Thursday, September 2, 2010

PPS students start a new year

On a "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

"Superintendent Mark Roosevelt Visits Several Pittsburgh Public ...

Thousands of students who attend Pittsburgh Public Schools are headed back to class today following the summer break.

Again,this fact is it accurate-I need to know if we can secure the correct data.

On the news broadcasr---
THE district has seen improvement as 72 percent of its schools achieved adequate yearly progress.

The schools he is visiting this morning include Pittsburgh Carmalt PreK-8, Pittsburgh Carrick High School and Pittsburgh Grandview K-5

Any parents have children in the above school?

This should be a new blog entry?"


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

Again, please have CAUTION when considering if AYP means achievement is acceptable in PPS.

Example: A school might have only 23% of the students "proficient" in Reading, but because last year they had 17% if the students "proficient" there was improvement____however, 77% of the students in the school are NOT PROFICIENT in Reading. This has been a documented scenario over the past few years.

The state minimum target in reading is 63%, therefore even though the above school (at 23%) made AYP, it is STILL 40 percentage points BELOW the PA MINIMUM target.

The same school cited above was achieving at 47% in Reading prior to the Mark Roosevelt regime.

These are FACTS. _____We have yet to see the published scores for the 2010 school year so we must wait to document progress this year____yet the same scenario is indicated for this year based on the limited data that has been released.

Thus, there may be many schools where 72% of students are NOT PROFICIENT even if 72% of schools "made AYP."

We shall see data this month or next published online by the PA Department of Education.

Questioner said...

Of the 43 schools that the district claims "Made 2010 AYP" (which is different from "Making AYP) it appears that only 33 are currently recognized by the state as having made adequate progress.

The fine print of the district's report indicates that the AYP status of 10 schools is being appealed. These 10 schools are counted among the 43 "making 2010 AYP" though. See pages 12 - 16.

Of the 4 ALA's counted as "making 2010 AYP" 3 are actually in appeal status. These appeals may well explain the delay in announcing PSSA results. It would be interesting to obtain the appeals.

Questioner said...

In 2009, 32 of 60 schools "made 2009 AYP."

In 2010 33 of 60 schools "made 2010 AYP" with results for 10 schools still being appealed.

Links are:

For 2009:

For 2010:

Anonymous said...

THANKS Questioner. This needs to be carefully and accurately followed and then widely distributed and published. PPS achievement has been steadily declining overall since the Roosevelt regime and this can and should be publicly documented.

Some of the more obvious reasons for this decline have been presented to the Board and Administration, but they have chosen to ignore or categorically disregard_____the reasons are unfathomable since they have nothing to lose by "listening" and "following through."

Anonymous said...

Check out the PPS CALENDAR for September. 4SIGHT has been widely (PA statewide) acknowledged to be an extremely flawed instrument. PPS has known this for the past several years, yet LOOK AT THE CALENDAR!!!

Also, a charted presentation was made in January, 2010_____to no avail???

The rationale, whatever it is, is UNCONSCIONABLE!

Questioner said...

The online materials from the August Ed Comm meeting seem to have been updated quite a bit. If you haven't reviewed them recently it is worth taking a look- they contain many more arguments that the district is making progress and additional data. Definitions have been added, and the disclaimer about appeals may be new as well. Didn't this report previously end with the "Summer Dreamers" chant?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Questioner for facilitation.

”THE district has seen improvement as 72 percent of its schools achieved adequate yearly progress”.

Thus, it is not AYP.

It is Roosevelt’s YAP or PR talk.

He is yapping a lot about his statistical interpretations, which are inaccurate.

IT is AAP-adequate yearly progress.

Really, it is MAP-"making adequate progress". Which the PPS PR are doing with us as parents-going all over the MAP with PR Propoganda.

Thus, PPS is not showing consistency or growth in true student learning and achievement. A
gain, PPS will be using the Growth Model formula to add the schools into the continuous favorable PR announcement of 72 percent.

That is why they are going to the state of PA for FORGIVENESS with special education students?

Or they dismissed the teachers with the bad test scores and use that raionale? They did rid teachers that were in grades with PSSA testing.

When I presented this question to a PPS employee- one of my children’s ADM-I was told MYOB in many non-verbal gestures.

