Friday, September 26, 2008

Automatic 50%

There has been discussion in the media and among the board about the PPS rule that grades cannot be entered as less than 50%. So presumably, even if a student refuses to do an assignment at all, that student will receive a mark of 50%.

As an alternative, how about the "makeup" policy that some schools have- ie, work below a certain grade can be "made up" for a mark equal to the orginal grade and the makeup grade. For ex, a student with a 40 who got a 90 on a makeup would have a grade of 65. This way the students who were really making an effort and correcting their mistakes would be rewarded, while those who refuse to do the work at all or who simply cannot do the work would, as is appropriate, repeat the class.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sports at Schenleystein

On the September "Start a New Post," Anonymous wrote:

This might fit the category of Promise, Promises but I think it deserves its own heading: Sports at Schenleystein.I heard from another parent that there were problems getting the boys from UPrep to soccer and that they just started last week. Is it true that we don't have enough boys to field a jv soccer game? What were the numbers last year? I know that the ESL students would be lost but have we lost more than that? One of our concerns with the all-IB school is the loss of sport opportunities. Will sports die out completely with the smaller schools? Does anyone know if other sports at Schenley have been affected?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Schenley PSCC Minutes

On the September "Start a Post" Ammo wrote:

I hope to have an abbreviated version of the Schenley PSCC minutes on the blog no later than Monday. The meeting was over 2 hours long and my "official" minutes were 3 pages; much of it not really related to reform issues.

CAPA Renovation Cost Increase

This week's agenda review revealed that CAPA renovation costs are now projected at 20% more than the $5 million figure given at the time of the merger, with further cost increases expected.

The explanation given is that based on input from teachers and parents, the scope of the project has increased. However, one board member pointed out that teachers and parents could have been consulted about the scope of the project before the $5 million figure was put out. And in fact the Hileman report, "The Realities of the Proposed CAPA-Rogers Merger" (see Links tab) anticipated such extra costs as rooftop recreation space and a middle grade library.

Prediction: The $40 - $60 million cost projected for the high school reform plan (see Links tab "Beyond Schenley") will balloon by at least 30% to $52 - $78 million, with increases caused by underestimating the scope of work attributed instead to parent/teacher requests.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Parents are the most important piece"

From today's Post Gazette article about the Blue Ribbon Award to Manchester Academic Charter School (one of only a dozen PA schools public and charter to win this year's award)-

"Parents are the most important piece... If you don't have a parent doing the homework, reading to their child- there's nothing we can do to help that child if we don't have the parent's commitment."

PPS in contrast seems to emphasize curriculum, school configuration, school choice and standardized test goals with relatively little mention of parents.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A+ Schools

On the September "Start a Post," Bethoven wrote:

"I feel the PURE Reform website sould not promote ANY A+ school event or meetings. I feel it is promoting them. I think PURE reform needs to remain netural. "

Mark Roosevelt's Raise

On the September "Start a New Post" Bethoven wrote:

"ROOSEVELTS RAISE????What does everyone think about this and about our board members who I personally feel are brainwashed and simply rubberstamping everything. "

In an August board meeting that was televised, several board members explained that Roosevelt had actually done everything that his contract had called for him to do. Of course, it seems like Roosevelt had a large role in determining what his contract would call for him to do, just as he determined what the Excellence for All goals would be, all with little public input. We have requested a copy of the contract.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Community Input"; IB Location

On the September "Start a New Post," Anonymous wrote:

Why are the stakeholder's in our public schools (parents, students and teachers) being ignored during the reform process? It seems to me that while meetings are held and committees are being formed to "gather community input", these meetings/committees are a sham, with decisions already being preordained by the district before any meetings are held or committees' recommendations reviewed. Case in point: the newly formed committee to determine where the IB program will be located. The committee was told that Reizenstein and Schenley buildings are off the table and that only Westinghouse and Peabody can be considered. With Westinghouse being located in a neighborhood perceived as unsafe, that leaves Peabody, which is, I believe, where the district wanted the IB program to be located all along. Viola! Community input manipulated to get the outcome that the district wanted in the first place!

Promises to Schenley at Reizenstein; Frick 9th Grade

On the September "Start a Post" blog, anonymous wrote:

What is your take on the promises made to the Schenley family? Is the administration doing a decent job of following through on what has been promised? Is transportation working? How about sports and activities? What about our freshman class at Frick?

- Impressions?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Incidents/ Schenley-Peabody

Recently Schenley students were advised to stay out of East Liberty after school. If anyone has first hand or other credible information on incidents leading up to/ prompting this announcement the information would be much appreciated.

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