Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PSSA results for 2010

The link to school results is at:



Questioner said...

As noted earlier, for 10 schools the district was appealing the failure to make AYP. The announcement that 72% of schools made AYP for 2010 counted these 10 schools as having made AYP. Results released today list two of these schools (Rooney and Schaeffer) as not making AYP.

Questioner said...

The D of E web site shows the many safe harbors, statistical adjustments and allowances that may be applied in determining AYP. It would be interesting to know the resources devoted for staff and consultants to work through all of these factors to prepare appeals.

"Confidence intervals take into account the fact that the students tested in any particular year might not be representative of students in that school across the years... The United States Department of Education approved a 95% Confidence Interval (C.I.) in Pennsylvania for AYP performance calculations."

"Schools or subgroups that do not achieve Performance thresholds can still meet AYP by meeting the Safe Harbor requirements. To make Safe Harbor, a school or subgroup must reduce its percentage of students who performed below proficient in the previous year by at least 10%."

"The Growth Model recognizes the efforts of schools whose students have not achieved proficiency but are on trajectories towards proficiency on future PSSA exams. The Growth Model will be calculated for all AYP Performance Targets (i.e., the all student group and up to nine subgroups). Projected scores are calculated for all students - including students who are proficient. If a projected score cannot be calculated for a particular student, the student’s actual score is used. The Growth Model will be applied to an AYP Performance Target only if the target cohort has not met AYP performance by any of the existing six (6) provisions. Actual, not projected, PASA scores, 3rd grade scores, and 11th grade scores are always used, as well as the scores for any students with insufficient data points to make a projection."

"Schools or subgroups that do not achieve the Performance thresholds or make Safe Harbor can still meet AYP by demonstrating significant growth through the use of the Pennsylvania Performance Index (PPI). PPI measures growth across all levels of the PSSA, not just from Basic to Proficient, and starts each school and subgroup at its own baseline. Since this index shows significant growth including growth at the lowest levels, it is a good indication that low performing schools are building a foundation to meet AYP objectives."

"If a district/school fails to make AYP based solely on the performance of its IEP subgroup, 13% can be added to the IEP subgroup’s percentage of Advanced and Proficient. If the addition of the proxy percentage allows the IEP subgroup to meet the performance threshold; then, the school would make AYP. This was done as a proxy for students who will be eligible to take a new modified assessment. "

"In Pennsylvania a school or district can make AYP by using two or three consecutive years of data if the result is better than a single current year calculation."

"For confidentiality and reliability, results may be based on data from this year, or on an average of up to three years of data."

"Performance measures may be met using Confidence Intervals, Safe Harbor, the Growth Model or through the Appeals process."

Questioner said...

The Governor announced that 82% of PA schools met AYP standards for 2010.

The percentage of Pittsburgh public schools meeting AYP standards for 2009 - 2010 appears to be 68%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh public schools for 200 - 2005 was 61%.

bystander said...

I can only imagine the pressures on the staff at builings where students performed poorly.

What needs to be done to improve the performance of IEP students?

Questioner said...

Of the 6-12 and 9-12 schools, IEP is a category at Brashear only- apparently the other schools each have fewer than 40 students w/ and IEP and so it is impossible to tell how those students are doing. At Brashear this category was met through a safe harbor.

Anonymous said...

Looking at more than just the high school performance it seems that schools making AYP sometines do so w/ the IEP target met through CI.

Anonymous said...

looks like a lot of schools made it because of the Growth Model target. Seems like once again this country is loaning out credit that we won't be able to afford to pay back.

Oh well...at least we "made it"

I'm sure Roosevelt will get another 10 grand because it looks like his initiatives did it rather than a weakened scale

Anonymous said...

Who is in charge of the data? Is it trustworthy?

Questioner said...

The PA Department of Ed is in charge.

Questioner said...

Correction- the school results do list the number of students at each school w/ an IEP and shows how they are doing- IEP is just not an AYP category for a school if there are fewer than 40 students with an IEP.

Anonymous said...

If this is considered success, I am afraid to see what constitutes failure in this district.

Anonymous said...

Minadeo's enrollment has declined rapidly in one year. (638-609) 2009 enrollment. Range is due to different reports.
2010 only 493 enrolled. The demographics flipped a lot too. The percentage of African American students has declined at least 10 percent if not more.
This caught my attention because my children go there, and something is not right. They placed a PELA principal in this school this year, and as a neighborhood we were very unhappy with the change and were very vocal. They let the previous principal stay on as an assistant after our constant complaints.

Did they rezone Minadeo? The change in demographics is strange.

