Thursday, April 8, 2010

Title IX audit report

From the PG:


Questioner said...

Other than noting that the percentage of PPS girls involved in sports is lower than the national average, and that the district has done little to expand sports for girls in recent years, the article doesn't really focus on girls sports. It is not clear from the article if there are actual Title IX violations.

Referring to the PPS sports program overall, the report notes that there is "a general notion of apathy, hopelessness and anger regarding the quality and perceived lack of importance that the school district in general places on interscholastic athletics."

Mark Rauterkus said...

Simply do the math: equal isn't 35% girls and 65% boys. She didn't give a summary of total PPS participants, BTW, only by school.

But, then again, there isn't a "Title IX violation litmus test."

It is safe to say that PPS is failing in its offering of sports in general and its balance between opportunities for boys vs. girls.

Anonymous said...

Here is the Tribune-Review's article.

Anonymous said...

Much work needs to be done to overhaul the entire sports program.

Questioner said...

Booster clubs seem to be just a small part of the problem.

And, if the school distict offsets the amount going to a team by the amount raised by a booster club the club just won't bother- further contibuting to apathy and low esteem.

It's kind of like the way the Pittsburgh Promise hopes colleges won't offset scholarships to PPS students by the amount of the Promise scholarship.

Mark Rauterkus said...

So true that BOOSTERs (and Booster Clubs) are NOT part of the PPS problem. Boosters are part of the problem only in that they are absent and furthermore, Booster Club formation is held is such high distain.

Questioner said...

It's a little strange that the Tribune Article is headed "Area High Schools are Struggling with Title IX" when this is a report specifically about PPS.

While it is true that Pittsburgh public high schools are "area high schools," usually the term "area high schools" refers to schools from more than one district.

Most local media seems strangely concerned about maintaining the image of the PPS.

It also would have been good to read something on why the report to the district was delayed by more than 6 months, and then release to the public delayed another 2 months. These delays belie any sense of urgency.

Anonymous said...

Mark was there. Maybe he can answer if questions were allowed? The delay issue would have been a good question to ask her.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Questions only came from PPS Board Members. There were no mention of the delays.

I'll get the conversation and presentation onto the WWW via my camera in a couple of days. But we are going into a big weekend.

Questioner said...

One of the news articles mentioned that Perry had expanded girls sports in recent years.

From Mark's blog:

"Schenley swam Perry in our first city league meet and again in the second meet. The girls squad at Perry had less than 4 swimmers in the first meet. Schenley had 25 or so. In the second meet, at Perry, none of the girls showed up."

This is the kind of real information that is needed to evaluate the situation. A more interactive process with a consultant who holds meetings with interested parties and puts out timely drafts of a report for comments and questions would be more useful than a consultant who presents a completed report to a committee of a few board members and leaves.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Link to my blog posting. Mark Rauterkus & Running Mates ponder current events: Athletics in city high schools is a losing proposition: "Let the Games Begin! In this case, the games are really not about play -- but rather discussions."

amymoore said...

I was asked by Mrs. Facaros last year if I would speak to the Title IX evaluator as the parent of a male athlete. Never happened. Did they ever talk to parents?

As the parent of a male athlete, I have never been made aware of any inequities between male and female athletes at Schenley, except for the obvious difference of football. In fact, at Schenley, the girls volleyball team got much nicer "stuff" because they are willing to do the fundraising that the boys don't want to bother with. Does that mean we can ask for equal money because the girls got nicer warm-ups?

I agree with Mark; the problem is more with the overall city sports, not inequities.

Anonymous said...

Some years teams have booster's and some years they do not, some sports have boosters every year, some never have boosters. Their is no consistency I grew up WPIAL, I coach in the city, In the last 25 years the city has not keep up with funding sports programs. If you have coached in both WPIAL and the City League, you can see the inequalities, you need to try to encourage kids. Fire bad coaches, hire more coaches in some areas. Modernize our sports facilities, we need so much. Derik Lopez forms a committe. He needs to get in a car and go to the local suburbs and see the difference. Then look at all the city highschools practice fields and gyms or lack off, weight rooms ect.ect. Sorry about the rant spelling and grammar

Lets fix it for all the kids, girls & boys I have coached both. We need to start middle school programs for all sports, there is so much more we could do. The are kids from City High schools That move on to colledge athletics, you only here about certain sports and DI players.

Anonymous said...

In the WPIAL, you get more money if you make it in the playoffs and in to states. In the city you get the same pay. How about merit pay for coaches, how increasing pay to attract better coaches from WPIAL, I sorry I was just dreaming, Teachers in the city for the most do not coach because of low pay, some coach in the WPIAL

zanonymous said...

from the audit report:

“For example, if booster clubs pay for the purchasing of new uniforms for boy’s teams, then the new uniforms will be considered as part of the overall benefits provided by the school to the boy’s athletics program. And if the new uniforms create an overall disparity of benefits between the boy’s and girl’s programs, then the school must provide the funding to correct the disparity. The evaluation of “other athletics benefits” is not limited merely to those benefits paid for directly by the school itself – benefits paid for by booster clubs, by team fund-raising activities, and by any other source must also be considered when evaluating the overall balance of benefits. This places an additional burden on schools, because they need to monitor the distribution of all benefits to all athletic teams regardless of the source of those

If the above is enforced some sports will never have Booster groups since they could reap the benefits of others. Our buildings sports are funded on a sliding scale from central with a budget of as much as $18,000 allocated for all sports in a building. This likely does not cover yellow buses. We have to think about how we will pay for the improvements and be realisitc by setting participation threshholds to gauge the practicality of fielding a sport/team. More than anything else these kids have to see that there is some value to participating.

