MM.
The paper grabbed someone else's story as their own. Sure makes one wonder what other stories they "borrow."

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...

anon 6:29, i can assure you not with that board member. please understand that the list of personnel reassignments was 18 pages long, name after name; and that was just one section of a large packet of school board business to approve. boards rely on the administrator to point out non-routine items.

April 20, 2011 6:38 AM

MM,
We admire the totally volunteer efforts of these board members and perhaps the job is as you say
is overwhelmingly paper-oriented.

Anonymous said...

MM.
If you think yesterday's Zimmerman criticism was harsh, we apologize.
Imagine he's a caring and giving person who was tricked into trusting someone now thanks to you we have learned is a sneak.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:02, please understand that zimmerman was the only board member to man up come on this blog, and admit he glossed over the long personnel change packet. subsequently, because of this blog, the Morning Call interviewed him. what about the other 8 members? did they know more than zimmerman? did they really want to hire marin to an already top heavy administration, in face of all the teacher layoffs? again, i applaud zimmerman for his candor and dialogue.

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...

anon 7:02, please understand that zimmerman was the only board member to man up come on this blog, and admit he glossed over the long personnel change packet. subsequently, because of this blog, the Morning Call interviewed him. what about the other 8 members? did they know more than zimmerman? did they really want to hire marin to an already top heavy administration, in face of all the teacher layoffs? again, i applaud zimmerman for his candor and dialogue.

April 20, 2011 7:12 AM

We Agree.
7:02 here.

Monkey Momma said...

The kids of Allentown are sure getting an interesting message these days. Sure, we have enough money to build an awesome playground at Cedar Beach, and we have millions to pour into a hockey arena, but when it comes to education - WE'RE BROKE.

Anonymous said...

Monkey Momma said...

The kids of Allentown are sure getting an interesting message these days. Sure, we have enough money to build an awesome playground at Cedar Beach, and we have millions to pour into a hockey arena, but when it comes to education - WE'RE BROKE.

April 20, 2011 7:49 AM

They're also learning about
deceit.

gary ledebur said...

In a modicum of fairness to Dr. Z I must point out that getting board approval on items is often challenging. A superinendent needs five votes to move an agenda forward. I have worked with many supers who have to make questionable actions in order to get the necessary board support for an agenda. Often times this relates to hiring. I am not suggesting this is the case here but I would look closely at who on the board benefits from adding this particular administrator to the district. Superintendents often have to eat favors for individual board members for the greater good.

As an outsider I doubt that Dr. Z would solely benefit from this hire.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, one of my original sources indicated that zahorchak was accommodating pawlowski with the hire. zahorchak's op-ed piece last month on allentown's downtown revival was straight pawlowski chatter. considering everything my sources said turned out true, i have no reason to doubt that reason at this point.

Anonymous said...

Who is doing the teaching about deceit?

Who is pushing playgrounds and hockey rinks?

Who sends out emails explaining what plays well for the media?

Who, i.e., what political party?

It IS a relevant question because elections DO have consequences.

But, whatever...

When is the first hockey game at the Pawlowski Palace of Sport?

Anonymous said...

...please understand that the list of personnel reassignments was 18 pages long, name after name; and that was just one section of a large packet of school board business to approve...

You mean to tell me that 18 whole pages is a lot to read? Maybe for bloggers it's a lot to read and approve?!

This is silly people. Talk about things that are important and meaningful.

gary ledebur said...

A school superintendent needs the support not only of his board, but from city council and the mayor. It is not unusually for an urban superintendent to do favors. In fact it is quite common in bigger cities.

Patrick McHenry said...

Gary -

It's a problem when they're doing favors with taxpayer money.

What's been done elsewhere is irrelevant. It's wrong.

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

Regarding your not receiving credit, I have difficulting accepting Miorelli's explanation.

If his explanation were valid, he wouldn't even have had to make mention of a "local internet blogger".

Every time I believe I can't think less of those in charge at the Call, I am proven wrong.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 4:20, i did this post with some hesitation. i do not wish to bring any trouble upon steve esack.. miorelli said if he made a mistake, it was not deleting the entire sentence, instead of just changing molovinsky on allentown to local internet blogger esack had included the line, as proper attribution to me.

gary ledebur said...

Patrick McHenry-----easy for you to say. I guess you never heard of the greater good. Would you not hire someone as a favor if it meant smaller classes, more teachers and more quality programs for children. I would hire someone in an instant if it would save the jobs of twenty teachers!

I wish the world was black and white but it is not. .......don't be so quick to judge others when you are not in their shoes.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Gary, the MOST important support a superintendent needs to be successful, is from classroom teachers. It is they who are most responsible for making actual child development work. The classroom teacher is the child's most critical role model.

Those hired into supervisory roles, particularly anyone with limited to no direct student contact, SHOULD have been pared from the budget first.

Zahorchak's continued expansion of administrative types is simply wrong. The ASD teaching staff will have a difficult time rallying around him, and I don't blame them.

Anonymous said...

I would hope a school board director would be able to trust administration enough to triage less important items so the director could focus on more important issues.

