https://vimeo.com/170718344 @ 8:54
"I happen to be the parent of the student with the highest GPA...." "My senior was the student with the highest GPA" and in case it wasn't clear in the first 5 times this mother said it, her student had the "highest GPA"! (With all that was disclosed by this mother, she chose not to disclose that she is the wife of the MHS physics teacher who taught their daughter for the AP Physics course.)
Really disturbing. How many times over the course of this young woman's senior year did this student, who was texting her mother (during school) go to the guidance office to find out if she was yet the "student with the highest GPA"? Many times, if this mother's accounting last night was factual. What does this say about the values of this student and this parent? And why exactly was this mother presenting this speech to the school committee instead of the daughter, who was not even present?
If, as this mother stated, this academically accomplished woman received no awards at Senior Awards Night, why not? What is going on at MHS that deserving students are not being recognized appropriately for their academic accomplishments? Certainly there is no shortage for recognition of athletes or principal's pets (a real problem!) or all the other students who somehow are being honored? Why not those who are academically accomplished?
As someone on the sidelines watching the elimination of valedictorian debacle unfold, this latest twist is quite telling. It was incompetent and wrong the way CT and MF (and administrative staff) implemented the changes that the SC approved 2 years ago. CT's portrayal of the rationale as primarily about the mental health of the high achievers makes them all seem foolish. It was much more than that, at least as the intent of more sophisticated and competently run schools have laid it out, but of course Melrose had to do it badly.
Elimination of class rank is supposed to be about making a healthier system of recognizing students, not about eliminating that recognition altogether. In competent schools it often includes having a valedictorian but not a public ranking. In Melrose the former system of class rank was especially incompetent and ineffective because it wasn't determined until the couple of days before commencement, making it a non-factor in the admissions and scholarship process. In competent schools an internal ranking is maintained for faculty purposes only, and admissions officers are required to inquire individually about each prospective student as a whole and not just viewed as a number. This allows the faculty to determine a valedictorian while not having the harms of class rank, a system that should include a healthier atmosphere as a whole. In the MHS system all the worst has been encouraged (as was clear as day in this mother's speech), including selection of courses for the sole purpose of boosting GPA, cheating, grade-grubbing, and emotional harm of a poor academic environment. (This mother also praised the system that allowed underclassmen--and her daughter was the vocal proponent--to be recruited and/or allowed into AP courses, something that is not viewed well by many top educators elsewhere.)
To hear Taymore one would think that she was primarily concerned about Numbers 2 and 3 having mental problems, or some other foolishness that denigrates the capability and accomplishments of all of the top-tier academic achievers. It was all expressed so poorly by the administration, fueling another embarrassment for our city, now being the subject of media outlets throughout the region, right along with Kick a Ginger Day, "Tommyhawks," OCR, Red Cups and all the other disgraces piling up that no PR firm will ever be able to whitewash.
Now this mother has poured some lighter fluid on the whole thing, proving that in fact the toxicity of the administration's approach has effectively connected, and for all the worst reasons. Going into the guidance office multiple times during the year to see if she is the valedictorian yet? Why? Do MHS guidance counselors encourage this kind of behavior? Does anyone really believe that this will matter even a whit at Harvard come September or in the professional years to come? Sure it was wrong to fail to recognize this young woman's achievements in an appropriate way, and that should be corrected immediately. But there is so much else that is disturbing in all of this.
Why didn't this mother or student come talk about the "paradigm" of a proven racially hostile atmosphere that perhaps prevented students of color from achieving as this young woman so clearly has?
You make some legitimate points - but unless you and other show up at email the school committee - nothing will change. Although even when you do this there is no guarantee that they will take action.
Also, Taymore noted during the meeting that she was going to look into ways to acknowledge the educational excellence attained by the top students similar to the way the school's top athletes are recognized. Why has it taken this superintendent 4 years to realize the need to do this? Others including myself have asked that this be done many years ago.
Stop belittling this student and her family. The gpa is on their transcript, which they can see in ASPEN. There is no indication that this student was frequently going to guidance and "checking her rank". The number one student in the class has ALWAYS given a speech, she most likely wanted to know whether or not she had to prepare one; it takes time and practice to do a good speech, of COURSE she wanted to know in advance if she needed to write one.
The gist of the story is, a top ranking student went to the administration to find out what the process was, and the bumbling idiots gave her the wrong information, telling her that there WOULD be a valedictory speech. When she later found out that that wasn't the case, she was told "tough sh*t, you missed the deadline for submitting your speech." All the while, these same administrators are using this child's accomplishments as evidence of the great job they are doing, bragging and boasting about the students that " got accepted to the Ivies". I'm not sure what I find more offensive....the way that this student was treated by administrators, or the fact that an incompetent group of city employees are using the hard work done by kids to prop themselves up and justify their continued employment.
The fact that the student with the highest GPA in the class received NO recognition AT ALL, from the high school, not even receiving ONE award on senior night, with the multitude of awards given out, is just mind boggling. Only a complete idiot would think that this was how to implement a change in class rank. These are the supposed "educational experts" we have running the high school? These are the experts in child development we have put in charge of our young people? They claim that this was done out of concern for students' mental health. What if this young lady was less resilient , and suffered from depression, or was emotionally fragile? The total rejection of her accomplishments may have pushed a different child over the edge .
