Among other examples, Till had introduced performance contracts to county high schools with the intent of getting students to shape up in behavior or in attendance.
The real reason was much more sinister, which I’ll explain later in the article.
With all the talk about no bullying policies, at risk high school students were being intimidated into signing these contracts.
All without Board approval. We only found out by accident.
I personally know of one student at Piper High with a bad attendance record who was essentially shown the door at 16 and “encouraged” to pursue a GED because the student was “hurting our numbers.”
That’s a direct quote to me at the time from a now retired Guidance Counselor.
But there was nothing I could do since I was days away from leaving.
That former student scored just short of scholarship level on the GED test and is now only several credit hours of an AA degree from BC.
We thought that calling Till on the carpet would put a stop to it.
Last week, I discovered that those performance contracts are still making the rounds, this time at Deerfield Beach High.
A contract was laid on the table during a student-grade adviser conference without the parent being involved.
The student refused to sign and challenged the authority of such a contract, it disappeared, never to be seen again.
I know that student as well and this particular individual (who is now at BC) had no idea that I’d already known about the contracts.
And if those “contracts” are at Deerfield Beach, they’re everywhere.
I’ve had several conversations since then and sources are telling me that high schools are encouraging at risk students to transfer out.
Raise the school’s graduation numbers.
I call it corruption at the basest level, and I’m willing to bet that the School Board knows nothing about it.
It’s a holdover from the Till administration where it was intentionally kept from my Board, too.
High school students most in need of guidance and intervention being shuffled around and even pushed out the door for the sake of numbers.
Let me recount something said by Dr. Till in 2005 while the Board was at Citrix for training.
The 2004 FCAT rankings had just been released and several high schools were still ranked pretty low…
“If we eliminate the lowest 25%, our numbers are really good.”
Little did we know what was being planned.
Don’t pass go. Don’t collect $200. Go directly to jail.
It’s still going on…