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.


Anonymous said...

Elia tries to own an already made point:

Trib: "Colleges and Florida's Bright Futures scholarship program have their own grade calculations, rendering the district's GPA calculations moot on those fronts."

Elia: "College admissions officials know that school districts have different methods for calculating grade point averages. Colleges recalculate GPAs to level the playing field."

Where is the rebuttal to this charge by the Tribune:

Trib: "But for the vast swath of students in the middle, the scoring systems do make a difference when it comes to the public being able to evaluate academic achievement in public high schools, or even their own child."

Suzie Creamcheese said...

Ms. Goudreau,

There was much more "meat" to your editorial ("Grade Inflation Making It Tough To Evaluate Students' Performance") than Ms. Elia cared to address.

For instance:
Some honors courses once considered a mark of academic success now enroll students who don't read or write at grade level. And regular courses these days - well, those used to be called "remedial."
On some particularly tough tests, like physics exams, a student need only score 62 percent of the questions correct to earn an "A."
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.

When Ms. Elia says "No matter how you add up the numbers, Bright Futures and colleges recognize that students who welcome a challenge in high school are more likely to succeed in college and in life", she conveniently leaves out any supporting documentation. Of course when the district controls the "equations" and "definitions" being used, they can say just about anything they want.

I have NEVER seen any survey of our former students that support the superintendent's assertions. Have you?


twinkobie said...

Susie and everyone:

I am gathering data. Library work is my specialty. Y'all all write Goudreau and give her refutation of Elia's lying rebuttal to the Trib's editorial. The Minions of the Light must provide Goudreau these data so that she can refute Elia's lying spin with sold information. leeMs. Cobbe

I have to come to Tampa this Thursday. Could I come by your office in the morning of that day to review the following?

· The grants for Smaller Learning Communities;

· Foreign Language Assistance Program;

· The personnel files of Lynn Fell (the grants lady);

· The application folder for the replacement person who took the place of the individual that retired from Professional Standards;

· Answer to this question: Does Dr. Hamilton in his new capacity post retirement as lobbyist in Tallahassee handle any business for the school district?

· May I see a copy of his contract if he does?

· May I have the answer to this question: Does Dr. Hamilton work in concert with Ms. Connie Mileto, whose hiring for that job of Tallahassee school government-relations officer I understand Dr. Hamilton sponsored against other candidates for the job, and does he work out of Ms. Mileto’s school office in Tallahassee?

· The folder with the applicants whose government-relations job Ms. Mileto now holds?

1. What is the name of the person who ghosted Ms. Elia’s recent rebuke to the Tribune?

2. Is she on the staff now, or was she hired to help Ms. Elia with her writing?

3. May I see her personnel file?

4. What is the name of the woman who now occupies Dr. Grego’s chair since his departure?

5. May I see her personnel file?

6. Has she been appointed to the position on a permanent basis?

7. May I see a copy of the ad which advertised Dr. Grego’s job and the file folder with the applicants?

Thank you,

lee drury de cesare

Sisyphus - The Rock that Keeps on Rolling... said...


Pulling the plug...
I will still be around and thinking....and a voice.

Anonymous said...


We will miss you. Even without your blog--we hope to hear from you.

pollyanna's gone

Suzie Creamcheese said...

Stay in touch 'sis'.
Don't forget to come by and post.
Thanks for your contributions.
Take care.


Goader said...


Please email me at


Goader said...

I received quite a rude awakening today. I would have never thought my desire to be a teacher would one day lead to me potentially serving five years in a state penitentiary for felony child abuse. That is exactly where I found myself today (see due to my choice to take a summer position as an aide for special education students. I was making eight dollars per hour (one-third my normal salary) trying to prevent mentally handicapped students from hurting themselves or others.

For someone who never got in trouble in the twelve years of my public education, who didn't know what being suspended meant, I got the scare of a lifetime today. The ease with which I was accused and the conditions that led to it make me question my decision to be a teacher. My idealistic notions of teaching are being shattered and the pedestal I placed the teaching profession on is crumbling before my very eyes.

Goader said...

HCPS Grade Inflation Felt in New York