Friday, June 06, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Superintendent Elia, Reluctant Scholar

Ms. Falliero: I would like to see Dr. Lamb’s thesis from USF. Could you get Dr. Lamb to send it to the Public Affairs office for examination? Lee Drury De Cesare

Elia's Flunking End-of-the-school-year Valedictory


School Board

copy to: Jennifer Faliero, Chair Carol W. Kurdell, Vice Chair Doretha W. Edgecomb April Griffin Jack R. Lamb, Ed.D. Candy Olson Susan L. Valdes

Reluctant Scholar La Elia Earns a D on Her Year's Valedictory

Scrutinized by Lee Drury De Cesare, retired Professor of English, Surviving the Stress of Twenty-eight Years of Battling the Comma Splice in the Classrooms of Hillsborough Community College

The superintendent has written below a D essay with a content grade of 75. One assumes it to be Ms. Elia’s best effort since this was an open-book essay, a no-time-limit lucubration. Ms Elia had as resource, in addition, the $90,000-plus head of Public Affairs, Steve Hegarty, to proof-read it. So maybe we should divide this grade by 2.

Was ghost-writing practiced? Don't ask.

Graded by college remedial-English standards for half grammar-punctuation and half content (organization, development, intelligence of insight), the essay earns a 75 for content; after deduction for 20 errors at 2 points each, grammar-punctuation yields a 60. Averaged, the two give us a 67.5 or D+ for essay grade.

D+ is too pitiful to merit the $300,000 whopping salary Ms. Elia pulls down, which would fund ten beginning teachers, each of whom would ace this trifle of writing.

But the board thinks a D+ performance is fine for Hillsborough County's superintendent. That's why it reduced the job requirement to a master's from a Ph.D. (April Griffin was not on the board then, but my bet is that she would have joined her six colleagues in dropping the Ph.D. requirement so that all board members would have leeway to hire the inside administrative mafia education operative instead of those applicant Ph.D.s who sought the superintendent job from flossy universities, were masters of at least two foreign languages, made Phi Beta Kappa, not to mention summa cum laude, presented beaucoup, varied experience in challenging environments, had a rich history of publishing, all of which invited invidious comparison with Elia's meagre academic background and skimpy experience in administration from only the administrative parochial environment of the Hillborough County schools. La Elia never published anything because she has not yet mastered commas.

Rumor says her verbal skills are varied because she not only drones on in edu-speak but also cusses like a sailor. If she would put commas in the right places in her reputed expletive skills, I would be prone to forgive her.

One may ask how the superintendent stacks up with the oft-repeated ROSSAC promise of Excellence in Education. Piss Poor in Education would be condign description when referring to the centrality of education when the Board makes a choice for the top administrator of the schools.

A board interested in education would have pushed for the state-wide program like that in Oregon funded by the federal government that teaches students Arabic. A prescient board would add Chinese. The Arab world and China will be the United States' great competitors in the coming years for supremacy in economics. And as long as the Arab religionists are producing a Muslim tsunami because they make their women baby machines, we had better learn to talk to them as soon- President Obama recommends.

La Elia's essay grade counts one-half grammar/ punctuation and and one-half content (organization, development, intelligence, tone, astuteness of insight). The superintendent has twenty errors adding up to forty points in grammar and punctuation.

The essay is wordy and banal. The diction has moss on it. The writer could cut this bloated specimen in half if she knew anything about the structure of a sentence. A plethora of cliches afflict it. The tone betrays sneaky condescension despite the writer's obvious 3rd-class mind. A lower-quartile ninny would be condescending after the unadulterated fear and worship the superintendent gets after three months in office. Nothing demonstrates that power corrupts like the metamorphosis of the Hillsborough County school superintendent unless it is the comparable phenomenon of the board, some of whom not only lack a college degree but who also have not mastered their multiplication tables.

The Elia essay structure ranks blowzy The superintendent’s message exudes cloying, false solicitude for teachers. The superintendent’s attitude to teachers—one in which the board joins—suggests Psychology-101 make-believe gratitude for teachers’ self-sacrifice and centrality to the schools. It is at odds with the reality of how Ms. Elia treats teachers as inconsequential field hands, the head count for which the state sends so much per teacher head to Ms. Elia and the board dilettantes on the dais of the Board Throne Room, where they allocate the teacher tax revenues with lord-of-the manor aplomb to show how important they are.

