Thursday, September 10, 2009

PURE Reform in City Paper

The link is at


Annette Werner said...

CP's coverage of PURE is appreciated, as it will help more people to learn about our work.

I do need to address the issue of why a group like PURE would be formed.

While people often have strong objections to a school closing- particularly a school as special as Schenley was (see "Why we fight for Schenley" in Links)- those objections alone would not spark the formation of a group like PURE and the countless hours of time, effort and energy it has entailed.

This type of effort arises only as a result of a profound sense that something is not right. It is more about issues with the process and the basis on which decisions are made than it is about a particular school.

Let me also say that the article is absolutely correct in describing Kathy Fine's prior support of the administration, including its position on Schenley. I observed this support myself at the initial community meeting about Schenley at the Cathedral of Learning back in October 2007, before I even knew Kathy. Her views were in fact so unpopular that she did not participate in the "Schenley committee" at all but rather formed a separate group dedicated to looking at district-wide academic reform efforts. It was concerns about transparency, effective public participation and real parent engagement that led to, and continue to form the basis for, PURE Reform.

Parent of Two said...

Thank you Annette and Kathy for all your hard work!
As to the article: Roosevelt loves using (even incorrectly) facts and figures when it suits his agenda.
And, Ms. Fink, you are wrong: The Board needs help from no one to look bad it manages that on its. own

Mark Rauterkus said...

Nice ink!

Well done CP and cheers for the concern of all for the benefit of the kids.

Anonymous said...

It should come as no surprise that a long-in-the-tooth housewife turned political hack like Jean Fink would play the public relations card in this article. I continually ask myself how the terminally vapid--like Fink and Colaizzi--can have a voice as school board members. Amazing. Only in Pittsburgh.

Kathy Fine said...

Thanks to Chris Young and the City Paper for highlighting the efforts of PURE Reform this week. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to providing the students and their families of the PPS, as well as the taxpayers of the City of Pittsburgh, with information regarding the reformation our public school system.

We at PURE Reform strive to provide reliable information on our website and in our testimony to the PPS school board. As information is only helpful to constructive dialogue if it is accurate, we encourage all citizens, including the PPS administration, to correct us if we get something wrong. However, we will not be pressured to stop investigating and sharing what we find.

As noted in the CP article, our mission is broad in scope. We explore issues such as the 6-12 grade school configuration, the effectiveness of the CEP program at Clayton Academy, a thorough evaluation of PSSA scores, parent engagement strategies, and the PPS district wide facilities review, just to name a few. Our focus has and will remain on transparency and parent/community engagement. We have maintained a professional and amicable relationship with district employees, all who have been extremely courteous and helpful during our inquiries/requests for information. We have seen school board members listen attentively to our testimony and received feedback from the PPS administration that has aided us in providing information to our members.

Creating a world class public school system will provide our children with the education that they need to grow and thrive in the real world. This is a formidable task and it will take a lot of work, a lot of ideas and a lot of listening from everyone. Our children are our motivation. Our motives are PURE.