Tuesday, July 27, 2010


On another post Anonymous wrote:

Try to have an intelligent conversation with any pro-public school parents. It is very difficult, I was ultra public school, and I figured anyone that was dissing it was either misinformed or paranoid. I know what is going on now, and I did a 180 in a matter of a few days. You could have not changed my mind, I had to be willing to read and look. I was not before.

I honestly think I have lost a friend once I started putting the pieces of this mess in place. I have very little faith in the long term future with PPS.

This administration is all about self promotion without any personal integrity involved. I

If their aim is to tear apart communities, fire/dismiss people to make room for their own, they have won. The only choice I have is to call them out, but then people will lose their jobs. They are really good at faking and covering up their tracks.

It is lose lose, shut up and play our game.


Questioner said...

Anonymous, you can disagree with Broad/Gates/Roosevelt approaches but still support public education!

Can you tell us what you read and looked at that caused your 180 degree change of opinion?

Anonymous said...

I used to be one of those pro-PPS parents. Very much so. But, as you say, once you really look at the changes over the last 4-5 years and their effects -- rather than just reading the glowing press about them -- things change.

While I used to encourage people to consider the PPS and felt that even most of the schools that weren't the "name" schools had a lot to offer, I now hedge everything I say. I can't honestly recommend that people throw in with this system, even with the $$$ offered at the end.

They're resegregating (even more than it had been already), going for numbers ("data") over learning, stripping electives, sports and all the strengths that had survived for more than a hundred years out. I worry when parents of young children ask me about the schools now -- I know there are still great teachers out there, but I can't say that those teachers are allowed to teach that way.

Most kids, including both those who learn quickly and easily and those who need extra time and help, end up hating school much sooner than they used to. Reading especially is turned into a task, a chore, a thoroughly unpleasant activity.


Anonymous said...

I'm not the person who posted though...

amymoore said...

I am very glad that my son has graduated. Having gotten my first education degree nearly forty years ago and having taught in an urban public school, even as a SAHM I have followed stories of city public schools and read the horror stories of kids graduating without an education. One of the reasons that we chose the IB program was the outside evaluation process and the 25 year history of Schenley's program. It seemed like a safe bet that our kid would actually learn something and not have scores manipulated by people in power. (My experience with the Philadelphia school system was not always positive.)

Our experience at Schenley, despite the move, was positive, and my son not only got good grades but he also learned something and I am sure that he is well prepared for the very competitive college that he will be attending in the fall. Unfortunately, his class might be the last one for quite awhile that will have that positive learning experience. I am watching the program crumble as the excellent teaching staff that is responsible for most of the success of IB leaves or plans to leave in the near future.

I think the program will recover but I am very afraid that it will take a few years to rebuild was is being destroyed by administrative decision makers that don't understand the program and don't understand the consequences of their decisions

I, too, like the anonymouses above, am very disillusioned about the future of the PPS after years of active involvement. Change is inevitable but the changes occurring in this district are not well-thought changes for the benefit of the students.

Anonymous said...


I cannot stand behind this administration, I cannot tell you exactly why or what happened. I just know too much as do a few others. If we talk people will lose their jobs.

It is an unethical abusive immature place run by a bunch of self serving finger pointing group of people, with a fake school board that rubber stamps everything.

I am not blaming the teachers, although I cannot figure out for the life of me why they signed the new contract. I am talking about central office.

I have ZERO faith in PPS, and I am looking into private schools for 2011, I looked too late this year and the waiting lists are too long.

Anonymous said...

As I commented on an earlier thread, being a former PPS advocate and a parent of a recent graduate of Schenley, I am taking Promise money and running as fast as I can.

Anonymous said...

As a Teacher, I am very affraid for the PPS. I can not believe people voted for that contract, I can not believe my union leadership is so weak & unwise.

The school board, or the Board of Directors, Roosevelt's Broad name for them, is a ship of fools, lead by a power hungry super fool.

Vote them out, it is the only hope for the PPS.

I have hope in the parents, my parents have always been great too me. I do not lie to them, I show them the canned curriculum I am forced to teach, most parents who are life time learners in my subject matter are appalled.


