Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Broad accountability

On the August "Start a new post" Anonymous said:

"I never thought I would say this, but how about a "Thank you Mark " thread, or at the very least a thread about holding the school "Broad" accountable.

I watched 30 minutes of the meeting tonight, it was a joke. The board is a joke, and our kids our being shuffled around by an administration with ADHD.

I do not get the Roosevelt love."

And then added:

"Oops! "Thank you Mark Brentley thread"


Questioner said...

The stated Broad philosophy for school boards is to choose a superintendent and get out of the way other than to hold him or her accountable.

In line with this philosophy the Board has agreed to just about everything, reasoning that otherwise they will not be able to hold the superintendent accountable.

Nevertheless the administration is not being held accountable in terms of real gains in enrollment, graduation rates or closing the gap between achievement in Pittsburgh and achievement statewide. Nor is it being held to its own "Excellence for All" goals.

Anonymous said...

What goal(s) have they met?

Questioner said...

Each year there is some kind of accountability contract but the goals tend to be vague, forgettable or set by the administration itself (ie "create a sci tech school").

This old post touches on this issue:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mark Brentley for questioning Mark Roosevelts maximum bonus in a public forum.

Anonymous said...

It's like Mr Brentley is pointing out the emperor has no clothes and the rest of the board is telling eachother they didn't hear anything.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Today, it is nearly impossible to do anything with the ballot box and in our democracy due to ballot access hurdles. All those seeking to get onto the PA ballot in statewide races from parties other than the Ds and Rs failed to muscle up to the pressure from lawyers from the old parties. It is costly to NOT run, to the tune of $80,000 or more. Just tossing one's hat into the ring is a major liability, sadly.

There is much to do in our schools, AND ALSO with our political landscape. It is getting worse.

Questioner said...

Anon is trying to post this comment and for some reason it is dropping off. Maybe an administration post will work better:

"Our District did not make AYP!

WE missed it by a hand illustration of a lit bit.
That little bit is a sad way to explain it with a Harvard education-he made many parents feel we were serfs in the medieval times.

It appeared infantile and gross.

Please, we were not able to use the growth model for our special education students.

Your Special Ed Dept Head retired.

A Broadie to run your ship in that Dept?

For the past several years, we used special circumstances to creatively use the growth model THE method to get by.

IS there a VAM method to measure Roosevelt’s five-year tenure?

Especially this upcoming 2010-2011 school year that started today. We have to hire a consultant firm to assist the Board members to evaluate Roosevelt.

Hello world they cam mot do it on their own?

I would not have attended the meeting-it probably was a dead done deal-especially with their verbiage at last night’s meeting-Brentley does not have to subject himself to their ridicule.

In addition, Fink speaks with gusto lambasting Brentley-hello Ms. Fink was that appropriate to be that way? Fink sre any of your schools in Warning or Corrective measures? Who are you going to blame for that you as a Board member-the principals-oh yes it is the parents fault, right in your Board district area? I betcha your svhools will get the extra social services. Your schools contributed to the social services. Your schools contributed to the LITTLE BIT in missing AYP.

You voted for Roosevelt's Raise as a Board Memeber.

If a person disagrees with the Board members, they are thrown off the ship.

Brentley can disagree for the sake of disagreeing at times-but since Taylor has left-this Board is a love fest.

Maybe the Board members are further alienating Brentley because he just does not agree with the other 8 members.

In addition, are the constant change methods to hide facts about declining enrollment, accountability of racial disparity in the education of our diversified youth in test scores and the poor climate of atmospheric relationship within the district corridors?

In addition, statistically the PSSA data illustrate a lackluster year and some significant downward trends.

If, Roosevelt were in another school district he would have been judged as an employee with a warning for potential new guard to take his place. And fiscally a pay decrease=like corporate heds-we got to cut back-his pay is gaureented jusr as if he was a Union.

I feel we should have a PANEL of educators from the US University systems actually go in and observe Roosevelt under many conditions to see actually, what he is doing.

Thank you Mark Brentley for the “OPEN” comments and not being a mirror image of the eight Board Members.

Roosevelt-that is too much money for him-when he has his subordinate staffs at 100,000 each do his work and they hire consultants to do their work.
A great pyramid scheme-with Foundational money pouring in to make this scheme legit.

Constant Change makes Roosevelt look like a trickster-that covers his deception of very little is being really achieved academically and socially for our kids.

Change just covers, mistakes that are very glaring. ALAS successful-forget that and the rest.

Until VAM is instituted on teachers -that is where the real statistical analysis shows-it will be the Teacher at fault-for little Johnny not being advance or proficient.

Our Children are being shortchanged because they are at the bottom with the teachers without the services they need.

Plese wxtch ris on TV"

Posted by Anonymous to PURE Reform at August 26, 2010 10:37 AM

Anonymous said...

As we all know Pittsburgh is very political.


Foundations will in an around about way support and financially back candidates who will do what the foundations want and will run against those of us who CARE about the children in the city.

