-----Original Message-----From: Amy Delamer [mailto:Amy.Delamer@sdhc.k12.fl.us] Sent: Friday, July 28, 2006 5:58 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Re: MONKEY BUSINESS
Perhaps in some of your research, you might have read that it is rude to send messages composed entirely in caps. In e-mail, it is considered yelling.
RESPONSE FROM LEE:
You are right. I should have moved to lower case. Not doing so was careless of me.
Are you an English teacher? I think it's a good sign of perspicacity in English teachers that you make this observation about a minor point of all-cap use. I observe that smart people go into English teaching. God knows that's true in my case.
I like litigious people. You, apparently, are one. I am another.
But look at the situation I castigate: your superintendent can't punctuate at the level that your gold-standard student Prentice-Hall text requires for your students. And the School Board hired the punctuation-challenged Ms. Elia to run this school system instead of, for example, a Columbia University Ph.D. who wrote beautifully and had a rich acaemic background. I reviewed the files of the finalists for the job. Elia's selection was heartbreaking to anyone who cares about intellect and performance.
Isn't that academic outrage something to yell about? to to use all-caps about? to fulminate about? If not this offense against intellectual achievement, then what does merit yelling about by a member of the intellectual teaching establishment ?
The main people leading the school system are illiterate in Hillsborough County in terms of acceptable literacy for academics. Doesn't that fact merit caps or even more outre outbursts than rebuking one who complains such as I for the tangential condition of using all caps? Lord, I believe so.
I hope you will be equally hard on the illiterati who run the school system and get bloated, uncalled-for salaries to do so while teachers are $6000 under that national average. Have you complained after examining their web text and judged that you as an English teacher should protest the abuse of the English language by people for whom the Board rubberstamps obscene paychecks from the taxpayers while teachers--including English teachers--get paid pittances? Why aren't you jumping on the Board, complicit in administrative illiteracy instead of nattering at somebody--me-- who puts her objections in caps?
Unless you can demostrate that you have objected to administration illiteracy, your reviling me looks like usual toadying to administrative power brokers. They may invite you to become the administrator in charge of literacy. God and Prentice Hall know they need one. If you take that job, expect no mercy from me.Unless you can perform with elan such wonders as invoking the permutations of the subjunctive from old to middle to modern English, I will clean your clock.
Keep in touch. Review
I judge you show promise if you don't cave in to the administration Powers of Darkness. You will turn out to be either a woman of substance or a administration Phyllis Schafley. She would join the administration parasites in feeding off the public public weal while teachers go underpaid. If the latter be the case, expect no mercy from me. I will knock your socks off in the grammar ring. I wager that you haven't spent enough time with Curme and Jespherson to know what you are talking about yet.
I am the woman in the big hat below. We were picketing the SPtimes and Pinellas ACLU for sexism.
I have spent forty years in the eqaulity effort. Sometimes I do a footnote in grammar as in this case.
What are your credentials? Surely your bona fides are not that you rebuke a person for the peripheral circumstance of using capital letters while igoring the information that the administration is illiterate. What rebuttal analysis can you make on the subtance of my observations? Are you seizing on a cap trifle to invalidate my bolder criticism of the system of which you are part? That tactic won't work. Captials are small potatoes in this grammar sweepstakes. Surely you are smart enough to recognize this fact.
Steve Heggarty: This is the 4th time I have asked for the Hillsborough County schools' bus drivers' salary as public information. What is it, pray? Do they get benefits such as health care? What does their whole salary package cost us taxpayers?
If the bus situation is so dire that the Board has appointed a new and redundant Commissioner of Enforcement at another administrative sky-high salary, and he, Le Jim Hamilton, can't figure out how to solve the bus "crisis" but has to crybaby for a consulting firm to deal with his bus snafus for a fee of $132,000, then the public should know what the bus-driver salary and benefits package is worth so that it can judge whether the School Board has handled this problem intelligently or whether it rather should have raised drivers’ salaries as the cost-efficient market solution to the problem.
This problem replicates teacher shortage: Florida teachers don't get paid enough to attract and keep good people in classrooms. In addition, pipsqueak administrators browbeat teachers who agree to work for slave wages by bossing them around to the point of demoralization so that said pipsqueak administrators can feel like big and important people even if their grammar and punctuation are abysmal. The malignant cycle was ever thus: smart people go into teaching; dumb people go into administration to bloat their salaries and lord it over the smart teachers.
The formula is doubtless true for bus drivers. If a teacher is not handy to lord it over, administrators in need of an ego boost will pick on bus drivers—or even janitors in a pinch. Administrators suffer from what in the orthodox psychoanalytic community’s taxonomy of afflictions is known as the Shriveled Ego Syndrome Exacerbated by Athletes’ Foot and Repressive Rage Over Aggressive Potty-Training Constellation A-go-go.
The reason that the Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Elia fostered two people--Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Otero—in the fiasco of doing the same job until recently with one name parenthetically superimposed over the other in a dead-giveaway hand-written insertion on the Board web site for all the world to see boils down to the reality that the Hillsborough County bloated administrative salaries attract candidates like flies to honey so that when a hustling, ethics-bereft, ego-shriveled administrative operative from Podunk’s Excellent Emporium Diploma Mill of Ersatz Sheepskins nails down an inflated-salary-perquisite-laden-big-title administrative job as did Dr. Hamilton years ago by insinuating himself into serving Dr. Lennard and Ms. Elia as their Mayberry Machiavelli of Malevolent Machinations to maneuver them into the superintendent slot bereft of the basic academic credential of even punctuation aplomb he refuses to clear out when retirement time rolls around because he enjoys the opulent life of tax-paid, no work sinecure and hence camps out in another fellow's office when he should exit so that the Board must come up with yet another tax-supported job scam featuring a new title for the superannuated Hamilton because he refuses to leave the building with nobody's daring to make him clear out since he knows where all the administrative bodies are buried such as the un-spun story on the St.-Petersburg-Times -reported, Elia-led building real-estate scam when she bossed that office and ditto the Elia overbuilding of classrooms when she sat in the same slot, an Elia mess-up that now requires cover-up at the cost of children’s psyches by the transferring and cross-transferring to strange new schools deracinated, weeping tots clinging to their mothers’ skirts, such situations about which Hamilton may spill the beans to the press if the current crop of administrative deadwood or potted-plant Board zombies who slept through it all dare attempt to kick him out.
My five-year-old grandson, Noah, could diagnose the problem in the average 300-plus-word sentence as demonstrated above and will diagram the construction if challenged. Noah says the solution is simple. The Board, Noah directs, should assume a virtue though it have it not—a little courage--and do the following.
1. Fire Hamilton.
2. Kick him squawking out the door to a Board-called press conference on the steps of ROSSAC for Le Hamilton to rat out everybody and expose his cholecystectomy scar and the contents of his Little Black Book if he wants to.
3. Pay the bus drivers a decent wage. If you pay them, they will come. And they will stay—if you pay them and treat them like human beings, not punching bags for ego-impoverished administrators with no real jobs; hence, they pick on underlings to pass the time of day after they have buffed their cuticles.
Noah should get the $132,000 consulting fee, of course. Fair is fair. He will spend it all on gumball machines and grow the economy so that the governor will have money left over to raise teachers’ and bus drivers’ salaries even if he gives tax breaks to every one of his Republican industrialist buddies who hire illegal aliens, don’t report them, don’t pay them minimum wage, and ignore their Social Security benefits to perpetuate a slave economy so that they can hang out with Bechtel Pooh-bahs at the country club.
Meanwhile, what are the bus drivers' salary and benefits worth? You are not to spend all your time spin-doctoring administrative and Board mess-ups to bewilder the public. You should dedicate some office hours to answering requests for Sunshine information from us citizens who foot the bill for your tax-paid $91,000 excessive pay check.
lee drury de cesare
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ENGLISH TEACHERS: GO TO "GENTLE READER" POST IN http://leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcopuch.blospot.com/ TO SEE HOW BAD THE ADMINISTRATION'S GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION ARE.
THERE IS A FORMER ENGISH TEACHER ON THE BOARD, MS. ETHRIDGE, WHO DOES NOT DO A THING ABOUT THE ILLITERACY AMONGST THE ADMINISTRATION. I HAD TO NAG HER TO GET HER TO CONVINCE THE SUPERINTENDENT TO EDIT SOME ERRORS ON HER WEBSITE. MS. ETHRIDGE ABETS ADMINISTRATIVE ILLITERACY.
I CANNOT IMAGINE HOW A FORMER ENGLISH TEACHER COULD CONDONE ILLITERACY ON HER WATCH. THIS SITUATION SHOWS HOW SUBSERVIENT THE BOARD MEMBERS ARE TO THE ADMINISTRATION--SOME WEIRD ASPECT OF THE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, ONE SUPPOSES.
AS A MATTER OF RECORD, LA ETHRIDGE AND THE OTHER BOARD POTTED PLANTS JUST SIGNED OFF ON A NEEDLESS JOB FOR A CHIEF GRAMMAR-PUNCTUATION OFFENDER--ONE DR. JIM HAMILTON--THAT COSTS THE TAX PAYERS AT LEAST $132,000 PLUS PERQUISITES A YEAR FOR A FEATHER-BEDDING JOB TO PARK THIS GUY IN BECAUSE HE REFUSES TO QUIT, AND THE PUNCTUATION-CHALLENGED SUPERINTENDENT, MARYELLEN ELIA, WON'T FIRE HIM.
PREVIOUS TO THIS MANUFACTURED NEW POSITION--"CHIEF OF ENFORCEMENT"--HE AND ANOTHER GUY, DR. OTERO, SHARED THE SAME JOB, WHICH COST THE TAXPAYERS TWO SALARIES FOR A SINGLE JOB. THE BOARD LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. WHEN IT COMES TO WASTING TAX MONEY, IT'S EASY COME, EASY GO TO THE BOARD--EXCEPT, THAT IS, IN THE AREA OF RAISING TEACHER SALARIES. MS. ELIA MAKES A QUARTER OF A MILLION A YEAR DESPITE HER PUNCTUATION DEFICIENCIES AND HER PRESIDING OVER A REAL-ESTATE SCAM IN THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT, HER ADMINISTRATIVE TRAINING GROUND BEFORE BECOMING THE IN-HOUSE SUPERINTENDENT WHO BEAT OUT MUCH BETTER CANDIDATES.
THE BOARD IS EITHER TOO DUMB, TOO GUTLESS, OR TOO COMPLACENT TO CONFRONT THE ADMINISTRATION. ITS MEMBERS HIRED ELIA AFTER A "NATION-WIDE" SEARCH THAT THEY KNEW WAS SHAM AND THAT COST THE TAXPAYERS $35,000, ENOUGH TO HIRE A POORLY PAID TEACHER FOR A YEAR.
THE BOARD ALSO LOWERED THE ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS FROM PH.D. TO MASTER'S DEGREE BECAUSE THAT WAS THE EXTENT OF ELIA'S ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS. HER ADMINISTRATIVE CREDENTIALS CONSISTED OF PRESIDING OVER A REAL-ESTATE SCAM COSTING TAXPAYERS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT.
THE BOARD IS PART OF THE PROBLEM. IT IS IN BED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AND CONTENT TO BE CODDLED BY IT AND BETRAY THE TRUST OF THE STUDENTS, CITIZENS, AND TAXPAYERS WHO DEPEND ON THESE ELECTED OFFICIALS TO PROTECT THEIR INTEREST.
FORTUNATELY, THERE IS AN ELECTION GOING ON NOW WITH THE CHANCE TO GET TWO NEW MEMBERS: 12-YEAR POTTED PLANT BOARD MEMBER CANDY OLSON HAS BART BIRDSALL, A FORMER TEACHER AND MEDIA SPECIALIST, AND A HIGH SCHOOL KID NAMED LOGAN OPPOSING HER. I LOVE THAT KID LOGAN. HE WILL GO FAR IN LIFE.
