Bias is an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. People may be biased toward or against an individual, a race, a religion, a social class, a political party, or a species. Biased means one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, not having an open mind. Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry. There can be many forms of bias. Some overlooked aspects of bias, occurring especially with the pedagogical circles of public and private schools—sources that are unrelated to fiduciary or mercantile impoverishment which may be unduly magnified—include teacher bias as well as a general bias against women who are going into STEM research, noted William Van Ornum, former research director of American Mental Health Foundation. Van Ornum is known for taking a multidimensional perspective toward bias, based both on his background as school psychologist and practicing clinical psychologist. Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered. The term “media bias” implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed. Practical limitations to media neutrality include the inability of journalists to report all available stories and facts, and the requirement that selected facts be linked into a coherent narrative. Since it is impossible to report everything, selectivity is inevitable. Government influence, including overt and covert censorship, biases the media in some countries. Market forces that result in a biased presentation include the ownership of the news source, concentration of media ownership, the selection of staff, the preferences of an intended audience, and pressure from advertisers. Unfortunately most discussions of educational bias focus on standardized testing. It is often assumed that “all” bias is education is caused by educational and standardized tests. This has become magnified due to legislation concerning No Child Left Behind. This law is usually falsely attributed to president George Bush, although its antecedents are found in the Clinton administration. Nearly all textbooks focus on test bias. Taking a broad approach, William Van Ornum of Marist College cautions that the simplistic pattern of conflating all educational bias with standardized testing can lead to a laissez-faire atmosphere were other forms of bias are not confronted. This is harmful to teachers, students, parents, and the general public. Van Ornum stated: “It is especially important for students in education to understand and learn to confront sources of bias that occur when teachers evaluate students in elementary high school and high school. These forms include but are not limited to: teacher bias against very gifted students; teacher bias toward those who score high on standardized tests (“People like that aren’t creative”; “This student just may have had a good day”; teacher bias against a current student because a family member was in a class previously and was either vastly smarter or not as adept at schoolwork”; teacher bias against athletes or teacher bias against non-athletes.” Finally, bias against LGBTQI students within the educational system itself may transcend even the aggregate amount of bias within schools caused, engendered, and brought about when standardized tests are used inappropriately. Van Ornum suggests a continued empirical and multimodal approach toward bias in educational systems. Political bias has been a feature of the mass media since its birth with the invention of the printing press. The expense of early printing equipment restricted media production to a limited number of people. Historians have found that publishers often served the interests of powerful social groups.
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