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Bad Education HBO

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Maybe it was the uniformly rave reviews for this, but I was a bit underwhelmed and I put it down to the script. Good acting by everyone, some nice satirical scenes, but I thought there was little insight into Jackman’s and Janney’s characters or how the scam worked. Maybe this is what happens when there is no cooperation from the subjects in developing the script, while the writers are trying to not overly fictionalize the story either. It all seemed flat to me.

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I loved it and as a Long Islander it  hit close to home. It was big news when the scandal broke. I thought Allison Janney was spot on with her Lawn Guyland accent and Hugh Jackman's makeup artist is to be commended to transform him from the handsome guy he is to a pretty good likeness of Dr. Tassone.  The one thing that had me confused was the wedding photo of his 'wife' on his desk. Either I missed it or it wasn't explained but I thought that perhaps he'd married a woman, being closeted at that time, and she died and then after that he lived his life as a gay man. I guess the marriage to a woman was just another of his lies and he obviously was not 'out' to his colleagues.  I have to admit, though, that I felt a bit guilty for enjoying the movie so much, being that it was an awful thing to happen to the Roslyn school children and their taxpayer parents. 

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I have watched it twice! I thought it was well-written and Hugh Jackman just disappears into the role. Extra bonus was the music. 
I can’t stop thinking about it. I loved school growing up and can still name my teachers but this is before the focus on rankings and test scores took over schools. The rationalization and sociopathy of the Frank Tassone character is disgusting. But his own love of mentoring/teaching did him in. I felt so bad for his partner!
On my second watch, I realized that Pam’s box of resignation shame had the receipts! Her note to Frank was a shot over the bow. I wonder if we can make a drinking game for any time skywalk is mentioned?
Ray Romano is really turning into a solid dramatic actor! Damnit, time for viewing #3...

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I guess there was a lot of money in that school district.

But was he only in charge of one high school or the whole district?

Why does a public school or school district have a business manager?

He must have been making a very high salary if he still gets a $180k pension.

But he only embezzled $2.2 million?  Or only charged with stealing that much?

Pamela is the one who went out of control, got her own family involved in the grift.  But $4.3 million buys 2 oceanside homes plus other stuff?  Was it like maybe in the '80s or something?

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On 5/6/2020 at 12:26 AM, scrb said:

I guess there was a lot of money in that school district.

But was he only in charge of one high school or the whole district?

Why does a public school or school district have a business manager?

He must have been making a very high salary if he still gets a $180k pension.

But he only embezzled $2.2 million?  Or only charged with stealing that much?

Pamela is the one who went out of control, got her own family involved in the grift.  But $4.3 million buys 2 oceanside homes plus other stuff?  Was it like maybe in the '80s or something?

 

So Tassone was superintendent of the whole school district, and yes a school district had a business manager.  School districts in wealthy areas get a lot of tax money.

 Business manager creates the school budget, authorizes payments and writes checks for supplies and vendors.  Very easy to authorize payments for fake vendors, especially if the school board is dazzled by college admissions and not watching the budget closely.  I think the auditor was “paid well” to look the other way too.

Superintendents can make a lot of money and some pensions can be as high as 60% of salary.  I’m surprised the district didn’t try to void the employment contract to get out of the pension.

the amounts had to be what was charged given that Tassone was paying his partner $800,000 a year for pamphlets.  


 

 

Edited by Hanahope
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We watched this a few weeks ago and while I thought it was good but not great, I have found myself thinking about it a lot. Like, how on earth did they get away with so much for so long. I then read the original articles about it, talk about a huge scoop for the student journalist! 

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