Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hart To Heart

After reading Lee's riveting post, which included information she gathered from Mark Hart, it is obvious that Ms. Faliero must address the issue.

Do the right thing Ms. Faliero. NOW.

< rewind >


Does everybody remember those tedious teacher in-services we were forced to endure?

How about the one titled "Ethics Training"? How many times were we admonished with: "You are held to a higher standard." ? How often were we told that even if we were in a restaurant drinking, we never knew who was at the next table watching, listening.

How often were we told that we could be called to Professional Standards at the slightest, vaguest phone call, letter or infraction for reprimand or termination?
"You are held to a higher standard."

Our board member Jennifer Faliero got caught trying to pull a quick one.

"You, Ms. Faliero, are held to an even higher standard."

You must be able to make informed unemotional decisions. The decision to move away from the community that elected you and then try to keep it "under the radar" belies that fatal flaw spouses succumb to during divorce. As an elected official that option was not available to you - period.
You betrayed your district with personal intent.

You can't raise a family of 3 on $40,887 a year? You moved to South Tampa's Davis Island for more affordable housing?

You have teachers with Bachelor Degrees who must be on Level 9 (not 9 years experience but LEVEL 9) who make almost that and never thought about South Tampa's greatest housing bargain! Really, did you think anybody in Tampa bought that one?

Why South Tampa? Did you use your position to intimidate the Plant administration into looking the other way when they enrolled your daughter? Oh, wait a minute, wasn't Ms. Elia's launching pad Plant High School? Was her evaluation influenced by this move? Were your required to purchase a pass to Candyland? I wonder how you kept this enrollment away from the queen of CandyLand? Did the South Tampa "powers that be" tacitly "allow" this quid-pro-quo? At what price? See how easy it is for the neighbors to talk?

Too bad you didn't take that "Ethics Training", or did you? In any case your integrity has been forever damaged. Every decision, every comment, every public appearance will bring this baggage with it. Every little thing will be measured by this decision to move out of your district. If you can't live on
$40,887 a year how can you look at yourself knowing a third of your teachers make less!

Like they told us: "Ignorance is no excuse because
you, Ms. Faliero, are held to an even higher standard."

Do the right thing Ms. Faliero:

- the sooner, the better.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Read The Trib's Exam Grades Going Higher.

Here is what jumped out at me.

Just 62 percent correct on the physics semester exam equals an A, for example.

"I can guarantee you no student is going to get a worse grade," said David Steele, the Hillsborough County School District's general director for secondary education. "Our goal is to ensure the grade on the semester exam mirrors the class grades for the nine weeks."

Hillsborough was first in the state to have a merit pay plan approved because it could use its semester exams to gauge student performance for other subject area teachers. But teachers are evaluated on actual scores, not on letter grades.

The district is paying $3.1 million during five years for the software was used to scale the semester exams, said John Hilderbrand, Hillsborough's testing and accountability chief. But it is also used by teachers to create their own tests and improve exams.
Scam-tron anyone? Do you think the curved grades are automatically entered on the grade gathering documents OR into the report card program?

Hillsborough is changing the grading of its semester exams at the same time high school teachers have added one class period to their day. They now teach six out of seven periods, a move by the district to save money that drew fire from teachers. The district has agreed with the teachers union to evaluate the effect on students and teachers of the heavier workload.

Steele confirmed he has heard from principals that some teachers suspect the timing of the new grading scale was done to ensure student performance would improve.

"We will not compare semester grades," Steele said. "We will be comparing raw scores on tests that are new or have changed."

Get ready.

Is it any wonder this grade manipulation/inflation continues to undermine the value of our diplomas in high school and college?

Teach to the test: be it FCAT or HiCcuPS.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Here is some of what I have been able verify.

The high school regular World History exam percentage-to-letter curve:

A = 80 - 100
B = 69 - 79
C = 59 - 68
D = 49 - 58
F = 0 - 48

You can get less than 50% and you pass the test, grab a "quality point" (you need 3), and you're on your way to getting credit for the class! Talk about "No Child Left Behind".

(If your son/daughter got an "F" - maybe you have a moron in the house.)

Keep in mind that I could not get hold of the "raw score" - the actual number of items that were correct. What if 30 correct answers out of 150 questions fell at the median and set the "C" (average) range?

What if the computer assisted answer sheets were defective and tests were scored incorrectly due to a printing error?

We need to expose this statistically dishonest manipulation by the district. This is NOT being done at the schools. It is coming from the upside-down pyramid on Kennedy.

Do you have information (raw scores, curves, failure rates, etc) to shine a light on? Post a comment and let the public know what you know.

Will the superintendent apply a similar curve to MAP? Only if it will improve her public image.

Disclosure: I am NOT against curving per se. It does have a place and a purpose but I don't know any effective teacher who agrees with a wholesale giveaway.