In response to “Employee suspended for transcript errors” (CHN, Aug. 28) that included my statements, I wish to make some clarifying remarks.
I discovered GPA alterations on six students spanning back to 2007. I notified Principal Jesse Dingle. Because the outcome of the meeting did not meet my requirements, I met with Superintendent Forcella to appraise him of the scope of this problem. All were students with low GPAs and a number were athletes. I cannot prove that these changes were made to fulfill NCAA eligibility.
Dr. Forcella and Mia Burroughs (chair of the school board) both informed me that the matter had been thoroughly investigated. Dr. Forcella stated that the GPA changes involved only two or three students and resulted from “error.” The data entry person who admitted to altering GPAs chose to use the word “trick” rather than “error.” Neither term adequately describes academic fraud over a five-year period of time.
All of this reflects failed leadership at Chapel Hill High School and the district. Much has been written about the high turnover rate among principals in the past 14 years. During this period I witnessed faculty and staff morale ebb and rise in parallel with the leadership capabilities of the school’s principals. The high watermark, in my opinion, occurred during MaryAnn Hardebeck and Jackie Ellis. The nadir has been the last three years.
The collateral damage of this failed leadership includes these young athletes who are victims of the NCAA need for money-generating talent. Additional injustice occurred to two of our best teachers, Bert Wartski and Anne Thompson, who were brave enough to speak out at faculty meetings about this failed leadership. Their reward was involuntary transfer to East Chapel Hill High School and Carrboro High School. Both teachers are being denied the opportunity to teach courses in which they excelled.
Mr. Wartski’s classroom and surrounding hall area were recently cleansed of all traces of his enthusiasm and teaching excellence. See on.fb.me/NZJsW6
(Scroll to Alex Graettinger for video). Fortunately, Dr. Forcella will not be able to whitewash the memories and the inspiration these fine teachers have given their studentsLinda Klemmer Chapel Hill Editor’s note: We waived the length limit to allow a fuller response to the Aug. 28 story. Fit punishment
After hearing that two of Chapel Hill’s cow parade cows were vandalized, and with at least two of the accused caught, I had an idea for a possible sentence.
If the accused are found guilty, perhaps they should pay the cost of the creation and repairs to the cows along with a requirement to perform community service at the very place that the funds from the sale of the cows will benefit: the N.C. Children’s Hospital. The number of hours of service could be the same amount of time that the artists took to create and repair the cows.
I’d be inclined to think that the lives of the accused would be changed forever after working around some incredibly brave children, rather than having them pick up roadside trash.Beth Teague Chapel Hill We’ll miss Spade
I worked with Chapel Hill Transit director Steve Spade (CHN, Sept. 2) on the Transportation Board and was extremely impressed. The meetings were a pleasure, as he was there with great information about all aspects of the bus system.
Our system is the second largest urban bus system in the state. Steve took advantage of grant programs to help with the budget. The free-fare revolution has been a great success recognized nationally. We have such a success on the MLK corridor that we have articulated buses to carry the load.
Steve’s wife’s family is from Kansas and his resignation letter mentions that as a reason for the change. We wish them well.
This is too bad for Chapel Hill. It will be very hard to fill his well-worn shoes.Sarah McIntee Chapel Hill Ad respectful
I support the bus ad calling for building peace with justice and equality and for halting the $3.1 billion of military aid to Israel.
More bombs and bullets will not build real security for Israel.
The ad is respectful of Israel in the best sense by promoting Israeli-Palestinian peacemakers. Hank Elkins Chapel Hill Towing predatory
I think the towing practices in Chapel Hill can be called “predatory.” They are a stain on the town of Chapel Hill, work directly contrary to the efforts to promote tourism, and should be towed out of town themselves.
It is ununderstandable to me why restaurants want to employ them. Don’t they read the papers? It only goes against them as restaurants – personally I am not going to visit them. Obviously they don’t care, as they get enough patronage and need to keep their precious parking spaces free from intruders. That those people might just be greeting someone across the street before they were going to enter and use their facilities is apparently unimportant.Elsbeth van Tongeren Chapel HillReconsider appeal
Mayor and town council:
I wish to comment that I am very unhappy with your decision to continue trying to overturn the judges ruling on the cell-phone ban. Although you have an attorney on staff so it is not “costing you anything,” it is a shame that you are causing another citizen to have to fork out additional legal bills, but maybe this is your strategy. If so, shame on you!
You may not realize, but your “ban” may have the opposite effect for which it was intended. I have spoken to many people who rely on a cell phone for business calls (not texting), and everyone I’ve talked to would plan to continue using their cell phone and treat the occasional $25 fine as an annoying business expense. If anything, it will make such drivers less safe since they’ll be looking around for police cars while making cell phone calls – and this would provide a much bigger distraction than using the cell phone itself.
Please re-consider.Eric Plow Chapel HillHardin deserves respect
I was deeply disappointed to read the some of the recent responses of Triangle residents to Paul Hardin’s guest column (“Where is the Outrage?” CHN, Aug. 8)
First of all, the form and tone of the responses was sometimes unacceptable. In my opinion, Mr. Hardin, who served for a number of years as chancellor of the flagship university in North Carolina, known for its quality education, deserves more respect and at least more politeness.
Unfortunately, it happens very often in highly polarized and politicized societies, especially a few months before the elections, that the “temperature” of the debates is getting too high, and in the heat of the discussion the opponents are trying to hit each other hard and criticize each other sharply, often forgetting that they are citizens of the same country, and their mutual goal is to make America a better place to live. The main question in the American society right now is: Where is America going to?
Criticizing Mr. Hardin for his “polarizing” view, his critics themselves express their emotional and biased opinions about the president, his reforms, his opposition, etc. Those opinions are clearly pro-Republican, and like most of Republican opposition, they attack the president for its economic policy, but do not offer any elaborate alternative program that all working Americans would benefit from. The corner-stone of the Republican view on the society is to have “less government.” Furthermore, they scare fellow Americans with the word “socialism,” sometimes identifying it with “Nazism.” My personal life experience includes living in the socialist as well as capitalist societies. As an insider of the both political systems, I can only attest that a little more “socialism” will not be harmful to the lower and middle class of America.
There is no doubt that every democratic country needs to have multi-party (in most countries two-party) system, and the party in opposition is supposed to represent a healthy alternative to the ruling party in the interests of American people and American society. However, in the past four years the Republican opposition was trying to block all decisions, programs, and projects that the president and Democrats in the House and Senate were trying to adopt or implement. And that has been obviously obstructionist policy. I agree with Mr. Hardin, that “obstructionism and “cynicism should not be rewarded.”Elena Eliseeva Durham
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