Monday, December 15, 2008

Change for the Sake of Change?

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

It appears to me that schools are being changed for the sake of change. It would be wonderful if when plans are made to move and reinvent schools the students going to those schools were really, truly considered. 'New and improved' schools need to be 'improved' not just 'new'.The district's 'salespeople' are old time snakeoil salesmen (and women). They promise that everything will be 'new' and 'better'. Questions are never fully answered (Why?) Parents need to start asking questions and not be satisfied until they are given answers they really understand.


Questioner said...

It seems that there is a real expectation that changes will be improvements, but that this expectation is based on a "gut feeling" rather than research and solid information. See for example these two articles on a change to K-8 schools:

"Attempting a turnaround: Benefits seen in putting middle schools in K-8's"

and then a year later

"City of Pittsburgh's K-8 Schools get bad grades"

In general there also seems to be too much expected of a change in configuration. And, since changes are not made cautiously and gradually, it is hard to change course when things don't work out as planned.

Anonymous said...

The gentleman in charge of Pittsburgh Public Schools had a background in corporate matters. Why is it any surprise that he is not adept at assessing what works and what doesn't? Why is it no surprise that he hasn't the slightest clue as to what make children tick? Why is it no surprise that he is wary of even stepping foot into a city school?
Here is a man who has surrounded himself with like-thinking "yes men", people who, like him, haven't the foggiest notion of how to inspire urban youth to value education.
This current cycle of education in the city schools can't end soon enough. Re-structuring schools based upon unintelligible logic, scatterbrained curriculum that makes no sense to students and teachers's a good bet that more families have opted to place their kids in non public schools than in them, "The Pittsburgh Promise" notwithstanding.
And while we are on the Promise, everyone realizes that students must apply for aid and grants first, right? Everyone understands that the average kid will come out of school with tens of thousands in debt, right? Does anyone equate that with a free education?
This man and his cronies---central administration, in particular--need to go....and now.