Friday, May 29, 2009

Board Members Must Be Useful Occasionally to Families

Grandpa and Christophe at New College for his TIP medal

Ms. Olson, you are board member of our grandson Christophe's area of town.

Find some way to let him know unobtrusively that the school system applauds his achievement. My impression is that this school system does not nurture and value intellectual achievement nearly as much as it should.

The children who are in trouble seem to get all the attention. But the bright children are the ones who grow up to lead and inspire.

New College president,Dr. Michaelson, who is a smart fellow, says the key to getting admitted to New College is to take the toughest courses in the advanced areas that one's school offers. Christophe will go to Plant. I see the principal at the board meetings. I will interrogate him on Plant's honors program.

Dr. Michaelson said something I have always believed in: read, read, read.

Mind that you are kind to my grandson. If not, I have the resources of the Professional Standards committee to take corrective action.

Lee Drury De Cesare, granny of Christophe Jean

Dr. Michalelson:

His granny and grandpa were proud to see grandson Christophe Jean receive the Duke TIP medal yesterday among other young people from around Florida. I think he was the only recipient in the Tampa Bay Area. He goes to Coleman, where our four children and one other grandchild attended.

New College's protocol sounds like Oxford's: private tutoring with oral exams at the end.

Newton hated the oral exams he had to give at Cambridge before the authorities excused him from teaching. He went to Cambridge from his little hamlet not knowing a lick of geometry and learned it on his own, making himself supreme master in that area for all of Europe in short order.

It would be hard for me to see young candidates squirm under committee questioning in their orals.

My husband said that when New College gets a PBK chapter that all the 700 or so students will become automatic members. I don't know how you will negotiate the detail of no grades, but my guess is you will get a chapter.

The PBK nationals are snobs. They prefer small, elite colleges to big blue-collar ones like USF. This attitude explains how Eckerd has a chapter of PBK while USF is still on its knees begging. I lit into the president of PBK recently for this torture of USF. I have two grandsons there. I attacked him through his grammar-punctuation insecurities. The current president of PBK national is a philosophy teacher, so you and he speak the same language. He won't be able to befuddle you with syllogisms as his usual gambit to gain the upper hand.

Your field is philosophy. Nobody could have made me major in philosophy. I read it from time to time because I figure one must suffer to be learned. I recently finished Thomas Huxley's commentary on Hume's philosophy. I hurt all the way through. I had Dr. Thomas Altizer for a course in religion one time at Stony Brook. He was an impressive, magisterial teacher, who affected my attitude toward religion. I am Episcopal, and my people have always been anti-authority. So we clap when somebody announces that God is dead. Episcopalians enjoy a liberal environment thanks to Henry VIII's marital misadventures.

Your being a Kant authority does not endear you to me. Next to Spinoza, he is the worst. And Berkeley beats them all for squinting obscurity.

You have a lively wit and would have been a teacher whose class was fun. We have few of those as we go through our education. I had my share of droning pedants.

My grandson Christophe has the gift of wit as well. He got it from his witty mother, our baby child. And from his granny, of course. And his grandpa is a slick-tongued New Yorker.

Thank you and New College for giving two grandparents a proud family day. We were proud of Christophe.

Lee Drury De Cesare

granny of Christophe Jean

Monday, May 25, 2009

Here We Go Again: the Wearing-them-down Battle Has Begun

Spice: It's a Mexican spice that I got online. It is supposed to be magic on everything.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am requesting: INSPECTION and/or COPIES of the following public records: emails from Lee Drury De Cesare to the School Board for the week of May 17th to May 24th, 2009. Rejection notices of any of those emails.

I include the emails from Lee Drury De Cesare that you may have set up parameters to reject. I would like a copy of those reasons for rejecting the emails of Lee Drury De Cesare.

Should you deny my request, or any part of the request, please state in writing the basis for the denial, including the exact statutory citation authorizing the denial, as required by s. 119.07(1)(d), F.S. I will contact your Public Affairs office within 48 to discuss when I may expect fulfillment of my request and payment of any statutorily prescribed fees. If you have any questions in the interim, you may contact me at 727 398 4142 or email Thank you.


lee drury de cesare

15316 Gulf Blvd. 802

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

727 3984142

To: All Members Sarasota School Board and superintendent

I tried to send a message to Ms. Brown of the board. This rejection message below came back.

A publicly supported institution cannot reject a citizen's email. It is not spam.

I have been trying to collect information about the School Board's hiring practices to determine if they are coincident with the equal-employment opportunity laws and with the equal-opportunity provisions for federal funds. The board and administration can't shut me out of your email system because I have begun this inquiry or for any reason coincident with the inquiries of a citizen to a public institution.