Anonymous said...

PSSA testing--like SAT--is a sham. It measures little. When you have to resort to trickery and employ a multitude of similar answers, use this tactic numerous times and then factor in time limitations, you're not interested in assessing students' reading abilities.
Standardized test writing is a cottage industry, providing millions of dollars in revenue to corporations in "the business". Yet just like we all know of many students who did rather poorly on SAT's and then did extremely well in college, there are many kids whose reading abilities simply aren't measured by these types of tests.
Reliable, you ask? Hardly.
That teachers will be called "effective" or "ineffective" thanks to these tests is disturbing.

Anonymous said...


PPSA Reading PROFICIENCY__ 2003-2009-2010

2003 2009 2010

PA Target 45% 63% 63%

Allderdice 75% 65% 62%

Brashear 60% 47% 45%

Carrick 53% 59% 51%

Langley 50% 43% 44%

Oliver 31% 31% 25%

Peabody 27% 26% 24%

Perry 47% 18% 45%

Schenley 58% 56% 62%

Westinghouse14% 24% 29%

U-PREP 37%

The PSSA has been in place since 1999.
Schools have been held accountable since 2003.

From 2003 to 2010 the PA Target has increased
from 45% to 63%___UP18% points over 7 years.

Contrary to the great majority of PA Districts,
PPS has dropped since 2009 ___ DOWN 13-15%
points at some schools over 7 years.


Anonymous said...

Additionally, the ACHIEVEMENT GAP has WIDENED.

At Allderdice the GAP IS 47%.
AT Brashear the GAP is 36%.
At Carrick the GAP is 46%.

Across PPS High Schools, anywhere from 60 % to 80% of the Black students are NOT PROFICIENT.

Questioner said...

The U Prep figure is for 8th grade, while the figures for other schools are for 11th grade. Across the state 8th grade scores are particularly high- maybe 8th grade is a good year for achievement, or maybe the 8th grade test is just relatively easier.

Anonymous said...

The black-white disparity has many explanations that go beyond skin color. Black kids can excel on these tests and there are more than a few middle and high schools that show it upon examination of the numbers.
Is it the teaching? Surely, it plays a big role, but the bigger role is played by some adult figure who cares about education. This adult has been there for his/her child from the start. He/She has done the legwork in getting them into the right programs, the right schools.
Academic success begins in the home. Few achievers do it without the support of those at home, regardless of color. No magic wand is going to get around the most basic of facts.

Questioner said...

This administration has always been resisted placing much emphasis on home life- maybe because "the kids didn't choose their parents," But if the adults at home are involved whenever possible, there will be more resources left for those who are left without much support.

Anonymous said...

This administration has prioritized making itself look good like it is some sort of La Cosa Nostra.
Look, the absence of a caring adult is not meant as an excuse in any way and there are caveats, of course, but if learning--especially reading and math refinement--do not extend beyond the hours spent in school, one must wonder just how enhanced academic achievement is supposed to take place.
How long will it be before we look in the mirror to say that we have failed our children? It's easy to blame teachers and truly, our administration is making it an art form in itself, but it's only an effort to divert the attention from where it belongs.
I could stand everything the Roosevelt administration has done if it would have had the courage, the true guts, to tell parents that it all starts with them.
This administration won't of course, like the state and federal leadership above it.The risk of starting a political firestorm and of jeopardizing one's own political aspirations is too great.
You've got to love the gutlessness.

Questioner said...

Broad Foundation materials make very little mention of families and parents.

Questioner said...

PG article about 82% of PA schools making AYP this year:


Anonymous said...

Anon 9:33

You have only seen the microscopic tip of the gutlessness of the entire administration. Behind closed doors it is rapid fire finger pointing along with deplorable, demeaning and impossible work loads and demands.

It isn't only the superintendent, the cabinet members and Broad residents all follow his lead. It is miserable for most of the employees at the central office.

Anonymous said...

Will this be the answer to improve test scores?

State school board praises city new teacher initiatives

A new teacher evaluation and performance pay system introduced in the Pittsburgh Public Schools this year are the kind of initiatives that districts around ...


Anonymous said...

Word is that it's pretty miserable for folks in HR and the tech department as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Minadeo's enrollment has declined rapidly in one year. (638-609) 2009 enrollment. Range is due to different reports=it is a disgrace with this new PELA Principal-when Getty was Very Good-

This PELA was as at Roosevelt Elem -as Monadeo parents found out and this PELA could not even discipline the Roosevelt kids during her tenure in her PELA Induction year as a passing grade-

Roosevelt Elem was a disaster hidden by its walls to the public as one parent found out from her other family members that attended Roosevelt last year. This PELA lacks the proper managerial skills and disciplinary measures,

AS ON rOOSEVELT PARENT STATED SHE IS a member of what many parents call the female version of the BOYS Club.

