Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Measurable performance goals"

On the May "Start a new post," Kathy Fine wrote:

Recently, the PG endorsed Patrick Dowd, stating "He would start with a top-down reform of city practices, replacing managers who aren't doing the right things and imposing clear, measurable goals for future performance. As a model, he points to the contract the school board devised for Superintendent Mark Roosevelt while Mr. Dowd was a member of that body."

The following is the list of performance priorities from the Superintendent's 2005 contract:


A. Year One. The priorities for the first year effective August 29, 2005 are the following:

1. Present to the Board within 6 months, after community input, a comprehensive reform agenda, the primary focus of which is creation and implementation of a plan for improving student achievement across the District, including a plan for significant progress towards closing the achievement gaps.

Measurable, but not met. As of today, we are still waiting for a comprehensive reform agenda.

2. Improved stakeholder engagement with the Pittsburgh School District community.

Does not seem to me that this goal has been stated in a way that can be measured.

3. Financial and managerial leadership, including a balanced budget for 2006.

Anyone know if he submitted a balanced budget for 2006. This is certainly a measurable goal, just not sure if it was met.

4. Demonstrating leadership in evaluations and making staff accountable for meeting District priorities, including strengthening the District’s recruitment, training, and development of effective principals.

I suppose that this is one that he has addressed through the creation of the PELA program (although this program is being funded by and I believe portions of these principals salaries are provided by the Broad Foundation).

5. Development of an educationally sound plan for reorganization and closing of schools, including community involvement.

Is this measurable? Has there been an meaningful community involvement?I suppose that these goals are a step up from having no goals at all, but I believe that they could have been stated with more clear methods for evaluation.
May 10, 2009 11:14 AM


Annette Werner said...

Where do the "Excellence for All" goals fit into this? Those goals were measurable, but the district does not seem to have released information for example on how the dropout rate has changed over the past 4 years. There were certain PSSA goals, but no report seems to have been released on progress on these goals (other than PURE Reform's Featured Topic on this subject).

In addition to having goals that are measurable, it seems necessary to also provide for someone to make those measurements and to provide for consequences if the goals are or are not met.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I'm looking for any examples of how Patrick's move from the PPS to the Pgh City Council helped in cooperation between the two entities.

Pgh Promise, check, FWIW. But, that is a feather in the cap with Luke.

When Councilman Dowd arrived to Grant Street, he was the chair of Citiparks & Urban Recration & Youth Policy.

School and city cooperation to benefit the kids is not working, IMNSHO.

Prove me wrong, please.

Parent One said...

I believe a significant portion of the PELA and/or PULSE program is funded via a federal grant. This was part of the overview done by Dr. Lane at an EFA meeting more than a year ago (or maybe two years ago. I remember the info because the initial grant was announced at a certain amount and somehow was increased before implementation. I am not saying some Broad support isn't funding the program too, only that in its infancy, it started with federal dollars. Could be that federal dollars were used up and Broad stepped in to continue the program. I will check my notes someday soon. I only have a parent opinion. So far I am not impressed much.

Earl Weaver said...

That Patrick Dowd wants to hang his competency for the office of Mayor of the fact that he was a supporter of the Roosevelt administration sounds very much like McCain's problem in the recent national elections. Someone ought to tell this gentleman that pointing out the incredible number of gaffes which have been made by the guy in charge would win hearts and minds quicker than failing to do so or cozying up.
In the current economic downturn, one must still wonder exactly what Mr.Dowd is talking about? How was such a contract to an individual not directly involved with education justified, especially after the Thompson and Frederick debacles? How does this individual continue to get tremendous pay raises given a continued loss of student population and stagnating--at best--scores?
If Mr.Dowd believes such ideas are laudable, he is not just mistaken, he is delusional.