Friday, January 25, 2008

ROSSAC Cover-up Uncovered

When I went to Hillsborough High School in late Forties and early Fifties, I had a friend named Mary Chastain, who lived in a tumble- down house at 50th Street and Broadway with her father and sister, Agnes.

Mr. Chastain’s wife had taken off with some bucko and left him to raise their two daughters.

The absconding wife must have been a beauty because Mary and Agnes were beautiful.

That they didn’t get their looks from their faithful father was plain to see.

Mr. Chastain had a nose the size of a fire hydrant, bushy eyebrows that overhung his eyes so that it was hard to tell whether he had eyes at all, and a paucity of teeth that featured a gap in front with two large yellow incisors framing a vacancy of gums.

One inferred that Mr. Chastain’s unprepossessing appearance could explain why the girls’ mother eloped with another guy. Maybe Romeo had teeth.

Agnes graduated with a secretarial major the previous year from Hillsborough High and got a job as Hillsborough County school superintendent’s secretary. I don’t remember the rascal’s name, but you have the years he occupied the office if curiosity overcomes you.

It turned out that 18-year-old beautiful, dewy Agnes was having an affair with the 60-or-so-year-old geezer superintendent.

Agnes’s situation was my introduction to power’s using its clout to obtain sexual access. Usually such sordid situations involve an old-and-powerful man such as a school superintendent and his youthful and beautiful quarry such as his secretary.

Mary’s telling me of Agnes’s affair with the superintendent acquainted me at sixteen with the sexual politics of exploitation practiced in the world in general and the school-board’s locale in particular. This knowledge of such exploitation disillusioned me. It took the romance out of romance. I recall it as the beginning of my education in the seamy side of the world.

After graduation, Mary went to Tampa General’s School of Nursing while I left for North Carolina and school there. I saw neither Mary nor Agnes ever again. I heard that Mary married an undertaker. Years later I spotted her name in the list of late classmates at a Hillsborough High reunion.

Mary’s obituary evoked the story of the family’s tumble-down 50th Street house, their mother’s abandonment of them, their father’s giant yellow incisors’ framing his front gums, and the exploitation of 18-year-old Agnes by the vile geezer satyr who sat in the superintendent’s chair of the county school system.

I don’t know what ever happened to Agnes. I am sure her sexual exploitation by the school superintendent did not enhance her life. What his taking advantage of a girl as young and inexperienced as Agnes and as damaged by her mother’s desertion left her did for this old-goat superintendent is unknown as well. I hope it seals his berth in the hottest part of hell.

Consider the following version of turnabout sexual exploitation as a Bay Area outback National Inquirer tale.

Sexual politics do not always feature a man in power’s taking advantage of a woman less powerful. I judge the case of Jennifer Faliero’s exploiting ROSSAC’s Public Affairs head Marc Hart in an adultery she initiated in the ROSSAC environs to be a case of female-on-male sexual exploitation. It presents, I believe, a woman’s taking advantage of her power over a subordinate male in the school hierarchy.

Had Mr. Hart come to me in the years that I was NOW’s employment-discrimination chair, I would have encouraged him to file a Title VII charge against the school board when it fired him on a trumped-up charge to protect Ms. Faliero’s image with the voters. Ms. Elia wanted to keep Ms. Faliero on the board as a reliable rubberstamp for Ms. Elia’s policies.

Mr. Hart was rare ROSSAC administrator with a credible degree from an excellent university. He graduated magna cum laude from Loyola. Married with two children, he was and is a fervent Catholic. He and I had some run-ins when I first began to ask for public information. Not many citizens did, and Mr. Hart was resistant. I recall asking him once why he should get such a lavish salary because teachers did not. He said he needed the money because he and his wife were traditional parents who believed the wife should stay home with their children.

Not until later did I learn that both Mr. Hart and his wife were alcoholics. Mr. Hart told me that he was a binge drinker and was on the wagon until his affair with Faliero began. Guilt racks him for this adultery. He said the church had forgiven him the sin but that he could not forgive himself.

Mr. Hart had called me and asked to come out to see me at the beach, where I now live. We sat on my balcony with the seagulls as auditors, and he told me about the affair.

The man looks in sad shape. He says his heart is broken and that he still loves ROSSAC’s La Belle Dame sans Merci Faliero.

Men’s enslavement to trashy women is always a source of wonder to me. Remember Dmetri’s deserting Katerina for Grushenka in The Brothers Karamozov? Grushenka’s trump card was that she was no better than she should be. Think of all the women with hearts of gold—a world-class anatomical-displacement euphemism—who have been men’s dream girls since our ancestors picked fleas off each other in the caves. The saying is that good girls go to heaven while bad girls go everywhere. That’s a sentiment women must take in to account when they chart their lives’ course.

The feminist gloss on men’s doting on bad girls is that they confirm men’s negative opinion of women and thus allow men to oppress women on the grounds that they are all daughters of Eve and hussies. That’s what all the church fathers—those old sexist farts—say. Augustine never tires of the subject of how evil women are. Aquinas is in there pitching women’s imperfections. Wherever these two old misogynist toads now reside--heaven or hell, Dante's 9th Circle if the latter--may cow dung be rained on their sexist pates.

The pornography industry bases its degradation of women on their putative worthlessness to echo men’s tendencies to deem them so. As long as this politic holds sway, men will feel justified in discriminating against women—those “occasions to sin” the Catholic church never tires of citing—because they are the snares that trap good men into bad behavior. This belief system keeps men in charge of most of the good jobs in the world not to mention all the other goodies. Oppression of women puts money in men's pockets because it cuts down the competition for the world's good things.

