How accurate is the HBO movie

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HBO movie Bad Education stars Hugh Jackman as Frank Tassone, Roslyn school district superintendent who was caught diverting millions of dollars from school funding – but how does dramatization compare to the truth? Directed by Cory Finley, the film delves into the stolen money scandal that rocked the community of Roslyn, Long Island in 2004.

Bad Education begins with Frank Tassone being hailed as a hero to parents of children in the Roslyn School District, given a glowing introduction to a PTA meeting by school chair Bob Spicer (Ray Romano). Frank’s assistant superintendent, Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney), also appears to be a hardworking and honest public service worker. However, some reckless DIY purchases by Pam’s son led to an investigation that initially reported $ 250,000 in embezzled funds that Pam directed out of school and into her own lifestyle – and that of her family.

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Pam’s discreet dismissal marks the first pull on a wire that unties Frank’s own wrongdoing and ends up putting both of them in jail, which happened to Tassone and Gluckin in real life. however, Bad Education also has a number of deviations from the true story. Here are some details that have been changed for the film.

Hilltop Beacon reporting exaggerated in poor education


Bad education Rachel

While it is certainly true that the story of the embezzlement was first broken by Roslyn High School’s own newspaper, the Hilltop Beacon, the depth of the investigative reports that Rachel (Geraldine Viswanathan) makes in Bad Education is exaggerated. Rebekah Rombom, the student journalist who told the story in real life, said The island now that while she ” took the effort seriously enough and did their best to do a good job“, His original scoop only concerned Pam Gluckin and the missing $ 250,000. Also, she didn’t dive as deep as Rachel can Bad Education.

“Rachel does a little more investigative reporting than I do. I had tried to apply for the Freedom of Information Act to dig a little deeper into some of the documents which, in my opinion, revealed more details about what was going on, but I couldn’t ‘I don’t know how do it in time, so I reported the facts that I had interviews that I was able to do before publication. ”

After the Hilltop Beacon unveiled the story, most of the embezzlement scandal investigation report – including the discovery that the address of the alleged word processor WordPower was the same as the Tassone’s home address – was done by Newsday. That said, an element of Bad Education what is very true in life is the conflict that Rachel feels when she sees the consequences of her denunciation. ” The fallout was difficult for the community and I certainly felt very conflicted about it.“, Rombom recalled. “I have had great experiences in these schools. “

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Frank’s boyfriend wasn’t a former student


Bad education Frank and Kyle

In Bad Education, Frank has a romantic relationship with Kyle Contreras (Rafael Casal), an exotic bartender and dancer from Las Vegas that Frank taught in his English class 16 years ago. Kyle is based on a real person, Jason Daugherty, and Frank really ended up buying a house with him. However, in reality, Daughtery was not Tassone’s former student. Instead, it seems that the two simply met and succeeded on one of Tassone’s gaming trips to Las Vegas. Frank’s embellishment romantically engaging with someone he used to teach has probably been added to Bad Education to show Tassone’s complicated relationship with the students in his charge.

How Frank Tassone and Pam Gluckin spent their stolen money


Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney Poor education

Bad Education covers some of the ways Frank Tassone and Pam Gluckin spent the money they stole from the school district budget, including Tassone’s sharp clothes and first-class flights (not to mention the house he bought with his second partner in Las Vegas) and the multiple houses of Gluckin and the vanity-clad Jaguar. As illustrated in the film, Tassone paid money to his main partner under the title of WordPower which was then siphoned into his own accounts, and also put many expensive vacations on his business credit card, including regular gaming trips to Las Vegas. Among his biggest expenses is $ 56,645 in payments to a Manhattan doctor to lose weight. Meanwhile, Gluckin used his access to school funding to support not only his needs, but those of several family members.

Was Frank Tassone a good superintendent (embezzlement)?


Poor education Hugh Jackman

One of the strengths of Bad Education is that it’s not just a simple story of an outright villain. Frank’s final fantasy, before the credits, is to place Roslyn High School in first place in the country (although this fantasy seems to be tangled with its own ego). While he may have stolen millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars, Frank Tassone did oversee the rise of Roslyn to become one of the best school districts in the country. In addition, he was widely appreciated and seemed to really care about the students in his district. He would have insisted on meeting each new pupil personally and even managed a book club for local parents, as the film shows. Bad EducationMike’s screenwriter Mike Makowsky was a high school student in Roslyn when the scandal broke, and first met Tassone at the age of six. Talk to Vanity Fair, Makowsky recalled:

“He had been in the Roslyn school district for 10 or 12 years – and at that time, he had made the school district grow to this point of national importance … which meant that the city itself was doing well because of school The district is directly linked to things like property values. The administrators were asking for more and more money and, as they were doing an incredible job, taxpayers were happy to oblige. All of their children went to amazing schools and did their big SATs and the value of property in the city increased. So it was a really complicated and horrible thing. ”

Talk to New York magazine when the story broke, Tassone’s deputy superintendent Charlie Piemont said that ” Frank was really the master. I mean, this guy was loved. He walked on the water“Andrew Miller, the school auditor who must have tried to sort out Roslyn’s accounts after the embezzlement scandal broke, had a different opinion. “Frank is a great manipulator of people,“Miller said. »Wthat’s probably why some people thought he was a great superintendent.“As the film points out, Tassone lived his lavish lifestyle as the ceilings at Roslyn High School leaked – symbolic of the cracks beneath the school’s and Tassone’s brilliant reputation.

It doesn’t matter if Tassone really cared for his students or if he was just the “sociopath” that Pam called him in the film, Bad EducationHis story is complicated by the fact that he appeared to have had a truly positive impact during his tenure as superintendent. ” I know the movie is called Bad Education“Said Makowsky Vanity Fair. ” But it’s a bit improper in this regard… I had an incredible education there. “Were these results worth the cost Tassone had for local taxpayers and the devious way in which he had acquired his fortune?” Bad Education leave it to the public to judge.

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