Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Retaining PPS families

This seems to be a perennial topic...

From another post:

Anonymous said...
As a PPS Parent, PPS Teacher I am scared for the future of our schools. The money wasted? How about that rally for district employees. I was told that the money was fondation money and if it was not used it would be lost. It was used, but it was a waste. These foundations dictate how the money is to be spent, none of the money goes directly to teaching or even to our crumbling schools.

What is scary is all the house for sale signs I see all over the South Hills part of the city, Brookline, Westwood, Banksvile, ect. people are not complaining to the school board, there leaving. I have two on my street and they have school age children. When Thompson dropped the residency requirement for teachers many of my comrades ran for the suburbs. I stayed out of a sense of pride, being a PPS grad. The way things are going maybe I should reconsider. I have to say I considered leaving the district as a teacher the last few years because of the hostile enviroment I have to work in.
Frustrated and losing hope
July 21, 2009 2:07 PM

Parent said...
I agree that many people don't bother to complain or to do so very loudly. They figure this is what the city offers and they should take it or leave it -- and many choose to leave.

Parents that do get involved have generally been those more likely to stick around in the past. However, under this administration particularly, the more involved you become (particularly outside of a single classroom or school) the more quickly you realize that the devotion to "parent engagement" is a crock.

They handpick parents to be on various committees and then say that parents were involved. Most parents and teachers I know who have been on some of these committees figure out pretty quickly that they're being shepherded through a process designed to get the outcome they planned on.

It's not a good combination for successful schools -- letting the less involved just slip away and make those who want to stay and be involved in improving schools increasingly cynical and angry and aware of how very little impact they can have. I think teachers see this too -- you can either be a part of their already made plans and have no real influence using your own knowledge or you can shut up and do what you can in your own classroom or...you can leave.
July 21, 2009 2:23 PM

Anonymous said...
Re: parents/teachers figuring that outcomes have already been decided- committee member attendance seems to go way down after the first meeting or two. Many people seem to find the committees are not what they hoped, or to decide they are not worth the time.
July 21, 2009 2:49 PM


deegazette said...

Anonymous #1 The 2001 legislative vote to erase the residency requirement was not Thompson's idea but yes, he did nothing to oppose it. Blame Philly the other city of the second class in PA who could not get and keep teachers living with a residency requirement. Yeah, I know, on June 14, 2001 when the PG first carried the story of the House Ed Committee considering the measure, many were told it would not fly, never get out of committee. If I recall one of the initial sponsors withdrew his support. By June 21, 2001 there was no residency requirement in cities of the second class. It would be interesting to see the numbers. I wonder if Philly is still having a hard time retaining staff without a residency requirement. If PPS has any blame to bear on the issue it is only that they did nothing to oppose removing the requirement. We should look to those representing us in Harrisburg at the time. Our City Council passed a resolution opposed to the legislation, but it did not good.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Pittsburgh is the only city of the second class in PA.

deegazette said...

Thanks Mark for the correction. I checked my file and although the newspaper articles go back to 1992 I must have pulled the 2001 articles for some reason. I am sure you would get a kick out of some of what I found like Joe Cusick's District 4 Constituent Handbook.

Mark Rauterkus said...

A public reading of Joe Cusick's District 4 Constituent Handbook could be organized as a #G20Arts event.

Perhaps johnnie mac could make some jokes. Don't blink. Or, don't sniff.