The type of candidates chosen as PELA candidates.

Anonymous said...

IF Minadeo's enrollment has declined rapidly in one year. (638-609) 2009 enrollment stated by ANON-Let us discuss other K-5 non-magnet elementary and other demographic parts of the PPS District.

Last night’s Agenda Review meeting 09-15-10-another slipping out of the famed under the carpet ---more realignment of schools and future closing and openings in reconfiguration-Arlington ALA was thrown into the open change talk.
The Facilities Report apparently seen and unseen to the public with PPS—the usual Tech web site issues.

The report has for next year more zip codes moving into other schools with the given sites of Woolslair, Morrow and the closing of the Primary Arlington Building. Add Schiller, Oliver, and the North Side parents are running in herds out of the City Schools. Enrollment next year could be less than 24,000-or more-Hello the famed bus rides of the nice yellow school buses to St Sebastian and charter schools. This is not white flight- but a sole movement of parents that are disgusted with the options of just having Capa. Obama and Sci-tech as the answer for the choices to make IT through the PPS Schools for a 12-year education.

Parents are in a tizzy that rumors are going fast and furious that Woolslair will be closing and moving into the Arsenal Building and realize the potential closure through the teachers’ knowledge base. The parents and teachers are being victimized because many parents are tired of the constant change and uncertainty. The teachers know that the numbers games are costing more teaching jobs.

After PPS students leave Kindergarten, they are moving not onto the First Grade in the PPS Schools-but out of PPS non-magnet schools. This is where many PPS teachers, staff, and parents are observing the major decline and movement out of PPS. PPS is not retaining the PreK students to continue onto First Grade. This is the issue. Noticeable the dominate numbers of the socio- economically deprived African Americans students as 80% of the enrollment at Woolslir and Morrow from Second Level on. Large numbers of Special Ed students and the declining enrollment of students that present in the early primary grades. The community resident cannot support the constant PPS change.

The Morrow parents got their hands on the report due to last year’s discussions and meeting have only one choice as a Magnet in the North Side Region-Allegheny because the North Side is feeling the great wrath of the Board-Oliver changes as a high School, Schiiler closing and Morrow is not the answer with the management of this school-yes a PELA Principal. A real joke. Again, Morrow is still a mess with their staff-even worse this year-the same PELA Principal-parents want a new experienced Principal.
North Side parents are going to many lengths and strides leaving PPS. Schiller has teacher issues some of the worst in the district-low enrollment shields their weaknesses-it is like a nice playground of 100 students in the whole building. What happened to all their enrollment?

The schools need to be looked at for their teachers inabilities -they have their jobs due to favors of political agendas.

Moreover, Oliver is working very hard as a collaborative effort with the teachers and staff and it will close..

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Word is that it's pretty miserable for folks in HR and the tech department as well.
September 16, 2010 7:04 AM

If, it is that bad quit-give the job to others that need it-all age groups are welcome to apply.

Hey, they ALL have jobs-let’s clean house many people will take their jobs-we have high unemployment out here.

Yeah, WE will work for Roosevelt and take the crap a while-yes we will take their pensions.

My family will be glad to apply and take a job at PPS-so will many others. My taxpaying money will come to good use back into family pockets as income.

They do not work with the kids-so they are the people that are TAKING UP THE NON-TEACHING POSITIONS.

TAKING UP THE NON-TEACHING POSITIONS-they are not working with the kids-Roosevelt needs to make happy campers as the teachers do with the kids.

Can’t Roosevelt make his little kiddies at the board happy?

Quit your job and try to find another at a TEMP Agency-not that kinda of pay out there like at the Board!!
New Hirees are even paid less-clean the moaners our!!

Find another dictator to work under!!

Anonymous said...

I did quit, so did many others.

There are jobs available, go apply.

Anonymous said...

Next time, Pittsburgh needs a superintendent with a proven track record of success. Even if at a smaller less prestigious location.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...@ September 16, 2010 10:58 AM

I did quit so did many others. There are jobs available, go apply.

Well, it is sad to hear you had to quit-I apologize for my previous comments.

They were not directed just to you.

However, Central Office is heavily filled with NON-TEACHING jobs that people would like to work—but cannot acquire. Even teachers that are new would rather work there than in the trenches. Many teachers that are new feel the same way you felt-they live as neighbors on our street and cannot figure out why they are teaching under this Regime-and want to leave for other school districts.