THE VOTERS NEED TO RETIRE LA OLSON TO SOCIETY-MATRON STATUS. SHE CAN GO BACK TO ROLLING BANDAGES FOR THE JUNIOR LEAGUE. THE OTHER SLOT IS FOR THE RETIRING SOCIETY MATRON WHAT'S-HER- NAME, AND THERE IS AT LEAST ONE GOOD CANDIDATE IN THAT: HER NAME IS APRIL GRIFFIN. I GAVE HER SOME MONEY. WE HAVE TO ENCOURAGE GOOD PEOPLE TO RUN FOR THE BOARD.
THE CURRENT BOARD IS A BUNCH OF POTTED PLANTS. BOARD MEMBERS DON'T DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND RECENTLY HAD THE NERVE TO RAISE THEIR OWN SALARIES FOR ATTENDING TWO MEETINGS A MONTH TO THAT OF A VETERAN TEACHER WITH A MASTER'S DEGREE WHO DOES REAL WORK. THE BOARD MAKES NO EFFORT TO MEET WITH THE TEACHERS TO TALK ABOUT THEIR CONCERNS. ITS MEMBERS HUDDLE IN ROSSAC WITH THEIR CODDLING ADMINISTRATORS AND DON'T BOTHER WITH THE REST OF THE EDUCATION FAMILY, WHICH THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT.
THE CTA IS IN BED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, DOES NOT FIGHT FOR TEACHERS' RIGHTS BUT TENDS TO SYCHOPHANCY GESTURES TO PROPITIATE THE ADMINISTRATION. LINDA KIPLEY, HIRED WITH NO COMPETITION AND A HOME-EC BACKGROUND, HEADS THE ABU GHARIB PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS CELL BLOCK AND GETS A BLOATED $120,000 PLUS PERQUISITES TO PLAY THE ADMINISTRATION'S LUCCO BRAZZI, TREATING TEACHERS WHO LAND IN HER BAILIWICK AS HER SADISTIC IMPULSES DICTATE.
THE BOARD, THE ADMINISTRATION, AND THE CTA PROVIDE TEACHERS NO INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT THEIR RIGHTS ARE WHEN THEY GO INTO KIPLEY'S LAIR. TEACHERS DON'T KNOW THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAL KIPLEY'S BEHAVIOR.
I PERSONALLY HEARD ELIA LIE AFTER A SPEECH AT TIGER BAY TO A CTA MEMBER WHO TOLD HER ABOUT KIPLEY'S VILE CONDUCT TO HIM: ELIA DID NOT INFORM HIM HE HAD A RIGHT TO APPEAL; THE UNION DID NOT TELL HIM; THE BOARD--WHICH DOES NOT ANSWER EMAILS--DID NOT TELL HIM.
WHEN HE FINALLY FILED A GRIEVANCE, ELIA TRUIMPHANTLY ANNOUNCED TO HIM THAT IT WAS BEYOND THE TIME LIMITS.
LONG-TIME BOARD MEMBER DR. JACK LAMB PROMISED TO HAVE THE SCHOOL ATTORNEY INVESTIGATE KIPLEY'S PUNISHMENT METHODS THAT DEGRADE TEACHERS. BUT HE DOESN'T ANSWER EMAILS INQUIRING ABOUT THE CHARGE. HE'S PROBABLY TOO BUSY EATING BON-BONS TO KEEP UP HIS WEIGHT, WHICH IS SUMO-WRESTLER RANGE.
THAT'S THE KIND OF ETHICS THAT FILLS ROSSAC'S ADMINISTRATIVE NOOKS AND CRANNIES.
REMEMBER THAT ADAMS SAID TEACHER AFFECT ETERINITY. HE DIDN'T SAY ILLITERATE ADMINISTRATORS AND POTTED-PLANT BOARD MEMBERS DO.
LEE DRURY DE CESARE, 28-YEAR NOW-RETIRED TEACHER; ONE-TIME FUSA UNION PRESIDENT;ACTIVIST BLOGGER FOR TEACHERS' DECENT TREATMENT
Subject: website inquiry
Mr. De Cesare:
I married a New York De Cesare.
I have just reviewed your staff list.
There are no women. That bodes ill for women's place in the workworld in management jobs. Did the Hillsborough County School Board and administration question you on your diversity status when you got this contract for the county? How did you explain the absence of women on the staff?
Is the Mileto listed as staff any kin to Connie Mileto, a former kindergarten teacher now lobbyist for the school system?
All data of the school system are public information according to the Florida Sunshine law. May I have a copy of your contract with the Hillsborough County school system mailed to me along with the ad or solicitation that brought your company's attention to the Hillsborough County need for this service?
lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Management Partnership Services, Inc Staff
Tom Platt (email)Tom Platt has over 18 years of progressive experience in transportation and operations management in business and as a consultant, including nine years as a fleet management consultant. He has worked extensively with large and small school districts and state and municipal fleet operations, primarily in the areas of operations management, strategic and tactical business planning, parts and supply management and logistics, and performance measurement and benchmarking. During his consulting career, he has made numerous presentations at student transportation and fleet industry conferences and is widely published in several in industry trade journals. Tom holds an undergraduate degree in transportation, and a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) in transportation, distribution, and operations management from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. He is also certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) by the American Production and Inventory Control Society. Andy Forsyth (email)Andy Forsyth has over 30 years of experience in the transportation industry, with 20+ years in student transportation, including 11 years as a transportation director for one of the largest suburban school districts in Pennsylvania. A recognized expert in student transportation, he has conducted numerous presentations to industry groups, and has written extensively on fleet management and student transportation subjects. Andy has provided consulting services to over 40 government and school district clients over his consulting career, managing and participating on a wide range of projects for both large and small school districts across the country. Andy's areas of expertise are student transportation routing and scheduling, computerized routing and demographic/ boundary planning, and school transportation operations management. He also has extensive experience in fleet maintenance, school bus equipment specifications, driver and student safety and training programs, and budget planning and control. Andy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Philadelphia University. Tim Ammon (email)Tim Ammon has a broad range of professional experience in student transportation and fleet management consulting and in government audit and review operations at the federal, state, and local levels. His work has focused on financial management and rate development, integrated technology solutions, fleet replacement planning, and operations performance measurement and costing. He has also written extensively in fleet and student transportation professional journals and is a nationally recognized speaker and presenter at many student transportation seminars and conferences throughout the United States. Tim holds an undergraduate degree in History and Education, and a Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) in Urban Management from American University. Steve Abel (email)Steve Abel has a wide array of diversified experience in student transportation services and school bus fleet management with two of the largest national school bus contractors in North America. As the Director for Business Development for Laidlaw Transit, Inc., Steve directed business development and marketing services for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U. S. school transportation markets. His wide ranging responsibilities during his total tenure in the industry included routing & scheduling of both large and small public school transportation systems, oversight, employment, promotion and discipline of large groups of employees in a variety of settings, and safety and driver training for company employees. He has also managed, planned and administered budgets and finances encompassing multiple operations and budget centers. Steve has managed or participated in a broad range of consulting engagements that utilize his talents and insider perspective as a former bus contractor, transportation manager, and professional driving instructor for the State of Ohio. Steve holds an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dean Mileto (email)Dean Mileto has over 15 years of management experience in both student transportation and commercial fleet operations, including the last five years as transportation director for Southgate Community Schools and Van Buren Public Schools in Michigan. He also he assisted in the design and development of a comprehensive preventive maintenance program for the Detroit Public Schools their fleet of over 400 buses. Dean brings extensive expertise in student transportation, with particular expertise in school bus routing and scheduling, school transportation operations management, personnel management, and school bus technical specifications and maintenance planning. Dean holds an undergraduate degree from Baptist Temple College in Detroit and is a certified as Transportation Supervisor by the Michigan Department of Education. Phil McConnell (email)Phil McConnell has over 27 years of facilities management experience in all areas of facilities management including custodial services, maintenance operations, project and construction management, negotiations, and labor contract management. Phil has worked throughout facilities organizations as a building manager for the largest high school in Michigan, Custodial Supervisor, and as the Facilities Director. His experience includes oversight of operations and management of large-scale construction programs. Phil's education includes course work and the completion of a management training program at Cleary College in Ypsilanti Michigan. Brian De Cesare (email)Brian DeCesare's background is in operations management with a particular focus on identifying opportunities to improve processes and procedures. Mr. DeCesare has extensive experience in logistics management and work order management experience. Brian also has a deep understanding of information systems and the use of technology to improve operations. Mr. DeCesare earned an undergraduate degree in commerce and Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Dr. Jim:
So you have decided not to go gently into that dark night and made Le Elia come up with a new job for you to sock the taxpayers with your continued gravy-train pay and perquisites?
I tell you what: it's my considered opinion that there is not a single tough person in that ROSSAC redoubt who would simply invade your office, take you by the scruff of the neck, and kick you out the door, yelling, "Begone, oh, long-standing parasite on the public weal. And don't let the door hit you going out."
I felt rather sorry for you when I saw the title containing the word "compliance." You picked that word, didn't you, Jim? You have made your insecurity with the "compliance" shield so easy to read. One does not have to have read Freud to spot that word as an ad for raging insecurity.
I don't know why the School Board agrees to piss away $132,000 in consultant scams to find out why bus drivers have low morale. What is their salary? Do they get at least $10 an hour and decent benefits? Do you administrative overlords crush any driver who doesn't grovel on the ground when you pass in fear of your spotting a person who thinks he is a human being, which attitude is an affront to your regal authority?
Give the drivers decent pay and don't threaten their jobs if they look at you overlords crossways, and you will find that their morale zooms up.
lee drury de cesare
Master Consultant in Hubris of Outback Pooh Bahs Manque
Dear Florida Education Association:
I append a conversation between Hillsborough County CTA member Bart Birdsall and Yvonne Lyons, an officer in the CTA.
Ms. Lyons refuses to give Birdsall the salaries of the CTA local officials. Not only does she refuse; she does so in a condescending manner that insults the work that teachers do as trivial compared to her. This is no way for a CTA official to address a person who pays her salary, and FEA should investigate to make sure it wants to be associated with such conduct and have its imprimatur endorse it.
I was a FUSA union president at Hillsborough Community College and a member the twenty-eight years I taught there as a professor of English. FUSA did not treat teachers the way I observe CTA to treat them in the Hillsborough County School system.
When Ms. Elia, the current superintendent, conducted a witch hunt on Bart Birdsall's emails because she wanted to rough him up for his sending emails from his home to Joe Stines of the County library system for gay Stines' cooperating with the Ronda Storms anti-gay campaign in the county, the union did the minimum to help Bart, although he had sent the emails from his home. The School Board attorney told Elia that sending emails from a home computer was Birdsall's First Amendment right, she still had Linda Kipley, head of Professional Standards, who was hired to the $120,000 job with a home-ec degree and no competition, harass Birdsall and try to put the fear of God in him about losing his job.
The union did the minimum to help Birdsall. Birdsall's fighting against the bad treatment he got drew the attention of other teachers who had been savaged by Kipley in the punishment phase of their charge. Kipley's conduct can only be described as sadistic: she arbitrarily decides the punishment and the conditions of it. She ordered one teacher not to tell anyone what was going on in her punishment phase, for example.
CTA abandons teachers during the punishment phase. It does not require that the administration provide teachers a manual for the Professional Standards punishment procedure so that they will know their rights. It does not monitor the punishment and counsel with the punished teacher. It does not insure that the teacher knows that he or she can file a grievance and tell the teacher the time limits. As a matter of fact, the administration hides the grievance privilege and the time limits from the teacher in Professional Standards punishment. I personally heard Elia lie to Birdsall about his charge. She didn't tell him he could file a grievance against Kipley of Professional Standards for her sadistic, unprofessional conduct and that there were time limits for the grievance. Hence, when Birdsall, did file the charge, Elia triumphantly announced that she could not honor it because the time limit for it had expired.
