search
top

Education for the Aughts Podcast: Dennis Prager and Independence Day, Hillsborough County Grade Inflation, and Utica Area Schools Falter

This edition of the Education for the Aughts Podcast addresses three topics:

  • A look at patriotic curricula in public schools – what we had and where we’re not;
  • Grade inflation in Hillsborough County, Florida;
  • Lack of accountability in New Hartford, NY and a financial boondoggle in Utica, NY.

You can play this Education for the Aughts Podcast by clicking on the triangular ‘play’ button on the player below [or at the bottom of the post if you’re reading this in RSS] – it will expand and begin streaming audio. Alternatively, you can download an mp3 file of the podcast to listen in your own media player.

And, if you like what you hear, you can subscribe to Education for the Aughts Podcast using RSS or using iTunes.

[audio:http://matthewktabor.com/audio/aughts_podcast_03_arbor_fl_utica_64kbps.mp3]

… and a partial transcript with links from the podcast is below.

I listened the other day, as I do most days, to talk radio host Dennis Prager. He lamented on this Independence Day that American children just don’t sing patriotic songs anymore – and he’s quite right.

Dennis’s point reminded me of something in my historical archives – a program of instruction for Arbor Day in New York State Schools, May 8, 1896. The program is a 16-page guide from the Dept. of Public Instruction that outlines activities and themes that schools might cover on the celebration of Arbor Day.

Near the end of that program is a list of songs that school-children could sing:

Keller’s American Hymn
Flag of the Free
Hail, Columbia
Star-Spangled Banner
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
Columbia, God Preserve thee Free
and America

Following that, there was an “exercise on the American Flag.”

Remember, folks, this was for *Arbor Day*. That our current celebrations of American holidays pales in comparison to what we’ve done in the past for even fairly unimportant holidays, shows how much we have, to quote Virginia Slims, come a long way, baby – and that’s not always a good thing.

The inimitable Suzie Creamcheese, who blogs at The Wall, passed on yet another tidbit about Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County, Florida – for those of us outside the state, we can just think of this as the greater-Tampa area – has a grade inflation problem. A big one.

As The Tampa Tribune opined a few weeks ago:

“It used to be that a 4.0 grade-point average was considered a perfect “A,” but the numbers posted by some recent Hillsborough high school graduates have been positively stratospheric – including the county’s top GPA of 8.68 earned by a student at King High School who was this year’s numbers leader.

Who knew there was even such a thing as being more than doubly perfect?”

Well, Tribune editors, if you hadn’t realize by now that Superintendent Elia and her administration think *they’re* doubly-perfect, now you do. See, they’re just passing on to the students the back-patting that’s given administrators in Hillsborough County a grievous case of bursitis over the last year.

Later in the piece – and it’s a must-read – we see real evidence of grade inflation from the mouths of babes:

“As one Chamberlain High School student recently put it: “In our class, anything under a 5.0 is considered mediocre to sucky.” And here we thought a 5.0 was better than perfect.

The district would provide considerable more transparency and accountability if it ceased monkeying with the labels and scoring systems and simply made high school courses appropriately hard and fair.

Schools should give extra credit to students who push themselves the extra mile, but there’s no need to pile it on so thick.”

A sensible suggestion, no doubt.

In an absolutely useless rebuttal to the Tribune’s editorial, Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia, back-patter extraordinaire and anything but a scholar, explained to we who are so intellectually deficient, why these GPAs are so high:

“The Tribune’s June 14th editorial is yet another unnecessarily harsh jab at the public schools.”

Actually, Ms. Elia, it’s a fair treatment of a glaring problem with your terrible administration. She went on to explain to we who are ignorant dolts and the like why, exactly, these GPAs are so gosh-darn high:

“There’s a simple reason the GPAs are higher: Students take more classes and more challenging classes. Good for them.”

Yes, Superintendent Elia – and since you’ve weighted those class grades so outrageously, your students wind up with GPAs that mirror Mary Lou Retton’s scores on the floor exercise.

Your system created the problem, then you tell us that we’re dumb for not realizing how the system works. If you want to know why I don’t live in this otherwise wonderful part of Florida, there ya go.

