Saturday, February 25, 2017

What's going on recently

Anonymous wrote:

"New post please

Keeping tabs on what's going on

Thoughts on the strategic plan? (second link)
http://www.pps.k12.pa.us/Page/1305

Guesses on which schools will become community schools? (Last two links)

Also info about the changing coach positions. "

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dashed hopes?

Anonymous wrote:

"**New post please
I was hopeful that a new superintendent would bring about good changes but it appears to be 'same old, same old'. With all the central office appointments Hamlet has made they also cut over 100 teaching positions just in the last month. 2 programs that schools relied on were the Wilson itinerants and the Early Literacy Specialists. Pittsburgh as we know, is facing academic and racial achievement gaps. These gaps are apparent at the beginning of kindergarten and begin to widen in 1st in second grade. Research has proven that students who cannot read on grade level by the end of second grade will never 'catch up' Linda Lane's initiative to close these gaps by creating a program where reading specialists, and highly qualified teachers were placed in the building working directly with these students has been stomped on! Both programs have proven to be effective and have shown through data that students who were well below grade level in reading were beginning to read. Instead we are going to squash what was working and put all of our chips in one basket. The so called Reading and Math coaches are going to be able to turn around schools and close the gaps. These coaches in part will be rated on the schools scores which means teachers will not want to work with them because they will not be supportive they will be demanding since their rating will be reflected by that teacher. We've already done this in Pittsburgh Public schools and it wasn't effective. Instead of coming around to the building and having real conversations with principals and teachers to see what is needed they are spending their time like all other central administrators posting their pictures with our kids on Facebook showing how involved they are. The ITL2 taught classes now they are getting rid of them and hiring a close number of reading and math coaches who will NOT teach at all. This means we will need to pay more teachers to fill the positions that were being taught. This is like every other administration who came through. They are more worried about getting their own people in and getting rid of the old without ever looking at what IS working. This is why we continue to fail our students."

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

US Secretary of Education nomination

Anonymous passed on this message:

"Pennsylvania friends: HIGH ALERT: Word is Senator Toomey (R-PA) might vote no on DeVos. Call first thing. People are getting through to his Allentown office 610-434-1444. Also try his Philadelphia office 215-241-1090. 
#resist"

Monday, January 16, 2017

PG editorial about PPS (minimal progress over the past 10 years)

Anonymous wrote:

"Here we go again with the P-G editorial board with a negative editorial about PPS.

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2017/01/15/A-bad-report-card-Reforms-galore-but-little-progress-in-city-schools/stories/201701310028

What exactly do they mean when they say, "If enrollment continues to fall - that is, if more families flee the district - the schools will only get worse."? By get worse, do they mean only students without parents or support systems to foster them will be left behind? 

The P-G praised Roosevelt and Lane, the Broad Foundation, and the Gates Foundation. In my opinion, these were all smoke and mirrors and contributed to getting PPS in a mess. Roosevelt got out while the getting was good. "

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Change of principals at Westinghouse (again)

Anonymous wrote:

"New post

I want to know why the former principal was on leave for a few months, then moved to an elementary school. I don't buy that it is because she was a spanish teacher. What is the real story?

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2017/01/10/Pittsburgh-Westinghouse-gets-new-principal/stories/201701100089 "

Friday, January 6, 2017

T. Sumpter not seeking reelection to School Board

Anonymous wrote:

"New post

This was already shared in the comments of an earlier post, but deserves its own thread

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2017/01/05/Sumpter-will-not-seek-re-election-for-Pittsburgh-Public-Schools-board/stories/201701050167

Tl;dr Sumpter will not run for reelection. Sala Udin may be considering it

Who would yinz like to see in the seat? "

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A+ hiring of Republican political consulting firm

Anonymous wrote:

"Forgive me in advance if I sound rambling but I thought the topic important enough to risk being late for work to post this and ask for your opinions. The PG carried the article: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2016/12/16/Pittsburgh-based-Republican-political-consulting-firm-grows-outside-the-Beltway/stories/201612120044 on December 16, 2016.

To me the most pertinent line in the article was: “Cold Spark also has made inroads with non-political clients, including work for local school reform advocacy group A+ Schools and a Pittsburgh Diocese campaign to attract more candidates to the priesthood.”

Cold Spark is described as a GOP Political Consulting Firm. Was A+ unable to find a consulting firm not affiliated with any one political party in this town? I can’t be the only person bothered by this connection, can I? The director of A+ was a guest on the show Chris Moore does on PCNC and presented much of what we have heard in the past in terms of school performance. I suppose it is time to go back and read the organization’s mission statement and try to watch the episode again. I will also have my radar up to see if any candidate references A+ while giving a speech or answering a question. This just does not feel right to me. "