Saturday, December 20, 2008

Report on EFA Meeting/ HS Reform Posted

PURE Reform's report on the December 18 Excellence for All Steering Committee meeting about High School Reform has been posted on PURE Reform's Announcement's page (go to "Announcements" tab).


Anonymous said...

It seems like the size of the gym is something that would be easy to measure and find out- and that this should have been done before the decision to move both middle and high school students into the building.

Anonymous said...

Just for clarification the number of incidents per 100 students at Schiller is 126.9. I think it could have been hard to hear from the middle of the room.

Questioner said...

The projected enrollment declines of about 65% for Oliver, Westinghouse, Peabody and Langley seemed extremely high and so we asked about the basis for these projections. The response was that they came from the PA Dpt of Ed.

However, The PA DoE website does not seem to have any school-specific projections. It does have projections for the entire PPS district by various grade groupings, including 9 - 12:

The grade 9-12 projected enrollment for 2011-2012 is 6703. Adding up the grade 9-12 enrollment numbers for 2008-2009, current enrollment is 8183.

So, the PA Dept of Ed website predicts enrollment in 2011-2012 to be 82% of 2008-2009 enrollment, or an 18% drop.

It is not clear why the 65%enrollment decline mentioned at the EFA meeting is so much larger than the state projection (which in turn is significantly greater than the decline in the Pittsburgh school age population- see PURE Reform's Featured Topic on this issue).

Kathy Fine said...

Other information regarding the EFA meeting on high school reform: When questioned about the viability of having multiple middle school and high school teams vying for gym time in the new 6-12 high schools, we were told that Reizenstein's gym could be split into two and that the staggered dismissal times would aid in scheduling. However, it has been determined that the gym is not large enough to split in two and that the high school sports teams use the entire gym at practice for the JV and Varsity teams. Furthermore, the 40 minute difference in dismissal times would not have any impact on scheduling. The district also pointed to Brashear as a model for 6-12 high schools when it comes to sports. However, Brashear has two gyms, making it an inappropriate comparison, even when the kids move to Peabody, which only has one gym (albeit larger than Rezenstein's).

To the district's credit, there is a plan to meet with the coaches at Schenley/Reizenstein to try to work out the problem and I received prompt responses to my inquiries from Derrick Lopez.

Questioner said...

Re: enrollment declines- it is important to understand that declines are not all due to demographic changes but are also caused by students choosing charter schools. City Charter High School reportedly has a waiting list. Each charter school student costs the district over $12,000 in reimbursements to the charter school (

So if for example 25 incoming 9th graders in an area choose a charter school because they no longer have an option for a full service high school, that cost for those 9th grade students would be over $300,000. For 25 students in each high school grade level, or 100 students, the cost would be over $1.2M a year- money that could have gone towards making a full service high school available to PPS students in the affected areas for years to come.

Anonymous said...

First off, one of the problems we have in PPS is the presence of groups like A+, yet another mouthpiece for the Roosevelt administration. When is someone going to work up enough gumption to tell Ms.Reed and her associates to take a hike? Secondly, Lopez won't come out and say what is obvious: parents of upper tier students are taking their kids out of PPS for myriad reasons. School safety--or lack thereof,horrible grading policies, outrageous curricula...the list goes on. What, did someone expect Mr.Lopez to be frank and honest?
PPS may be going to the netherworld in a bucket, but thanks to the salaries of Roosevelt, Lopez, Poncelet, Lippert, and others, it's nice to know that administration is enjoying the ride.