[April Griffin's endorsement of Stephen Gorham]

http://www.matthewktabor.com/images/victorian_line.gif

On a more local note, there’s a bit of news out of New Hartford, New York regarding public information requests. The blog New Hartford, NY Online, an offshoot of the New Hartford Concerned Citizens, would like to see New Hartford Central School comply with the Freedom of Information Laws – or FOIL, for short. They say:

“That’s right; it is a law, but the New Hartford Central School just doesn’t seem to think they need to comply.

We have received emails from our readers asking us when we think we might get a copy of the Employees Union Contract that was approved by the school board in January. The clock keeps ticking…”

Hopefully their clock has a fresh battery, because it may have to tick for quite some time before the district responds. One is sometimes driven to think that FOIL, to public school administrators, is just something you make hats out of in ed school.

And on Fault Lines, the Greater Utica Blog, we learned that the Utica City Schools administration is pushing a $187 million dollar bond. Says one Ms. Bernadette Eichler in the Utica O-D:

“Over the years, I have worked with brilliant, creative and caring administrators, teachers, members of the Utica Board of Education, college staff and community members.

Their wisdom, leadership, support and ideas did indeed bring the students in the Utica district to a higher level of academic achievement. These abilities and talents also created a stimulating environment for learning, as well as provide opportunities for students to explore and try new ideas.

Now this leadership and support groups of Utica have an unbelievable opportunity to once again demonstrate their wisdom and talents by supporting the $187.6 million bond issue.”

Fault Lines mashes the nail right on the head:

“Wow. These are the same people who studied a project for months that they could not carry out, shuffled administrators like they were a deck of cards, couldn’t keep student schedules straight, ran out of textbooks, and spent a ton of money at Proctor and now want to spend more at the same school.”

And to make matters worse, a commenter on Fault Lines said that the project:

“won’t cost tax payers a dime.”

To hearken the earlier Arbor Day discussion, we’d do well to remind our kids on the next Arbor Day that money, especially tax money, doesn’t grow on trees, contrary to what their schools’ administrators seem to think.

Ms. Eichler may find this bond proposal to be an “unbelievable opportunity,” but she’s wrong – I most certainly believe it, as it’s just another in a series of local boondoggles we in Upstate New York are asked to approve. I’m reminded of one we defeated here in Cooperstown – I forget how much, probably in the trillions – about which an architect on the project explained that new windows would, “Increase learning by double digits.” I was tempted upon hearing that explanation to show him a *single* digit – and if you can’t figure out which one, pretend it’s the old SAT and go with “C.”

The only bit of sweetness here is when we read that Ms. Eichler is a retired deputy superintendent of the Utica City School District. Thank God for that.

194 Responses to “Education for the Aughts Podcast: Dennis Prager and Independence Day, Hillsborough County Grade Inflation, and Utica Area Schools Falter”

  1. L’ensembl? des post sont incontestablement fascinants

    m? ?eblog: amatrices françaises

  2. natura says:

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?

    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  3. It’s remarkable for me to have a website, which is useful in favor of my knowledge.

    thanks admin

  4. Paul Eckert says:

    Go to free cycle, go on with the Guardian. At the conclusion of the academic researchers try to reason with your investment,
    nearly 70 percent of male respondents said they family finance felt that the balance surplus of Rs 5.
    If one partner fails to keep track of expenditures when you go family finance to buy stocks with strong recent returns.

  5. Encor? un article incontestablement intéressant

    Revie? my ?omepage; coquine Amatrice

  6. Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your put up
    is simply excellent and i can think you are a professional
    in this subject. Well along with your permission let me to snatch your feed to stay updated with coming near near post.

    Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the rewarding work.

  7. Hamish says:

    Hello kolega, bagus pasang dan menyenangkan argumen berkomentar di sini,
    saya benar menikmati dengan ini.

  8. If you are the betrayer, you are solely responsible for your deception and need to forgive yourself for the harm you have caused by violating
    your covenant of trust. Among the specialized cell types in the gastrointestinal mucosa, enteroendocrine cells have important roles in regulating energy intake and glucose homeostasis through their actions on peripheral target
    organs, including the endocrine pancreas.

    By preventing nausea you can be comfortable, stay well nourished, and
    feel better sooner.

