Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Next to last year to see a Schenley musical

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Peabody Auditorium 8 pm Thursday, April 29th, Friday, April 30th and May 1st $7

Friday, April 23, 2010

PA's First Lady promotes legal careers

Tribune article describing the program held at Schenley:


Gender based public schools

A committee sponsored by PPS recommended division of Westinghouse into separate girls' and boys' academies. Currently 9th grade core classes at the school are divided by gender.

Similar gender based classrooms were challenged by the ACLU of Louisiana in February 2010. "The evidence in this case indicates that the sex segregation policy at Rene A. Rost cannot overcome the high and even insurmountable legal hurdles to sex-based classifications in public schools," said Mark Friedman, cooperating attorney from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. "The school's segregation policy is not only clearly against the law, it also fails to provide parents and students any with any real educational choice."


Another article reports that a decision was issued this week:


According to this article, the judge determined that the school board had been negligent in faily to adequately investigate gender based classrooms. While gender based classes for the remainder of the current school year were not shut down, the article indicates that next year the school must follow guidelines allowing just one all male and one all female classroom at each grade level at the school.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Committee recommends closing Peabody

From the Tribune:


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

President Biden announces strengthening of Title IX

From: U.S. Department of Education [mailto:OPA@ed.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 2:32 PM
To: U.S. Department of Education
Subject: Vice President Biden Announces Strengthening of Title IX

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

April 20, 2010
Contact: Justin Hamilton
(202) 401-1576 or justin.hamilton@ed.gov


Today, Vice President Biden announced that the Administration has issued a 'Dear Colleague' letter that withdraws a 2005 interpretation of Title IX policy. Enacted in 1972, Title IX mandates that any educational institution receiving federal funding for programs and activities cannot discriminate on the basis of sex. The 2005 policy issued compliance standards that were widely criticized for being inadequate and inconsistent with Title IX's nondiscrimination goals. Today's announcement reverses this interpretation, and returns to a more thorough test for assessing compliance with Title IX. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, joined the Vice President at George Washington University for this announcement.

"Making Title IX as strong as possible is a no-brainer," said Vice President Biden. "What we're doing here today will better ensure equal opportunity in athletics, and allow women to realize their potential - so this nation can realize its potential."

"There is no doubt that Title IX has dramatically increased athletic, academic, and employment opportunities for women and girls, and educational institutions have made big strides in providing equal opportunities in sports," said Secretary Duncan. "Yet discrimination continues to exist in college athletic programs--and we should be vigilant in enforcing the law and protecting this important civil right."

For more than three decades, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided three options to determine whether athletic programs at colleges, universities and secondary schools provide equal opportunities for athletic participation. Under one of these three options, OCR policy evaluated multiple indicators to determine the athletic interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex at educational institutions. The new 'Dear Colleague' letter clarifies that OCR does not consider survey results alone to be sufficient evidence of a lack of student interest or ability in sports.

Today's event at George Washington University also provided sports activities for youth.

"Title IX has helped women to compete at all levels in athletics, which today's event showcased," said Valerie Jarrett. "By working through the agencies, the White House Council on Women and Girls will continue to support laws such as Title IX that provide opportunities for young girls to get ahead in life."

Today's 'Dear Colleague' letter provides recommendations for effective procedures for collecting, maintaining, and evaluating information on students' interests and abilities, including technical assistance on the nondiscriminatory design and implementation of surveys as one indicator among others of student interests and abilities.

For more information about Title IX, or to review the 'Dear Colleague' letter, please visit:

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Art of the Steal"

This fascinating movie showing at the Manor is a must see for anyone concerned about the issues raised on this site.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

EFA meeting on effective teachers plan

On "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

"The next Excellence for All Parent Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for 4/22/10 at Allderdice at 5:30 and will focus on the Empowering Effective Teaches Plan. Parents planning to attend should spend some time becoming familiar with the plan by reviewing at least the 7 Key Initiatives and the FAQs found on the pghboe website. Implementation affects our kids and is our concern too. Lack of participation in the discussion signals agreement, so being prepared with questions should signal that we are concerned about how this will impact our children."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Schenley's language program honored

From the PG, Schenley was one of 5 Pennsylvania high schools honored for its strong foreign language program:


Monday, April 12, 2010

Speaking of fights

This time an incident at Brashear, sending a security guard and staff member to the hospital.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Title IX audit report

From the PG:


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The case against early college

PPS administration has proposed an "early college" program at Oliver. An article posted by A+ schools makes the case against "early college" (although the article refers to a 2 yr program while PPS would offer a three year program):


Anyone in favor of early college?

Cause of fights

On another post Anonymous wrote about a high school:

"Three more fights Today,"

Has any sort of investigation been done into the cause of all these fights? Understanding the cause would help in deciding how to address the problem. While neighborhood issues are a well known cause, some say that boy-girl issues are an even bigger reason (girls fighting over a boy or boys fighting over a girl).

Title IX audit being released

From another post:

Anonymous wrote:


The long awaited Title IX audit is being released at tonight's Education Committee meeting at 5:30.

The spin doctors are already at work..."no apparent discrimination...to "moderate" problems." I wonder if the Board will release the report in its entirety, or just parts they "edit"?

It is also interesting that the PPS web site has Derrick Lopez listed under that topic tonight as well. It is no surprise then that he already had that coaches meeting at Brashear. That will be part of the PR. "We already started addressing problems...blah, blah."

Aparent wrote:

"I saw a middle grade girls' soccer game yesterday for the first time in years. The coach exemplified all the qualities anyone would find necessary to make a great coach. He did not need a meeting with Mr. Lopez to make him a quality coach. He brought to the field the methods and practices that make him a good teacher.

Why on earth did PPS volunteer for the Title IX audit in the first place? How the admin uses the results will be interesting to see."

Mark Rauterkus wrote:

"The Title IX audit was done as a delay ploy, IMNSHO. PPS got to do nothing (i.e., no overhaul now) for 2 years in the name of an audit. Plus, the one doing the audit is from out of town. Good cover there."

CAPA sign cost $3M

From the Tribune:


Assuming they get the sign working reliably- is this a smart marketing move, or could money have been better spent?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Advice on getting kids to do homework


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Families opting for charters

On another post Anonymous wrote:


This article in today's P-G about the proposed charter school in Hazelwood, mentions that this charter would cost the district 2.5 million dollars for the 200 students.

What really jumped out at me was the fact that the district paid 37.3 million dollars in 09-10 for the 2,549 district students already in charter schools! That is alot of money and alot of our students in charter schools. That speaks volumns to me that something is wrong with our school system that so many students opt out.

Recently two different families of potential high school students said they are sending their children elsewhere despite the Pittsburgh Promise. Their children have been in our school system up through grade eight. All the change and uncertainty makes them uneasy. One family is sending their child to a Catholic school, and the other family is sending their child to a private school.

The bottom line is that people who can afford to pay for education, will send their children elsewhere. Families who can't afford to do that, opt for charters."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Juveniles involved in crimes

On another post Anony wrote:

"I have been catching up on the news and saw that two of those allegedly responsible for the death of the retired firefighter are juveniles. Our schools cannot cure poverty. And if poverty was not what drove the people responsible for the death of a man walking his dog, our problems are even more serious than what we have been discussing."