I used to live to teach, now I am a puppet, I feel like I lost my soul to Mark Roosevelt & Eli Broad

Old Timer said...

To a great degree, my concerns about PPS are for the future. They are for the kids. They are for the parents that still care. They are for younger teachers. You have a businessman in charge who has been empowered by school board members and the ability to write grants. It's an incredible shell game.
I enjoy working with the kids. I could likely work for 40 full years if it were just a situation of teaching children. Sadly, it isn't. Now, it's conform to sniveling administrators who never made it in the classroom, or be cast out. Resign or jeopardize your pension.
Yeah, it's a scary time when people who think they know effective teaching strategies because some study told them so are going to hold the cards where a teacher's livelihood is concerned. It's a scary time when department heads know that PSSA's are a harsh reality for each teacher and each school, and still devise curricula that entails elementary school style questions for each piece of literature. And if you question it--you are largely shouted down. Imagine that picture: department heads who were wash-outs in the classroom shouting down bona fide, honest to goodness, dedicated teachers.

Welcome to PPS. We're an administrator driven district. Yes, we have teachers, and yes, we know they are dedicated...but we don't need their opinions. We have researchers. We have partners.

BTW...I have no doubt...zero...that the vote was a sham. $40 million was riding on it, if not more. Who thinks there was any chance this contract was NOT going to pass? If you believe in the honesty of this vote, you're incredibly naive.

Anonymous said...

My son until this semester has consistently ranked in the advanced category for reading and math. The last PSSA scores came in and he dropped to proficient in reading.

I think it is the curriculum, he got straight A's on all his tests and homework, so the teacher did her job!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anon @July 26, 2010 4:41 PM

From anothr b;og topic-BUT THIS IS DISILLUSIONMENT

Excellent commentAnon @July 26, 2010 4:41 PM-ExIT iNTERVIEWS.

And must be instituted

I believe it is necessitated=Mr. Mark Brentley has asked at least the past two Board meeting-it is on the record- ABOUT EXIT INTERVIEWS REGARDING-people that have retired or resigned as an employees from the PPS.

We have had a considerable amount of people resigning this past month’s Board minutes. With exit interviews-the district can make their employee relations and employee practices better.

We know why it is not happening because of fear and fear is the main ingredient that is instilled as PPS Policy for treatment of their employees as discussed by a select few on the Blog.

We parents see and feel it–you can use the phrase you can cut it with a knife it is so thick.
Moreover, one talk about transparency-PPS is like a London Fog-thick, thick.

July 27, 2010 11:54 PM

Anonymous said...


I just had a chance to write this in the Blog-it is late-but I found a moment out of my hectic schedule with family and a serious plumbing issue.

This Summers Dreamers Academy site-The Dork and Dorkers Camp Directors running this program-are forever making it more laughable.

Now my children and the neighborhood kids think it is at the worst POINT at the notorious Camp King=instead better it keeps every day getting worse with a new different messed up classroom or special classroom experience.

It is a big joke-now it is the classroom Teachers. At first-you want to feel sorry for them-but not at this site.

For $6000 or less- they can be doing a heck of a better job with this as my kids call it “SUMMER SCHOOL classroom work”.

In fact, this is worse than REAL PPS Summer School for this age group.

Many kids says the individual teaching is a joke of this structured curriculum in their individual classrooms.

One teacher for The Dreamers Arts Program is the only good one kid’s state- she is an experienced teacher.

You do not have to be an experienced teacher-to be a good teacher. They got their buddies to work this and stay in this Program.

The rest of the teachers and Camp Coordinators are dumb and dumber as the neighborhood kids state-where did they get them.

At first, I said come on kids you are a little too much-but as the Camp kept continuing-it is becoming reality TV.Their stories are very real.

Where are the PPS Principals and Vice Principals-why are they not running this Program.

Many kids say many teachers do not even know a thing about teaching reading as a subject matter-are they going to rate the Camp King teachers ?

They should here at this site-many kids are used to magnet teachers or teachers that can relate to the kids.

They say the Head Dork is a Magnet teacher-I am glad my kid is not at HIS Magnet school-he must be a friend of so and so-to keep his job.