Both administration and board unite in declining to carve out a slot on the board agenda for teachers and students to comment on the inside view from the classroom, where real education goes on. Even the two so-called friends of teachers on the board don't think that teachers and students deserve a slot of the agenda.

How do I know? I asked them and received dead silence.

La Elia demonstrated contempt for teachers when she issued the fiat loading an extra class on them to balance her budget without a whiff of notice to teachers. The Board looked on and smiled acquiescence. Then, La Elia ignored teachers and insulted them when she imposed a grade-inflation scheme on teachers about which she didn’t consult them, downloading it like a bitter pill on teachers as if they were rats in a Skinner box. Ms. Elia wanted this aberration from valid grades applied because it gave her a "performance bonus" bump-up to feed her incredible greed.

Ms. Elia, whose performance below shows that her lack of writing ability renders her unqualified to make decisions that require basic 9th-grade knowledge of language and its punctuation. Yet she squandered tax money and bought sans teacher advice and consent the the pricey Spring edu-biz hustle into whose teachers' classrooms it tumbles by fiat from the Elia Reichstag.

The Spring program has received bad reviews in other venues which have used it. The board didn't have a clue about The Spring, of course. Didn't ask for any, apparently, until a few teachers began to complain. Didn't care as they could sit on the board dais and look important. Then Board Member Griffin proposed a workshop on it after teachers, learning of Elia's folly, raised a ruckus. The time for that was before Ms. Elia had bought this edu-flim-flam, not after. Doesn't Ms. Griffin read the conveyor-belt consent agenda and flag such questionable items for in-the-sunshine discussion?

Before Elia bought this white elephant was the time the board should have had a workshop for teachers, not after it had rolled past them on the conveyer-belt agenda.The reason the board defers all agenda items to Elia is that it doesn't know and doesn't care what is on the consent-agenda conveyor belt. Board members are too busy attending soirees to augment their social eclat while Elia snickers at them behind her hand.

Here follows D-Plus Superintendent-of-Schools MaryEllen Elia's Au Revoir at year's end with Customary Insincerity, Arrogance, Execrable Writing, and Savaging of Punctuation

June 3, 2008

Dear Colleagues: This year has presented unique challenges for all of us. From the start of the budget cycle in May 2007, Redundant comma splitting compound adverbial prepositional phrases until the start of the new budget cycle in May 2008, we have experienced three revenue reductions.

As we close the year, I want to share some thoughts and information about our finances and provide all the reassurance I can that our jobs will be preserved. I know the hard times in the economy are just as challenging for our families and us as they are for the folks working in private business. Sometimes the public forgets that school employees are taxpayers too. Sometimes they (who?) forget that we buy our gas at the same pumps as they (who?) confused pronoun reference do, Redundant comma splitting a compound direct object and our food from the same stores. Sometimes the public also forgets that private businesses downsize in a slow economy because they have less business. That’s why they need fewer people.

We have not lost business. In fact, as the economy worsens, public schools get more business as parents leave private schools and workers seek new skills. The public needs to know that our School Board has always supported fiscal responsibility. That's why it voted for no-bid contracts and crony jobs. Some may have forgotten that we initiated spending reductions immediately after receiving the largest budget increase in our history in May 2006. But not in administrator bloated salaries

Since I became superintendent, we have placed restrictions on hiring for every position, (Except cronies, of course) Redundant comma cuts off a restrictive adverbial prepositional phrase. without regard to the source of funds, with the only exceptions being teachers and bus drivers. The word modifying a gerund is possessive.The comma after "funds" is redundant, cutting off a restrictive prepositional phrase. My senior staff continues to review every request from a district office to fill a vacancy. Members of my senior staff have met with every middle and high school hyphenated phrase acting as a single adjective before a noun (middle-and-high-school principal) principal each of the last two years and reviewed every unit assigned to each school.

We have combined and reduced under-subscribed classes and revoked units that were not being used for the purposes for which they were assigned. That’s not going to generate any headlines, but it’s the kind of painstaking work that keeps us on firm financial footing.

For the past two years when the budgets were good Comma for introductory adverbial clause we invested in our employees, particularly in our teachers. We followed the law and added teachers to meet class size reduction requirements. We have continued to increase our productivity through good times and bad.