Another complete embarrassment for the district. But, as always, there is no accountability for school district employees.
"There is no indication that this student was frequently going to guidance and "checking her rank". "
The mother talked about this last night and said this was the case. There is nothing that "wow" said that disparages the student or parent personally, but does take to task public statements for which there is every right (and one might say even a responsibility) to do so. The mother made a lengthy public statement with a lot of claims that merit a mature response. With all the hysteria round this topic, it's refreshing to read a well-considered posting about this very public speech that was given by that mother last night.
Fact: The 11 students with the highest GPAs in the senior class were recognized by name and asked to stand at graduation by Mr Fogarty and Mr Merrill. It was not sugarcoated whatsoever that these were the highest performers. Though there was no order other than alphabetical, it was clear that these students had higher academic achievements than their peers. What Mrs Carbonneau is effectively asking for is not that her daughter be recognized, but that the other nine or ten students in the top are eliminated from recognition. In the meeting, she mentions numerous times the "two" highest performing students in regards to GPA, and seems to advocate only for those two. I wonder if her opinion would be different had she seen the difference in GPA between the top two and the top three, and noted that they differ by hundredths of a point. This small difference and recognition based on it will not inspire healthy competition and motivation to achieve, but rather promotes strategizing and manipulation of course choice in order to better the GPA. For example, some choose to take honors chorus over honors pre calculus in order to achieve the easy A and higher GPA with less work. Focusing solely on the GPA encourages a culture of cheating and a disregard for the true values of education. Furthermore, colleges everywhere are disregarding class rank in favor of class percentile, which the guidance office has followed. This decision was not based on Mrs Carbonneau's daughter nor on making everyone feel better about themselves; It was done to follow the path that top achieving high schools and college admissions offices are paving. Although Mrs Carbonneau wants to make it seem as though she cares about the well being of everyone, she is only focusing on the perspective of her daughter and how much recognition she is getting. The senior awards night she speaks of gave her daughter two awards that were appropriate and deserved. Mrs Carbonneau seems upset that her "highest GPA student" only received awards for completion of programs and not the "Excellence in [department, subject, etc]", which are chosen by teachers and grade in the appropriate classes, many of which her daughter did not take. Her daughter got into a great school, has received many accolades and congratulations from both faculty and administration and her peers, and has gotten a great education. How petty of Mrs Carbonneau to now dwell on the subtleties of how her daughter's name was recognized at graduation. Sorry it was not just about your daughter and included ten of the other "top GPA students". If her daughter had known she would not be recognized exclusively as valedictorian, would that truly have stopped her from being motivated to achieve what she has accomplished? Is that really what we want our children to strive for, recognition over education?
Well, Mrs C at least cleared up for all of us who the "real" valedictorian was. She must have been even more teary when Mrs. H went on Fox news and suggested her son was the valedictorian despite the fact that he wasn't in the top 11. Actually, not reporting class rank was to his advantage!
No one on this board knows all the details. The scenarios range from a student that didn't get their due to a parent that is overly sensitive to the standing of their child. I would say it is totally possible for this student not to get a specific award. Let me make a sports analogy. The best GPA is like the decathlon gold medalist, the best all around athlete. In any given event though, there is a high probability that someone else is more outstanding. Math some hotshot, in writing someone else who impressed the teachers. Nothing should be taken away from anyone. This young woman was noted as having one of the top 10/11 GPA's at the graduation. She gave the academic speech at graduation. She's going to Harvard. It's not like the school had it out for her. There are a lot of issues at the school and passionate people on many sides. I just think this issue is more between the family and the school and should not be twisted into something larger.
Hey Disgusting - Guess what? When you go before the School Committee or in any public forum, you are asking for the public's attention and input. If you don't like what you hear, that is on you. Your little bubble or "paradigm" or perspective or planet is not the only one. Entitled much? Everyone must agree with you? To disagree is "disgusting?"
As for the "mixup" with guidance, things like this happen in the Melrose system all the time. Is it worth going public? No. Also, why would this student (mother) assume she would be valedictorian? The top 10/11 switch rankings every quarter since the mathematical difference between them is so small. GUidance, which admittedly messes up all the time, in this situation was correct. You cannot and should not ASSUME you will be valedictorian until the end. This situation is a display of entitlement. Your wonderful daughter got into Harvard, she was recognized with only 10 others at the graduation for her GPA, and she gave the Academic excellence speech, and yet you still choose to complain publicly? You are so incensed that you are tearful?
You may think that you are justified given the few who post on social media who know nothing about the situation or based on the news story (which was totally misleading), but there are many who disagree but are polite enough or just don't care enough to speak out.
DIsgusting, Mispronounced name is something to complain about? I was at graduation and don't remember her name being mispronounced. Her father teaches at the high school so they know her last name. They said her name many times because she was recognized many times. Everybody there knows and knew her name.
More importantly, where is the outrage for the mispronunciation of the last name of the boy who passed?
