Beth Tillack of San Antonio, Florida grew angry when she learned her son Douglas made the honor roll with what she thought were less than honorable grades. WFTS ABC Action News reports that the seventh grader’s recent Pasco Middle School report card showed he earned “C” and “D” letter grades, and also contained a teacher’s hand-written note with a positive message and a smiley face.
Beth was confused by the discrepancy saying, “It was glaring, the fact that it said, 'Good job,' and then there was a 'D'…It doesn’t make any sense.” Beth had taken technology privileges away from her seventh grade son when he brought the disappointing report card home so she was floored when he asked for his iPod back saying that he was an honor roll student.
"The bottom line is there’s nothing honorable about making a D…I was not happy, because how can I get my child to study for a test when you know he thinks he's done enough."
The mother’s complaints were heard and administrators responded. A new report card was issued with a revised note reading, “Work on Civics! Ask for Help!” School principal Kim Anderson told WFTS that the handwritten notes are words of encouragement, which Pasco Middle School teachers have been giving since the 1990’s. The principal said that in the future, "I think I'll caution teachers to look at the report cards closely.”
As far as the honor roll recognition, Principal Anderson said that it is based on a grade point average system outlined by the Pasco School District. Within that system, even an “F” grade could be offset by higher grades and land a student on the honor roll. Regarding the honor roll Beth feels, “There definitely should be a cut off.” The school’s top administrator agrees saying, "I do think it is important that we look at the situation."
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Kurt Browning, Pasco County superintendent said that he will propose a change to the district’s honor roll policy. “My plan is to go back to having honor roll by quarter, based on all A's or A's and B's," continuing on agreeing with Beth Tillack that their current policy sends a mixed message and, “If you made a C, you’re not on the honor roll.” The proposed changes would impact approximately 35,000 Pasco middle and high school students. Beth was grateful that the school district decided to take action saying, “I applaud them for looking at it seriously and making changes."