Women should bethink themselves before they join the trashy side of the Freudian whore-Madonna equation, however. The longer they play men’s game of fulfilling the negative perception of women the longer it will take women to achieve equality. Thus speaks member in good standing of the The Sisterhood.

But women may embody the evil stereotype. I judge Faliero to so do.

Hart suspected the Faliero press-reported move out of her district to South Tampa involved a new relationship with another guy. This suspicion hurts him. I bet his intuition is right.

After La Faliero jerked her two girls out of school in Brandon and enrolled them at Plant with Ms. Elia’s assistance, one infers, the press found out and reported the move out of her district. Leaving her district violated the Florida statutes. Faleiro lied to the press at first about the move; then said she had wanted to “keep it under the radar”; then admitted to the move when the press cornered her; then moved back to Brandon, dragging her two hapless jerked-around children after her. La Jennifer is nothing if not frenetic.

Faliera’s conduct suggests she is a less-than-premium specimen of morality to sit as role model for students on the public school board and to have garnered the votes of board colleagues Candy Olson, Doretha Edgecomb, April Griffin, Jack Lamb, SusanValdes, and Carol Kurdell to bestow on her the honor of the chairship of the board when every one of them knew about her affair. I would bet my best frock on their knowledge of it no matter how many times they claim shock, shock at the revelation.

Teachers in even distant-from-ROSSAC schools knew about the Faliero affair and that her school-employed coach husband was divorcing her. Comment on a teacher blog was source of my first intimation of the Faliero ROSSAC-sited adultery in progress at the time. Then a teacher friend confirmed the widespread rumor. You can’t hide illicit sex. People smell it.

I told Mr. Hart to get over his liaison with La Faliero; I said that she is a narcissistic adventuress who engages in affairs even with married fathers for kicks. and that she doesn’t give a damn whom her behavior harms. I added that she is manipulative, untrustworthy, and without sexual morals. I said he should forget this school-board homewrecker, get a job somehow after the administration kicked him out to cover up for board-chair Jezebel Faliero, and keep in close contact with his children, something he said he had every intention of doing. I cited all the psychological studies that show that parents’ breaking up harms children their lives long.

Faliero’s two children can’t have benefited from their mother’s untoward frolics either, poor things. What a role model Faliero provides these unfortunate girls.

I got the impression Mr. Hart told me the truth. I don’t know why he came to me. His tale engendered in me deep contempt for School Board Chair Faliero and the administration and board that covered up her sleazy pastime while punishing her victim. That hellish ethics rule the school board and administration was my conclusion.

Hart was victim in my opinion—stupid, complicit victim but victim nonetheless. Faliero, he said, became almost a fixture in the Public Affairs Office, which he headed. Faliero’s frequent visits were, according to her, so that Hart could “mentor” her in her job on the board. I recall Faliero’s telling me that she had a public-relations job in her resume, so this “mentoring” ploy was nothing but the vehicle to lure Hart into an affair. Of course, he finally succumbed. It seems to me that Catholic boys grow up especially vulnerable to illicit sex because the priests who teach them sex education make backstreet sex sound too sinfully alluring to resist.

Even the phlegmatic Dr. Lennard told Falliero to stop bothering Hart. Faliero ignored this advice and continued diligent in her seduction of Hart, whose flame she finally lit. The rest is sad and gaudy history in the annals of the county school administration’s ongoing on-site stories of lust, exploitation, and casting-room-couch paths to promotion. Such behavior, alas, is one of the unnamed perquisites of power in ROSSAC. It’s ongoing.

I wish Hart well. I wish Faliero off the board. She does not have the right stuff to deal with the wellbeing of the county’s children.

The above gives context to my email below to Ms. Faliero.

Ms. Faliero:

Don’t interrupt me to say that I am not adhering to the topic when I address the board. You lack intellectual capacity to make such judgments. You announce in your preamble that people who come to the podium may speak on “only matters referring to the Hillsborough County schools.” Both times that you interrupted me, I was speaking on matters referring to the HC schools.” At a minimum, you should be able to determine whether a speaker’s comments refer to the schools. Inability to make that distinction should remove you from the chair’s seat with a replacement that has a sharper intellect.

And don’t say, as you did, that I should not “go off tangent.” Idiom dictates “go off on a tangent.”

The Constitution gives you no right to shut up a citizen who wants to express grievances to an elected body. Nor do you dictate the language in which the citizen speaks. It’s hands-off on a citizen’s free-speech rights for a person in your position.

You are a public servant, not a queen. Keep that fact in mind when you have an urge to interrupt a citizen at the podium.

You violate the Constitution as well with that prissy lecture on civility that you bore people to death with at the opening of the board ceremonies when you delineate the chaste linguistic conduct the board requires of a petitioning citizen. Piffle, pure piffle. I don’t care what the piney-woods solons pass as Florida education rules. The Constitution trumps them.

You forbid “abusive,” “harassing,” “offensive,” and “inappropriate” language. I bet you could not define these terms to save your life. Any moderately talented lawyer could tear that list to shreds in a courtroom if a citizen brought a case against the board for violation of free speech.

In your tirade about the contractor’s low compensation to the schools for his building’s falling in, you violate your own rules by saying that he can “take that money and stuff it.” I am a language expert, ma’am. Take my professional word that you gave vent to vulgar language that violates the list of no-no’s that you cited at the beginning of the meeting.

