Monday, June 23, 2008


One of the most common PR tricks is to provide a non answer to questions you can't answer.

Superintendent Elia's response to the Tribune's editorial on grade inflation should have been left where it was written - on the beach.

"'s odd that you would see a need to rail against a practice that encourages students to challenge themselves in the classroom."
"Some honors courses once considered a mark of academic success now enroll students who don't read or write at grade level."


"There's a simple reason the GPAs are higher: Students take more classes and more challenging classes."
"Even the scoring of the district's semester exams has been reconfigured to a new scale that boosts grades. On some particularly tough tests, like physics exams, a student need only score 62 percent of the questions correct to earn an "A."

School officials defend their system saying they want to encourage students to challenge themselves to higher-level work. And in the case of semester exams, they wanted to ensure uniform grading - albeit with a more generous scale for at least some exams."

A couple of random quotes pulled from student comments can not provide the cover nor the rationale necessary for such patently false assertions that the policy works. Simply saying that its best for the kids doesn't make it so!

By the way, how would you grade this response to the questions raised in the editorial?

BTW: is a good place to start.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Health insurance changes will cost us more money starting December 5, 2008. The Board is also thinning the herd of "choices" that the district contractor provides the employees.

First Impressions: (after reading the document)

Page 1) School Board is cutting their funding.
There are almost 25,000 employees! How many are actual members of any labor association? We are an UNREPRESENTED voting block in this county. In other words, we could conceivably rule elections if so inclined.

Page 2) The usual suspects. Has anyone heard from Yvonne or Jean about this? Are they keeping their membership informed?

Page 3) Eliminate EPO and PPO plans. (the way I understand them is that you can go directly to a specialist without a referral from your Primary Care doctor)
Staff HMO, HMO and POS plans requires an employee paid premium.

Page 4) Nice chart. District Plan cost breakdown.

Page 5) DEDUCTIONS begin on December 5th, 2008. If you choose "Coverage 1st" you "pay" nothing. Otherwise the only other (THREE) plans will cost you $6.00 to $82.29 per paycheck.

Please look over this document and comment.

Maybe someone with Yvonne's or Jean's ear will post an explanation about why this is good for employees.

Of course if we only have to work a 4 day week, that opens up time to look for a PT job. Count me in on that one. Gas savings alone will pay for my health plan choice.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I can't help but think that the Trib's meeting with that group of teachers opened their eyes to more than just the extra period forced on us. Thanks to all who went!

Keep your eyes on "TheWALL" for info about the political group that is forming to take a stand on/with the candidates running for a School Board position. This cadre sounds very independent and will step in where CTA fears to tread.

Join them - Support them. And for your own sake: VOTE!

Click on:
Trib Scores!

"The district is pushing more and more students into honors courses and Advanced Placement courses whether they are academically suited for the work or not, all in the name of - " *MONEY.

* my word. I have not forgotten the AP bonus our superintendent qualifies for based on the number of students enrolled in AP classes.


"Some teachers say they've had to adjust their curriculum to adapt to these lower-performing students - rather than let them flounder - so an honors course in some instances isn't as rigorous as it used to be."

Don't forget that students enrolled in these classes also have an "entitlement" attitude when it comes to grades. This attitude is fueled by their parents who just don't accept the fact that they may not be AP-capable. Considering the bill of goods they have been sold by guidance counselors and administrators trying to fill up these classes, what do we expect?


"...regular courses these days - well, those used to be called "remedial."

Except now "remedial" has become a stigma since mommy and daddy know the definition.


I feel sorry for yesterday's new hires who don't know that they signed up to teach "regular" and have absolutely no clue what "remedial" takes.

No wonder our labor pool is hurting.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you will know the tune.