  9. Bernd says:

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative.
    I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue
    this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  10. J? remarq?e tolut de suite que vous maîtrisez bien le thème

    my we?page :: sexe en streaming

  11. For one, it doesn’t use a common and harmful bleaching
    called Hydroquinone. Laser therapy, topical creams
    and chemical peels are options as well. So far cellulite creams have been proved
    as the most successful treatment for curing cellulite.

  12. Good day I am so happy I found your site, I really found you by error,
    while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something
    else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say kudos
    for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the
    moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up
    the great job.

  13. Through this acne product rating below, you will be ale to choose the acne product
    that will really work best for you. The She White Devil flat iron is an impressive innovation in flat
    iron technology and will change the way stylist and home users think about hair straightening.
    As the Civant website is kept constantly updated, you might also be missing out on valuable,
     money saving offers by choosing to buy your Meladerm Skin Lightening Cream elsewhere, instead of directly from the manufacturer.

  14. Manuela says:

    Look, IPL type treatments are notoriously expensive and
    that is why the treatment makes so much money. While you wait to create the site you
    do domain parking so you can earn in the
    meantime. Take your time as you begin to figure out what niche
    is right for you.

  15. Drug store options like Esoterica and Porcelana are available at most drug stores and both contain 2% hydroquinone.

    What you should be concerned about is the glow and texture of your skin. When dark spots on skin are giving
    person problems, Meladerm can help.

  16. The product is a simple treatment that is applied once
    daily into the affected aspects of skin. You will find no compounds that spoil the epidermis or set off other unwelcome dire reactions
    for instance mild skin irritation when using dermatological creams.

    It is looking dull when you have not even done anything
    to deserve it.

  17. I got this web site from my friend who shared with me about this web
    site and at the moment this time I am browsing this web site and reading very
    informative posts at this time.

  18. Easy online entertainment is our forte and we offer this platform to
    watch online movies. You can sit in your comfortable chair, and you can watch the full-length movie.

    Apparently, one guy moved the enclosure without permission from the other,
    and now one fellow has a bullet hole in him, and the other is imprisoned in his own home.

  19. Gretta says:

    When time is of the essence and you need followers now, your best bet would be to buy
    twitter followers so that your business can prosper quickly.
    You should also keep in mind that the followers on your Twitter page that you gain from such
    package are not real and will never post any tweets.
    Also no regulatory authority here focuses on or
    gives manual intervention to what you need
    to say can.

  20. Not only do sleepless nights lessen our quality of life, they also cost
    us a lot of money. However, the fact is that an accountant can be helpful much
    more than once a year. When your earning days end you need to be in a financial position where you
    don’t have to work any more.

  21. Thanh says:

    There is also online help available now as you can consult with different companies about your decision of investment.
    So far as council tax is worried, full-time pupils are exempt.

    One year in a operational adult’s existence usually varies small, but one year in a
    college student’s life can change dramatically.

  22. meladerm says:

    Drug store options like Esoterica and Porcelana are available at most drug stores
    and both contain 2% hydroquinone. Of course, the one step that’s not here and really should be added is patience.
    Well, I bought Roc Anti-Wrinkle Night Moisturizing Treatment believing it was the cream
    to get rid of my forehead lines not noticing the Anti-Wrinkle
    title on the front of the box, however, the description on the back claimed it visibly reduces wrinkles and deeply moisturizes.

  23. Valencia says:

    Not only do sleepless nights lessen our quality of
    life, they also cost us a lot of money. Whilst credit card interest rates
    are the most important consideration, many cards
    have introductory offers, charging low or even zero per cent interest for the first few months after you have opened
    your new account. With the passage of time the cash you spend on the starter kit gets less conspicuous as the savings you make increases quickly with e-cigs.

  24. Tim Davies says:

    It is watching Free Movies Online without Downloading
    which has changed the outlook of web surfers, today. The movie might stop and you need to wait for several minutes for the movie to load and
    play again. Thus there are both disadvantages as well as advantages of watching
    movies online, but if one can use internet the right way then advantages will certainly outnumber the disadvantages or rather make them minimal.

  25. Jewel says:

    com website (click on Special Education and look under the Accommodations link).
    That is frequently ignored, but is an important component
    of your approach. Renting an apartment is a popular choice for many students but there are many hidden costs of monthly rentals including gas, water, and other expenses.

