First off, I have good news for the male readers of this blog. A new study has just been released that shows, definitively, that men who don’t do housework get more sex than those who do. So when you hear a neighbor brag that her hubby helps clean the kitchen or whatever, remind yourself that he may as well be sleeping on the couch for all the good it does him. Nope, the message is clear, go do your manly stuff and then park your butt on the couch and wait your turn. Heck, if you get it right she should even bring you a sammich and a cold beer. Basically it all comes down to role playing, just not like the kind they do in Fifty Shades of Gray. Although if she’s willing to toss in a little of that too don’t turn it down.
See, we’ve barely started and already you’ve learned something.
In that vein Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott, realizing that the state is rapidly becoming an intellectual cesspool is asking the legislature to spend an additional $1.2 Billion on education. Included in his request is a $2,500 per year raise for every teacher. Before you get all impressed, that would still leave teachers in bottom fifth of pay nationally and the school system barely on par for a per student spending average. In other words, they have to raise the bar just to get to the bottom. Oh well, it’s a start.
Yesterday I wrote about the ten year old girl, her ounce of cocaine and how she won a science fair. Some of you were upset that I wasn’t upset. The fact is I feel for the kid. She has to make do with what she’s got and in Florida, as evidenced by the above paragraph, she ain’t got much.
Among the many issues the Florida education system has is that it is nigh on impossible to fire a teacher. So you have the lowest paid, least qualified, people being given absolute authority over your child’s future and there is nothing you can do about it. This problem came to the fore again in the strange case of Paula Prudente.
Long-time teacher Paula Prudente appears to have lost her four year battle to keep her job with the Palm Beach school district.
A state court last month recommended she be fired for misusing district technology to harass and threaten fellow employees. The emails, described as “rambling, sometimes-incoherent,” complained of mistreatment and told employees how to perform their jobs.
On Wednesday, school board members said they’d move to fire Prudente, 57, at the next board meeting.
But Prudente denied the accusations, calling them retaliations for reporting unethical hiring practices and health violations at schools. “My emails were complaints and grievances,” she said, adding that she’s filed multiple lawsuits and grievances against the district.
Prudente, last assigned to Spanish River High School, has been employed with the district since 1978. Her problems began in 2008, when she was accused of sending negative emails to her co-workers about a presidential candidate. In 2009-10, she was again accused of sending co-workers inappropriate and harassing emails.
Both cases were settled out of court, with a 10-day suspension.
But in 2011, the district alleged Prudente had returned to her email attacks. They said she sent numerous hostile and confusing emails to staff and left one employee a three-minute threatening voicemail.
“You are going to have to cease and desist your cafeteria style of … law and agreements cause … you are very wrongful in your misrepresentations … you are very deceitful …” Prudente said.
Other confusing emails were sent to school board members, the area superintendent and district employees who handled her benefits, despite warnings that school email accounts could not be used to bully co-workers.
Administrative law judge Robert Meale wrote that in emails addressed to one of her principals at the time, Prudente “launched into a bewildering set of vitriolic directives, awkward references to herself in the third person, and head-turning claims…”
One thing I learned as I wandered through the limited public documents on this mess is that Ms. Prudente is not a fan of President Obama. I also learned that everyone, but her, is an idiot. It is never made clear what awards she has won, just that has won three of them.
In semi-related news, another teacher, Dean Liptak, is in trouble because his physics test borders on the hyper-violent and seems to advocate killing babies.
I should note that he is also a well respected teacher in Florida. In case you’re wondering how far things have to go down there.
The fate of Florida science teacher Dean Liptak is unclear as parents express concern over violent test questions that involve propelling students and driving over babies.
According to WTSP, the Fivay High School teacher in Hudson, Fla., assigned test questions like:
“A 50 kg student has a momentum of 500 kg m/s as the teacher launches him toward the wall, what is the velocity of the student heading toward the wall?”