Our educational productivity improvements are evident in our students’ achievements. We have not added a payroll clerk position, an accounts payable Hyphenated adjective "clerk position," or any new positions in most of the rest of our support functions since 1996, even though we have grown by the number of schools and students that are presently in Pasco County. One reason we are not facing layoffs is that we haven’t added positions unnecessarily, and we don’t have any fat. How about that created position in the health area that an administrator added for a protegee although the health area suffered plethora of staff? How about the attorney's saying the board could not rescind her contract but could fire this illegally added health person in this staff-bloated area and the board's and administration turning the firing down? So one assumes her still on the staff. For the superintendent and the board, when it's tax money, it's easy come, easy go for the taxpayer money. So what we have here is another of a zillion of La Elia's prevarications. Another is that we have worked continuously to eliminate positions when they were vacant to allow our employees to keep their jobs. One trusts that the rumored retirement of Ms. Kipley will leave a job that you and the board eliminate. She and Elia have earned the status of two most hated administrators in ROSSAC with Attorney Gonzalez holding down third place.

I have to thank all those employees who have seen their workload increased as we have eliminated positions. We all know we increased the number of classes in the teaching loads assigned to our high school hyphenated multi-word adjective before a noun and middle school ditto teachers. That was an unpopular decision Omitted comma between two independent clauses in a compound sentence and I know the increase has not been easy on our teachers. Don't know if it has been and don't care When did Elia ever hold back from cramming down the throats of teachers "an unpopular decision?" That's her administrative mode. And the board weenies are all too ninnyesque to question La Elia about anything, including whether Archimedes should have been burned at the stake for refuting the prevailing wisdom of which circulated around which: the sun around the earth or the earth around the sun. If refuting Elia's dictum on anything is called for, count on science's being dumped by the board cowards.

Some of you will think it unwise of me to raise this controversial issue at this time. I disagree. The decision was hard to make, (I bet. This is just too coy for one not to puke.) Redundant comma spits a compound verb. and difficult for you to implement. I truly appreciate each teacher’s effort to make this work, Redundant comma cuts off a restrictive adverbial prepositional phrase. for the sake of the students. The only time Ms. Elia thinks of the students occurs when they connect with her "performance bonus," which is the case of the grade-inflation scheme and the Spring program's possibility in that area. That controversial initiative is one of the reasons we have been able to give sizeable salary increases to our teachers over the past two years that totaled 18 percent (not including the increases in benefits), Redundant comma splits compound predicate adjective. "Sizeable" depends on the epistemology of the word in the superintendent's mendacious mind.and still be Breakdown in parallelism (should be have been able and have still been able) able to weather this financial downturn. These committed teachers are making a major contribution to our ability to avoid layoffs. That initiative and other financial constraints also helped us provide an 11 percent salary boost to our instructional support and other employees over two years.

Because of your productivity and performance and because of the financial decisions we have made for many years, we are more prepared than most districts to weather the economic cycle, Redundant comma cuts off a restrictive adverbial prepositional phrase. at least for a period of time. As we wrap up this year, I want to provide you with as much reassurance as I can, given the unknowns and the forces beyond our control, that we will come through this together. A comma cuts off a "that" clause: "that" clauses are always restrictive.We will do fewer things that are beyond our core mission, and we will continue to seek ways to get better at everything we do. The Board will continue to exhibit fiscal responsibility. The "core" mission is, of course, keeping up the pace of the ROSSAC academic weaklings so that they can pay court to Ms. Elia.

And the Board and I will continue our commitment to each of you, just Redundant comma cuts off a restrictive trailing adverbial adverbial clause. as you have continued your commitment to our students.

Please remember to check your email throughout the summer. I will continue sending out emails such as this one in an effort to provide information, dispel rumors when necessary, and offer reassurances when possible. I’ll keep you updated.


MaryEllen Elia Superintendent

This end-of-the-year email aims to alert teachers that their jobs depend on Elia's whims and malignant tendencies so that they will remain terrified through the summer and come back ready to assume the belly-up position to Elia's irresponsible regime so as to keep their jobs. Ms. Elia's forte is not astute psychology. It's barely disguised coercion.


The Campaign To Discredit Erwin