The CTA does not oppose this ill treatment of teachers: it cooperates with it. I have personally witnessed at Tiger Bay the CTA sitting cozily with the administration and avoiding Birdsall when he was being harassed by Kipley in her Professional Standards cell block. This is no way for the CTA to treat a union member. The local CTA is a chorus of sycophants for the administration and in bed with it in punishing the CTA membership. NEA should not condone such behavior and allow CTA to post NEA as a sponsor.
I urge you to contact Birdsall and the teachers who told him about their vile treatment by Kipley in Professional Standards that the CTA representatives did not raise a finger to oppose.
I believe what the Hillsborough County teachers need is either another, more ethical, more teacher-friendly union, or they need new officers in CTA who will guard teachers' rights and not spend its time insulting them, avoiding them when they need help, and cozying up to the administration.
The School Board is of no help in ensuring teachers' rights. Dr. Lamb promised to have the school lawyer investigate the sadistic behavior of Kipley but now won't answer Bart Birdsall's emails inquiring what the status of the investigation is.
I request that all NEA Board members be provided a copy of this communication and that you acknowledge that you have received it.
lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
CTA Won't Reveal Salaries to CTA Member: What Is CTA Hiding from the Membership?
From CTA member Bart Birdsall to CTA:
To be honest I feel you are giving me the runaround and I find that it is unacceptable for you not to answer my simple question about your yearly salaries. This should be on the CTA web site for all to see b/c I believe in transparency. I heard a rumor back in March from a district official that the top CTA officials make 6 figures. I would like to dispell that belief/rumor. Please give me the yearly salaries and perquisites of Jean Clements, Yvonne Lyons, and Marilyn Dupree . As a paying CTA member, I deserve these data.
Also, give me the average salary of a CTA representative on staff.
In exchange and to be open about my salary, I made $37,110.00 for the tax year 2005. I have no idea how much I make with the new raise. All I know is thank God for generous parents and partners who make decent salaries.
CASTING-ROOM COUCH: THE SCHOOL BOARD RAISED ITS SALARY TO ABOVE THIS TEACHER'S SALARY. HE HAS WORKED IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR YEARS AND HAS A MASTER'S DEGREE. THE BOARD MEETS TWICE A MONTH AND SITS LIKE POTTED PLANTS TO RUBBERSTAMP THE ADMINISTRATION AGENDA. THE BOARD DOES NOT WORK FOR THE STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND COMMUNITY. IT WORKS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION.
Bart Birdsall2309 W. Bristol Ave.Tampa, FL 33609(813) 258-8817 (home)(813) 362-7937 (cell)
From Birdsall to Steve Hegart: Public Affairs Office
Dear Mr. Hegarty:
Since the school district allows CTA dues to be taken out automatically and processes CTA salaries possibly, I assume that the salaries of CTA officials are public information.
Could you provide the annual salaries of Yvonne Lyons, Jean Clements, and Marilyn Dupree? Also, could you provide the range of salary for the CTA reps who help teachers?
I have asked CTA for this information as a dues paying member, and I have not received a firm answer on this. I heard a rumor that their salaries are 6 figure salaries. I can not and will not believe this until I get proof. I just can't believe they would do that and am holding out hope.
Bart Birdsall2309 W. Bristol Ave.Tampa, FL 33609(813) 258-8817 (home)(813) 362-7937 (cell)Montolino@aol.com Montolino@aol.com
From CTA Haughty Minion Hiding CTA Salaries:
Bart.I'm appreciative of your opinion, but it is exactly that. Out of the hundreds of emails I receive in a week, I have gone out of my way to respond to yours. You are mistaken in your belief that CTA falls under the same provisions that public entities do in terms of the public records laws. I have explained to you in two emails where you may find the recorded information as required by PERC and I am now offering you an opportunity to make an appointment with me and review all budgetary records in the CTA office.
CASTING-ROOM COUCH: WHY DOES A CTA MEMBER HAVE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO GO KISS THE RING OF THIS CTA BUREAUCRAT TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT SALARIES HIS DUES PAY?
I have made the same offer to Rep Council on any number of occasions. I am not interested, however, in having staff salaries posted on a blog.
CASTING-ROOM COUCH: WHY NOT? DOES CTA HAVE SOMETHING IT WANTS TO HIDE FROM THE MEMBERSHIP THAT PAYS WHAT ONE INFERS TO BE BLOATED SALARIES? SHE IS "NOT INTERESTED" IN HAVING "HAVING STAFF SALARIES POSTED ON A BLOG?" WHAT IF MEMBERS ARE INTERESTED IN HAVING STAFF SALARIES POSTED ON A BLOG--PAGE ONE OF THE CTA BLOG WOULD BE THE PERFECT PLACE TO POST THEM IN THE INTEREST OF CANDOR FOR THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THE SALARIES. SOMETHING SMELLS TO HIGH HEAVEN IN THIS RELUCTANCE TO GIVE REQUESTED INFORMATION TO A MEMBER. NEXT, CTA WILL CLAIM IT CAN'T GIVE OUT STAFF SALARIES TO A CTA MEMBER BECAUSE THOSE SALARIES ARE STAATE SECRETS.
Our staff do not all make the same salary, and I believe it would create a morale problem by having them posted. Both Jean and Marilyn are District employees and follow the teacher and ESP salary schedules and benefits that you have. Thank you for sharing your salary figures. You work ten months of the year and a 7.67 day. We work 12 months of the year, evenings and Saturdays, and a minimum 8-hour day, so comparing your salary to Jean's, as an example, would be like comparing yours to any other 12-month employee with a supplemented position. Once again, you are welcomed to make an appointment and come in and review the CTA books, or you may go online.
In a message dated 7/25/06 10:17:16 AM, Montolino writes:
You work ten months of the year and a 7.67 day. We work 12 months of the year, evenings and Saturdays, and a minimum 8-hour day
Comment from a non-teacher:
Don't teachers put in extra hours too? I would think someone whoes job it is to support teachers would know better than to make a comment like this. I should think a comment like this coming from her would get her into hot water with the teachers but then she obviously is use to them being apathetic. Otherwise she would be more careful not to make comments like this. I can tell by the way she writes she has never been burned by anything she has said. I think it's teacher apathy that makes CTA so ineffective. CTA has nothing to gain by supporting you since your fellow teachers don't give a crap what happens either way. I'm surprised she writes you at all.
From: Montolino@aol.com [mailto:Montolino@aol.com] Sent: Saturday, July 22, 2006 6:29 PMTo: Lyons, Yvonne; Clements, JeanCc: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Annual Salary
Bart Birdsall2309 W. Bristol Ave.Tampa, FL 33609(813) 258-8817 (home)(813) 362-7937 (cell)Montolino@aol.com
DISCLAIMER: This message does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Florida Education Association or its affiliates. The individual who sent this message is solely responsible for its content. This e-mail, including attachments, may contain information that is confidential, and is only intended for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed.v123
CASTING-ROOM COUCH: THE FLORIDA FEA SHOULD KNOW WITH WHAT CONTEMPT CTA TREATS ITS MEMBERS. THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD PAY CTA SUCKING-UP BONUSES FOR MILKING TEACHERS OF $500 IN DUES THAT THEY CAN'T AFFORD YET SERVING THE ADMINISTRATION AS TOADIES THAT BETRAY TEACHERS.
From Birdsall to CTA: So a dues paying member who asks you questions should feel grateful for a response? This attitude surprises, shocks and disappoints me. I'm sorry I am such a peon in your world that you stoop down to respond to.....
It's funny how in contrast the founder of GLSEN National Kevin Jennings, who has friends in Washington, D.C. (and all over the world), has spoken and advised with Bill Clinton (when he was President) and knows the richest gay supporters in the entire nation finds time to email me and give me advice on my campaign and discuss his new book with me. He is probably a lot busier than you are, but he treats me as an equal with dignity and respect. I even told him that I won't bother him again, and he wrote, "It is no bother at all!" He makes peons feel important the way teachers make their students feel important, the way we expect leaders to make us feel.
You are mistaken in your belief that CTA falls under the same provisions that public entities do in terms of the public records laws.
Well, I believe CTA members should have a right to that information, since they pay your salary. Leaders should always be willing to provide information to their followers, when they owe their livelihood to their underlings.
I have explained to you in two emails where you may find the recorded information as required by PERC and I am now offering you an opportunity to make an appointment with me and review all budgetary records in the CTA office. I have made the same offer to Rep Council on any number of occasions.
Put the data on paper and send it to me or simply send the info via email.
I am not interested, however, in having staff salaries posted on a blog. Our staff do not all make the same salary, and I believe it would create a morale problem by having them posted.
I asked for an average salary range for the reps. The President, Vice President and Executive Director should be willing to have their salaries broadcast in bold letters on the CTA website or any other website for that matter, if there is nothing to hide. Being a leader is tough, and the people who pay your salaries deserve this information. You act like you are ashamed of your salaries.
I think the only morale problem you are worried about is teacher morale when the teachers find out what you make. Otherwise, you would have no problem providing the information to me.
Both Jean and Marilyn are District employees and follow the teacher and ESP salary schedules and benefits that you have.
So what is the problem in providing the information without a runaround?
Thank you for sharing your salary figures. You work ten months of the year and a 7.67 day. We work 12 months of the year, evenings and Saturdays, and a minimum 8-hour day, so comparing your salary to Jean's, as an example, would be like comparing yours to any other 12-month employee with a supplemented position.
I never said I wanted to compare my salary with Jean's. I provided my salary to show that I have nothing to hide about what I earn in a year. I expect the same from others.
Once again, you are welcomed to make an appointment and come in and review the CTA books, or you may go online.
Why do I have to go through piles of records and books to obtain 3 salaries? That is ridiculous and you know it. I find it outrageous as well. Basically, you are saying, "Bart, I'm not going to make it easy on you. If you want this information, you have to work at it, even though I could easily give you the info immediately."
I am very disappointed in you. I know you've denigrated me to others as well, but every choice I've made in my life has been to help others more unfortunate than myself. My decision to speak out about Linda Kipley is so that other teachers won't go through the same thing. Almost all the teachers at Greco say, "CTA is in bed with the administration!" and I have told them the opposite time and time again and talked about the duty free lunch, planning time, etc. I have defended you all, but I feel I did not get the proper defense from you in the Linda Kipley affair, and I believe it is an absolute outrage that you all allow such an unprofessional liar who abuses her power to run roughshod over teachers. Why aren't you all asking the district to move her to another position? Why aren't you demanding she be placed into another position? The head of Professional Standards should be professional. Otherwise, every teacher is at the mercy of her whims.
Another teacher told me, "CTA helps you up to a point. Then, if things are getting sticky, they abandon you!"
I have defended CTA for years, and I have been a hard worker in the district for years, and I have devoted my life to helping gay kids, an unpopular thing to do which has put other teachers in other states in jeopardy. I have risked my career to help others. Then, I get pulled into Professional Standards on trumped up charges, then I was talked out of taking my lawyer by the CTA rep, and then I get lied to during an investigation by Professional Standards to cover up the fact that I was being singled out......this is outrageous behavior by the district and by CTA. Then, at Tiger Bay none of you would sit next to me. Jean gave me a song and dance about how she tried to make eye contact. Well, I remember as I spoke to a reporter, she stood nearby and I tried to make eye contact, and she didn't look my way. I wanted to believe Jean's song and dance, but the image of her avoiding my eyes while I talked to the reporter burns in my mind still. To top it off CTA endorses a school board member who hissed, "He could have been fired!" at your table. Basically, this school board member thought a librarian posting a library censorship message on a library message board to other librarians should be fired. That is disgusting! And you support her??? Now I hear you denigrate me to other teachers. How can you live with yourself? I look at myself and know I have done nothing except help others and have done nothing wrong, and I found out that when the cards are down I can't depend on any of you.
Next time I go to Professional Standards I will take a lawyer or two. I am not going to be stupid like I was the first time.