Questioner said...

It's hard to think foundations would support somone they know is ineffective. But once they back someone it's not surprising that they would want to give him every chance and benefit of the doubt. Maybe they need to be more careful about who they support in the first place.

It seems like all the foundations get on a bandwagon and take a particular approach (such as the Broad/Gates approach) without much independent thought. In big organizations in general, people know they are covered if they go along with what everyone else is doing.

anonymous said...

Mr Brentley seems to care very much about the children of Pittsburgh, but I do not understand why he abstains from voting so often. If he is against something, he needs to vote NO. Otherwise, he might as well not attend at all.

Questioner said...

An explanation that has been given for absentions is that there is some type of procedural rule where someone who abstains can bring a matter up again in the future, but if they vote no it is closed.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Questioners comment about supporting ineffective leadership, I found this interesting.

"The Broad Foundation likes to infiltrate its targets on multiple levels so it can manipulate a wider field and cause the greatest amount of disruption. Venture edu-philanthropists like Gates and Broad proudly call this invasive and destabilizing strategy "investing in a disruptive force."To these billionaires and their henchmen, causing massive disruption for families with school aged children in (disadvantaged) communities (primarily of color) across the nation is no big deal."

It is a very small part of a report. Google: The Broad Effect". This statement is on part one.

Anonymous said...

Here is the direct link, it is about 5 sections/ paragraphs down.

Anonymous said...


A national expose is indicated!!!

Randall Taylor said...

Diane Ravitch's new book is the best I have seen exposing the Broad-Gates-Roosevelt connection. I am sure in only a select few in Pittsburgh knew this is a nationwide "billionaires boys club"movement. It is characterized by inexperinced Superintendents,Principals, and teachers.(experinced means old ways and old failure) Closing low achieving school to be replaced by high population low achieving schools, Large education industry contracts, and either a mayor controlled district or a rubber-stamp board. Chicago, New York, Washington DC, San Diego till Broad was thrown out.

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear Mr.Brentley's reaction to high school principals being told that if they don't focus 25% of their staffs this year, then THEY will be focused. This coming from upper administration--most of whom were never in the classroom.

How does this make sense? How is this equitable? Doesn't it become a witch hunt?

Questioner said...

Anonymous is trying to post the following, which for some raason the website is not accepting:

"With the instution of the VAM method, as THE measurement of a teacher with actual teaching through the utilization of variables that are ONLY test scores.

This opens a problematic environment without the use of longitudinal data, which is the true representation of individual student learning and achievement.

The missing interpretative analysis of the intersections of these added variables to the equation of student learning are the student needs of social services, etc. They are considered human learning variables.

I have tremendous concerns regarding what one ANON blogger mentioned as a witch-hunt of teachers.

Yes, it is Chancellor Rhee methods.
As Taylor eloquently stipulated the Billionaires Club has the money to flow as the cash to this typified method of rating teachers.

PPS has almost all Principals on a SIP School Improvement Program. It is logical they will use the 25% target rate. It is a logical method for PPS>

It is a numbers game with PPS. This will give at least 200-300 teachers are on the present watch list.

PPS has too many teachers not ready for retirement because they need at least ten-fifteen years to make it to their individual career end.

Most important PPS, Roosevelt, Gates, Broad are being What Teddy Roosevelt loved the New Frontier and the geniuses of reformer education.

They want the power to be the first to make the changes necessitated for the teacher training system and evaluation.
With the technology, this embankment will be true accurate data as the means to rid a bad teacher.

The correlations and equitable data of testing will be the method of choice and finality of many teacher careers. The data will be the FACTS. It is hard to explain hard-core data facts.

That is WHY=PPS missed AYP=all the options were closed=they used them too many times before as their growth model.

PPS Special education students will cause PPS many issues until they can address the appropriate measurement variables for this subgroup.

The PFT must watch the mathematical process of the choice as the right equation to measure the teacher teaching and the true student learning and achievement."

August 29, 2010 11:51 AM

Anonymous said...

Jean Fink is very dedicated to her community-and has done so much for her schools. She has a presence, attends to parents concerns, and is a voice that listens to her voters. The children in the schools know her by her many visits to Roosevelt, Arlington, etc.

I will applaud her for her presence.

I did not see the Board meeting-but for Fink to get mad-I cannot understand her being that way.

I think she can be a mediator if there is an issue and work to get others involved. She should try and try again.

If a Board member is alienated-she can make the difference and go half way.

She has been wonderful -she listens to the parents.
However, there are issues at Roosevelt and other schools-she cannot control the choices of ADM or teachers that are in her schools.

She should get on PPS ADM to get on her to improve schools. That means Roosevelt did not deserve his raise or extra money-she cannot be that pleased with Roosevelt’s work.

Questioner said...

It's wonderful to have a board member dedicated to her community- but there are problems of equity if other board members show no particular dedication to their communities.