Wednesday, March 13, 2019

"I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating." Sophocles

Like thousands of other Americans, I am shocked by the scandal involving rich parents paying huge sums of money for their children to be accepted into prestigious universities. Some had the answers changed on the SAT and the ACT; some pretended their children were talented athletes.  This whole thing makes me feel physically sick.

For all the years I was in the classroom, my colleagues and I helped our students to develop better study habits to get higher grades to apply for college.  We taught strategies to make the best choices on questions in order to score higher on the required standardized tests.  We handed out suggested reading lists and recommended courses, community service, and more. We encouraged the students to believe in themselves, and we told the students that their hard work would be rewarded.

WRONG. Not if these selfish parents have their way. 

I have to think - what about all the worthy students who were NOT granted admission to the university of their choice, because parents cheated and paid cash for their own kids to get in?  These cheaters and elitists deserve to have the book thrown at them.  What terrible examples they set for their own children, and I feel sorry for the kids who did not know their parents did this. I am sure they are having some real feelings of worthlessness right now, that Mommy and Daddy did not believe in them enough to allow them to make the grade on their own - instead, they paid for their kids to be accepted.  And what makes these cheaters think that their kids are more deserving than a hard working student from the middle class? 

I hope the big name universities are punished for their part in this "Operation Varsity Blues." What an embarrassment for Brown and Yale and  USC and the others to have their names tarnished in this criminal activity. 

This scandal has only just begun. I have the feeling that more and more famous names will come to light.  I hope both students and parents can learn from this terrible cheating scandal. And I hope the most worthy candidates are awarded a place in their chosen university.

Here is a link to the scandal:

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

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