It is the Game EITHER YOU ARE IN OUT.Play the rules to stay.

Nevertheless, it is not that easy to move from a job at that level of the Board without being well connected to get a job there in the first place. That connectedness keeps your job.
Many people at Central Office and Support Adm are heavily connected to be considered to be in the ranks of the Board Adm Building. They made it-differently through the connections. Many stay there and keep their jobs due to their connectedness.

Unless, they hire from Kelly Employment Services-which is their answer to a Merry-Go Round Employment Circus-PPS answer to fill positions with no desire to keep employees on for long-term work.

Many-we know that take the crap and do their jobs because they cannot lose their $30-$50 jobs in HR. They stated=they leave their morals at home and follow the regime and their rules. They have to work because of age or the risk factor of change.

Anonymous said...

Did they rezone Minadeo?
The change in demographics is strange.

Well. Many Minadeo parents agree with you regarding the Principal and placing her in the ASSISTANT role-it is a real predicament-when they must place the PELA candidates in the TOP jobs. This is very form of demoralizing that parents did not want.
As for students- at 600 levels are high-but there are fewer students in the building-maybe, the children went onto the charter school in PPS old elementary building in Regent Square. They have taken a significant enrollment or more families from certain zip codes are moving out of the city.

Questioner said...

The environmental charter school in Regent Square does seem to be extremely popular with families! A lot of work for staff apparently...

Anonymous said...

Here are a few links that compare Minadeo 2009-2010 enrollment drop.


Just go to PPS site and check out the current data. They have over 100 less students. Do we know the district enrollment yet? I thought the Promise was going to Increase enrollment. I wonder if other schools had sharp drop offs too.

I agree the environmental charter is very popular.

Anonymous said...



pickle said...

Anon 9/16 7:13, PELAs have to be put into top spots over established experienced principals most likely to be able to justify and support the continuance of the grants for the PELA program.

Anon 9/15 9:33, I get what you are saying about this administration, state and federal leadership being unwilling "to tell parents that it all starts with them." Even the president does not go far enough when giving the message (either this year or last) but it's all political correctness hooey. Somebody needs to go all-encompassing courageous conversation with high schoolers. Locally the talk would go like this:

"We are sick and tired of taking your disrespect. You're in high school now and beginning today you are no longer allowed to blame you parent/responsible adult, your neighborhood, your previous teachers, your siblings, or the crossing guard who watched over you on your way to school. We have designed the best programs and safety nets and created a way to help you get to college that will give you 10 grand a year toward your tuition. If you don't do what you are supposed to do, don't blame anyone and don't wait til the last report card period of 12th grade to start worrying about your GPA, your attendance, your graduation project or your Keystone exam. There is help available from today forward as there always has been. Don't sabotage your classmates' efforts because you don't even know how hard we an come down when we want to. Discipline stats be damned! This will be the one and only time we deliver this message to this group. A few of you will need the added support to be ready to take full responsibility for your future. It is available. Just ask for it."

Is this too harsh?

Anonymous said...

Understand this: once this superintendent has left for a greener pasture, the assistant superintendent who will take his place will be a thousand times worse.
Again, begin to come to grips with the word "vindictiveness". Understand that there is no middle ground. Most galling is that there is no one on the board who wishes to join Brentley to act as a check so that ego such as this does not run amok.
We're in bad times in PPS. It's going to get worse.
I'm amazed how this district has so many people fooled, but not amaze that the state would applaud. There are some who would call the method of operation at both the state and local level "socialist" in scope. It's more totalitarian than that.
Parents...this is not academic integrity your kids are being treated to, rather, a small group of people--yes, mostly hard headed women--who feel empowered and are grossly mistaken in their leadership, their perceptions about how kids learn, the ideas about how to teach and the approach to preparing world class curriculum. Sickening.

Anonymous said...

To the insider who quit their job and those fed up, if it's so then why not tell the tale here. You've got nothing to lose. You don't have to name names. We know the characters.
To me, such commentaries are bogus.
I don't have an ounce of respect for many people in central administration--especially genuflecting PELAs who couldn't cut it in the classroom. I feel no pity--none--that people NOT working with kids in the classroom don't like their jobs. You have no clue what stress is.

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh is a tight political town. I was not and I will never be a genuflector, however, I will be a cover my asser. You can disrespect me, but It would be career suicide to discuss anything in detail.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..@. September 16, 2010 11:06 AM

Next time, Pittsburgh needs a superintendent with a proven record of accomplishment of success.

