Sunday, August 1, 2010

Consultant arrangement

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

ExpEducator requests that we explore:
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT as defined by Dylan William,
James Popham and Mgt Heritage.

On July 30th, according to Board Minutes, PPS contracted with Dylan William at a cost of $10,000
(Yes, ten thousand ) for one day to provide professional development for "select" PPS educators.
Who and how many attended? What did they learn? And what are the implementation plans for Administrators, Teachers, Students and Communities?


Anonymous said...

This spring, our school budgeted $200 for each science teacher to order supplies for the next school year.

For those teachers that needed to order chemicals, that $200 went fast. Real fast.

Just think; that $10,000 consulting fee would have doubled the supply budget for 50 teachers!

Oh, well. There are priorities, I suppose.

Questioner said...

Maybe the kind of consultant we need (hopefully at a lower cost) is not someone who has always found the type of learning tested to be easy, but instead someone who persevered and ultimately succeeded. Just like a person with an excellent sense of direction might find it hard to understand how others are getting lost, a person who has always aced standardized tests may not understand what is causing others to struggle.

Anonymous said...

Exp. Educator replies:
Even though the word assessment seems to be generally interpreted as "testing" we need to be clear that "formative assessment" definitively does NOT fall under that category or the definition of "standardized testing" or "summative" testing. INSTEAD it provides IMMEDIATE feedback to the student on the at-hand learning goal or task, so that that it can be grasped and shaped to an agreed-upon status of complete, excellence, or proficiency.

Anonymous said...

On anther Board tab (in Board Minutes) PPS Admin has contracted with Paula Bevan, a consultant, for an amount of $270,000 to "train" Pittsburgh teachers during the next year. She also has a major contract to do the same in Maryland Schools????

Anonymous said...

A consultant from IFL at LRDC, who is a former PPS administrator, is contracted for $290,000 to "train" PPS Principals in the coming school year.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Does anyone in PPS know how to do the jobs suggested by their titles OR are they hired to hire consultants to do the work and thinking for them???
Just wondering???

Questioner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Questioner said...

t least part of the Schenley money.

But if you start adding up numbers-

$5M for summer camp, $8M for an unnecessary move to Reizenstein when the plan was to move IB to Peabody anyway, $10 - $20M for CEP, millions to change schools from K-5 to K-8 and back to K-5 again, and yes millions for consultants (including the Kaplan curriculum and a half million dollar facilities plan that does not seem to be having much of an impact)- for that money Schenley, a beautiful, windowed, centrally located building could have been magnificently restored and available for 50 or 100 years more, long after Kaplan, CEP and the consultants have been forgotten.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see that the board has contracted with Judy Johnston again this year as head of the PELA program. Last year, she made $107,000 plus her pension. This year, she'll make $90,000 for 1500 hours. What a great gig, huh? And if you believed that she only mentored PELA principals and principals in training, please know that she may show up in your classroom and pass along a few critiques of your work.
What a wonderful time to be a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Dr.Johnson certainly knows someone higher up because she has been making this kind of consulting money with PPS since she retired several years ago! She gets her pension, consulting fees, plus doesn't she also work in some capacity at Pitt?

Old Timer said...

Somehow, various education positions have become glamorous for those in administration. Why is it that the pittsburgh Public Schools have almost as many administrators NOT in front of classrooms as teachers who ARE working with kids? Why do administrators garner incredible paychecks and NOT run the risk of losing their jobs via "evaluations"????
Please....explain it to me.
Why is this district so connected to researchers and consultants???? Why are millions of taxpayer dollars going to such groups and individuals while the same district not disavows but abhors suggestions and input from its very teaching staff???
How is it that Dr.Johnston--an outsider, a consultant--feels brassy enough to not only observe her PELA staff but also dress down teachers she routinely sees during the process??? What's next, visits to the classroom from PNC Bank or the Steelers??? Their critiques would seem to be just about as insightful.

What took place in DC this summer should serve as a wake up call to concerned teachers and parents within the district. I have no doubt that we will see the same actions here...possibly as early as next year. In the meantime, read the board minutes and note the number of "resignations" due to "personal reasons." And try not to get physically ill from the number of "consultants" padding their paychecks from the public trough.

Anonymous said...

ROOSEVELT’S Wants to Implement Marshall Plan? And/Or feels like Elizabeth Taylor’s Seventh Hubbie

Please read about Mr. Roosevelt as a CONSULTANT/Speaker

Gloomy Side Of Reform
By Andrew Carr
POSTED: August 7, 2010

CHAUTAUQUA - Speaking about education reform is a hard thing to do without being gloomy, said Mark Roosevelt to a Chautauqua Institution audience.

Roosevelt, in his lecture Friday, managed however, to weave humor and truth together to make a compelling argument in the education reform issue. After hearing many of the speakers this week, he said he would try to not reiterate many of the points they had made.

"I feel like Elizabeth Taylor's seventh husband," he said. "I know exactly what to do, just not how to make it interesting."
The truth of the matter is not pretty, he said.

"My generation is the first generation to be worse off than our parents," he said.
He described the "it takes a village" argument, saying he believes this is true; therefore all the blame cannot be put on teachers, administrators or unions alone.

"We are all responsible for what is happening," he said. "We are not raising our children the way they need to be raised."
Roosevelt shared his experience in the Pittsburgh school system, and how as superintendent he was trying to change that system. Being in Pittsburgh, the school system must tackle many hardships such as economic disparity, he said.

"The things in our culture that can drive children down away from where they need to be are so powerful," he said.
In order to inspire the reform that is needed, the American public must know what is going on and become involved, he said.

"Most of America does not know how big this problem is," he said. "You can't solve a problem if you don't know it exists."
Roosevelt spoke about the achievement gap, and how we focus on this as the main issue. Roosevelt reiterated that this is a very important issue, but is part of a larger problem.

"If we remove the African-American and Latino children from the equation, our highest achieving children are still in the middle of the pack," he said. "And our African-American and Latino children are second to last in the world. It is very important to recognize we have achievement gaps in this country, but we can't let that obscure the fact that most children are not getting the education they need."

In order to change the educational system, we need to recognize academic achievement, and inspire national standards, he said.
"If you want to make change in the educational system, you have to think about 15,274 school board agendas," he said. "We need to work together if we are ever going to make this change. There is truth in a lot of people's views, but there is no simple truth, no simple answer."

Roosevelt said that there are many reasons to be optimistic, however. Some schools have started to become nuclei of innovation, there are signs on non-partisanship on the issue, and the history of our country shows that when we recognize a big problem we can do something about it.

"We need a Marshall Plan for public education in America," he said.

I hope the bloggers as parents and astute educators please read, digest and comment-this is our future olan for PPS-I feel he needs to take on the role of pursuing Liz Taylor to be her Number 8 Husband this is good read. Our Future?

Maybe many of us need to go back and refresh the Marshall Plan from an historical prespective.