Bart Birdsall2309 W. Bristol Ave.Tampa, FL 33609(813) 258-8817 (home)(813) 362-7937 (cell)Montolino@aol.com
Jennifer: More's the pity that the public didn't note Dr. Lamb's nepotism. He's been on the Board so long that he thinks he is elected for life. No wonder public "servants" get away with murder.I didn't until this morning of Dr. Lamb's skullduggery of voting for his daughter's appointment to principal of Orange Grove.
The sad truth is that the public doesn't consider the School Board an important enough body to pay attention to. Everybody praises education, but few support it and scrutinize the people who run it. They are too busy trying to get County zoning variances so that they can become millionnaires at taxpayers' expense. This ignoring of the schools explains why a gang of 3rd-raters who can't write and can't punctuate have captured the administration of Hillsborough County and inserted its greedy fingers into tax money to bloat their salaries past all reason.
Did you question Dr. Lamb's non-recusal when he voted for his daughter for principal? If not, why not? That is why the voters elected you: to guard their interest. Calling Dr. Lamb on his ethical lapse would have caused you to grow some ethically, Jennifer. To be an ethical person, you have to squawk when you see wrongdoing. Yeats said, "The evil are full of passionate intensity; the good lack all conviction." Don't lack conviction. Speak up. Have the guts to be unpopular with the wrongdoers. They hate you? Boohoo. Let them hate you. Be too big to care. Shoot them a bird.
Practice speaking up, Jennifer. I saw a spark of resistance in you when you tried to oppose the tearing up of those children's lives in Elia's cover-up push to disguise what I hear was her overbuilding of classrooms when she was in the building department whilst avoiding knowledge of the real-estate scam there.
You are young, Jennifer. The young are usually idealistic. Practice idealism. Don't be a tool for the crooks in the administration. And for God's sake, try to leave off being a potted plant. I wouldn't be one. In the first place, I couldn't be a potted plant because potted plants can't wear Manolo Blahnicks and Chanel jackets. There is no such thing as a glamourous potted plant.Decline to be one, or you will turn into a frump like Candy Olson. Worse:you will get fat like Ms. Elia and have to assure Dr.Hamilton how smart he is.
Dare to be outspokenly glamourous. That tactic will get you on the cover of the Rolling Stones before you are 30.
-----Original Message-----From: Jennifer Faliero [mailto:Jennifer.Faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.us] Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:21 PMTo: email@example.comCc: Linda CobbeSubject: Re: As the World Turns at the Hillsborough County School Board
PS: As long as ethics fever is upon you, check out if the rumor is true that Dr. Lamb voted with the rest of the School Board to appoint his daughter principal of Orange Grove School last year. He needs an ethics rebuke if this rumor be true. The rebuke will have to be triple the usual size to comport with Dr. Lamb's girth. If you and Elia don't have guts enough to deliver Le Lamb the needed rebuke, deputize me for the task.You won't be sorry. I specialize in rebukes of exquisite vitriol.The vote was a matter of public record, and he did not recuse himself when she was appointed. You do a much better, eloquent job of rebuking than I could ever do - remember, I'm the dumb one of the potted plants.Jennifer FalieroSchool Board Member, District 4Hillsborough County Public Schools813.272.4052 (Office)Jennifer.Faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.usAll correspondences including email sent to School Board members or School District staff are considered public records, per Florida Statute 119.
Thank you for your lightening-quick reply to my query. This speed contrasts markedly with the silence which my inquiries routinely elicit from you, the School Board, and the bloated-salaried administrative minions who pass the time by throwing spitballs into their waste baskets. My customary queries get silence or spam insults.
I infer that you and Ms. Elia have put your heads together on this accusation against my old boss Patrick. Apparently, the Board and administration still smart from my pounding of their irregular hiring practices by the School Board and administration in my late column. I quit writing the column and have retired to needlepoint and opera. You don't get any more criticism of hiring practices that violate Title VII and equal opportunity in La Gaceta, but you still smart from the pings I landed on the Board and the administration and want to even the score against La Gaceta.
When not needlepointing or going to opera, I write a little blog called http://leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcouch.blogspot.com/ to wile away my time when I am not staring at the Gulf of Mexico out here on Madeira Beach, watching the sea gulls cavort, and plotting revolution. I think the whisper network from this blog is building. I emit a cackle of glee at that idea.
Why don't you beat up on me instead of dear old Patrick, my old sweetie of a former publisher? I am a lot bigger than he is, have more upper-body strength, and can defend myself with counterpunches that smart. Do you have reservations about savaging a seemingly old and helpless granny like me? Dispel them. Pound away. I can take a punch--and give one. Try to shut me up as a citizen. That attempt will give me a chance to work out in the rhetorical ring and keep my verbal skills sharp and perhaps become a First Amendment martyr before I die.
I wish, Jennifer, that you had shown more qui vive for ethics and ill-gotten financial gain when you avoided doing your Board homework and examining the real-estate scam that the St. Pete Times had to point out to you and others on the Board of Potted Plants.
But I hear a rumor that says y'all bungled even this real-estate deal that you accuse Patrick of money-grubbing in to line his pockets with ill-gotten gains. I hear that Cathy Valdez (if I have the name of that administration incompetent correct) didn't award the bid to the felonious-leaning Patrick and his partner, who submitted the highest bid, but to the second-highest bid because that bid took the property as is.
Then La Valdez, hired by Elia with no competition athwart Title VII, I understand, failed to get a deposit from the first guy, that he changed his mind, that he walked away with no penalty, and that now the building is back on the market. This is the regular Keystone Cops real-estate savvy of Ms. Elia et al. She hasn’t learned a thing from the buildings-department real-estate fiasco. The taxpayers underwrite her mistakes, thanks to the complicity of the Board’s scam “nation-wide” $35,000 citizen-subsidized search with an ad that reduced the Ph.D. requirement to the master’s degree that Ms. Elia has.
When it comes to real-estate transactions, the Hillsborough County school administration abetted by the Board that never reads anything but the funnies--certainly not anything dealing with school administration mess-ups--is free to make as many mistakes as it pleases. Citizens elect Board members to protect the public's interest, but most Board members get seduced into becoming creatures of the administration Machiavellis Manqué instead. I think the administration slips the Board members lollipops to seduce them.
I wish you were as smart as you are pretty. You don't catch on to anything and let yourself be Elia's hapless mouthpiece because she lacks the guts to come out in public and say what she mutters behind closed doors.
I have never respected anybody who can't speak for him- or herself and must use fronts to distribute information they don't dare utter out loud for the entire world to hear and judge.
Bring it on,
lee drury de cesare, old, helpless, and inarticulate citizen
PS: As long as ethics fever is upon you, check out if the rumor is true that Dr. Lamb voted with the rest of the School Board to appoint his daughter principal of Orange Grove School last year. He needs an ethics rebuke if this rumor be true. The rebuke will have to be triple the usual size to comport with Dr. Lamb's girth. If you and Elia don't have guts enough to deliver Le Lamb the needed rebuke, deputize me for the task.You won't be sorry. I specialize in rebukes of exquisite vitriol.
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Thursday, July 13, 2006 12:06:59 AM
From: Jennifer Faliero
Subject: Re: Gary Adult
To: Cathy Valdes
Cathy Valdes on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 4:39 PM -0500 wrote:
Please see the attached concerning the sale of Gary Adult. This should answer some of the questions you may have on the subject. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.
This memo reveals that Mr. Manteiga acted in an unethical manner by using his appointed position on the Real Estate Oversight Committee by accessing public documents so that he could gain financially before a bid was ever put out to the public for the sale of the Gary property. He further demonstrates shady behavior by not disclosing he was a partner in one of the bids submitted. I am recommending that he be terminated from all committees including the Citizens Advisory Committee and that our attorney look into possible criminal mischief. What I find more alarming is Mr. Manteiga, a publisher, continues to accuse school district staff for inappropriate hiring and construction management practices in his local newspaper, yet he himself used his appointed positions on various school board committees to further his own personal, financial gain, with no regard to ethics and good will. Because of his position as a publisher, I beleive the public should be informed about what he attempted to do and how he abused his position for financial gain. I look forward to your reply.
School Board Member, District 4
Hillsborough County Public Schools
All correspondences including email sent to School Board members or School District staff are considered public records, per Florida Statute 119.
-----Original Message-----From: Jennifer Faliero [mailto:Jennifer.Faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.us] Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:32 AMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgCc: Linda Cobbe; Cathy ValdesSubject: Re: information
Here is the correspondence you requested.Jennifer FalieroSchool Board Member, District 4Hillsborough County Public Schools813.272.4052 (Office)Jennifer.Faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.usAll correspondences including email sent to School Board members or School District staff are considered public records, per Florida Statute 119.
'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'Patrick'; 'Angiemanteiga@lagacetanewspaper.com'; Andrea Brunais (email@example.com); edgecomb (firstname.lastname@example.org); Jack Lamb (Jack.Lamb@sdhc.k12.fl.us); Margie Jean (email@example.com); montolino (firstname.lastname@example.org); Sue Compton (email@example.com); terry hamiltn Wollin (firstname.lastname@example.org); Tiger Bay Club of Tampa (email@example.com); valdes (firstname.lastname@example.org); Warren Rachels (WRACHELS@tampabay.rr.com); 'email@example.com'; 'schoolrecipient9'; 'schoolrecipient1'; 'schoolrecipient2'; 'school recipient3'; 'schoolrecipient4'; 'schoolrecipient5'; 'schoolrecipient6'; 'school recipient7'; 'schoolrecipient7'; 'schoolrecipient8'
-----Original Message-----From: Jennifer Faliero [mailto:Jennifer.Faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.us] Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:32 AMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgCc: Linda Cobbe; Cathy ValdesSubject: Re: information
I understand that you have accused Patrick Manteiga in a written communication with attempts at finanancial gain from his board memberships. Is this information true or not? May I have a copy of the letter if you have written to someone on this subject? If you did write it, did you write as a Board member? If so, it is public information, and there is no question that a citizen is entitled to it as public information. lee drury de cesare
Here is the correspondence you requested.Jennifer FalieroSchool Board Member, District 4Hillsborough County Public Schools813.272.4052 (Office)Jennifer.Faliero@sdhc.k12.fl.usAll correspondences including email sent to School Board members or School District staff are considered public records, per Florida Statute 119.'Montolino@aol.com'; Angie (email@example.com); edgecomb (firstname.lastname@example.org); faliero (email@example.com); Jack Lamb (Jack.Lamb@sdhc.k12.fl.us); valdes (firstname.lastname@example.org); 'email@example.com'; 'joan gentry'; 'Patrick'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'schoolrecipient9'; 'schoolrecipient1'; 'schoolrecipient2'; 'school recipient3'; 'schoolrecipient4'; 'schoolrecipient5'; 'schoolrecipient6'; 'school recipient7'; 'schoolrecipient7'; 'schoolrecipient8'
Bart Birdsall has not been successful in extracting from the CTA its salaries. I am suspicious when people in public employment hide their salaries. I told Bart to ask the Public Affairs office for those figures as public information.
CTA salaries must be public data since the school system processes the checks for CTA. So please facilitate this information for Bart---and for me. I plan to post in on my http://leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcouch.blogspot blog. Teachers need to see where their $500 yearly dues go and wonder why such salaries do not insure that the CTA layabouts and administration sychophants do not protect teachers from Linda Kipley's vicious ministrations.
I want to thank you for the name of my blog. It comes from the insinuating threat you gave but later denied to dear old Patrick that the Homeric Erinye Kipley and Siren Mileto would sue him for defamation of character. I will go to my grave sorry that lawsuit didn’t land in court. I would give up my next three pairs of Manolo Blahnick shoes to read the depositions from the people who inhabit the nooks and crannies of the ROSSAC bunker in any such blowsy lawsuit—the little people y’all think don’t know what’s going on but who know every little dot and tittle of data you think you cover up. I would also like to see how you and the Board would stand up to the wrath of the entire Hispanic community for your baseless attack on the beloved institution of La Gaceta, which reported the news of the Hispanic community when the downtown Anglo papers wouldn't.
