Sunday, May 23, 2010

Athletic committee

On the May "Start a new post," Anonymous wrote:

Question for Mark - Did the new athletic committee have the May meeting yet? If so, are things moving in a positive direction? If there hasn't been a May meeting, why not?


Anonymous said...

Never really thought about it until I saw this post, but this blog provides a sort of "open-records" exchange among parents. It may be too late for this particular committee but how would one go about nominating a fellow parent to a committee? Is it usually up to a principal to nominate a candidate?

Questioner said...

It is unusual for nominations to be considered, or even for the formation of committees to be announced in advance. And unusual for those who have publicly disagreed with the administration to be selected for committees.

Anonymous said...

I think the powers that be form these committees to make it look like they are really doing something. In reality, they already have decided what they are going to do about a particular situation, and they put who they want on the committees.

Questioner is right. They don't want people who actively disagree. I wonder who is on the athletic committee? Remember when Mark said he went to the first meeting and wasn't even sure who was sitting there? Everything is so hush hush. Why can't PPS list the committees and their members' names on their website? Better yet, when forming committees, post information on the PPS website before the fact, and allow people to submit their names to be on a particular committee. Transparency...

anonone said...

Public knowledge of those sitting on a committee, particularly the sports committee, could be beneficial. For instance, if I saw the name of a particularly active, fair, level-headed, and talented, parent or coach on a roster of members, I might direct my attention in another direction, comfortable that someone of like-mind was representing my views.

Mark Rauterkus said...

p1. Just saw the posting.

Yep. We did meet. On WED at Brashear, the afternoon / night of the city volleyball championships. We had a 2 hour meeting or so in the library.

Mr. Lopez, a high level administrator of PPS, did not show up again. Nor did anyone from the PFT. We need someone from the UNION to come to these meetings. They were invited. They were reminded. No show.

As we talk about almost every issue, the matter of UNION Contract(s) comes quickly to the surface. Placement, evalution, retentino of coaches -- all union contract matter. Amount of money to a school for sports based on athletes and student population size -- a UNION Bargained amount.

It is unreal how much impact the union contract has on sports in PPS -- and it isn't a good impact, IMHO.

Mark Rauterkus said...


In the May meeting, we talked mostly about the Title IX audit, the report, the follow-up and what other things could and should be done in PPS to tackle (pun) the problems of participation among girls and beyond.

Some solid ideas were uncovered and discussed. Bonus pay for coaches (union impact), team size and coaching help (union contract), alternative sports (union contract impacts), and clinics (union contract impact).

Do you feel my frustration?

Mark Rauterkus said...


I do have HOPE that when it comes to this topic -- they really don't know what they want to do. They (at some levels) are just clueless. And, WANTs and NEEDs are different -- but getting from A to Z is another huge can of worms too.

They put me on the committee. And, same with Mr. John T. And a few others are really gung ho! Really. John ranted about how this is the final straw for him. He is at the end of the line and wants earnest progress.

We (a few free radicals now on a committee) have got a (slumbering) tiger (PPS) by the tail. They may not want people who actively disagree -- but I'm present now.

I think it would be best to have a few people call the parent hotline, 412-622-7920, and tell them that the names on the Athletic Task Force be put onto the website. Ask for open meetings too, if you desire.

Questioner said...

Mark, is there any reason to think that meetings are not open now? If you told noted the date of the next meeting, couldn't non-committee members show up to observe silently?

Anonymous said...

Mr. John T. is not John Tarka is he? You said no PFT members showed up. And I thought Derrick Lopez initiated the committee in response to the Title IX audit? He was a no show? Unbelievable!

As far as the PFT and the contract, the current contract is up at the end of June. Union members have yet to see any tidbits of a new contract. The new contract is a done deal with the PFT and Board in cahoots. It's all tied into the Gates' money and all that new "stuff" coming down the pike. I highly doubt that athletics rank high on their list. I would be really surprised if there are any changes for athletics in the new contract. They will just keep the athletic committee meeting here and there for the dog and pony show.

I wish you luck Mark and I hope you are not wasting your valuable time.

anonone said...

In terms of maximizing participation in sports for its positive impact to academic performance for both boys and girls there is much to consider. Keep an eye on the CTE plan currently in development. The plan could have a big impact in the number of kids participating in sports due to timing and transportaion issues. If a student takes CTE classes at a cluster site in the afternoon he will need to take PAT transport back to his home school to make a practice. On an afternoon game day will that student get an early dismissal from his CTE class to get to his home school to make a game or bus? Derrick Lopez may not be making a meeting until he can figure out how to tele-transport kids between buildings.

CTE won't be changing until 2011. All of this needs to be a part of high school reform. If contract negotiations include addressing coaching positions somebody should address game times/practice times/schedules now before realizing after a contract is hammered out that two or more parties worked independently and someone got screwed.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points anonone. You don't actually expect anyone to think/plan that far ahead do you? Someone will get screwed, and unfortunately it will be our student-athletes.

Mark Rauterkus said...

John Tarka is a PFT boss and NO PFT leaders were there.

I was speaking of a Schenley parent, John T. Tokarski, (on facebook as such). He was on the 2000-2001 Athletic Reform Committee too. He was also once in the Pgh Mayor's Administration with Weed & Seed.