You are an inappropriate person to judge decorous behavior with your own flouting of the moral laws of society in your adulterous conduct on school premises. Nobody wants to acknowledge your vile behavior. The administration and board think it’s OK to engage in adultery on site just so nobody mentions it. The press is mum on this subject as well from a parallel prissiness. The board and administration as well as the press have stonewalled when it comes to your adultery on the job. The press's refusal to print the truth about such things as your affair with Hart and its impact on the administration's actions does not advance newspapers' claims of writing about what the public needs to know.

I protest that you have disgraced the board on which you sit. If April Griffin possessed a shred of moxie, she would not have fled the workshop and slammed the door after her when you told her to resign if she couldn’t fall in with Ms. Elia’s directions on everything, Griffin should have stood her ground and shot back, “Hold it, Ms. Motel Breath. I’m working for the voters, not to propitiate Ms. Elia so that she will cover up my adultery. Resign yourself for your disgraceful conduct in the ROSSAC building.” Thuggery deserves resistance, not acquiescence.

You gaveled me down once when I tried to ask a question about the status of your ROSSAC-based adultery with a school administrator. You were out of line. The complicit school-board attorney from Thompson, Sizemore & Gonzalez did not correct you. Had he done his duty as an officer of the court, he would have advised you that any citizen may ask a question as a Constitutional right. The citizens pay his salary, not you.

This is just one more reason why the board should fire Gonzalez after his company’s feeding at the public trough for its non-advertised appointment to the board sinecure fourteen years ago. Then the board should follow its equal-opportunity mantra for a tardy change of behavior and advertise the attorney slot so that all the legal community hereabouts can apply for it. I bet its members are all still wroth with the board and Gonzalez for the discrimination practiced in that 14-year-old-appointment. The board’s giving Gonzalez the board job without advertising wasn’t fair and violated Title VII, a law in which Gonzalez is supposed to be expert since he is a labor attorney. He did wrong to accept the unadvertised job, and knew he did wrong to snap it up without demur.

Your behavior as chair transcended lousy decorum in scrambling to hide your adultery on school premises and moved into despicable suppression of free speech with your gaveling a petitioner down. You can’t legally shut up a citizen who wants to ask questions or convey information to elected officials even if that information is about adultery or worse. The Constitution protects the right of free speech, and it is an absolute right.

If you interrupt and harry me again at the podium, I shall ask the governor to remove you from office for moral turpitude. The administration and board may think it’s OK for you to chair the school board after you have disgraced your office by on-site adultery that you initiated by haunting Mr. Hart’s office under the guise of seeking “mentoring” from him; but the governor may take a less indulgent view. I believe citizens when they find out about your adultery activity will kick you out of office.

The administration with its double standard in full force has fired your adultery partner on the trumped-up charge of drunkenness. You stalked this married, devout-Catholic guy with two young children. You did an evil thing in luring the poor fish into adultery. The administration got rid of your quarry to protect your image. Even so, you followed him to Arizona in your on-again off-again pursuit before throwing him on the slag heap of eviscerated victims. Have you no shame or mercy, ma’am?

Your victim is now out of a job, near bankruptcy, and can’t find employment. Your homewrecker escapade has caused divorce for him and his wife. He says that his two innocent children are suffering acutely from your incontinent narcissism.

Anybody with your slipshod sense of responsibility to children has no business on a school board. I have the greatest contempt for you, Ms. Faliero, for the misery you introduced into these poor children’s lives. I include your own children.

You should be fasting and praying, not nattering at a citizen at the dais and gaveling her down for wanting you to explain your conduct. A citizen has the right to ask or tell anything to the board that she wants to.

The paper recently reported that the administration jumped on a band-leader fellow for phone calls to a student. God knows what the ROSSAC double-standard sadists have cooked up for this guy. The administration practices a wicked double standard when it comes to teacher misconduct—even when the misconduct is inferred, not proved as was the case of the band leader The administration with board collusion tolerated and covered up without a peep on-site adultery of a board member and fired her partner to nail down the cover-up to keep the community in the dark. Then it jumps on a band leader for making phone calls to a student the subject of which calls it has no clue but assumes sex to be at the root.

The administration has a conflicted attitude toward sex on the job. What attitude does the bizarre actions by the administration on such sexual issues as your adultery and the band-leader phone calls suggest? A double standard that is punitive to teachers, indulgent to board members and administrators is the answer.

And, given your taste for adultery, how do you explain your opposition to sex education in the schools? In your bizarre value system, is it OK for you to engage in on-site adultery but not for the students to learn about contraception? Lord knows how you justify this weird fetish of keeping the students ignorant about sex while you conduct an adulterous affair on school property.

There abounds a malignant prissiness about mentioning sex in the administration and board—not about engaging in it but in mentioning it. People recently read in the paper that the administration has punished a very young girl student for reporting a teacher’s molesting a student but tolerates a board member’s on-site adultery with an administrator.

Nobody can convince me that adults did not detect this molestation; but knowing the administration’s pathology about mentioning sex, they looked the other way. People with such an illogical sense of morality lose all right to tell others how to act. Their own morals are messed up. They should be attending sex therapy, not dishing out disparate punishments willy nilly for sexual infractions real or imagined.

If you want to shut up this citizen at the mike, sic school-board attorney Gonzalez on me as your champion. I welcome the contest. Let this hired legal gun paid with tax money threaten me with more than the extortion accusation that he finds in my saying that if the board doesn’t stop the cronyism in ROSSAC hiring, I will ask the federal government to conduct a compliance review.