Questioner said...

Booster clubs seem to be the least of the problem, but they are something a consultant can target without "biting the hand that feeds it."

aparent said...

The surveys went to students playing a sport, correct? Was there any contact with non-sport playing students to question why they did not consider participating? I was also disappointed that the audit overlooked the issues surrounding kids getting home from practices held outside their communities when they attend buildings outside their feeders.

zanonymous said...

Questioner you are correct booster clubs are not the biggest problem to come from the audit, but if funding any expansion or reorganization becomes an issue the topic could become hot button quickly. The language cited above makes me think of the uproar caused when the Colfax PTO parents raised funds to purchase additional computers for their school and the discussion turned to equity at an agenda review meeting. In some schools boosters represent the largest portion of involved parents and we can't afford to alienate any group of supporters.

Questioner said...

Another question is whether the report discussed plans for sports at themed schools (IB, Milliones, etc.) at all.

Mark Rauterkus said...

No talk in the audit at theme schools that I'm aware of.

The sooner that the audit is just a distant dot in the rear view mirror in our discussions the better. The sooner the audit consultant is a distant memory the better as well.

We need to look forward, not backward.

We need to make progress with those here now, not with some template issued audit advice that makes for more exposure than anything that hints of a single solution.

The audit dodged the hard questions fully.

The audit was a sink and a delay ploy. If it lingers, we sustain the sinking.

Lay the shovel down.

Now let's demand progress and let's talk about what really needs to occur.

To publicly spank booster groups that are NOT even created yet is to say sports are hard work so let's not even have them.

What about the 6-12 school sports? Great question. Let's talk. But above all, let's not go to the audit for solid answers to pressing questions as we won't find meaningful insights there.

The audit is more like a jolt of caffine needed to get us (PPS Administration) going after a long, deep slumber.

zanonymous said...

Mark, not sure how you got the idea i was spanking booster groups, on the contrary, they are in some cases why a sport or activity thrive and I am often in awe of the accomplishments of the members. Let's just say I am a band parent and I don't like my profits from selling Haluski diverted to purchase head gear for water polo players. More booster groups should be a goal as you have always suggested but some things need ironed out before recruiting and training begin.

I will withdraw from the conversation now.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The audit spanks the booster groups. Not the poster above.

Talk of boosters in the audit was mostly about fear of the unknown and unreal here. It is part of the shell game of the audit speak to talk of the sins of kids that are not even born yet. Sorta like "The Devil Made Me Do It" of old.

Yes, I love booster groups. Booster groups help sports teams to thrive. Too bad we don't have many of them here. We don't have much of the thriving either.

I've told PPS Administrators in the recent past that they need to create booster groups and the dumbfounded reply is, "What's a booster group anyway?"

We need to talk about Booster Group creation before we hear about their ill ways. I want Booster Group Incubators.

BTW, a band parent shoould NOT need to worry about funds from their efforts going to some other aspect of the after school programs. SHOULD. First off, band is not a Title IX / athletics worry. Well, at least there is some HOPE that we won't make BAND part of a Frickin FEDERAL CASE.

Funny (or sad) too, Cheerleaders and Dance Squads were not part of the mix of the past audit. But, they should be part of the discussion as we talk about vibrant educational experiences and opportunities as we move forward.

Anonymous said...

The task now is to push PPS and Mr. Lopez to real action. Talk is cheap. Start the process now - not next school year. Form the committee and get started. Don't drag this out further.

It's already too late for many of the sports as far as exhibition scheduling for next year. That should have been done already. If you don't schedule the WPIAL teams as soon as their schedules come out, you don't get them.

I heard that Peabody and Oliver aren't fielding softball teams. Look at the audit on the PPS web site and you will see how some schools did not even respond to everything... so much for accountability.

Let's push to join the WPIAL for 2011-2012. We are going to have 2 fewer high schools. You can't sustain a competitive league with so few high schools. It would be more cost-effective also.

PPS raised money for the Pittsburgh Promise. I'm sure monies/grants could be raised for the system's athletics to upgrade. Raise the standards and make accountability a must! They are doing it for academics and we know that academics and athletics go hand-in-hand.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Heard the first meeting of the committee will be April 15.

Questioner said...

Another committee not announced in advance, with hand picked members holding closed meetings?

Anonymous said...

Good question - who exactly is on the committee?

Are you on it Mark? You asked to be on it.

hugo said...

Will the first job of the committee be to discover what costs will need to be covered? With few exceptions you almost never know who is on these committees. Shouldn't the membership of all groups be known? Could parent groups from high schools have the opportunity to nominate a candidate for membership?

Questioner said...

Usually names are posted after decisions are made and any report is complete. And whoever is running the committee on behalf of PPS writes the report.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I think I'm in. But, time will tell, as it always does.

BTW, it is much harder to type with my fingers crossed. =;0

Anonymous said...

I hope you are in. At least we might get to know what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Did the committee meet on April 15th?