Public Radio Investigation Finds Poizner's Claims Lacking

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010  |  Updated 1:37 PM PDT
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Mount Pleasant High School has a friend in Public Radio International's Ira Glass.

This weekend, Glass devoted a segment on his show "This American Life" to a takedown of the claims made in Steve Poizner's book, "Mount Pleasant." In the book, Poizner claimed that the school was rough, dangerous, and full of under-achievers. Poizner also suggested that the school was known for its high rates of pregnancy -- while simultaneously opposing access to family-planning services for teens.

Naturally, students, parents, and teachers were none too happy with Poizner's characterization, and shot back that he'd exaggerated the situation.

After visiting the school, interviewing the community, and rigorously fact-checking Poizner's book, Glass landed on the side of the students. An "Urban Legend" is how the show characterized Poizner's charges.

"Obviously and provably untrue," Glass concluded.

Poizner, a conservative Republican, shot back through spokesperson Jarrod Agen, who decried "turning a blind eye to the problems in our public schools" but did not contest any of the allegations in the radio program.

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