Knowledge is power. Those who have it have power; those who don't lack power. Even obtuse people understand this equation. Hence, pray see that the CTA salaries see the disinfecting light of day so that I can blog them.
I heard that you and Dr. Lamb are particular friends. Good. That means you can influence him to lose about 200 pounds. His physical bloat is a bad role model for the children. I doubt that you have lost the 30 pounds you trumpeted with such boorish candor in your year-end "accomplishment," let-it-all-hang-out revelation to Ms. Letitia Stein of The St. Pete Times. I was afraid you would reveal your girdle size next. Pray don't be vulgar, Ms. Elia. Your doing so corrupts the children and frightens the horses.
But if you have lost a pound, that is a needed alteration. The School Board should sponsor healthy eating habits to be role models for the students just as you should learn to write and punctuate as inspiration for the children. If you can get the job of school superintendent without knowing basic punctuation, the students will believe that there is no need for them to learn to punctuate to graduate.
After all the porkers on the Board have slimmed down, we can then start on an ethics overhaul. That will be equivalent to hosing down the Augean stables, but it'll come to pass, the good lord and my blog activities willing. We will summon Hercules only if we falter.
I am also reminded to ask your comment on the repeated rumor I hear that the disrupting of the lives of those poor children whose parents came to beg the Board to reconsider tearing up their babies' sense of security with the the heartless school transfers occurred because you messed up and overbuilt classrooms when you were in the midst of your administration real-estate muddle in the building department from whence you issued to your present sinecure. So the children paid the price to cover up your goof-ups.
Be this true, it is the worse thing I have heard about you. Anyone who will use the psyches of little children to cover her ass is headed for eternal installation as Beelzebub's condo neighbor in the nether regions. For shame if this vile rumor be true.
I understand you will speak to the teachers on Friday. Have the taste and honesty not to ballyhoo that pitiful “raise” they will at last get. Le Heggarty told me as public information that in 1980, beginning teachers got $10,000 compared to Shelton’s $58,000. Today a beginning teacher gets $31,000 compared to your quarter of a million. If the ratio of 1980 held, beginning teachers today would make $41,500 on entering the school system and the “raise” this year would put them to near $45,000, which sounds about right to me.
I trust you will explain to the teachers why their salary increases have not kept pace with superintendents’ and what that fact says about the greed of the Hillsborough County administrators, the complicity of the School Board, on which you good friend, the Large Lamb sits, and the pitiful acquiescence of the teachers.
lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
http://grammargrinch.blogspot.com/Secretary of Education's Bombing in Congress when she turned up to tout vouchers because she hadn't read her own department's report on private- versus public-school performances as a wash: reported in July 22nd's Daily Kos (below).
In answer to your most recent question ...The superintendent's salary in 1980 was $58,261.The salary for a beginning teacher in 1980 was $10,001.I hope that answers your question.
Regarding another matter ...You continue to ask which school officials I remained in contact with in recent years. I declined to answer that question weeks ago. That information is not a public record. It is not even a record. Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes (try www.flsenate.gov/Statutes) is really very helpful in terms of determining what is a public record. I will be happy to provide you with public records.
My rough math says that in 1980, the beginning teacher’s pay was 17 percent of the superintendent’s; today the beginning teacher’s pay is 12 percent of the superintendent’s. If the 1980 ratio held, the beginning teacher today would make $42,500. That’s not the case; and the piddling amount that the Board is ballyhooing as a huge raise to be announced with pomp and circumstance does not come close to $42,500.
Clearly, the teachers have suffered in the pay department; the superintendent has prospered. That circumstance has to come from many sources: the greed of the administration; the complicity of the board; the ignoble cowardice of the union; the quiescence of the teachers.
Nobody in his or right mind would say that Ms. Elia’s services are worth 88 percent more than the teachers’. The woman messed up the management of the building department as the real-estate scam that she tolerated testifies. Besides, she can' t even punctuate.
As for your piney-woods Jesuitical excuse for not surrendering the public information of who your three administrative supporters were who maneuvered you into your job over better-qualified people, I do not believe you. If you mentioned that you had three degrees in your cover letter or that there were three people backing your candidacy, those references would be public information, and the names should be forthcoming without any hemming and hawing. So are the three people's names public information whom you cite, saying you kept in touch with them during your hiatus. Don't give me any lame references to the Florida Statutes.
Where does it say in the Sunshine law that “Steve Heggarty does not have to give citizen Lee Drury De Cesare cited information in his application”? Where are the chapter and paragraph that say, “Steve Hegarty slipped up and admitted that he played the standard sycophancy game of the Hillsborough County school system jobs program, but now he is embarrassed by his contretemps in letting the cat out of the bag in his submission letter and should get a pass"? Cite the page, paragraph, and lines of these data.
Don’t give me any research assignments to divert from the matter at hand, sirrah. I have quelled too many smart-assed freshman in my years as a teacher to let a lame attempt pass such as you proffer to try fool me.
You cite three people in your job application, so their names are implicit elements of your job application. So stop nattering and cough them up.
And write me an essay on how you can in conscience do a job that you got with influence peddling, not competence, and make 66 percent more than a beginning teacher, who effects a real contribution to education? Teaching is an honorable job. Adams says a teacher affects eternity. He doesn't say a spin doctor affects eternity. So why are you making 66 percent more than teachers, who are the heart and soul of education?
Thanks for the requested material, young man. The check’s in the mail for it.
lee drury de cesare
You're Doing a Heckuva Job, Maggie Summary from the Daily Kos of the private-public school achievement levels that the Secretary of Education didn't know were a wash when she turned up in Congress to tout voucher progams. She had gotten the report two weeks before but hadnt read it. She's a candidate for an administrative job in the jobs program of the School Board.
Fri Jul 21, 2006 at 04:25:52 PM PDT
Margaret Spellings, head of the U.S. Department of Education, won't be getting a gold star anytime soon for doing her homework.
Showing up this past Tuesday to pitch a $100 million school voucher program to Congress that would allow students in underachieving public schools to transfer their bodies - and taxpayer-provided $4,000 per pupil - to private schools, Spellings admitted she hadn't read a report issued by her own department the previous Friday that found little difference between student performance in public versus private schools.
According to USA Today:
She also would not comment on the long-awaited public/private study, saying she hadn't read the report in full and only learned of its release by reading about it in newspapers Saturday. The department on Friday morning had sent the results to about 11,000 people who subscribe to an Internet e-mail list.
Wait, it gets worse:
Russ Whitehurst, director of the department's Institute for Education Sciences, which oversees research, said it had been made available to Spellings two weeks earlier, but that he hadn't talked with her about it.
Are you freakin' kidding me? The head of education for the United States of America shows up in Congress insisting on $100 million for a proposal that for two weeks she should have known was proven unnecessary? And unbelievably, she has the gall to spout ominous tripe like this: The day of reckoning is coming. Accountability is hollow without real options for parents and without real options for kids. -- which went a long way, I'd have to guess, toward promoting snickers from the 11,000 people on that Friday email list.
This administration and its appointees - as I'm aware I'm only the billionth person to point out - are unmitigated, incompetent embarrassments on every level. As an experiment, I downloaded the PDF file of the report in question here (thanks to WaPo reporter Lois Romano for pointing me to it since it can't be found on the Department of Education's website). It took me less than two minutes to find the pertinent information, located right up front in the executive summary, which said:
Based on adjusted school means, the average for public schools was significantly higher than the average for private schools for grade 4 mathematics, while the average for private schools was significantly higher than the average for public schools for grade 8 reading. The average differences in adjusted school means for both grade 4 reading and grade 8 mathematics were not significantly different from zero.
Basically, a wash - equal in two tests, better in public schools in one, better in private schools in another, facts that could be ascertained in a couple of minutes.
Spelling also refused to comment on whether, under the proposed voucher plan, private schools would be held accountable under the same rigorous testing guidelines that No Child Left Behind policy requires of public schools. It's tempting to suspect she was dodging the question, but given her lamentable lack of familiarity with research for her own department, it's entirely possible that she simply doesn't know.
Remind me again: What are we, the taxpayers, paying her to do exactly?
(For a more in-depth analysis of the report itself, read kissfan's diary from Thursday, which explores how the new study undermines the basic premise of a large part of NCLB.)
July 19, 2006
Mr. Hegarty, sir:
Please consider this a formal request for public information. I want to know what the salary of the superintendent was in January of 1980 and what the salary was for a beginning teacher in 1980.
I expect there to be a Board Cecil B. Demille production beginning the fall semester with a CTA Greek chorus that ballyhoos the teachers’ “raises.” I understand that for many a moon the teachers have gotten zilch while the administration bureaucratic drones have made out like bandits. Comparing the above paired salaries in paragraph one will help cast some light on how much the teachers’ salaries have advanced as opposed to the salary bloat of the administration.
I hear a rumor that says Ms. Elia’s salary is the 3rd highest in the nation. I see Boston—Massachusetts being the highest-performing school system in the country—is advertising for a new superintendent with a mere $150,000 salary, whereas with perquisites, Ms. Elia’s clocks in at a quarter of a million.
Massachusetts requires that its administrators take the same test as teachers take to show administrators can punctuate and know grammar. Ms. Elia would have bombed on that as well as an assessment of her administrative talents in the building department over which she presided while the real-estate scam unfolded. To preserve the contemptible ruse of paying $35,000 tax money for a "nation-wide" search, the Hillsborough County School Board supported the pretense of fair hiring but turned down candidates who could punctuate knew grammar and who had no record of blowing a job of administering real-estate transactions referred to the State’s Attorney for review. Ms. Elia, had that odoriferous record.
Below is an article you wrote before you joined the school administration minions of the Dark Side by signing on to the job of spin doctor. You got the job thorough the back stairs of sycophancy one infers. You lacked the credentials of both administrative experience and writing ability—but had the pull of the three unnamed administrators whom you cite as your inside contacts in your application letter and whose names you refuse to divulge to me in violation of the Sunshine law. I renew my request for those names. The public should know who beat the drums inside the administration for you to get that job over better qualified people.
In the article below you wrote before you went over to The Dark Side, I flag the punctuation errors and complain that my tax dollars go to a bloated $91,000 pay check plus perquisites, doubtless growing from your assiduous performance of detoxifying administration and Board skullduggery, to someone who can't punctuate and who stumbles in grammar. Add to that a formalaic writng style, and the public is not getting its money's worth.
See Chapter 29, page 258 ff. of the Prentice Hall Gold volume the Hillsborough County students use for the comma rules that you violate. You had better go to Study Hall to acquire the right atmosphere. Your preening in your ill-gotten office is not the appropriate atmosphere in which to master basic comma rules. The activity would ill fit your delusions of grandeur acted out in the tax-supported locale of your office. It, by the way, needs fumigating since you rebuked me for speaking ill of Linda Kipley's torture of teachers, protesting that next to Mother Therese, Abu Gharib Kipley is the woman whom you respect most.
Low pay drives teachers out of state
Florida teachers' salaries rank a lowly 30th in the nation. Many are heading to Georgia and Alabama instead.
By STEPHEN HEGARTY, Times Staff Writer © St. Petersburg Timespublished November 1, 2002
Every school day before dawn, teacher Linda Ward leaves her home in the small North Florida town of Monticello and heads north to teach at Central Middle School in Thomasville, Ga.
She drives along U.S. 19, passing open fields, old plantation homes, and the "Welcome to Georgia" sign at the state line. It's a 20-minute commute, made easier by the bigger salary Georgia offers.
She makes $17,000 more than she would in Monticello.
Every year, Florida loses teachers to Georgia and Alabama -- valuable teachers like Ward, an 18-year veteran with a talent for math and science. That loss of good teachers is evidence of Florida's lack of progress on teacher salaries.