In other words, the tax-paid board attorney has said with a straight face that if a citizen wants the federal law carried out by the Hillsborough County School Board, she engages in extortion. And a gutless board sits on its hands and doesn’t defend the necessity of the schools’ administration and the board to obey the federal laws and the right of a citizen to ask for that behavior. Not one interrupted Mr. Gonzalez's extortion charge with, "Hold on a minute, Mr. Gonzalez. Are you saying that the board does not have to obey the federal law?"

I observed from the citizen-mike vantage you flirting with board attorney Gonzalez when you batted your eyelashes at the without-a-clue targeted legal dupe from your board throne. You simpered to Le Gonzalez that he should not frown about having to attend a board powwow. Your smirk signaled you would be there to help him wile away the boredom

I fear for this poor chump. Master Tom should be leery but is probably too obtuse to be. If he has no better sense than to accuse a citizen of extortion for asking for the laws to be carried out, he may be as helpless as a babe in arms when confronted by a piney-woods Jezebel and knock-off man-eater. The boy lacks judgment. May the Lord have mercy on him, ignorant legal lout that he be.

If you manage to add Tom and the beauteous Dr. Otero, who held the door for me as I entered the board room, to your conquests, you will have achieved a ROSSAC-condoned trifecta.

You have turned your life into a juke-box Motel 6 honky-tonk operetta cataloging a tale of lust and betrayal, passion and passion spent, furtive trysts even on school property, having the backing of an administration that pimped your seedy behavior by tolerating and covering it up until it panicked at the prospect of the adultery's becoming public, which danger prompted this Pandarus administration to fire your victim on a cooked-up charge.

The person who chooses such a life is not of the caliber to sit as guardian of the community’s children’s educational wellbeing as the chair of the school board of Hillsborough County.

Pray accept my abiding contempt, Ms. Faliero. As member of the school board, your behavior ranks unspeakable. Mr. Hart has come away from this affair heartbroken and contrite. You reign triumphant and shameless as Hillsborough County School Board chair.

Had you a shred of shame and decency, you will resign from the board.

lee drury de cesare

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I always brake for grammar questions.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " var YAHOO ...":

Shouldn't that say people "who" need you most?

Yes, one should use "who" because it is the subject of the subordinate clause and refers to "people." Did I mess up in this blog on this point? If so, where? Or are you asking a general question?

Since linguistics is an interest of mine, I read linguistics books all the time. I beat the editor of the North American Oxford English Dictionary recently on a question of absolute elements. If you took Latin (I did with Mr. Julius Steinberg at Hillsborough High School. We went all the way through Caesar's campaigns in Gaul.), you would remember this construction as "ablative absolute."

If you are interested in grammar, go to my NYT-DCPost blog "" I have another blog on Bay-Area publications' grammar-and-punctuation The latest entries correct Paul Tash's grammar and punctuation and feature a whopping subject-verb-agreement error in the recent editorial endorsing Obama for president.

Obama is an excellent writer. Reading his Dreams of My Father shows how good he is. He overuses commas. This book--the proceeds from which he paid off his and his wife's student loans--shows he has a soul and a keen intelligence.

I decided to support him for president after I read his book despite my being a feminist. lee

PS: I ratted out the editor of the North American Oxford English Dictionary to the Oxford linguistics faculty. The little twit was a sexist smartass. lee

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 5:43 PM

Thank you, Ms. Cobbe.

Mr. Davis I await your sending the data I asked you for to Ms.
Cobbe to convey to me. It is public information. The law says you provide it.

lee drury de cesare

The ten overpaid administrators below get enough loot to pay for 39 teachers. They do not bring the skills to the jobs to merit this extortion money. Connie Mileto's training was as a kindergarten teacher. Her relationship with Dr. Hamilton was La Mileto's trump card in getting a job that should have required a political science or psychology degree.

A personal relationship defines the way a kindergarten teacher got this plum job, not credentials and training. Dr. Hamilton's wife divorced him during this promotion sequel that ran from kindergarten to the halls of Tallahassee's legislature. The saga speaks volumes about the employment practices and the ethical level of the ROSSAC administration and the amount of control that the board has over Ms. Elia's administration.

Dr. Hamilton is the most egregious case of fraud on the taxpayers I have encountered. For years Dr. Hamilton held top positions in the administration. He bragged he was an "s.o.b. to work for." I always suspect a man that huffs and puffs like that suffers terminal erectile dysfunction and acute performance anxiety.

Hamilton dithered about leaving his post as second in command, where he had experienced his years of the glory of lording over the trembling minions in the schools who knew he had Ms. Elia's ear and could get them fired for a whiff of resistance to him.

I judge this great pooh-bah to have been a great fraud on the taxpayer. I don't think he wrote his thesis. I think he paid somebody to write it. My reason for this inference is that I asked him what his thesis was about at a Tiger Bay meeting. He said he didn't remember. Anybody who has written a thesis remembers it. A thesis requires a lot of hard work.

I have on my things-to-do list writing the president of Florida State to ask how he or whoever preceded him let Dr. Hamilton get away with submitting a thesis he did not write. I will present his writing as forensic evidence to the Florida State current president to prove that he was marginally literate.

This writing shows he did not know the difference between such homophones as "your" and "you're" and that a sustained piece of writing that he had a year to do that purported to outline for new board members their duties was not the work of somebody in possession of anything but marginal literacy.

