Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A+ questions/ responses

There are responses (not necessarily answers) to each A+ Schools question. It will be especially interesting to see how the plan for how schools will look in 2015 compares to how they actually shape up over the next few years.


Mark Rauterkus said...

Think again:

Question was:

• If Oliver is the only feeder school in the north side and the only dropout/ credit recovery school in PPS how will
other students in the city be able to opt‐in to Oliver? Is there evidence that the feeder pattern for Oliver has the
highest concentration of students at risk of dropping out?

Answer was:
Oliver is in Corrective Action II Year four. Accordingly, it has not made AYP in any year since the inception of No Child Left Behind. We have data that suggests that Oliver, Peabody, and Westinghouse continue to lose children.

--- That's it! ---

Venus and Mars are closer to each other. We get it. Oliver is bad. But, now what?

PPS needs a do-over on this question.

Questioner said...

This is an example of questions where there was a "response" but not an "answer."

There were similar non-answers to a number of questions at the community meeting, but when this happened the moderator merely went on to the next question. Follow up questions submitted to pursue a real answer were not addressed; we are told responses will be posted online.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, if you average the PSSA "proficiency" rates in Pittsburgh High Schools over the past five years, you will find that Peabody and Westinghouse have LOWER proficiency averages than Oliver!

With the exception of Westinghouse in 2008, these three high schools (Oliver, Peabody, and Westinghouse) have consistently had more than 70 to 80% of the students failing year after year..

Old Timer said...

Can anyone explain the delay in an announcement of PSSA results for PPS??? How can it be that that in this computerized age, the kids knew their scores back in June but the district does not know how each of its schools performed?? Just who are we trying to fool here?
I've read here that Philadelphia schools announced their results some time ago. How can a sister district in the state double the size of our own have results while PPS doesn't? I am looking forward to the spin with great anticipation here.
To any administrative shrill on board here---you know the scores. Have the courage to release them for public consumption and make sure your various subject area managers come on out and explain the shortcomings of their curriculum writing, as well.

Again for the record, I do not believe that standardized test scores begin to tell the tale as to whether a child has learned over the course of a school year. I do not believe that the questioning style truly measures academic achievement. I have real misgivings that test scores should preclude a given teacher being given a merit raise or deemed "effective" and I would challenge ANY administrator to enter the classroom of a school that annually scores below basic and endeavor to turn scores around given the same curricula all PPS teachers are force-fed.

Anonymous said...

Old Timer said...@ August 11, 2010 3:57 PM

Can anyone explain the delay in an announcement of PSSA results for PPS? How can it be that that in this computerized age, the kids knew their scores back in June but the district does not know how each of its schools performed?? Just who are we trying to fool here?

ld Timer and the rest-just listen to my hypothetical answer to your astute question.

You have to think like Roosevelt-so this is how I think he will announce the PSSA scores –they will be announced and presented with the beginning of the 2010-2011school year.

A big PPS and Union promotional rah rah rally for the teachers -it is your hands teachers-you are the difference theme =YOU WILL IMPROVE THE PSSA scores because of the $1000 bonus for making AYP in your future paycheck.

Get the theme-place it right on the teachers’ shoulders the direct burden for the direct result.
Roosevelt’s theme-he got the Union ratification and now it is the TEACHER and the TEACHING.

It gets Roosevelt off the hook and we are back in the Sputnik area and his Marshall Plan- he is a master commander.

What do you think? A brilliant PR Move to roll out the new teacher contract and the different bonuses a great sales pitch. It is placing the ball in motion.

I have no inside track-but he loves that big show the big PR move and the rollout fits the modules of the new teacher contract and the goals of Effective Teaching with Gates.

It starts the change ball rolling!

Again, Roosevelt used this past year as a wash to get his bump up to what is the new PSSA culture and the rollout of his agenda using last year’s PSSA Scores for his teacher Effectiveness Program.

Anonymous said...

All PA School Districts received preliminary PSSA cores in early June.

In July ALL PSSA DATA was available ONLINE with a PASSWORD. Districts have been using that data to plan for next year for the past month.

