Snopes, the self-styled online “fact-checking” service, has once again shown why people interested in facts are right to look somewhere other than the far-left website. As has become typical, the falsely characterized “fact checker” behind a recent article on education built up an elaborate strawman to debunk, allowing him to avoid dealing with the real issues while still deceiving casual readers who don’t dig deeper.
In June of 2017, The Newman Report at FreedomProject Media posted an article about Mason Classical Academy, a charter school in Florida that had the top reading scores in the school district and ranked among the highest in the state. We accurately reported, among other facts, that the school was teaching reading using traditional phonics, rather than the Common Core-mandated “sight word” memorization.
The information in our article went “viral,” being picked up by dozens of popular news sites, blogs, and other outfits. Some of those went beyond what FreedomProject Media reported. And so, it’s no surprise that, instead of addressing the facts contained in our article, the Snopes “researchers” chose articles derived from ours to attack instead of addressing the facts contained in the original.
Still, the dishonesty in the Snopes piece will be easy for anyone to see. Under “Claim,” the self-described “fact-checking site” wrote this: “Abandoning the Common Core set of standards for English and mathematics caused a Florida charter school’s test results to go from mediocre to outstanding.” It rated the claim “mostly false.”
And it’s true that the bogus claim, invented by Snopes itself, was mostly false. But of course, the mostly false claim is not what FreedomProject or the other sites that picked up our story reported. For one, we never said the school had abandoned Common Core — we said it had not adopted it in the first place. We also never said the lack of Common Core “caused the school’s test results to go from mediocre to outstanding.” And we never said a word about the school’s math results.
Instead, we reported that the school founder informed us that Mason Classical Academy did not use the Common Core-prescribed sight-word memorization quackery used by other schools, and that this was the reason for its position at the top in reading. We never mentioned previous results. Neither did the article Snopes used as the basis for its attack on a strawman.
And yet, Snopes acknowledges everything we reported was true in its “What’s True” segment: “Students at the Mason Classical Academy in Naples, Florida did rank highly among schools in the local district for English Language Arts and mathematics in 2017.” Again, we never mentioned mathematics at Mason.
But under the “What’s False” section, the only claims that were “false” were claims Snopes itself had invented. “The school never adopted Common Core in the first place, meaning the improvement in results was not linked to Common Core; in mathematics, four public schools that use Common Core ranked above the Mason Classical Academy, undermining the claimed causal link.”
Again, we never mentioned the school’s math results, and we never mentioned the improvement in results year on year. All we did was compare its reading scores with scores in other schools across Florida.
In other words, Snopes invented a strawman out of thin air, then debunked a figment of its own imagination, while pretending that it debunked the facts presented. The other article linked in Snopes fraudulent attacks, a piece by Natural News that cited our original reporting, also never claimed that the results went from mediocre to outstanding.
As if to confirm their bias, the Snopes researchers put quotation marks around “Judeo-Christian values” when mentioning FreedomProject.com. This suggests the “fact checker,” Dan MacGuill, either was not familiar with the traditional morality shared by Jews and Christians prescribed in the Bible — primarily the Ten Commandments — or that he thinks those values are worthy of ridicule.
Snopes did not respond to a request for comment.
It is shameful that Snopes would be so dishonest. On the bright side, we now have further proof that Snopes is not a legitimate fact-checking site, but rather a far-left political propaganda site designed to deceive readers. And we know that every fact presented in our article was accurate, or Snopes would have attacked it. Spread the word.