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Education: What The Heck?

What the heck?

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — An investigation into an embattled Daytona Beach high school principal revealed she claimed to teach a class that never existed.

[….]

An investigation into [Mainland High School Principal Cheryl] Salerno said she was assigned to teach a two semester speech course, but that course never existed.

According to the investigation, nine students enrolled in the class and received A’s, but there was no evidence the class ever met or that any course work was assigned.

When challenged, officials said Salerno told them she would produce the students work, but never did.

In addition, Volusia County School Board Chair Carl Persis said Salerno hired two people as guidance counselors who were not certified or qualified for the job.

This woman was a principal? Teaching kids?

Teaching them what? How to lie and deceive their way through life?

The fake class issue came to light after the school district started to investigate the claim that she had given students Advanced Placement exams that the students thought were real, but weren’t. She called the test a “placebo test.” When students want to know why the grades the scored on the test didn’t count, she was forced to ‘fess up.

Salerno was rebuked this summer for acting “inappropriately and/or unprofessional” by giving 336 freshman at the Daytona Beach school a fake AP exam made to look like the real thing. Those students didn’t find out it wasn’t the official exam that could give them college credit until the news broke over the summer and they went online to check their scores.

As a result, Salerno and her already-retired supervisor Teresa Marcks were given letters of reprimand that said future professional conduct violations could result in punishment up to termination.

Salerno began the formal appeals process about two weeks after the close of the investigation with a letter obtained by the News-Journal dated July 14 that noted her 30-year career “without a blemish of any kind.”

She also disputed a list of points made in the investigation. She said Marcks, the chief academic officer at the time, is the one who suggested that only a “sampling” of students — 78 in the end — needed to take the real exam for school officials to measure the success of the program. She said neglecting to tell students that most of the exams weren’t official was meant to make sure each student put forth their best effort.

“College credit for this course was nonexistent in any conversation I had with anybody,” she wrote, emphasizing something she maintained throughout the investigation. “… I had no expectation that a college credit would even be possible, let alone any intention to include it as part of this pilot.”

Salerno told investigators her goal was to expose more students to rigorous academic courses, and gather data on the effectiveness of the program.

Salerno had more problems with the rules:

District officials said Salerno also misused personnel by using teachers certified in one subject for a different subject. Persis said due to teacher shortages, that is common but schools are required by state statute to notify parents.

Of course, that leads to the question “if being certified doesn’t matter as long as parents know, then what is the point of the certification to begin with?”

With the walls closing in around her and the dogs of justice nipping at her heels, Salerno retired.

Oh boy, did she retire.

Salerno was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 5. The next day, Salerno handed in her resignation.

Her retirement will be accepted, according to educators. Salerno will get to keep her retirement benefits.

Well, as long as there aren’t any real repercussions for her actions, we can all just sweep this under the rug and get on with the “edumacashion” of students.

Unbelievably, that’s not the worst thing in the world of education this week.

ANN ARBOR, MI — Tenure at the University of Michigan is difficult to penetrate, no matter how appalling a professor’s behavior.

There’s evidence supporting claims that University of Michigan Professor David Daniels, also a world-famous opera singer and UM alumnus, offered to pay multiple students for sex.

He sent porn to others, including a video of an unidentifiable man, whom he insinuated to be himself, masturbating. He continuously made sexual comments to or about students in the presence of other students. And he lied to UM employees who investigated his sexually charged, inappropriate and potentially illegal behavior.

However, it’ll be a minimum of several months before Daniels, a tenured professor whose salary is nearly $192,000 per year, could stop receiving a paycheck. He hasn’t taught in nearly a year.

On April 19, School of Music Dance and Theatre Dean David Gier initiated Daniels termination, according to a letter obtained by the Ann Arbor News/MLive through a records request.

“Professor Daniels has engaged in a pattern of behavior that is harassing, abusive and exploitative” of students, he wrote in a letter to the Provost’s Office.

The complicated process involves sending formal notifications to multiple layers of bureaucracy; a hearing that resembles a full court trial, complete with witnesses, testimony and evidence; a possible appeal hearing; a termination recommendation sent to UM President Mark Schlissel and ultimately a vote by the Board of Regents.

Daniels was granted tenure at Michigan in 2015. The Board of Regents voted unanimously to grant the tenure.

That was before the allegations about inappropriate behavior came out:

The Board of Regents didn’t know two then-anonymous students on March 29, 2018, through a third party, had accused Daniels of soliciting the students for sex over the hookup cell phone application Grindr.

Daniels denied the claims on May 7, 2018, received counseling on related UM policies and the investigation was closed by the Office of Institutional Equity, which investigates campus sexual misconduct claims.

The Board of Regents can’t look into the future in 2015 to see what this guy would be doing in 2018. They can however, look back.

The OIE in August 2018 reopened its investigation into Daniels, prompted by new information related to the Grindr accusations that arose when UM police began investigating separate allegations that Daniels, 53, and his husband, William A. Scott Walters, 36, had drugged and raped a man in Houston in 2010.

[….]

Separately, Daniels and his husband are each charged with counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Texas. Their next court appearance is scheduled on Sept. 19.

Really? The University of Michigan couldn’t have made a criminal background check into Daniels’ past? Were they too busy? Worried about losing to Ohio State in the football season?

So Daniels gets to stay at home, get nearly $200K all because the University of Michigan didn’t do a simple background check.

In short, former principal Cheryl Salerno keeps her pension with no consequences, and Professor Daniels gets paid for doing nothing.

Doesn’t that give you great confidence in the education system and those within it?



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