The word on the street is that PPS scores are being delayed because they did not meet expectations falling short in many areas. It is expected that they will be released on August 16th.

Mark Roosevelt has been in D.C. this week regarding "The Race to the Top" funding awards. PA is among the 19 finalists; however, only 32% of PA districts were on board___the second lowest in district participation among the 19 states. Many had 100% participation.

It would be interesting to analyze the relationship between keeping PSSA results a secret in PPS and the ultimate award of RTT monies.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...@ August 11, 2010 4:58 PM

You are right your analogy so brilliant.

You got him pegged to the program he wants to roll out.

August 16th was mentioned by the next poster that fits Anonymous ..@ August 11, 2010 4:58 PM.

That is the first day for teachers at the ALA schools.

That will be the PR start and the need for PSSA improvement Plan.

Well, he probaby went from NY to DC and has missed PGH en route.

We hope-- he is ANGLING FOR A DC job or a Job in another state that wants the Race to the Top Money.
But, he wants to be with BILL GATES-a great partnership.

Roosevelt and Gates a mariage made.

Questioner said...

The assumption in all the PPS presentations has been that we should do whatever it takes to get the federal money. But the presentations also suggest that we have something like 60 days once money is awarded to spend like crazy; that closing schools and charter schools are off the books due to lack of time; and that we have to hurriedly adopt transformation or turnaround plans. Might these hastily adopted plans to more harm than good? Apparently many PA districts are passing this deal up.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr.Roosevelt is largely a good man and I refrain from going beyond that because it all comes down to perceptions. At this point in time, administration simply has a different perception as to how urban education needs to evolve. Most classroom teachers simply see those comments as being out of touch with reality.
That said, it's the policies that bother most of us and then the refusal to budge on those proposals. From curriculum to evaluations to the idea that more consultants are going to be hired...administrative policies are what is troublesome---and not the character or personalities of administrators themselves.
I will be interested in PSSA scores, too.

Old Timer said...

Agreed, anon. The policies and the actions are the focal points for me, not the individuals. I'd think that with the PG article on blogs today, all should remember that.

Questioner said...

What bothers most of us is not an honest difference on policies or even the refusal to budge, but rather the spin and secrecy surrounding decisions and results.

It's the handpicked committees; closed meetings; referral of even basic questions to the right to know office; "answers" that dodge the question being asked; months of delays in releasing PSSA scores and reports such as the Title IX audit; insistence that anecdotes from other parts of the country constitute real evidence; and ostensible rather than actual explanations offered for decisions and results. Add to that a complete lack of humility in the face of limited results achieved to date.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @.August 12, 2010 6:38 AM

We nned to go beyond your concept of perception-that is a societal venue for escape for what is to what they want others to see as is.

That is life it is a game watch every presidential election, etc. Perception is the key ingredient that you are confusing as nicess, etc.

We all have nice and good qualities.

It ADM is the way they are operating our schools, the meetings the agendas.

It is not a perception-it is a FACT.

The people we are discussing utilize their expertise in implementing their policies.

I was at the meeting on Tuesday and felt the constraints of their programmatic agenda.

I am not interested in liking or disliking the people this is common ground about our children and their future. In addition, the future of PPS.

Education is now a business-do not take it personal.

It's business-not personal-our children's education.

Were you there at the meeting?

There is an adage that you are trying to infer?

“Be clear that the job is not you.”

“You are a person with a job.”

However, is it working here in the PPS District?

When you have the job-to keep the job you walk the walk and talk the talk-if you want paid.

Right? Ask OLD Timer-if that person is not-that person is on early retirement, fired, dismissed, released, terminated or just resigned for personal reasons.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Questioner said...

Had to edit a sentence out of this post- we can't fall back on name calling-

Anonymous said...
Mark Roosevelt can talk the talk, but he can't walk the walk. He can't wait to get outta here.

He is never to blame, the teachers screwed him over. They will lose their jobs, he will get a raise, and move on.

BTW, MR is not "largely a good man". However, he is very savvy and has advanced knowledge of covering his rear-end.

August 13, 2010 2:41 AM

Old Timer said...

Questioner, you have always done a nice job in keeping the discussion above board and professional.