Yet this guy milked top salary from the taxpayers for years and years. I will report into the Board of Governors, which controls the state university as well. Everybody knows NOVA turns out faux Ph.D.'s and Ed.d's. But the state universities so far have been free of the taint of being diploma mills. An inordinate number of the administrative bureaucrats of the state of Florida's educational administrative system have the dubious honor of holding NOVA degrees.

The last job Dr. Hamilton held was one Ms. Elia created for him and put his name on it before the job went on the books a staff member told me. There was no advertising of it. Ms. Elia's arrogance is such that she doesn't even pretend to carry out the board members' ridiculous claim of equal-employment-opportunity. They, of course, did not object to this boutique job for Hamilton while he dithered about retiring. It paid $140,000 a year: top salary for an administrator.

This great fraud on Florida education finally exited the scene as Exhibit Number One of what is wrong with the ROSSAC Robber-Baron-administrative record nine months into his special, no-competition job. That dithering-time contract milked a final approximate $105,000 from the taxpayers with the board sitting deaf and dumb and not doing diddly to prevent it.

I wager the board could go the way of the bustle for all the good it does the taxpayers. Its members are too gutless or too complicit to challenge Elia's wrongdoing. The board members perjured themselves on equal-employment opportunity because they were too gutless or too indifferent to it to challenge Ms. Elia's overriding all civilities of employment protocol to put her buddies or her buddy's protégée into jobs that pay four times what a beginning teacher makes.

Such is the obscene spoils system that rules the county schools. lee

----- Original Message ----
From: Linda
To: lee decesarefont>
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:29:29 PM
Subject: Re: public information

The salaries appear after their names below.

Linda Cobbefont>
External Communications Manager
Office of Communications
Hillsboroughfont> County Public Schools
901 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
813-272-4510 FAX

Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications (including e-mail) to or from public employees are public records available to anyone who asks. Your e-mail communications and your e-mail address may therefore be subject to public disclosure.

lee decesarefont> <> writes:
Deputy Superintendent Ken Otero $140,141.76
Pay for 4 teachers
Deputy Superintendent / Chief Human Resources Officer Dan Valdez $140,829.92
Pay for 4 teachers
Assistant Superintendent for Administration Lewis Brinson $129,272.88
Pay for 4 teachers
Chief Business Officer Gretchen Saunders $127,370.32
Pay for 4 teachers
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Michael Grego, Ed.D. $132,835.12
Pay for 4 teachers
Chief Facilities Officer Cathy Valdes $131,054
Pay for 4 teachers
Chief Government Relations Officer Connie Milito $127,370.32
Pay for 4 teachers
Chief Information & Technology Officer Jack Davis $129,920.56
Pay for 4 teachers
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services & Federal Programs Gwen Luney $129,272.88
Pay for 4 teachers
Communications Officer Stephen Hegarty $101,038.08
Pay for 3 teachers

Ms. Cobbe: May I have the current salaries of the above individuals?

I recall when examining Jack Davis's personnel file that he had no degrees, credits, or training in technology.

My recollection says also that his initiation into head of technology occurred coincident with the teachers' computer salary disruption when the administration introduced the emergency measure of allowing teachers to borrow a replacement salary from the credit union.

Teachers, not the administration that made the error, I also recall, paid the interest on this borrowed money if they needed salary replacement because of the technology breakdown in Mr. Davis's department.

I send this email to Mr. Davis for him to correct me if I am wrong on any point cited above. He will, I request, convey that credentials information and any other data regarding this query to you along with the information of where he got his terminal degree and in what area. You will forward these data to me, please. Thank you.

lee drury de cesare

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "'';_goa=401613;_got=1;_goi=1;_g...":

I may be 100% incorrect, if so, I apologize in adavance, but is this the same guy that openned Sickles and lasted one semester? Instead of being fired because of incompetence he quickly became the Y2K compliance guy and was moved away from cameras and parents.

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 3:39 PM

Give me more context. I don't know which guy you refer to. Which post is the person alluded to? lee

Ms. Jackie Kalbas:

Please allow me to convey my admiration and thanks as a teacher of 28 years at HCC before my retirement for your well-reasoned case against the grade-inflation scheme foisted on the teachers and students of the school system by superintendent Maryellen Elia.

The entire school board sat by and let Ms. Elia perpetuate this smoke-and-mirrors fraud on the students, the teachers, and the public just as the board did when the superintendent imposed an extra class on teachers.

In fact, Ms. Olson told teachers who came to protest the extra class about which Ms. Elia did not bother to get their input that they were "lazy."

Nor will this board establish a settled student-teacher place in the board agenda so that students and teachers feel welcome to come and give their input on things that affect them and the learning process. In fact, when teachers came to a board meeting uninvited to protest the extra-class imposition by Ms. Elia, Dr. Lamb, then board chair, complained that teachers' applauding their colleagues violated Roberts Rules.

Teachers are not welcome in the board room giving their opinion. The board and administration, all of whom enjoy self-bestowed artificially bloated salaries, want the teachers and students to form the slave population of the school system that produces the tax revenue for the superintendent and her complicit minions on the board to dispense with noblesse oblige, to bloat their contracts, to bestow no-bid contracts on buddies and retired school administrators so as to look grand in the world.

I have asked repeatedly for a place on the board agenda for students and teachers, but the board has remained unmoved. To continue its grand panoply of the fraud of its members' being the royalty of the dispensers of learning, the board requires that the teachers and students remain at a convenient distance and not be acknowledged part of the school system--except to do the work that brings in the bucks for the administration and board to dispense with royal pomp and circumstance.