As for awards night, those awards include all levels of classes. So maybe the kids in the honors level or cp classes did exceptional work in a particular subject. What's wrong with that? It is not all about your kid. She didn't have to get MVP repeatedly for every subject too. In the real world, one kid is not entitled to dominate and get mvp for everything. There are other exceptional students and they deserve recognition too.
So funny - Disgusting was right. Apparently if you graduate from Melrose HS and(WOW!)get into Harvard (OMG Harvard!!!) then the clowns on Messages don't think you have a right to complain. Well luckily Ms.C will get the last laugh when she checks into her dorm room in Cambridge. But definitely keep up the good work you are doing anonymously here. LOL.
No one said she doesn't have a right to complain. Some people just think her complaints are not totally valid in this case. Sounds like you have a different viewpoint. Fine - then discuss the specifics rather than making generalizations about the people who disagree with you.
Two things are happening at the same time here. First, the MHS administration screwed the "valedictorian" issue up. This whole thing should have been settled, put in writing, and delivered to students and parents the first day of school last September. However they waited until the last minute after spending 10 months sending mixed messages to 17 year old kids. The kid who delivered the academic address was treated poorly by adults at MHS. You need to look no further at their accompanying screw up on Senior awards night. What rational person would think that the Number 1 student in the class, whether publicly acknowledged or not, going to Harvard, shouldn't be recognized at senior night for her academic achievement. They hand out dozens of awards, but miss this kid. The MHS admin should be embarrassed. The second issue is the typical Melrose Messages loser mentality coming from the posters that are criticizing this kid and her family. You losers will complain about anything. The kid was treated poorly and her mother spoke up for her, publicly, something you cowards can't actually do yourselves. Hopefully MHS can make sure it doesn't happen again.
Incessant, always funny when a poster complains about anonymity while remaining anonymous themselves. There were a number of top students who did not get academic awards that night. Not just hers. Many of the top 11 also did not get awards. Again, that night is for achievement in all levels. They want the kids who did not get recognition by getting into top colleges to be recognized as well. But go ahead and feel you were the only one wronged. There are plenty of hurt feelings when awards go out. That's life. Mommy can't always call and make it better, although in this case, she certainly tried and now feels doubly wronged because the whole world doesn't feel like her kid is so special that the wrong must be publicized. Where are you Mom when kids are being brutalized by racism and bullying? Those types of issues didn't get your attention to speak up publicly. Notably the responders here never address the facts that were pointed out like she did get recognized for her GPA. You have one whine and facts to the contrary will not change it. You are entitled to your own opinion but not allowed to ignore facts and remain justified.
All they would have had to do is tell the student and her parent, "Look, we made a mistake, and failed to communicate this properly to students and families. I am so sorry this misunderstanding has caused your daughter to feel unacknowledged. Because this was our mistake, we will make sure she is recognized at graduation and allowed to give a speech, regardless of what the official policy is. In the future, we will do a much better job communicating major school policy changes."
They could have acknowledged their mistake, diffused the situation, apologized for the confusion and upset, and everyone would have moved on. But they are all more worried about their resumes than they are about actual students.
And if this is the way they treat their top students, imagine how the average student is treated when they have an issue, academic or otherwise.
I'm happy to see someone speak up in public on the record.
Someone who doesn't work for the city such as apologist Martha Grover or attempt to ram increased taxes on people such as hack Jen McAndrew.
If this community were used to open dialogue, no one would pay this woman any attention. You can agree or disagree with her but she shouldn't be notable because of speaking up.
Speaking of public comment, I noticed that this woman was granted over six minutes before she was granted even more time from the chair of anti-public participation and anti-transparency, Margaret Driscoll. Shouldn't all public participants receive the same treatment that Mr. Mroz receives? 4 minutes and 59 seconds with an immediate shout-down and gavel barrage from "Ms. Taking Tokes in Melrose"? Why is he treated any differently simply because he speaks some hard truths? Perhaps someone on the committee can explain to her that she is not permitted to treat various public participants any differently from the other?[:-?]
Does anyone actually like Margaret Driscoll? Or respect her?
She's a crazy power monger who pretends to know much more than she does. She's transparent though and it would seem that even if you sat on the SC with her, she'd make your skin crawl.
Oh you mean the "real" or "nascent" SCIENTIST (always all in caps as far as she's concerned!)?
It's a total bunch of jokers, top to bottom, including the Nervous Nodder Newbie who must always nod her approval of absolutely EVERYTHING that any of her esteemed colleagues are babbling about ad nauseum, Eddie Easy Time Parolee, the Bloviating Boss Man, Intentional Jess (Cyndy's Bloviating Bestie), Scary Yoga Pants "Cazzatelli" (to hear Madge say it), Moonbat Madge and her Singing Angels.
Then again, the BOA are really no better. Is this really the best that Melrose can come up with?
Liz is more attractive. She could drop the scientist routine but 'education expert' is already taken. Sour puss Dugan & that bobble head Grande need no comment except that they're there to further themselves personally. Incomprehensible is the felon. The elected felon.
And the BOA as written above is no better.