Tuesday, December 2, 2008

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Kathy Fine said...

Pure Reform attended the Parent Engagement (PE) meeting at the Carnegie Library on the Hill on Monday (see announcements at www.purereform.com)

As I stated in my summary, I was impressed with Mark Conner's obvious dedication to the PPS and to increasing parent engagement. We spoke for a long time and exchanged many ideas, including:

1) using the Harlem Childrens Zone model for very early (o-3 yrs.) parent engagement.
2) increased hours for after school programs.
3) using each school as the base for that neighborhoods parent engagement efforts making it more likely to boost attendance.

Of course, most of these ideas require funding that we don't have. Maybe after IB moves and we sell Reizenstein? I don't know, but these efforts should be a priority.

Kathy Fine said...

PURE Reform spoke with Lisa Frischetti this morning to clear up the issue of our unanswered questions regarding the strategic plan as well as the questions that were submitted to Derrick Lopez formally in August but many of which have remained unaddressed since October 2007 (see pure reform website for list of questions. Ms. Fischetti was unaware that many of our questions remained unanswered and agreed to address them within the next 2 months.

During our conversation, I mentioned the fact that one of our members blogged about pulling her child from the public schools because of all of the chaos surrounding the Schenley closure. I talked about the fact that some parents had understood that the district would contact families that were leaving the PPS to explore their reasons, yet this parent had not been contacted. Ms. Fischetti stated that the district had never intended to contact each family, but instead hires the Pittsburgh firm Campos to do a survey which would include a comprehensive cros section of departing families to explore their reasons for leaving and that in about 1 year the district was hoping to have a mechanism in place that would contact each family individually.

Ms. Frischetti also informed me that the district is was working on a mechanism that would provide feedback/responses to residents that gave testimony at public board hearings. Anyone that has participated in this frustrating one way process will welcome this change.

OK, I'm off to the PVAAS training at Uprep. More to come...

PUREReform said...

Word is that the committee to investigate uses for the Schenley Building will commence in the new year after the new facilities director is hired. Pure reform will continue to monitor the progress on this committee and be involved on the committee itself.

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...


Here's an interesting story -- and the report it references might be good for PURE Reform to look at, too!

Anonymous said...

How disheartening to see NOT ONE woman nominated for Allderdice's Hall of Fame. Could they not have chosen at least one woman out of the four chosen? What does this say to all the female students...You don't count!

Anonymous said...

Maybe this post could be about the PPS website- what caused me to suggest it is that when one searches for schools, the names are alphabetized...except, when one types "S," the new Science and Technology school appears before Schaeffer, Schenley, and Schiller. Is this an honest mistake? Do they not know how to alphabetize? Is this a push to try to get more interest in the new school? This may seem cynical..but, hmmm.