Solving the problem is a major issue in Florida's gubernatorial race. Democrat Bill McBride has vowed to increase teacher pay and accuses Gov. Jeb Bush of ignoring the issue. Bush has begun talking more about it, but has not offered a specific plan.
How big is the problem of teacher pay?
Florida's average teacher pay ranked 30th in the nation last year, continuing a slow slide dating back to the early 1990s. The state lost ground under Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles, and that didn't change under Bush.
But the state fares even worse in comparison with the neighboring states with which it competes.
Between 1995 and 2001, Georgia and Alabama aggressively increased teacher pay. The governors in both states set ambitious goals to reach the national average. Both are short of that goal, but still vaulted ahead 10 places in national rankings.
Don’t separate a compound verb with a comma.
Neither Bush nor McBride appear ready to embark on the quests that Georgia and Alabama did. Florida's decentralized system gives the governor and lawmakers little direct control over teacher salaries. Besides, it's expensive.
“Appear” should be “appears.” A compound subject joined by “or” or “nor” agrees with the closer subject. Vague pronoun reference: what does “it” refer to? Don’t make your reader supply the word you mean. Put a noun in place of “it.”
McBride says he would immediately raise the state's average teacher salary by $2,500, which he says will cut in half the gap with the national average. Eventually he hopes to meet the national average.
"When we lose teachers to Georgia and Alabama, the market is telling us that we're not investing in education like we should," said McBride spokesman Alan Stonecipher.
As Georgia would attest, reaching the national average is easier said than done. That average keeps creeping up as other states improve their salaries.
Bush says he would continue providing more money that school districts could use to increase teacher pay. In an unguarded moment, the governor said he was interested in establishing a statewide minimum salary like the ones that exist in Alabama and Georgia. But Bush said he would not propose such a plan before the election because it would contradict his policy of supporting local control.
“Local control” in Hillsborough County means the Board keeps rubberstamping the bloated pay raises for administrators and ignoring teachers.
"Over the last four years, Gov. Bush has increased education funding and school districts have been able to put that money into teacher salaries," said Bush campaign spokeswoman Jill Bratina.
A comma goes after “funding”: another hour in Study Hall for messing up in punctuating a compound sentence.
The additional $1.1-billion in school funding this year has enabled several districts to give raises of 5 percent or more. Those increases followed dismal raises or no raises last year, when Florida and other states struggled with budgets. "Every year I'm amazed that Georgia keeps coming up with that kind of money while Florida stands still," said Alfreddie Hightower, a veteran high school teacher in Jefferson County on the Georgia border, and president of the Jefferson County Education Association.
Put no comma between a compound predicate nominative.
In those unguarded remarks about teacher pay, caught on tape by a reporter, Bush said he wants to stop talking about average pay.
Don’t cut off a restrictive past participial phrase. Look up "participial phrase" in the Gold Book.
You have stumbled into another vague pronoun reference: replace “that” with the noun you mean.
Some of the state's lowest teacher salaries are in North Florida counties that compete with neighboring states.
A beginning teacher in Jefferson County might spurn a $25,000 salary to take a job in Georgia for at least $29,259. Orange County, in the middle of the state, could offer $30,405.
Georgia and Alabama addressed their own pay disparity problems by setting statewide pay scales. They act as a sort of minimum wage for teachers. Local school districts can pay more, and cities like Atlanta and Birmingham do. "If not for that statewide floor, we would have some really low salaries in some of our small, rural areas," said Jim Williams, executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. "They couldn't compete otherwise."
Florida has no such statewide scale. Unlike Georgia and Alabama, salaries are left to collective bargaining agreements between local school districts and local teacher unions. Few government or union leaders are ready to challenge that time-honored and constitutionally protected bargaining process.
Since the Hillsborough County CTA is gutless or in bed with the administration—probably both—this situation means teachers get short shrift.
But some are talking about it.
"A chunk of the teacher's salary will be taken out of the hands of the unions and school districts to negotiate," Bush said in those unguarded remarks. "As a state, we would say, "We're going to have this minimum pay scale.' "
Bush said then that he would not raise the issue until after the election -- he didn't want to be criticized for a proposal inconsistent with previous policies -- and has not made such a proposal.
Education Secretary Jim Horne recently laid out a list of possibilities for boosting teacher pay in Florida, including the concept of "setting a floor" for salaries. Horne, too, acknowledged the difficulty of challenging collective bargaining, but held out hope that some compromise might work.
Don’t separate a compound verb with a comma.
Use a comma before a direct quote.
“Decision making” is not a closed compound: it is an open or hyphenated one.
Some teachers would welcome such a change.
"To have a statewide minimum could really help a small county like ours," said Joyce Bosscher, the immediate past president of the Madison County teachers union.
"It wouldn't make any difference to Dade and the bigger counties. But right now we can't compete with Georgia or Leon (County, which includes Tallahassee, where pay is higher than in neighboring counties). We need to do something because we're losing people."
Homecoming at Burnt Fort the Third Sunday in November Every Year
My husband pointed out Jennifer Liberto's St. Petersburg Times column today with a long citation about your speech at the Tallahassee Democratic gay caucus.
Hooray for you, sir. That appearance says to this voter that you have enough courage and class to respect a brutally reviled permanent--since Biblical-times-- group of people whom bigots have targeted for vile treatment.
The local Hillsborough County School Board cooperates with this sadistic attitude by refusing to do anything about the savaging of gay children in the schools. The Board members sweep the problem under the rug by saying they want to prevent the bullying of all children, burying the savaged gay tots in the general school population to make them linguistically invisible with the "all" rubric. The School Board leaves the gay children to their misery in order not to offend the county's homophobic bigots. The homophobic administration is delighted to play along.
I see your resume says you are Baptist. In my home county, Camden, Georgia, one branch of my family split from the original Episcopalians, who had built the church at the family cemetery in the 1800s in Burnt Fort. The apostates became Baptists. So now we have two hostile branches of the family. The randy Baptists have out-bred the phlegmatic Drury Episcopalians, who retreated to a St. Mary's Episcopal church and left the Baptists in possession to romp in the original church on the cemetery grounds.
The Episcopal branch is enlightened about homosexuality even in Georgia as Episcopalians are enlightened about most anything, but the Baptists need some vigorous preaching on how Jesus’ love includes all his children--gay and straight. An itinerate preacher delivers a resounding yearly sermon at the dinner-on-the-grounds gathering at the church by the cemetery. Everybody eats him- or herself sick on homemade biscuits, gravy, chicken, and Aunt Lula's neckbones and rice. The theatrics of the sermons that unfold after the picnic put my Catholic husband in a state of stunned disbelief; he is permanently astonished that such choreographs can go on in a church and murmurs about what went on at the altar all the way back to Tampa.
How'd you like to come next homecoming and preach the sermon of all-god's-children inclusive love at our next dinner on the grounds at Burnt Fort on the 3rd Sunday in November? Drury Baptists congregants who gather there need another Baptist to cut through the dismal contours of their bigotry against gays. Feel free to bring your banjo or accordian. However prejudiced they are against gays, the Baptist wing of my family is not a group of people who are prejudiced against unorthodox musical instruments in church. In fact, one year not long ago one of my more lively second cousins rendered "Th Old Rugged Cross" on the zither to the delight of all.
My buddy Jesus loves you, Senator Smith, for being merciful to his gay children.
lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Monday, July 17, 2006
r providing me with its URL. Meanwhile, I substitute this grievance email and request that you consider it a formal complaint from a citizen.
I wish to grieve three things. I understand that one must file a local grievance with the authorities responsible before going on to the Florida Ethics Commission if not satisfied with the local authorities’ solution. So far, I have had no solutions to the issues below that I grieve, although I have been at pains to apprise the Board of the situations to which I refer. The School Board and its subordinates have not acknowledged my complaints. I consider that remiss behavior from public servants who petitioned the community on the hustings to award them these jobs through the voting booth.
Please consider this, therefore, a formal grievance in the following three areas.
The grievances involve these issues:
Lack of response to my two complaints about Dr. Jim Hamilton’s illiterate, vulgar use of the school email for personal reasons and the double standard with which the Professional Standards department treats complaints to it, with the Board’s condoning this disparate treatment: one for lower-level employees such as teachers; one for higher-level employees such as administrators. One must note that the terms “lower” and “higher” refer to the amount of money made, not to the value of the work done. Clearly, teachers’ work is more valuable to education that administrative maneuvers, however disparate and unfair the pay.
Failure of the School Board to provide an information manual to teachers and others who must subject themselves to Ms. Kipley’s arbitrary, often sadistic punishment without information about their rights such as the right to file a grievance and the right to know the time limits for such grievance. Ms. Elia in my presence after her Tiger Bay speech did not give the grievance information to one Professional Standards victim, Bart Birdsall, after he described his unfair treatment at the hands of Ms. Kipley.
Later, after he finally filed a grievance still ignorant of the time limits, Elia dismissed it since Birdsall had not filed it in time, an apparently deliberate administrative Catch 22 that the absent printed protocol would prevent.
Presently, no communication to people going into the Professional Standards gauntlet informs them know about an appeal in a handout describing it and the time limits for an appeal process. They also have no information on what punishments devised by Kipley’s cruel imagination infringe on their human dignity and are thus forbidden to her.
Lack of response to multiple requests for information from Steve Hegarty, who is supposed to fulfill citizens’ Sunshine-law requests for information or explain why he cannot fulfill it. He also hacked into my Grammargrich blog and removed the essay analyzing his punctuation illiteracy and lack of rhetorical élan.
The first grievance issue—lack of response to my complaints for a Professional Standards offense by the illiterate, vulgar email sent by James Hamilton throughout the school system-- compares invidiously to the overkill of Bart Birdsall’s fishing-expedition-manufactured offense to discover a reason to punish him. This was a favor by Ms. Elia to a request from the County—probably from Ms. Bean, Ms. Elia’s buddy, one infers—to propitiate Joe Stines, Beans’s gay library head, because Birdsall sent Stines home-generated emails criticizing his Roy Cohen eager cooperation with depriving gays of First-Amendment library rights after the Rhonda Storms homophobic ordinance passed. The Birdsall complaints miffed Stines, but he, one infers, lacked the courage to answer Birdsall himself. One is astonished at Ms. Elia’s lack of judgment and absence of ethics in eagerly volunteering to punish one of her workers to propitiate a cowardly County librarian.
Dr. Hamilton’s senior administration status should not make him invulnerable to punishment for a professional-standards violation just as lower-level employees are liable such as Birdsall and others. The Board should not allow such invidious treatment of employees from different strata to transpire, yet it does. Such behavior acts diagnostic of Board lack of ethics.
The second grievance targets the lack of grievance-rights information for teachers and others whom the Professional Standards office punishes for such trumped up charges as those, for example, against Birdsall and against a teacher who had taken children on a field trip to see a university with parents’ permission but who had not dotted an “i’s” or crossed a “t’s” and hence blundered into the clutches of the sadistic Ms. Kipley. The latter sufferer Kipley told that she was not even allowed to tell anyone about the punishment that Kipley inflicted even as Kipley set and then reset arbitrary dates for dismissal of the teacher for fulfilling the punishment Kipley cooked up from the well of her cruel imagination. So much for free speech.
The Board knows of this conduct of Kipley unless it willfully ignores it as it knows of the lack of a manual to put in the hands of the Professional Standards unfortunate so that he or she knows the procedure for filing a grievance against such outrageous behavior by the head of Professional Standards. Yet the Board has remained mute and done nothing.
The third complaint involves the ignoring of the Sunshine law to provide public information requested by citizen by Steve Hegarty, head of the Public Affairs office. There is no mention of the duty of this office to provide information to the public in the Board’s ad for the job Hegarty got despite his lacking ad-cited credentials.
This failure to mention the public-information role of the job provides indication of the lack of importance that the Board gives to the office’s public-information function. The ad says administrative experience is required. Hegarty had none. The other finalists had that experience and wrote in a manner superior to that of Hegarty.
