Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New procedures for magnet programs

From today's PG, new proposals for giving various types of applicants a greater chance to be selected for various magnet programs are being proposed. The PG mentions that comments may be made at the March and April public hearings. It is not clear where the new proposal may be found for review.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09062/952725-53.stm

14 comments:

Mark Rauterkus said...

This is upside down thinking. These solution are written to benefit the district. This is not ideal and what the parents want.

Case in point: If you want your child to go to school X then you should be able to go to school X. Screw the lottery.

Schools of "choice" are not schools of lottery selections.

If there is a big demand for CAPA -- then CAPA should expand.

If there is a tiny demand for another school -- then fix it, else shrink it.

Within reason, we need to fight the lottery and push for flexibility and real student/parent/family choice.

Once again, we're sorta unsure if this is the true direction of the PPS as a district of choice -- or not.

Of course, kids need to be qualified in terms of acadmeic background. But, that should be the bulk of the qualifications.

We wouldn't have poor performing schools if we had more fluid enrollment options. People would vote with their feet.

Presently, there is far too much bondage with the student to the forced school.

A lottery rules re-do is far from the traits of freedom, flexible, ideal and consumer-driven.

Anonymous said...

How true that "Schools of "choice" are not schools of lottery selections." If I want to gamble I'll go to Vegas not take chances with my children's education.
Also, at some point in a student's career, ability and qualifications need to be considered for placement. Here's a thought, how about taking the scores from the standardized tests the kids are forever subjected to and using those scores to help determine who goes to what school. Maybe this will encourage more parents to insist on extra 'real' help if their child is having trouble. If students aren't taught that at some point ability and effort will count for something then we as a society are doing them a grave disservice.

Questioner said...

Maybe someone can discuss the issue of real "schools of choice" at the next public hearing.

It is not clear for example why with so much demand a small building with no room to expand was chosen for the sci tech school.

A problem however is that some areas are happy with their feeder schools as a fallback and enjoy magnets as a chance for an extra option, always allowing them to go back to a good feeder school, while other areas have no good feeder school option. So it is difficult to build enough support for a better system.

Mark Rauterkus said...

There are three rules of real estate, right:

Location, location, location.

Frick Middle School, in Oakland, was picked as the Sci-Tech School because of one of those three reasons.

Meanwhile, Knoxville is empty.

But that theory gets blown out of the water as one considers why South Vo Tech is empty as is Schenley -- both in valued locations.

Anonymous said...

One explanation- Schenley would provide competition for Sci Tech and U Prep. But maybe that is less of an issue now that sci tech has already been established.

fixit said...

Has anyone given any thought to the upperclassmen attending Sci-Tech wanting to bring a car to school? I have kids in my neighborhood who drove daily to Schenley last year and Reizenstein this year. Apparently. parking was a bigger headache this year, but still worth it for student athletes with a long day behind them.

I just saw an OnQ featuring U Prep and Dr. Narcisse (sp?). Does anyone know where we hear about these things in advance?

Wednesday 7:30 3-4-09

parent'o'3 said...

There aren't going to be sports at Sci-Tech -- it's on the CAPA model of limited extra-curriculars (maybe some that are academic?).

You're right, though, that you'd have to be crazy to try to park near there in Oakland -- it'd be much easier taking a bus. Of course, that's one of the advantages of city living, at least for this family!

Mark Rauterkus said...

Sports is going to happen at Sci-Tech. The tide turned on that one. At first, sports were NOT to occur. But, the body of research was not going to go away saying that athletes get better grades, obesity is a serious problem and so on.

Sci-Tech and U-Prep will combine to field teams at the HS level.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Not done with the OnQ budget, but it is a U-Prep segment in video.

http://www.viddler.com/explore/Rauterkus/videos/53/

Questioner said...

Wasn't there some kind of issue as to whether two schools could combine to field a sports team, unless it was just an intramural type team? Also intentions may be good but logistics may be something different. The sci tech website seemed to recognize that when it stated that sports at U Prep were a possibility for sci tech students that really really wanted to play a sport (paraphrasing here). A question is whether PPS will devote the effort necessary to make this sports partnership work.

parent'o'3 said...

Next year UPrep has a 9th and 10th grade and Sci-tech only a 9th grade. How do you field teams with the equivalent of one and a half grades at other schools?

By the time the schools are full...well, it's likely there will be one or two teams. Whatever can drum up enough support. And that's not sports at Sci-Tech or UPrep, that's a team or two shared between the schools.

And who knows what the rest of the district will look like in those 3-4 years?

Anonymous said...

This is a shame because sports can make a big difference in how enthusiastic kids are about school and can help build the school community. Maybe there would be fewer problems at U Prep if this outlet was available.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Presently U-Prep kids play sports with the Schenley teams.

This is a regular practice in the WPIAL too, these days.

Lots and lots of programs have joint teams that include kids from two different high schools, under one banner.

Most often this is with the smaller schools. Both U-Prep and Sci-Tech are going to be 'AA' sized. Fine.

Yes, when the rubber meets the road, the programs need support. Time will tell. I won't hold my breath.

The staging of the sports as Schenley goes into nothingness, and so on, is a mystery to me -- sadly. But, I'm making some waves about this best I can.

Call me if you'd like to talk more.
412 298 3432

Mark Rauterkus said...

Q: Next year UPrep has a 9th and 10th grade and Sci-tech only a 9th grade. How

A: One thing you do is field JV and Freshmen teams.