  26. Game-Compass says:

    So verschrieen das Zocken von Computerspielen auch sei, so
    steht ja glücklicherweise fest, dass das Gaming, ein dem Alter
    des Gamers angemessenes Game vorausgesetzt, förderlich für das Reaktionsvermögen sein kann.
    Beim Spielen lernt der Spielende schneller als üblich Entscheidungen zu fällen und seine
    Prioritäten zu setzen. Die meisten Computerspiele vermitteln darüber
    hinaus noch Basiswissen über Wirtschaftlichkeit und fördern logisches Denken.
    Sogar die verpönten Multiplayer Spiele können doch häufig den falsch vermittelten Effekt des Abdriftens in eine virtuelle Realität} umkehren. Der
    Gamer mag zwar schon einigen unfreundlichen Leuten begegnen, allerdings findet der Gamer öfters exakt in seinem favorisierten Spiel Gleichgesinnte.

    Im Endeffekt: spielen ist fett! Zocken ist Kunst.

  27. iPhoneYAP says:

    Discover music directories as well as publish your movies or if your website.
    The film is done in the traditional 2D animation style, which has largely become passe in this country.
    You can stream movies directly to your device and watch them online anytime and anywhere with its vast selection of popular and newly released movies.

  28. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different
    web page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward
    to checking out your web page again.

  29. visit here says:

    The one thing that you must consider here is that it is vital for you to choose a site that has a variety of titles to offer
    with regards to the type of movies that you are interested in. To watch Free
    Movies Online without Downloading all you have
    to do is get on to the website of Free Movies Online and pick
    out your choicest movies. Thus there are both disadvantages as well as advantages of
    watching movies online, but if one can use internet the right way then advantages will certainly outnumber
    the disadvantages or rather make them minimal.

  30. Alfredo says:

    If the experienced and professional android games developer develops application of android then android games development is
    the best option. In areas covered by 3G, and HSDPA connection takes care
    of its connection, however a faster internet browsing experience can be attained by utilising local wireless networks where available
    thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity. This is a complete boost for the passionate gamers.

  31. All in all, at the lower end to the middle end of
    the market, then you will need to do, but it had did start to sag.
    What I like most in regards to the Sealy True – Form mattress may be the
    washable, zip-off cover – the 11 series is often a velour cover with added cashmere.

    It naural lagex bedding iss achievable to hdar more concerning these typoes of mattress
    pads.

  32. Hidden inside midseole with the Air Jordan 7 Retro, a Nike Airr unit offers
    lightweight comfort. For those wanting the best 60 gallon aair compressor that’s going to last them, those manufactured from cast iron and use a belt for
    connecting the motor and pump togeter must be considering this type.
    , and soon his designs were being got by local musicians, including then-up-and-coming
    band No Doubt.

  33. web says:

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of so-called SEO gurus and
    service providers to ensure a high score for your website in just a
    few months. This should be handled on a per page (not per site basis) via
    the CMS. At the same time, many firms offer continuous support via emails and live chatting even after
    the training is over.

  34. Leandro says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this website needs a lot
    more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!

  35. If some one needs too be updated with most up-to-date technologies after that he must be go too see this web
    page and be up to datee every day.

    my blog – Waiting Room furniture

  36. They’re getting ready to head to Europe in the final stage of their
    preparation for the Soccer World Cup. As the world’s football governing body, the world cup is organized by FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) and it features the
    male counterparts of the football teams of every member
    nation of FIFA. You will be feeling like you are right on stage with
    those performers.

  37. off road says:

    brilliant photos here….

    off road

  38. Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ;) I will revisit once again sinmce I book
    marked it. Money and freedfom is the greatest way tto change, may you
    be rich aand continue to help other people.

    Feel free tto visit my page give the best blow job

  39. fantastic points altogether, you simoly gained
    a brand new reader. Whhat could you recommend about your post that you simply made a few days
    ago? Any positive?

  40. Kristin says:

    Hi mates, pleasant paragraph and good urging commented here, I am truly enjoying
    by these.

    website; Kristin,

  41. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  42. Right now it seems like Movable Type is the top blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your
    blog?

  43. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about april griffin. Regards

  44. Kellye says:

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for
    aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little
    lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
    a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Kudos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

top