Please open my email to Sarasota Schools. Shutting any citizen out of the communication email system is not only unethical but illegal.

I am sure your attorney will inform you that I am correct; and if he doesn't Attorney General McCollum will.

Lee Drury De Cesare

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Climbing the Ladder of Influence, One Rung at a Time


Dear Dr. Smith:
As president of the Florida Association of School Superintendents, I am sure you take seriously the goals of your organization, especially the two that begin the goals list.

These are the following:

It shall be the goals of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents to:

1. significantly influence the development and implementation of the best possible education practices in the school districts of Florida;

2. assist Superintendents in implementing those practices as well as in meeting requirements established by law and regulations;

It grieves me to tell you that Maryellen Elia, superintendent of the Hillsborough County School system, acts athwart these goals. She is adverse to blogs and is not above cooking up false charges in the Professional Standards office against a teacher who has one. Her helper in this office is its head, Linda Kipley, who willingly joins Ms. Elia in this barbarous exercise.

Ms. Kipley herself has a home-ec degree, and Ms. Elia just hired Ms. Kipley's husband for an accounting job even though he had no accounting degree nor the needed experience the job description cited. For the life of me I cannot see how a home-ec degree and a high-school diploma in administrative positions adds luster to the administrative coterie of pals, sycophants, children of board members, and hangers-on that Ms. Elia has assembled to lead the schools.

Ms. Kipley's husband has only a high school diploma. Four of the other candidates had accounting degrees and experience in the field. One infers this hiring of the unqualified husband of Ms. Kipley was reward for her joining the superintendent in manufacturing charges against teachers whom Ms. Elia wants to fire or to terrify because they have blogs.

This conduct surely goes against the Florida Association of School Superintendents' goal of "the best possible educational practices," not to mention its violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act ("requirements established by law," Goal 2), which mandates equal opportunity in hiring, not favoritism for an already-employed wife's performing acts of skullduggery to undermine teachers the superintendent has it in for.

The board and Ms. Elia dislike blogs because they deliver candid reports that have not gone through the Public Affairs Office's Laundromat and spin machine that cleans up the behavior of the administration and the board for public consumption.

Ms. Elia and the chair of the backstage terror committee who executes Ms. Elia's attacks on teachers via the Professional Standards Abu Ghraib cell block, one Mr. Valdez, have kept Special-ed teacher Steve Kemp on suspension for the whole semester on the cooked-up charge of child abuse. The Sheriff threw it out directly after Ms. Elia dispatched underling Smiley to lodge it with the Sheriff's office.

Steve Kemp has a blog, and La Elia and Le Valdez are trying to squeeze him and make him increasingly terrified of his losing his job if he does not give up his blog, sacrifice his dignity, and abandon his Constitutional rights. I hope he doesn't for the reason cited in Goal 2 of the School Superintendents Association: "meeting requirements established by law."

An Elia apparatchik even called up Mr. Kemp to cite the subject he could not write about in his blog. I infer as good citizens the Florida Association of School Superintendents supports the Constitution and does not encourage its member superintendents to shut down free speech in their individual schools. Surely that is not the best educational practice.

I believe you need to cite the organization's support of law to Ms. Elia, who is not a big fan of the Constitution. Surely this attitude does not fulfill "the best possible education practices" desiratum of Goal 1 or "meeting requirements established by law" in Goal 2.

I assume also that the "best possible education practices in the school districts of Florida" includes a condemnation of cooking up false charges against a teacher to make him shut down a blog in a sadistic terror tactic to interfere with his free-speech rights. Relevant counseling by you of Ms. Elia would complement the "meeting requirements established by law and regulation" of Goal 2 since the Constitution trumps all other laws, and Ms. Elia and her administrative barbarians are violating it.

This untoward superintendent behavior corrupts the children and frightens the horses. It as well defies the goals of the Superintendents Association.

I am sure the Hillsborough County teachers would be grateful for your good counseling of Ms. Elia: the punished pedagogues who work under the yoke of Ms. Elia's disregard of their rights and experience her practice of cooking up professional-standards violations against them to make the poor wretches toe an arbitrary and inhumane line that she sets are not optimum working conditions to be sure.

Pray use your best efforts, Dr. Smith, as president of your important association to convince Ms. Elia to act in ways that would do the goals of the Florida Association of School Superintendents proud and improve the ethical climate in the Hillsborough County schools.

Perhaps you could make Mr. Valdez an honorary member and work on him too.


Lee Drury De Cesare

15316 Gulf Boulevard 802

Madeira Beach, FL 33708 Sent via Fax to 850 921 5273