The board constitutes what I call the potted-plant brigade that Ms. Elia treats like a bunch of servant coolies. She orders. They obey. If one attends board meetings, that person sees no evidence that the board has even minimal influence. Ms. Elia's commands ride along the consent conveyor belt with no murmur from the complicit board.

Board Member Griffin recently learned the price of asking for an item to come off the consent agenda for scrutiny: a no-bid contract for $148,000 to a former administrator buddy of Ms. Elia in the patronage system the board cedes her at the taxpayers' expense.

Ms. Candy Olson and Ms. Carol Kurdell excoriated Ms. Griffin for being "disloyal" to the infallible administration; Dr. Lamb lamented their defection from being "team players."

These three are Ms. Elia's faithful drones as are Ms. Jennifer Falliera and Ms. Doretha Ethridge.

Ms. Olson, Ms. Kurdell, and Dr. Lamb were on the board to rubberstamp the legal crucifixion of Doug Irwin for reporting waste in the building department. He should have gotten a medal, not a lawsuit against him at the taxpayers' expense, for his courage. But the board joined the administration in savaging him. He won in court and got a small settlement for his pain. But the board lawyers--no-bid recipients of their board appointment--got a killing, and the board got its tax-subsidized hegemony in a system that continues on the robber-baron principle executed by the administration and board. Anybody who does not toe the line that the superintendent lays down is an outcast in the administration-board locked-down system.

You are right, ma'am, that the worst result of Ms. Elia's dummying down of grades is that it diminishes students' preparedness for college or the job world because Romper Room standards in high school hobble students for the rest of their lives.

In my twenty-eight years of teaching freshman to students who came from Hillsborough County schools, I saw legions of young people who entered college without ability to structure and develop an essay and to write it literately. I spent half my time not teaching literature, the usual curriculum of freshman English, but in teaching catch-up grammar and punctuation to students who should have had these skills under their belts when they entered my classes.

Ms. Elia, by the way, can't punctuate, and she writes with the rhetorical sophistication of a 7th grader. The board lowered the terminal-degree requirement from a Ph.D. to her master's and ran a "nation-wide" ad for the job when board members already knew they would hire the inside candidate candidate Elia to continue the financial exploitation of the school money contributed by tax payers.

The board members who chose Ms. Elia above many better-qualified candidates --with Ph.Ds from distinguished institutions, experience with raising the performance of minority students, and even histories of educational publication-- soaked the taxpayers for the $35,000 the cover-their-tracks ad cost.

I wonder that parents don't rebel against this disenfranchising of their children by the public schools and why the school board does not interest itself in the ubiquitous problem.

When my son was at Plant--he's now a NASA engineer--he often tutored students in physics to help them pass their courses. I wish there were tutoring services available in problem subjects such as those cited in the Otto article of your letter that outlined the superintendents' dummying-down grade scheme so that students could have entered my college classes prepared to study literature and write about it.

Ms. Elia thrust this Romper Room scheme on teachers without consulting them just as she rammed the extra-class outrage down their throats. My inference says that Ms. Elia did this deed to make grade results look artificially better in a smoke-and-mirrors game of fooling the public about her performance as superintendent. Ms. Elia also wants Governor Crist to think well of her. She is obsessed with her public image.

The higher performance--however produced--will be false, but it will be basis for Ms. Elia's never-ending requests for even more "performance" emoluments to fatten her already bloated pay check at the taxpayers'--and in this case the students'--expense and for her false image of promoting excellence in education that she glosses over with whatever falsehoods that effort requires.

Well done, Ms. Kalbas: you have served education well with your analysis of the situation. Martin Luther did no better job when he posted the 95 theses on the cathedral at Wittenburg.

lee drury de cesare
c: Steve Otto; all board members;Governor Crist The Lowdown on the Schools

Ms. Cobbe: May I have the current salaries of the list of individuals below?

I recall when examining Jack Davis's personnel file that he had no degrees, credits, or training in technology.

My recollection says also that his initiation into head of technology occurred coincident with the teachers' computer salary disruption when the administration introduced the emergency measure of allowing teachers to borrow a replacement salary from the credit union.

Teachers, not the administration that made the error, I also recall, paid the interest on this borrowed money if they needed salary replacement because of the technology breakdown in Mr. Davis's department.

I send this email to Mr. Davis for him to correct me if I am wrong on any point cited above. He will, I request, convey that credentials information and any other data reqarding this query to you along with the information of where he got his terminal degree and in what area. You will forward these data to me, please. Thank you.

Deputy Superintendent Ken Otero
Deputy Superintendent / Chief Human Resources Officer Dan Valdez
Assistant Superintendent for Administration Lewis Brinson
Chief Business Officer Gretchen Saunders
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Michael Grego, Ed.D.
Chief Facilities Officer Cathy Valdes
Chief Government Relations Officer Connie Milito
Chief Information & Technology Officer Jack Davis
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services & Federal Programs Gwen Luney
Communications Officer Stephen Hegarty

lee drury de cesare

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gentlepeople: Ms. Cobbe below gets snotty once in a while, but I pass over her snippiness since she is a thousand times more efficient than her boss Steve Heggarty. He got the job because he was a SPT reporter without the required experience but got the job because Ms. Elia thought he could get her good press--Ms. Elia is obsessed with her public image--with his former colleagues. Fat chance. They hate him for deserting the ship and making three times as much money as they do. lee

Yes, Ms. Cobbe, I have been a financial officer. I have handled a household budget for fifty-one years.

