Anne Arundel County Public Schools now plans to stream high school stadium and gym athletic events online (The Capital, Sept. 5). Bravo! Meanwhile, AACPS continues to adamantly refuse to stream many politically sensitive events such as school board hearings on the AACPS budget held at local high schools, student member of the board nomination debates, and candidate debates sponsored by AACPS-related civic groups.

Its archiving policies are even more politicized. For example, it has routinely deleted the recorded campaign promises winning school board candidates made when they testified before the school board advisory and nominating commissions on their way to winning office.

AACPS has received millions of dollars in public, educational, and government TV fees (see your cable bill line item labeled “PEG”), the original vision of which was primarily to fund enhanced civic participation and democratic accountability.

It’s sad that AACPS now rarely even makes a pretense of implementing that vision.

Source: Snider, J.H., School Board Transparency, September 8, 2019.

Note: In the print version of the letter, the Capital made a copyediting error that it later corrected in one of its online versions of the letter. Copied below is the email I sent to the editor-in-chief on Sept. 8 at 12:55 pm requesting the correction. He didn’t get back to me or publish a correction in either the print or online print replica version of the Capital, but he did correct the error in the online version of the Capital accessible via links to particular articles.

Hi Rick:

Thanks for publishing my letter.

On the other hand, you copyedited my letter in such a way to make me sound illiterate—and this is not the first time the Capital has done that.

The opening sentence of my submitted letter began “AACPS now plans to…” You substituted the following phrase for AACPS: “Anne Arundel County Public now plans….” The correct substitution, as you know, should have been “Anne Arundel County Public Schools.” I don’t object to your spelling out an acronym, even a very widely used acronym (e.g., anybody who goes to the AACPS website goes to, anybody who emails the school system goes to the same address, and AACPS predominantly uses AACPS to refer to itself). Your intended substitution was very reasonable.  But I do object to replacing my words in such a way that not only makes my meaning unclear but also portrays me either as a careless writer or a fool.

Please issue a correction so that readers know the error was the Capital’s, not mine. In the past, I have pointed out such copyediting errors to you but not asked for a correction, even when the errors made me look illiterate. This time I am asking for a correction. Please let me know ASAP if you intend to make a correction, and, if so, how.


J.H. Snider

Note that my last letter-to-the-editor where a similar copyediting error was made regarded the Capital‘s disclosure of its parent company, Tronc. See Implementing the Capital’s Journalistic Ethics Claims, August 20, 2018.