Beth Tillack’s son, upon making the honor roll at Pasco Middle School in Dade City, Florida, asked his mother for his iPod back. Her reaction may surprise some. Not only did Beth not return the iPod, but she took away her son’s computer privileges as well!
Beth was mortified that her son, despite receiving a “C” and a “D” on his report card, still made the honor roll. Tillack called the school and demanded a retraction. The school replaced the “Good job” smiley face, and note that his 3.16 average had made the honor roll with “Work on Civics. Ask for help.”
Beth e-mailed Pasco County School Superintendent, Kurt Browning, with her concerns that the district was encouraging low standards and undermining the ability of parents to get their kids to study when they feel that, even with failing grades, they have done enough.
Currently, Honor Roll inclusion is based on grade point average, which allows room for C’s, D’s, and F’s and can send a negative message to students that failure is acceptable. Tillack views this celebration of failure as counterproductive.
Superintendent Browning agreed with Ms. Tillack that the policy “sends a mixed message,” and intends to change district policy to restrict Honor Roll to only students with all A’s or A’s and B’s to encourage students to strive to do their best.
Thanks to Beth Tillack, the schools will now have higher expectations for students’ performance.