I have at least three times requested that Steve Hegarty send me the names of the several administrators cited in his application letter that he said he kept in touch with when he was on sabbatical from covering the School Board as a St. Petersburg Times reporter. His job submission is part of the public record. He has refused to send me the data, once answering a curt “no.” He refused to send it without the Sunshine-required explanation of why he withheld public information. The Board should not tolerate violation of the Sunshine law from its representative, especially one who appears to have acquired his job through sycophancy, not through credentials.
Please deal with these three grievances in a timely fashion—two weeks seem reasonable, ending on July 29th —or I shall resort to the Ethics Commission’s and the governor’s assistance.
Since your own response to email is to spit it back to the citizen in what is equivalent to a spam rejection, I shall send this email to Ms. Elia with the expectation that she will route it to you.
lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
I have not heard from Mr. Hegarty. I believe a week has elapsed. Please send me this information, copied back and front, and tell me how much I owe for it.
Lee Drury De Cesare
First, your writing in this week's column: I can hold your column arm's length and see that you have abandoned peppering your writing with unneeded quotation marks. Good. Now we go to lesson 2.
Wordiness that involves redundant modifiers:
In your first sentence: 1. Get rid of "magnificent"; 2. Dump either "events" or "controversies"; 3. Dump "actually."
A recent free-speech case Garcetti, Gil, et al. v. Ceballos, Richard, 30 May 2006, involved a government lawyer in California who ratted out the sheriff for an irregular arrest. He even testified for the defense in court. Garcetti, his boss, fired the lawyer. Garcetti, we all recall, is the dumb district attorney who refused to move O.J. Simpson's trial to a neighborhood that would not feature a jury packed with sympathetic Black jurors and hence lost the case for this stupidity.
The county lawyer Garcetti fired lost his free-speech case on appeal to the Supreme Court.
The teachers of the county schools are scared to death of losing their jobs if they criticize the administration, which uses that threat to keep teachers mute.
I wish you would write about the California case and its implications for government workers like the teachers of Hillsborough County. I want to know if they can go home and use the information in their roles as private citizens that they can't talk about on the job. The supervisors can manage their talk on the job if I understand the Supreme Court ruling, but there should be no impediment to their using the information they acquire on the job as private citizens, is there?
Can't they talk about the wrongdoing they see in the school system as private citizens, even calling a press conference on their front lawns with a bull horn if they like to announce what they learned on the job that they consider bad behavior on the part of their bosses?
Next, we go to varying the length of your sentences. If you are not a Nobel laureate in literature before the snow flies, it won't be my fault.
lee drury de cesare, banished to repine with the sea gulls on the forlorn Gulf of Mexico in Madeira Beach, the first official martyr to free speech that La Gaceta has yet produced
Editor at the Boston Globe:
Today’s Globe reports Boston’s trouble in finding the right superintendent to fill the job Mr. Tom Payzant did so well. Boston’s situation is nothing compared to that of Hillsborough County, Florida, in the superintendent stakes.
This county has gradually manufactured an inside incestuous core of administrators who have turned the running of the schools into a racket of keeping a few in power to dictate such things as bloated administrative salaries.
Whereas Boston’s superintendent gets a reported $150,000 a year, Hillsborough’s gets a quarter of a million including perquisites. The Board never saw a raise or perquisite for the superintendent that it didn’t like.
The second in command, whose writing shows he does not know the difference between “you’re” and “your,” gets $132,000 a year. He should retire but refuses to, so he and his replacement draw two salaries for doing one job.
Two inside administrative appointees, a home-ec and kindergarten teacher, get $120,000 a year. One of these jobs had not even a show of advertising it—a violation of Title VII from a School Board that plasters everything it lays its hands on with “an equal-opportunity employer”; the other job went to the close friend of a male supervisor, the one who refuses to retire.
The county has evolved a core power pod in the school administration that dictates who gets the top job. There is a pretend “nation-wide” search that produces the in-house candidate as winner, no matter his or her credentials or quality. The supine School Board cooperates with the scam. The Board thinks nothing of signing off on this false “nation-wide” superintendent search with 35,000 tax dollars that should go to education of the students.
The Board altered the current superintendent ad to reflect the in-house candidate’s lack of a Ph.D. She got the job in a for-show choice session with a procedural finesse against some Ph.D.s with rich experience and terminal degrees from distinguished institutions.
Their online submissions show that neither the present superintendent nor her predecessor, products of the corrupt inside power pod, can punctuate using basic comma rules that the students learn to graduate. Both of these demonstrate feeble, sophomoric rhetorical powers.
The previous superintendent was an in-house vo tech specialist; the present one was head of the county schools’ buildings department that the St. Petersburg Times recently did a series on because of the real-estate flim flam going on there under her nose and perhaps with her sanction. The crime had to be referred to the state for prosecution.
The previous vo-tech-good-ol’-boy superintendent retired with a package that astonishes in its bloat and indifference to the wise use of tax money in education by the School Board.
There is a School Board election going on now. But the voters have not woken to the fact that their school system has suffered hijacking to an administrative set of scam artists that the School Board does nothing to check.
Boston’s comparatively mild problems in finding a qualified person to run the schools evoke envy. Massachusetts is not Number One in the nation for its schools for nothing. You are serious about good schools and serious about getting a good superintendent. Your open process of finding the best person and not succumbing to an in-house power center of mediocre specimens who use the school system to satisfy their greed for power and bloated salaries looks pretty good from the vantage point of those concerned with good education in the Tampa Bay Area.
lee drury de cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
727-398-4142The Hedgehog and the Fox
A star of the Greek intellectual firmament in the 7th century A.D. named Archilochus said there were two kinds of people: the hedgehog and the fox. The hedgehog, said Archiolochus, knew one big truth; the fox knew many little truths.
I am a hedgehog: a big-truth person. So I apply the lessons learned to the Hillsborough County school system as I read The New York Times Maureen Dowd column this morning called “He Let the Dogs Out.”
The column discusses the Senate Judiciary Committee struggle over putting another of Bush’s questionable nominees on the bench, William Haynes. This fellow in November of 2002 recommended that Secretary Rumsfeld approve the use of dogs to intimidate detainees at Guantánamo.
Haynes not only recommended dogs at Quantanamo but also advocated stressed positions and forced nudity.
The Supreme Court has just slapped Bush down on not giving the Quantanamo prisoners the Geneva rights that our Top Gun president said they didn’t merit.
But before this slap-down of Bush’s legal sadism, those techniques had migrated to Abu Gharib. We know what happened there. The hideous pictures of torture of hooded Iraqis by Americans at that hell hole covered the Internet and the newspapers worldwide. Those pictures made Americans cower in shame and the rest of the world dethrone us from our position as international knight of democracy and fair play.
It’s not that the Bush administration and its blind followers did not have a warning that they were defacing the nation’s reputation. Alberto Mora, the former Navy general counsel, recently won the Kennedy Foundation “Profiles in Courage’’ award “for trying to warn Mr. Haynes and others that unleashing dogs for psychological torture and turning America into a law unto itself would hurt the nation, he said this:”
‘Cruelty disfigures our national character,’ the Profiles in Courage winner said. ‘It is incompatible with our constitutional order, with our laws, and with our most prized values. Cruelty can be as effective as torture in destroying human dignity, and there is no moral distinction between one and the other.’
“This Profiles in Courage winner summed up something that the president, vice president and their toadies can’t seem to fathom: ‘Where cruelty exists, law does not.’”
This is the truth that this Archiolachen hedge hog extrapolated to the Hillsborough County school system.
For some time now, former teacher now media specialist Bart Birdsall and I have slogged away at getting recognition and remedy for Professional Standards Director Linda Kipley’s sadistic treatment of people-especially teachers-- who land in her clutches for alleged professional-standards violations.
One of Birdsall’s motives for running for District 2 against a Board member complicit with Kipley’s degrading professi0nal-standards treatment of teachers is this issue of uncontrolled cruelty by Kipley: Candy Olson is the 12-year opponent of Birdsall and a student running for that district named Logan. I love Logan’s courage and enterprise. That kid will go far.
La Elia-- at the inferred behest of her buddy Pat Bean in the name of Bean’s Roy-Cohen gay library head Joe Stines in his grudge against Birdsall for rebuking Stines’s complicity in kicking gays out of the county library—conducted a computer witch hunt against Birdsall seeking a scintilla of his violating the school policy of misusing the emails for personal reasons.
The mainframe witch-hunt—which diverted energy from discovering why the computer system led by an administrative political appointee who had no academic or other credentials in computers—one Jack Davis-- came up with Birdsall’s having posted on the library community board the announcement of the gay march against Ronda Storms’s shutting the gays out of libraries. Birdsall, who has just won a national “Movers and Shakers” award from the National Library Association for his work to protect the library and free-speech rights of people, says that the National Library Association recommended that he as a librarian media specialist do just what he did: announce community activities associated with libraries to his colleagues.
So at Elia’s instructions, which this perfidious superintendent lied about to me and Birdsall at her speaking appearance at Tampa Tiger Bay, an effort to terrorize Birdsall resulted. The administration aimed to shut him up about everything in general and gay rights in particular because the administration judges itself the only sieve through which to spin-pour information about the school system so that it makes the administration look like a masterful, competent, perspicacious team—the very opposite of the truth, of course.
Instead of apologizing to Birdsall for this misfire of the administration from its Abu Gharib cell block, Kipley sent him an ominous registered letter hinting at dire consequences if he exercised his free-speech rights and blah, blah, blah.
Home-ec teacher Kipley has slight talents in administration and even slighter in constructing missives that stir terror in the hearts of the recipients if they have a lick of sense and a will to push back. These Birdsall has, so the Elia retaliation squad has since steered clear of him and diverted its attention to the weaklings who are easier to terrorize. Threatening people’s jobs is the way this administration maintains its iron control of the plantation workers. Until the field hands turn their pitchforks on the administration and Board straw bosses, that reign of terror will continue.
Meanwhile, to test the fairness of the system, I filed not one but two professional-standards charges against Dr. Jim-Whatta-Guy Hamilton for using the school emails for personal preening by circulating two illiterate, vulgar emails to boost his apparently flagging self-esteem because Le Otero is easing him out of his Rasputin perch as Elia’s mentor and in-house s.o.b., a designation he attributes to himself.
As a registered nurse, I always suspect such behavior to indicate the need for a prophylactic for ebbing hormones--a course of Viagra or perhaps even IV Cialis, the perpetual tumescence nostrum, for the sufferer. Intradural injection with one of those huge needles that patients shrink back in terror from may be in order for Le Jimmerino. This procedure has yet to be tried, but I volunteer Le Jim as guinie pig.
My first professional-standards complaint against Hamilton I couldn’t locate on my computer because I am an intellectual, not a computer-file person, and Steve Spin-the-Truth Heggarty claimed I didn’t send it. That fellow lies like a rug.
I filed a duplicate.
Having not heard a word yet from Abu Gharib Kipley, I infer a double standard in application of the professional-standards-torture protocol. Birdsall had communications from teachers after his situation became public about the cruel treatment Kipley hands out to teachers who enter her orbit of influence. I judged some of those methods were condign for Le Hamiliton.
This silence confirms my belief that the Hamilton case of abuse of the school email system to be what Senator Lindsay Graham, an ethical Republican from South Carolina on the Judiciary Committee, concludes in opposing the He-Let-the-Dogs-Out Haynes nomination. Graham is a military lawyer, a member of the Armed Services Committee, and close confidante to the JAG Corps lawyers.
Speaking to reporters, Graham echoed Senator Durbin’s fear that soldiers should not take the fall for superiors’ decisions: “We just need to make sure that what we do in terms of promotion, of a civilian, who was part of policies that have led to military members being prosecuted and having their careers ruined, needs to be thoughtfully considered.”
In other words, Senators Graham and Durbin express resistance to the double standard of punishing the little people for an offense that the big people get away with as a matter of course. That is what the administration backed up by the Board is now doing: applying the double standard to professional-standards complaints.