And I will presume to tell you whatever I think I need to tell you. lee drury de cesare

-----Original Message-----

From: Linda Cobbe []

Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:23 PM

To: lee

Subject: Re: Public Information

This is a huge schooldistrict with a 3.2 billion dollar budget. We have thousands of contracts. Unless you've been a financial officer, please don't presume to tell me how an efficient one would operate. Meanwhile, I will submit your request and we'll go from there.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

-----Original Message-----

From: "lee"

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 18:07:35, "Linda Cobbe" <>

Subject: RE: Public Information


Ms. Cobbe: I want a list of federal contracts and the monies they give the school system. This can't require significant research. Any efficient financial officer has such a contract list and the amount of money each contract gives to the schools. It should be under "where the money comes from." If the financial officer says this list requires "significant research," then I question the bookkeeping practices of the financial department. lee

The young woman on the right end was the first baby born in the original Tampa NOW. Her mother is next to her. This NOW baby is a gynecologist and just had her first baby: a little feminist--6 pounds, ten ounces. The two woman on the left end are Angie Manteiga and daughter Erin. They are from the Manteiga publisher family. lee


Ms. Elia:

I received this comment below on my site. Have you used taxpayer technology to shut down free speech? If so, this confirms my conviction that you are a coward. Only cowards use positions of power as you do to bully our teachers. Their centrality to education must threaten you sense of importance.

Instead of blocking a web site, come out of your ROSSAC hole and fight in the open. That's my style. I never skulk around people's back. If I have something to say to them, I say it up front.

Open up my blog if you have closed it down. Or the state's principal for wayward superintendents, Governor Crist, shall hear of your behaving badly. So shall the Department of Education functionaries.

You want Crist to think well of you. This information will not help that goal. Back off and don't try to shut down free speech. You will never get away with that in the end. I will fight your tyranny. lee drury de cesare

From: Anonymous []
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:13 PM
Subject: [Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch] New comment on <!-- GoStats JavaScript Based Code --> _gos='mons....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " _gos='mons...":

I think Elia has blocked your blog from coming through school district computers. You know you have hit the nail on the head, when they start to censor or ban what you say. They can't take the heat. It is proof you are getting to them!

Usually the district filters block anything pornographic or harmful to children. No child would take the time to read your blog, so the fact they are filtering your blog means they are using the filter to block employees from viewing your blog, because they know employees want to read it.

That is the first thing that people do: shut down free speech.....when they want to hold onto power and are scared. You have them running scared! Otherwise, they would not care less what you write. Who would have thought Elia is such a coward.

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 5:13 PM

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post " var YAHOO ...":

Shouldn't that say people "who" need you most? DID I MAKE AN ERROR? TELL ME WHERE IT IS SO THAT I CAN FIX IT. LEE

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 5:43 PM

'david.steele@sdhc.k12'; ''; ''; ''; ''; 'Gene'''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''

School Employees David Steele, Marc Hutek, John Hilderbrand:

Marilyn Brown, Tampa Tribune, quotes you in the article below as boosters of the new program to dummy down grades in the public schools.

To put your recommendation for grade inflation in context, may I have as public information these data: your terminal degree, in what subject, from what institution, and whether you were a member of Phi Beta Kappa if your institution were prestigious enough to have a chapter?

Could you add as well whether management consulted the teachers at your schools in this radical dilution of grades, or did Ms. Elia order you to just impose it on the teachers without consultation from them? Is, in your opinion, this dummying-down scheme to make Ms. Elia's record look better so that she can extract more "performance" money from the taxpayers than her already bloated salary of $300,000 represents?

Ms. Brown quotes you, Mr. Hutek, as saying this: "It's known," he said. "That's why so many kids are so into exempting their exams." What does this bizarre construction mean in standard English, Principal Hutek? And is this an example of your customary method of expressing yourself?

I will post your responses on www.leedrurydecesarescasting-roomcouch.blogspot for people's edification about how the school system runs.

Please send the answers to this request for public information to Linda Cobbe of the public-affairs office so that she can convey them to this citizen.

Thank you.

lee drury de cesare

The 2007 Florida Statutes

Chapter 1000
View Entire Chapter

Tom, not only do federal funds have compliance requirements for equal-employment opportunity, so do state funds. Have you advised Ms. Elia and the board that jobs like the administrative ones she puts her buddies into without advertising and the one she created for Hamilton while he dithered about his retirement and abolished when he left come under both state and federal non-discrimination provisions?

If you haven't, I believe that you have been remiss in your job and that this oversight presents just one more reason to fire you.

I want to know if you put into writing the warning for the board of the need of extra insurance in case of catastrophic events such as the school's falling down after the contractor finished it that you and the board has such a lively discussion on the 15th? If you didn't, out the door you go.

If the board didn't listen to you in case you did commit to writing this warning, that is something voters need to know at election time to send packing the board members who voted down the extra insurance.

lee drury de cesare

1000.05 Discrimination against students and employees in the Florida K-20 public education system prohibited; equality of access required.--

(1) This section may be cited as the "Florida Educational Equity Act."

(2)(a) Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status against a student or an employee in the state system of public K-20 education is prohibited. No person in this state shall, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any public K-20 education program or activity, or in any employment conditions or practices, conducted by a public educational institution that receives or benefits from federal or state financial assistance.

(b) The criteria for admission to a program or course shall not have the effect of restricting access by persons of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status.

(c) All public K-20 education classes shall be available to all students without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status; however, this is not intended to eliminate the provision of programs designed to meet the needs of students with limited proficiency in English, gifted students, or students with disabilities or programs tailored to students with specialized talents or skills.

