Monday, November 16, 2009

Plan for city schools

From the PG "Plan for city schools could shuffle students again":

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09320/1013789-53.stm

11 comments:

Questioner said...

The article notes that few people are signed up to speak at the public hearing.

However, many people will probably speak up at the townhall meeting being held by two board members next week (see below).

Why is it that people are so much more likely to attend and speak up at these neighborhood meetings than at the public hearing? We'll try asking some of them on Monday.

TOWNHALL MEETING


AS WE MOVE INTO A NEW DECADE COME SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IDEAS AND CONCERNS ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2009

REIZENSTEIN SCHOOL, EAST LIBERTY

6PM- 9PM

PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND CONCERNED CITIZENS

** OPEN TO ALL ** OPEN DISCUSSION **


CONVENED BY:

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT # 1 RANDALL TAYLOR

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT # 8 MARK BRENTLEY

amymoore said...

After speaking at several board hearings and being at several more to support speakers, I find it a frustrating experience. Since there is no interaction, it just seems like a wasted effort. There is little indication that anyone really listens. I admire the people from PURE Reform for their continuing efforts but without a more unified grassroots effort, I fear that this board and administration will just continue on their way treating our school system like a business that's main purpose is to balance the books.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct. Board members just sit there and everything goes in one ear and out the other. It's another dog and pony show. It looks good, but no one is really listening because everything is a done deal. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Brentley are the only ones who seem willing to interact with the public. Of course, they are also the only members who speak out against MR and his plans. Too bad Mr. Taylor is leaving. I guess he got tired of beating his head against the wall also.

Unfortunately, once again the BOE will do whatever THEY decide to do and the public be damned.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct. Board members just sit there and everything goes in one ear and out the other. It's another dog and pony show. It looks good, but no one is really listening because everything is a done deal. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Brentley are the only ones who seem willing to interact with the public. Of course, they are also the only members who speak out against MR and his plans. Too bad Mr. Taylor is leaving. I guess he got tired of beating his head against the wall also.

Unfortunately, once again the BOE will do whatever THEY decide to do and the public be damned.

Questioner said...

The NAACP will be at the hearing today. REMP, an equity organization, has expressed concern that children are being diverted from regular Pittsburgh public schools. From REMP and the NAACP:

"The academic achievement gap you read about relative to the achievement differences between white and black students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools is, in reality, a result in the disparity (difference in treatment, resources, support, quality teachers, facilities, expectations, etc,) in educational opportunities inherent in the school district.

Now we need you to help our children and come out and learn what we must do collectively as church leadership and congregations, community organizations, parents, students, activists, and NAACP members to stop the kind of apartheid education our children are receiving.

We plan to demonstrate WEEKLY in Oakland at Pittsburgh School District Administrative Building in response to the failure of the District to give every student an opportunity to learn. Starting TODAY Monday, November 16, 2009 we will be marching around the administration building located on Bellefield Streets in Oakland. We will do this every Monday starting at 5:00 pm for 7 weeks.

It is our objective to expose, challenge and address discriminatory educational practices that are taking place in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Such practices as:

· Recommendations to close many of the schools in the African American community
· Re-segregation of schools and individual school programs
· Misappropriation of monies in ways that do not support our children
· Suspension of African American students without due process
· The placement and concentration of uncertified teachers in schools with high proportions of African American students
NAACP Pittsburgh Unit (412-471-1024)
Dr. Marilyn Barnett is Chairperson of the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch's Education Committee."

dont give up said...

Showing up at the public hearing is a good way to get your message seen or heard on TV or radio news sources. Marching outside before board meetings wearing a group's t shirt is visually effective, and may get you an interview on the TV news. Signing up to speak each month , with new speeches each time, is very effective because the board members become familiar with you and your group.

Just because they cant interact with you during your speech does not mean they are not listening.

Get organized. Speak out. Over and over as needed......

Questioner said...

PG article on protest march.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09320/1013976-100.stm

The article mentions a dozen marchers, but there were at least 3 times that many supporters at tonight's public hearing.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Progress has been made.

When South Vo Tech closed, I asked the board to close it over time, as the students there graduated. Didn't happen.

Getting yanked around is the worst.

Then when Schenley closed, the kids are still going out as Schenley -- painful as it has been.

I feel that when these next schools close, a phase out and phase in as well is looming much larger and with more compassion.

Example 2: Raising taxes is still not on the table, thank goodness.

kanonymous said...

Questioner, the NAACP message is very shocking to read and I hope it gets a lot of thoughtful discussion. It concerns me that the opinions, so strongly stated, exist to the levels indicated by the choice of words. There is no plan in place, only a set of suggestions from an out-of-town consultant, so might the formal protests be premature? My next stop is the NAACP website to see if details are available on the last three points mentioned in the "such practices" section of the message. The word "misappropriation" might indicate to some readers that some dishonesty has taken place. Frankly, it is what most readers will jump to and that is unfortunate.

kanonymous said...

I have been unable to locate a website. Any ideas from the crowd?

Questioner said...

We will ask the NAACP for more information.