After raising a racket, Birdsall and I had the pleasure of getting from Dr. Rubber-stamp Lamb confirmation that he had referred the complaints about Kipley’s behavior to the school lawyer for investigation.
That, however, has been some time ago, and one fears that the dead silence that is the customary stance of the School Board means that the lawyer has found “nothing” or, if he has, the public will not get access to the information if the administration and Board apply their usual cover-up and spin tactics to it.
And what has CTA done to protect teachers from the cruelty of Kipley and the refusal of the Board and administration to provide teachers with at least a written summary of their rights and means to appeal going into Kipley’s torture chamber. Nothing, nada, not a damned thing.
In fact, CTA officers sat with the administration in self-congratulatory triumph at the Tiger Bay Elia coming-out speech and yakked it up with their administration buddies and betters. They ignored Birdsall, who was under the Professional-Standards gun at that time. One junior CTA member did a grudging drive by of Birdsall before he rushed to catch up the sycophant train to swell the administration progress that swept from the room in magnificent show of collusive solidarity in support of wrongdoing at the top and hearty approval of skullduggery to keep the power pod in the driver’s seat at the administration.
And to this hedge hog occurred pointed questions of why people run for the School Board if they don’t plan to do anything once they get there except join the veteran potted plants in the Board vegetable garden.
For instance, Dorthea Edgecomb, a Black woman, hasn’t raised any public questions about the dearth of Blacks in high-level administrative positions, although one hazards there are many in janitorial jobs and on KP duty in the schools’ kitchens.
One must infer that La Edgecomb, a former principal indoctrinated into the plantation system, is content to keep mum in Whitey’s world to maintain her position. Alas for the brothers and sisters back in the ghetto. Gunnar Myrdahl’s An American Dilemma outlines the desertion by successful Blacks of those back in the neighborhood from whence successful Blacks escape and don’t look back.
Then there is Susan Valdez, the rare Hispanic who made it to the School Board via the ballot. I drove along Dale Mabry when the Hispanic kids took the day off to protest the emigration deportation of their parents proposed by the solons of the Red States. They stretched from the stadium all the way up to Tampa Bay Boulevard (?), waving their signs. I felt like jumping out of my old rust-bucket Mercedes, grabbing a placard, and joining them. I never miss a picketing against evil if I can help it. The gods do not subtract from the lives of people the hours spent picketing evil. I passed for Hispanic in writing for La Gaceta, thanks to my husband’s name. So I am kissing cousin with that growing ethnic presence.
I called Board Member Valdez as a supporter to say that she must not let principals carry through the threatened punishment of the Hispanic kids for taking a day off to protest their parents’ deportation when the school system winks at South Tampa kids who frolic away on school days during Beach Week.
I saw no press reports of Board Member Valdez’s protest of double-standard treatment of the minority she represents. Had I been the Hispanic board member, I would have leaped upon the circular dais of the School Board meeting power table at the front of the room and done a Georgia hoedown damned-if-I-am-going-to-put-up-with-this-double-standard stomp do-dah, do-dah.
We shall have the chance to ask the School Board candidates questions during the upcoming election. Don’t let them get away with any marshmallow promises of adhering to the holy principles of public-servant integrity, honoring the sacred public-office tradition of attenuated truth telling, placing their hands over their hearts when using the sacrosanct term “citizen.”
Ask them what outrage will be enough for them to call a press conference to protest school-system skullduggery-- such as hiring a superintendent for whom the Board rewrote the ad to drop the Ph.D. requirement because she had none and couldn’t punctuate to boot; such as refusing to put up with the savaging of teachers by the Professional Standards home-ec ghoul that the administration inserted into this $120,000 job without advertising in violation of Title VII because it knew she would serve the administration as its Lucco Brazzi to keep the employee masses cowed; or such as sanctioning kindergarten teacher Connie Mileto’s whizzing to the top of the applicant horde to the $120,000 Tallahassee lobbyist job, based not on her credentials but on her administrative intimacies—in particular that which ensured sponsorship by Dr. Doesn’t-Know-the-Difference-Between-Your-and-You’re-Soi-Dissant-SOB Jim Hamilton.
If there is not at least one outrage about which a candidate will howl at the moon, jump up and down in protest against, or fulminate about, don’t elect the ethically challenged coward.
To hell with marshmallow integrity, attenuated honesty, and flossing twice a day. What citizens should demand of School Board candidates—the ones who guard the environment of our children and grandchildren—is a modicum of guts.
Yesterday, I heard a rumor that a candidate running for and working for the School Board had used the school email to solicit support from the Board. I wanted to make sure that no double standard applied in the rumored case. First, I had to determine whether it occured.
So I wrote one named Schmidt and heard nothing back. School people don't answer you. Either they are afraid to or are raised in a barn.
So I wrote the Public Relations office and received a timely response from Linda, who I think is second in line to Steve Heggarty. She is a miracle because she must be the only person in the ROSSAC redoubt who can punctuate.
Steve was mercifully out of the office, or he would have blocked the response. That duplicitous rascal complicates everything he touches.
Thank you, Linda: you are as sharp as a tack. Mr. Schmidt might have condescended to answer my question instead of my having to go to you.
That lack of response does not augur to this citizen that he would be responsive to voter inquiries once he is in office. That is a major problem with the current board: they either don't answer or respond with a spam comeback.
I will fight information cover-up from any public person.
I will pass the response back to where I heard it.And I will post it on my Casting-Room Couch blog for the edification of all who are interested.
And David, don't use a plethora of exclamation points to emphasize a point. That's little-kid, comic-book style. Big people don't resort to that sophomoric device.
lee drury de cesare
-----Original Message-----From: Linda Cobbe [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:44 PMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgCc: School-Board-Members; MaryEllen Elia; Stephen Hegarty; Joan Gentry; Kristin Waskiewicz; Terry MccoySubject: Email inquiry
Dear Lee:As you know, I asked both David Schmidt and Ken Allen if the rumor you have heard is true that one of them used school district e-mail to contact the School Board to ask for fundraising assistance.
They both responded that they did not e-mail the board members from work or home for anything related to the District 6 School Board race. Their actual responses are pasted below this e-mail.
Also, as I wrote earlier, we have looked through two members' e-mail and found nothing from either Mr. Schmidt or Dr. Allen between January 29, 2006, and today. I hope this helps put the rumor to rest.
Linda CobbeExternal Communications ManagerOffice of CommunicationsSchool District of Hillsborough County901 E. Kennedy Blvd.Tampa, FL 33602813-272-4602
Linda: I have not--either through district email or through my home AOL account--ever solicited fundraising or campaign support from any sitting or former school board member. That rumor is false at my end!!!!!!!
David L. Schmidt
I have not contacted Board Members in any fashion, email or otherwise, regarding support or funding.
Kenneth R. Allen, Ed.D.Director
Elia did not listen to the parents’ concerns but merely put on show community meetings to fool the School Board, which is eager to be fooled. This is the group that sat like deer in the headlights as Elia presided over the real-estate scandal in the buildings department when she ran it before becoming superintendent.
The parents expressed opposition at the few opportunities they got. They accused Elia of scheduling meetings and then rescheduling them when it was too late for them to attend. Elia, according to parents at the School Board meeting that dealt with approving the plan, ignored their concerns for their children entirely.
I watched Elia's face during this meeting. She assumed a mask of sour impatience with the parents' pleas at the mike about their children. Elia's exppression suggested that she is short on empathy and long on arrogance.
Candy Olson apparently came to to propitiate the parents of Fawn Ridge although this is not her district. After twelve years on the School Board as a rubber-stamping potted plant, she now realizes her seat is in danger. So she is showing up to soothe the voters at places like Fawn Ridge about her wretched performance. April Griffin and Jennifer Faliero were at the gathering as well.
One of Olson's opponents Bart Birdsall was there. It is he who gives the account below.
When Candy finally got on the microphone at the Fawn Ridge event, she babbled on in a monotone about what the district has accomplished. If she isn't the "yes" man of the district, I don't know who is.
That's another indication that she needs to move on b/c we need people holding the district to a microscope and not people who are brainwashed into saying, "Yes, yes, yes. The district is wonderful." Companies or systems get complacent and do not work to improve when people like Candy are in control (or pretending to be in control).
I know she waited for me to talk first at the mike so she would know how to respond. That's not leadership. A leader says what she feels/means, etc. regardless of the next person who might speak.
Anyway, I suspect to counteract the comments I made about the bullying and harassment of gay youth, she went on to talk about a new bullying training that the district is starting that helps all students and people and she went on and on about how they (the district and all employees) have to create an "atmosphere of respect."
Note from Casting-Room Couch: Olson told Birdsall a couple of years ago when he pleaded with her to do something about the bullying of gay children that any action in that area “would have to wait for another election cycle.” In other words, to hell with the mistreatment of gay kids until she got re-elected. The “atmosphere of respect” mantra is the tactic for homophobic Board members to admit gay children need special protection in the bullying area. If Olson can sweep all the problems under the “atmosphere of respect” rubric, then she can ignore the gay kids by burying them. She practices with this ruse an insidious homophobia against gay children in the school district, and it coincides with my first encounter with her. I emailed Olson to complain that a teacher was proslytizing a gay student with a Bible on the teacher's desk, telling the kid he was going to hell for being gay. Olson's response was a flippant, "The last time I heard, teachers have free speech." The teachers who have to stifle their opinions in the school district would be surprised to hear that. PS: my response to Olson's smart-assing was of the tenor that resulted in her never challenging me again.
Olson has weak ethics; the School Board needs a representative in her seat who has a cleaner sense of right and wrong than she. Olson says what she thinks will be easiest for her and will get her safely back into office, not what is right.
Birdsall continues: I think she repeated that phrase. I wish she had thought of the "atmosphere of respect" when she yelled at me at the gym or when she allowed Linda Kipley to get away with lying to a teacher during an investigation into a teacher's email account. That is the ultimate kicker and always will be.
How can she live with herself knowing that she allows the head of Professional Standards to continue to judge other teachers' professionalism when that same woman is a liar and abuses her power?
CTA told me to drop it, since I received no punishment. How can anyone with any ethics drop it? I now know that the Head of Professional Standards for the school district is unprofessional and is a threat to every hard-working teacher in the system. How can I sit back and drop it? That would be unethical of me!
I don't know how Candy Olson or the rest of the board or MaryEllen Elia for that matter can sit by and allow Linda Kipley to continue to hold that position. To me that translates into not caring about the rights or safety of teachers.
Casting-Room Couch Comment: The Board and Elia know what Kipley does. They continue to tolerate it and even encourage Kipley’s mistreatment of teachers to keep them in a state of obedient terror, too demoralized to speak up and complain about anything they see as wrong. Kipley is the administration’s Lucco Brazzi.
Dr. Lamb promised to have the school lawyer investigate charges of Kipley’s mistreatment of teachers. I have his email. Nothing has come of that. It’s time for Dr. Lamb to announce the results of that investigation in writing and to reveal why the Board allows the teachers to submit themselves to Kipley’s arbitrary sadism with no manual that outlines their rights to appeal and no intervention from the Board. Birdsall's lack of information about the possiblity of an appeal and its timeline are what gave Elia the chance to announce triumphantly that his appeal had run out the clock. That was because he didn't know about the appeal process. No teacher does. Kipley doesn't tell them. CTA doesn't. CTA is too busy sucking up to the administration to have time to concern itself with teachers' rights.
Kipley got that job to insert her someplace after her failure as principal of Hillsborough is what I heard. And she got it against Title VII with no other applicants. So much for the Board’s vaunted equal-opportunity claims. What the job boils down to is Home-ec Kipley’s carte blanche to torture and degrade teachers and get $120,000 a year of tax money for her vile activity.
The Board and the CTA now have to be accountable for Kipley’s savaging of teachers since Bart Birdsall has given both Board and Elia information on Kipley’s despicable behavior. If the Board and the CTA do nothing now, they are culpable for the treatment.