MYOB-Mind Your Own Business.

That employee is a darling administrator of his pet schools that made 72 percent of its schools achieved adequate yearly progress.-the YAP

I was appalled of the Administrator’s actions, but resented that type of superiority over parents asking a legitimate question.

That is why I feel Roosevelt should be making better interpretations for parents of poor performing schols so they are allowed to transfer

PPS stalling with producing the paperwork to the state of PA has caused many socio-economically deprived parents to be left in limbo in porr performing schools that are not magnets.

Parents should just take their kids out of the ALAS anyway.

Anonymous said...

Questioner said... September 2, 2010 2:23 PM
There was a lot of tweaking of the August Ed Committee materials.

After the Open meeting on the 23rd of August many parents noticed, as well as educators, the tweaking process of the words that were added for test score analysis and justification.

They touched up the Agenda materials to be more of a Mona Lisa painting-than a dot and color be number.

The August 16th video was not tampered with-because that Dreamers Battle Cry of a Chant is still churning-but the video page was edited with the correct data language to further enhance the districts PSSA numbers game for PR.

Why was PPS ADM so late with all this reliable data and how they used the appropriate coverage for their posteriors?

If it were a teacher, they would have been dismissed.

They rolled the PSSA data like they found a loaded parasite bomb-with no idea how to present it or hold it.

Questioner said...

We will do a complete comparison of the original and the tweaked materials.

Prior to appeals only one of the eight ALA's was even listed as "making progress" (also called "2010 AYP" but not "making AYP).

Does anyone know how the district's appeals for AYP went?

Anonymous said...

Do any of you post at city data Pittsburgh? There is a very pro PPS/mark Roosevelt thread that recently started.

People really do believe the district is doing well.

Questioner said...

With this much milege from mediocre scores, imagine what the situation would be if there really were good results.

Anonymous said...

This was as the second to the last entry of the article Pittsburgh’s school system might be the model for the future by BILL REITER on the PPS Web Site Good News-

Exerpt from article.
This is what urban education looks like on the ground.
Like Gene Walker, 34, who escaped a tough neighborhood and now works for The Pittsburgh Promise, standing on stage, hoping to take all that theory and put it into motion. He was talking to Middle School Students.
As Walker wound down, three boys who’d been snickering all along grew bolder.
“Be respectful,” a teacher snapped.
A mumble from one of the boys.
“What was that?”
The boy turned away from Walker and his words and stared at the teacher. Then his answer rang out, a reminder of how different ground-level reality looks from high-minded theories.

Many kids having been reading this because the use of the swear WORD.

This is extremely poor uncensored publicity-showing-a very unflattering light on the PPS District.

I am ashamed as a taxpaying citizen that a teacher has to be treated like a dog.

Roosevelt explain this one to parents and students??

How did you let this go by?

Therefore, this summer program really did not instill in the proper fashion the behavior for urban children. Another waste of your thoughts into monetary growth of children’s academic successes.

I want an explanation as a parent-where, when, what happened to the students that used the word Bitch as a name given to their teacher for correcting the disrespectful boys?

Were the students disciplined and by what measure of discipline”
Moreover, was this at a Dreamers Academy?

Which Dreamers Academy?

As a parent, I want an answer regarding this incident.

I know we deserve answers from Roosevelt regarding this model he is producing. NO EXCUSES-ANSWERS

Anonymous said...

KDKA caught Roosevelt going into Carmalt without a bodyguard. It's nice to see that the kids simply don't care who he is,

takeyourbestshot said...

In fairness, MR does not appear to be shadowed that closely by a bodyguard. Many EFA parents read and post here and can verify that he has not had a bodyguard or driver at any of the EFA meetings this past school year. He has been to events at schools accompanied by senior staff without a bodyguard. A previous superintendent was quick to exit meetings to attend district sporting events leaving stunned parents in conference room A to get a lot further on issues with a staffer who had great follow-through, thank heavens.

All the talk of bodyguarding seems overblown to me and kind of sensationalistic.

takeyourbestshot said...

Sorry, got distracted and forgot to explain my point about interacting w/stakeholders.

Mother Theresa could be superintenent and not have a bodyguard and never leave a meeting early, and we could still fixate on something we perceive as a flaw.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Roosevelt does not need bodygaurds. He most likely has no issues woith students and their behaviors.