In this case the fact that a possible 249 teachers will be out of a job seems more important than "routine" personnel issues.

Really who would think that in that kind of environment someone would pull a stunt like that.

In the middle schools and the high schools of ASD the inmates are running the asylum and they know it. Administrators are out of touch with the reality of the situation.

Drugs, gangs, defiance, disrespect and lewdness are rampant. As long as these conditions exist no Pathways program will ever work.

The teachers will be alienated and find jobs elsewhere. Teachers are not the problem, too many administrators with a broken communication system and a culture of denial are.

No one with any sense will want their children confronted with the insanity that pervades the daily routine of middle and high school in the ASD.

Those students who are focused and committed to learning are being cheated at the expense of those who really feel school is the last place they want to be.

Wait until it gets warm out and things really start hopping.

Remember sneaky is as sneaky does.

Anonymous said...

Anybody do a check on her credentials. I've heard she's lied before on her background.

Anonymous said...

Credentials? She started a Sunday flea market without which the people of emmaus would starve (at lease that's what they'd have you believe). And she moved into the Farr Building condos, thus saving Allentown from decay. Oh wait!
Then she's been active in her hubby's low-speed train to New York to subsidize the commute for overpaid Manhattanites who like low taxes in our Valley. Gee, I wonder if Joyce will make a killing when her sponsor Ed P. condems her apartment for his hockey rink.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Anonymous 9:54 pm -

This is NOT about Ms. Marin's ability and quality. I believe she WILL do a fine job in this role.

I also believe, MOST of those being laid off could handle her new responsibilities just as well.

My beef is with Zahorchak placing political patronage above protecting his existing front line employees. In education, the grunt workers are where it's at. His message is not the best message.

The attraction of new central office people to Zahorchak is mostly about making his own, and other downtown person's, responsibilities lighter.

A true educator would, at all times, place the needs of the kids above all else. That's NOT where Zahorchak's vision is taking us.

There were several OTHER measures that could have been taken, besides reduction of front office people, that would have saved enough money to retain many of the soon to be lost teachers. They include the reduction/elimination of afterschool sports (as Florida is doing), contracting out custodial, cafeteria, and security positions, selling off unused property, etc.

The man is proving to be a typical bureaucrat who lacks experience with what really goes on in taking kids from one level to the next.

Anonymous said...

The man is proving to be a typical bureaucrat who lacks experience with what really goes on in taking kids from one level to the next.

April 20, 2011 11:08 PM


No. This man seems to be proving he's not appropriate period.

Anonymous said...

ok now that credit and blame have been properly assigned,whats going to be done about it? nothing thats what . just like all the other so called mistakes that have been made in this city at the cost to its hard working middle class citizens.oh and mc its called freedom of the press not suppression. SHAME ON YOU

Anonymous said...

The list of personnel changes was in the middle of 300 pages of text. I read through it, and I didn't notice the new after school position.

I did notice that some other administrators are having their positions renamed so that they can use federal grant money to cover existing expenses, which makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Task forces suggest $13 million in savings for Allentown schools
Ideas ranges from reducing energy to selling district property and staggering start times.

Allentown School District is reviewing $13 million in cost savings measures, including a host of suggestions by community task forces, to reduce a projected $30 million deficit in the 2011-12 school year.

read full article in the morning call

Anonymous said...

I wanted to clarify the previous comment that I posted.

The new $82K afterschool program position was listed in the middle of 300 pages of text. I read through it during the meeting, and I didn't notice that it had been created with a new hire.

I agree with School Board Member Zimmerman that the Administration should have called this matter to the attention of the boardmembers before they approved it. It was buried in with listings of aides retiring.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:12, I assume you are a school board member, would you care to identify yourself? mm

Anonymous said...

MM:

Board books are available to all members of the public at the board meeting. The respondent, Anonymous 8:12 AM, could have reviewed the text at the meeting.

In retrospect and not as a rationalization, during that meeting my attention was more focused on the prospect of furloughing 249 teachers than what I thought to be "routine" personnel issues.

It was the administration's fault this was not addressed. I trusted them and they simply violated that trust.

They can apologize all they want but it does not change the fact they still achieved their purpose, sneaking there appointment into the position.

There are certain issues that I feel, if not addressed, will make the whole attempt at a redesign of the curriculum an exercise in futility.

They need to be identified and discussed in the open to adequately resolve them. I will commit to that and will use this blog as a sounding board if OK,d by MM.

As a point of information, I understand the Safety Task Force will now be a closed meeting with a select group of people.

Apparently the last meeting was cancelled due to the overt vociferousness of a concerned parent.

That person, I was told, was my wife. I fully support her efforts to discern the truth about the violence occurring in WAHS.

To me a change in the structure of this meeting appears to be a direct violation of the sunshine law.

The administrators in charge of student services, from the top down, either have to get honest with the people of Allentown and learn to deal with them or find other positions.

I will refer this to the solicitor for the school district and if not satisfied, the Secretary of Education and or the State Attorney General.

Sincerely,

David Fehr Zimmerman
Board Member ASD