“A northbound car with a velocity of 100 m/s ran over a baby with a momentum of 800 kg m/s, what is the mass of the car?”
Parents tell WTSP that the test questions are “violent” and “inappropriate.” School officials have not disclosed the teacher’s status at the school.
Liptak has been teaching in Pasco County Schools for several years and recently moved to Fivay from Ridgewood High School. His students at Ridgewood had positive reviews of his teaching on RateMyTeachers.com. One student calls him the “best teacher in the world.”
A similar incident in Washington, D.C. last march led to a teacher’s termination. Parents were outraged after the educator sent third graders home with morbid math problems that referenced cannibals, baking people in ovens and a child whose brain had become infested with fire ants.
And just two months prior, Norcross, Ga. elementary school parents were upset when math problems that used examples of slave beatings were used in class. The teacher who assigned the problems eventually resigned.
The science test in Florida comes at a volatile time for the school, as the Fivay community continues to remember their late classmate Jessica Laney, who committed suicide last month.
Ah yes, higher math only works if you kill and eat someone. I must have been out the day that lesson was delivered.
But the worst case scenario came to light this week when James Tracy, a professor at Florida Atlantic University, began teaching his students that the Sandy Hook massacre was all staged and no one really died. CNN’s Anderson Cooper took him, and Florida’s education system, to task.
Florida once had a howling wolfpack of higher education reporters competing for scoops about small-time shenanigans. These days, the education beat is pretty much on life support. And in the absence of swift and sure journalism justice, the shenanigans are morphing into national scandals.
Last week, CNN’s Anderson Cooper was keepin’ ’em honest at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Steam poured out of the silver haired anchor’s nostrils as he channeled the righteous indignation of millions regarding FAU’s James Tracy, a tenured professor of media history who thinks that maybe the Sandy Hook massacre was staged by “crisis actors” and maybe all those first graders aren’t really dead.
“I describe myself as a scholar and public intellectual,” Tracy told Sun-Sentinel reporter Mike Clary as the story was beginning to gather steam. Campus colleagues with higher standards of scholarship and lower quotients of narcissism describe him as Dick Tracy, the comic book detective who solves fictional crimes.
FAU President Mary Jane Saunders took to the CNN airwaves to assure Cooper’s global audience that Tracy “does not speak for the university.”
Maybe not, President Saunders, but his heartless, tone-deaf, self-aggrandizing pouring of salt into the gaping wounds of a Connecticut community still deeply in mourning has dealt yet another blow to the credibility of higher education in Florida.
The embarrassments have been piling up. Two top administrators at Edison State College allowed students to kiss off core classes required for legitimate degrees in three separate majors. Florida A & M is in danger of losing its accreditation. Politician and professor Mike Haridopolos’ $152,000 payday for a “book” resulted in a document as intellectually challenging as My Weekly Reader.
Add to those Florida State University’s selling its soul to the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation for $1.5 million to finance a “faculty” position. Of course, the right-wing foundation would name the teacher. And the Koch pledge is so paltry it would barely cover the cost of golden parachutes for any failed or disgraced FSU administrators.
James “Dick” Tracy is not the only accident looking for a place to happen in Florida higher education, and he did not grant himself tenure, either. Florida’s students and taxpayers deserve better than what they’re getting from a system increasingly run by people with Ph.D.s from the University of Educated Fools.
And there, kids, is the problem in a nutshell. Florida allows private financing for schools with no strings attached. If you’ve got enough money, as the Koch brothers do, you too can teach kids that Jesus rode a dinosaur while partying with Thomas Jefferson. And no one can stop you.
However, just as the University of Texas will no longer accept graduates of the Texas High School system unless they pass an entrance exam, so too is the rest of the world putting limits on how much they will tolerate lunacy and ignorance being passed off as knowledge.
Let’s face it, facts are facts and logic is logic. They are the bricks and mortar that all children need to build a future. If you want to wear a tinfoil hat and wait for Armageddon, be my guest. Just don’t take our kids with you.