(d) Students may be separated by gender for any portion of a class that deals with human reproduction or during participation in bodily contact sports. For the purpose of this section, bodily contact sports include wrestling, boxing, rugby, ice hockey, football, basketball, and other sports in which the purpose or major activity involves bodily contact.

(e) Guidance services, counseling services, and financial assistance services in the state public K-20 education system shall be available to students equally. Guidance and counseling services, materials, and promotional events shall stress access to academic and career opportunities for students without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status.

(3)(a) No person shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be treated differently from another person or otherwise be discriminated against in any interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics offered by a public K-20 educational institution; and no public K-20 educational institution shall provide athletics separately on such basis.

(b) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a), a public K-20 educational institution may operate or sponsor separate teams for members of each gender if the selection for such teams is based upon competitive skill or the activity involved is a bodily contact sport. However, when a public K-20 educational institution operates or sponsors a team in a particular sport for members of one gender but does not operate or sponsor such a team for members of the other gender, and athletic opportunities for that gender have previously been limited, members of the excluded gender must be allowed to try out for the team offered.

(c) This subsection does not prohibit the grouping of students in physical education classes and activities by ability as assessed by objective standards of individual performance developed and applied without regard to gender. However, when use of a single standard of measuring skill or progress in a physical education class has an adverse effect on members of one gender, the educational institution shall use appropriate standards which do not have such effect.

(d) A public K-20 educational institution which operates or sponsors interscholastic, intercollegiate, club, or intramural athletics shall provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both genders.

1. The Board of Governors shall determine whether equal opportunities are available at state universities.

2. The Commissioner of Education shall determine whether equal opportunities are available in school districts and community colleges. In determining whether equal opportunities are available in school districts and community colleges, the Commissioner of Education shall consider, among other factors:

a. Whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both genders.

b. The provision of equipment and supplies.

c. Scheduling of games and practice times.

d. Travel and per diem allowances.

e. Opportunities to receive coaching and academic tutoring.

f. Assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors.

g. Provision of locker room, practice, and competitive facilities.

h. Provision of medical and training facilities and services.

i. Provision of housing and dining facilities and services.

j. Publicity.

Unequal aggregate expenditures for members of each gender or unequal expenditures for male and female teams if a public school or community college operates or sponsors separate teams do not constitute nonimplementation of this subsection, but the Commissioner of Education shall consider the failure to provide necessary funds for teams for one gender in assessing equality of opportunity for members of each gender.

(e) A public school or community college may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of gender, but such facilities shall be comparable to such facilities provided for students of the other gender.

(4) Public schools and community colleges shall develop and implement methods and strategies to increase the participation of students of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status in programs and courses in which students of that particular race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status have been traditionally underrepresented, including, but not limited to, mathematics, science, computer technology, electronics, communications technology, engineering, and career education.

(5)(a) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this section as it relates to school districts and community colleges.

(b) The Board of Governors shall adopt rules to implement this section as it relates to state universities.

(6) The functions of the Office of Equal Educational Opportunity of the Department of Education shall include, but are not limited to:

(a) Requiring all district school boards and community college boards of trustees to develop and submit plans for the implementation of this section to the Department of Education.

(b) Conducting periodic reviews of school districts and community colleges to determine compliance with this section and, after a finding that a school district or a community college is not in compliance with this section, notifying the entity of the steps that it must take to attain compliance and performing followup monitoring.

(c) Providing technical assistance, including assisting school districts or community colleges in identifying unlawful discrimination and instructing them in remedies for correction and prevention of such discrimination and performing followup monitoring.

(d) Conducting studies of the effectiveness of methods and strategies designed to increase the participation of students in programs and courses in which students of a particular race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, disability, or marital status have been traditionally underrepresented and monitoring the success of students in such programs or courses, including performing followup monitoring.

(e) Requiring all district school boards and community college boards of trustees to submit data and information necessary to determine compliance with this section. The Commissioner of Education shall prescribe the format and the date for submission of such data and any other educational equity data. If any board does not submit the required compliance data or other required educational equity data by the prescribed date, the commissioner shall notify the board of this fact and, if the board does not take appropriate action to immediately submit the required report, the State Board of Education shall impose monetary sanctions.

(f) Based upon rules of the State Board of Education, developing and implementing enforcement mechanisms with appropriate penalties to ensure that public K-12 schools and community colleges comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and subsection (3) of this section. However, the State Board of Education may not force a public school or community college to conduct, nor penalize such entity for not conducting, a program of athletic activity or athletic scholarship for female athletes unless it is an athletic activity approved for women by a recognized association whose purpose is to promote athletics and a conference or league exists to promote interscholastic or intercollegiate competition for women in that athletic activity.

(g) Reporting to the Commissioner of Education any district school board or community college board of trustees found to be out of compliance with rules of the State Board of Education adopted as required by paragraph (f) or paragraph (3)(d). To penalize the board, the State Board of Education shall:

1. Declare the school district or community college ineligible for competitive state grants.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.192, direct the Chief Financial Officer to withhold general revenue funds sufficient to obtain compliance from the school district or community college.

The school district or community college shall remain ineligible and the funds shall not be paid until the institution comes into compliance or the State Board of Education approves a plan for compliance.

(7) A person aggrieved by a violation of this section or a violation of a rule adopted under this section has a right of action for such equitable relief as the court may determine. The court may also award reasonable attorney's fees and court costs to a prevailing party.

History.--s. 7, ch. 2002-387; s. 1942, ch. 2003-261; s. 70, ch. 2004-357; s. 66, ch. 2007-217.