1. The Education Gradebook

No honor roll without all A's and B's, Pasco superintendent Browning says

Browning plans to propose changes to school policy.
Browning plans to propose changes to school policy.
Published Nov. 15, 2013

DADE CITY — Students with C's and D's on their report cards don't belong on their school honor rolls.

So says Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning, who intends to propose changes to district policy clarifying how students can qualify for the academic recognition.

"My plan is to go back to having honor roll by quarter, based on all A's or A's and B's," Browning said Thursday.

The district lately has based the award on student grade-point average. That opened the door for students who earn mostly A's to have room for one or two poor grades and still meet the criteria.

San Antonio mom Beth Tillack didn't appreciate that model.

Tillack took technology privileges away from her seventh-grade son, Douglas, after learning of his low marks in civics at Pasco Middle School in Dade City. She was aghast when her son asked to have his iPod back, citing his inclusion on the honor roll as justification.

She shot off an email to Browning, expressing her shock that the district would encourage such low standards, undermining her efforts at home.

The superintendent agreed.

"It sends a mixed message," he said, detailing that he would press for revisions to the district's student progression plan in the spring.

His goal is to have quarterly all-A and A/B honor rolls in effect by the next school year, with no further reliance on grade point averages.

"If you made a C, you're not on the honor roll," he said.

Tillack said she was gratified to have made a difference.

"I applaud them for looking at it seriously and making changes," she said. "That's pretty much what is needed."

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