The other neighborhood kids dislike all the Science Staff at this site because of all the dishevelment in the Science classroom-they have boring chaos-Games in classroom-teachers cannot control the kids.

The kids have been comparing their teachers.

The teachers at this site need to be targeted the way many educators and parents are talking about it in this blog.

Why are they exempt-A site director that is a Principal
would be more legitimate.

OLD TIMER we need you to check this mess out.

Are the teachers at CAMP KING PROMISE READY???

Anonymous said...


The latest is PROMISE PAYDAY-for $250 worth of Promise Money–a kid can buy a Pitt-Penn State or another university tee shirt/sweatshirt-THE PARENTS IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD told the kids to save up the money to buy it. For less-you cannot imagine the prizes.

What reward is this?

I think every student at Camp King should receive real money of $100 a week as Promise Paycheck for his or her participation at this Campsite-Camp King is a chaotic mess.

The money should come out of the Camp King teachers and Site Dorks pockets.
hank heavens for the afternoon activities.

Anonymous said...

Read my lips jerri Lippert has Mark Roosevelt by the cojones. He has nfi and he is letting her Stepford Wife the teachers and cirriculum, pay herself and staff huge bonuses based on nothing. They screw things up and point fingers, it is worse than 8th grade.

All these people care about are Gates, Broad, and federal funding, lining their pockets and moving on. They will move on with the cash, we will look like idiots and our children and community will live out that legacy.

Btw, if I hear one more person refer to Roosevelt as a businessman I may go postal. He is 100 percent politician. He has a very thin resume to support otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Btw, I would never "go postal" It is just a saying, and I was not implying any violence. I am anti-violence.

Old Timer said...

Parent, I stayed away from the Summer Dreamers idea because it simply didn't make a great deal of sense to me. On paper, the idea of drawing kids into a year-round appreciation for learning and reading was, of course, a winner. The reality of the scenario was another thing altogether. In using the "summer camp" approach to draw kids and families, you were in essence trying to place two different types of kids in one setting: the student with a passion for learning and the kid who views summer as a time to have fun, fun, fun. I understand the idea of dangling the carrot out there to attract the rabbits, but while the school year itself can handle such diverse students simply because it is the institution it is, the summer camp approach seemed to be problematic to me.
I'm sorry to read that so many families who had high hopes have found disappointment.
To the anon teacher, at the risk of you blowing a fuse, any study of Roosevelt's approach to building a "school district" has to reveal a corporate approach, his resume notwithstanding. It's almost like a giant ponzi scheme...top-heavy with administrators who don't actually have an involvement with the kids but who can garner fabulous salaries just for sitting in an office. Working stiffs like you and I take all the heat when the kids don't do well and get no credit when they achieve. And in true corporate fashion, you have a PR department all too happy to spin any and all news for public consumption.
As for the other individual you named...I can only call her views about curriculum and grading policies dangerous and disturbing. It is extremely disturbing to me that someone in such a high position--charged with such an incredible responsibility--can be so short-sighted and almost zombie-like in her opinions. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Old timer, I am not a teacher.

Old Timer said...

OK, my apologies. How about I just refer to you as "insider"???

Anonymous said...

Jerri Lippert, Sorry Dr. Lippert

what's she realy know about classroom teaching, she was a gym teacher from baldwin.

Most of Roosevelt cronies have little real teaching experience. They are just expensive yes men & women who find ways to justify their own jobs.

Anonymous said...

I am an inside-out insiderish person. I wish I could un-know what I know.

I have a lot of respect for teachers, due to my inevitable typo's and IQ issues I didn't want to disgrace them by misleading anyone to think I was in their ranks.

Anonymous said...

I mean my comment with 100 percent respect and honesty. My parents were public school teachers their entire careers.

I agree with the Ponzi scheme Comment. This is a well oiled employment agency at the very least. How many 20-something yr olds do you see in education that are making 6 figures or just short of that? With little or no experience?

In a slim economy, guess who takes over the jobs? The wealthy have staged a coup on education, and they are winning. I think we lost.

Questioner said...

High salaries help ensure 100% loyalty and lack of dissent.

Anonymous said...

Youth, inexperience and lack of insight and expertise also ensures/facilitates following orders and agendas, BLINDLY.