Certain schools have security on staff.

Mr. Roosevlet probably has GPS-so- he does not need a drvier or a bodyguard-he went to schools that are on the southern region that are schools within a certain radius.

When he arrived at Carrock-they have security if necessary.

Anonymous said...

Here is the city-data blog info

Interesting article about PGH Public Schools Pittsburgh ...

Speaking of outside funding, the PPS recently got $14.7 million in federal funding for some of its current efforts, which unlocks some of the Gates.

Questioner said...

News articles about the 14.7M said it would go toward all the recently approved initiatives- Gateway at Oliver, single gender academies, CTE, etc. including some to the teacher academy. Isn't it just the amount spent on the teacher academy that matches the Gates grant? And does the Gates grant provide that if half the matching amount is raised the district gets half the Gates money, or is it all or nothing?

Anonymous said...

The money is for teacher improvement funding. It cannot be used for the newly proposed academies.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the "new teacher academies" designed to address "teacher improvement?"

Anonymous said...

They may have found a loophole! Imagine that. :)

Questioner said...

This link seems to show that as of January 2006, 68.8% of schools had made AYP for the year (49 AYP schoolsand 6 "making progess" which PPS now counts as AYP for the year).

Questioner said...

Also consider that (even though the right sizing plan considered school performance and was intended to close failing schools and there are about 15 fewer schools now)-

In 2006 there were 31 schools that did not make even yearly AYP. If appeals are not successful, for 2010 there will be 27 schools that did not make even yearly AYP.

Old Timer said...

I think the point teachers have always made about Mr.Roosevelt traveling with a bodyguard was reflective of his disconnect with the average person. On one hand, arrogance apparently necessitated a bodyguard. The kids have a retort for this: "Get over yourself." It's almost reflective of the Marie Antoinette versus the "cake-eaters" mentality. Uh, hello? Education. People business?
Teachers and students alike likely would have preferred the average Joe approach, that we're all on the same team, all in this together, all a piece of the puzzle.
Instead, the bodyguard idea almost denoted some thinking that he was better than the little people or that our schools were so incredibly dangerous that anyone entering either needs a bodyguard or a chair and whip. That latter thinking would denote an "out of touch" mentality.
No, the bodyguard issue was not indicative of some personal commentary but more reflective of teachers views that it was all similar to US Steel's CEO "lowering himself" to come down and talk to the boys working in the dirt and heat over at Edgar Thompson.
It speaks volumes as to this era in PPS

Bodyguard Spotter said...

Mr. Roosevelt has visited my classroom a couple of times.

Each time he was accompanied by a uniformed school police officer who stood no more than three feet from him.

As Mr. Roosevelt observed my class, the school police officer scanned the room - I tend to notice such things.

So maybe Mr. Roosevelt doesn't use a bodyguard when he meets with parents or community leaders. But he sure had one when he visited my school.

Anonymous said...

He has a private officer is available to escort/drive him whenever he wants.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he travels with a bodyguard because it is what other "Broadies" have done. If you read up on some of the others, they had guards with them, usually right before they made the communities so angry that they were forced into resignation.

It is my understanding that he went to Carrick for a teacher inservice and had his bodyguard with him. No kids, no parents. If true, what a great way to bond with "his staff".

Questioner said...

Anonymous wrote the following, with a small edit to meet our guidelines:

Carrick's faculty is one of the few who is willing to tell administration like it is. It's always been a strong union school and it's sad that so few staffs understand the idea of solidarity. If they did, you wouldn't have administrators walking around schools in an effort to rattle teachers. The intimidation now coming from Bellefield Avenue is amazing---outrageous.
[...] Roosevelt surely would not want to defend his decisions for one moment.
He's above all that.

Anonymous said...

M.R. Knows how to shuffle employees he wants to get rid of; Pass them on to another (A yes man administrator) leave NO paper trail, and never look back or discuss it again. He enlists a hit man/woman to do the dirty work. MR walks away without a scratch.

This was/is easy with non-union employees. Now that teachers are so exposed and Tarka is holding a hatchet this may be a blood bath. He has to make room for all the non teachers he paid to educate.

Roosevelt is smart, he covers his rear end.