Even if at a smaller less prestigious location.
My worries we have the Assistant Superintendent to take Roosevelt’s place-she appears worse than he does. Many educators and parents found her to be a bulldog worse than Roosevelt.

They would both have to go together and hire a transition person and not Lane as transition point person.

I do believe that Roosevelt can survive his 6th year-why because if he really has the grits in his guts-he will survive this very tough year of constant monetary challenges.

He will make sure that he keeps his job if he wants to stay here-and cut others that have jobs as the means to save his job. Central Office and teachers will feel the heat to save the money to make his goals work.

Will he survive his 6th year?
Anonymous said..@. September 16, 2010 11:06 AM

Next time, Pittsburgh needs a superintendent with a proven record of accomplishment of success.

Even if at a smaller less prestigious location.
My worries we have the Assistant Superintendent to take Roosevelt’s place-she appears worse than he does. Many educators and parents found her to be a bulldog worse than Roosevelt.

They would both have to go together and hire a transition person and not Lane as transition point person.

I do believe that Roosevelt can survive his 6th year-why because if he really has the grits in his guts-he will survive this very tough year of constant monetary challenges.

He will make sure that he keeps his job if he wants to stay here-and cut others that have jobs as the means to save his job. Central Office and teachers will feel the heat to save the money to make his goals work.

Will he survive his 6th year?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem like the Assistant Superintendent is interested in returning to Iowa.

Anonymous said...

Lane has it great here

Not much pressure-if she goes back to Iowa in that job she was considered for-I believe might pay less and she has a lot more work to do than here.

If she has a state pension in Iowa-maybe, she has enough in it that there is no need to go back there unless she wants the government title or prestige for her career or personal reasons.

However, she is old enough to start collecting her Social Security and still work putting money away for her numerous pension plans. I am not saying she is old-she is a very active and trensetter woman.

Therefore, she is making a good income like a majority of the people in her age bracket at high-income levels.

She has PPS as a guarantee-she can call the shots-it is up to her.

If Lane leaves-that will be a sign of the change agent that could crumble the regime.

But I believe they have the replacement already in mind.

Anonymous said...

Disagree with anon at 2:33 in many regards but will say this: if Lane leaves, turn out the lights. She and Ms.Ottuwa are the only hope currently within the administration--truly the only two who understand and appreciate teachers and the education process. What's left--especially over in professional development and curriculum--are just plain frightening, and I mean that in terms of education.
Lane already turned down the Iowa position. I'm unsure as to where it says she's still a candidate.

If Roosevelt would leave, one would hope an entire overhaul would be forthcoming and that a true educator with experience in the classroom would be the target but given the fact that this board has capitulated to this current philosophy that has been ramrodded down everyone's throat by various brainwashed and agenda-bent individuals in positions of authority, hiring an existing assistant superintendent would not surprise me.
As someone said...a thousand times worse that what we have.

Anonymous said...

Anon said @ September 17, 2010 3:56PM

She and Ms.Ottuwa are the only hope currently within the administration--truly the only two who understand and appreciate teachers and the education process.

I will disagree-the two you mentioned are just like the rest-you just have not seen that yet-they are no different and maybe you have seen some great lights radiating from them. Regarding teacher appreciation and their compassionate understanding of the educational process of varied theories of teaching and learning-many of us have not at all-they just appear two-sided and no when to flip the side to shine the right light=they are like shiny new pennies.

You better watch yourself-all ADM has a job big job to do. Ridding teachers on the payroll.

Start saving your pennies for the rainy day of potential job issues collecting a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

Please watch the KDKA report on students being sent home from school because they were not wearing an embroidered badge with the school name, U-Prep.

It would seem to be an imperative for students to be in school if they are to rise above the current 37% in Reading Proficiency and 39% in Math Proficiency on the 2010 PSSA.

Are there legal ramifications for denying students their education for such a flimsy reason?

This kind of "priority" puts students "at risk."

Questioner said...

There have been some interesting court challenges lately on schools' obligation to provide a "free public education" and what that obligation entails. There is a strong case to be made that the school must supply items that students are required to have in order to attend, including uniforms.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:19, I'll keep your gutless comments in mind the next time you decide to join in the "focusing fun" on some teacher who strays from curriculum, or is missing a few things on the bulletin board or better yet, just lost a loved one and now must contend with you (which took place at a local school last year).
Tight political town? Let me speak for a great many teachers in saying that you know what you and your like-minded administrators can do with your "careers".

Anonymous said...

I left the district, but I am still seeking employment, hence my reluctance to discuss things in detail. That is what I meant by career suicide.

I could not take it, we are not all evil. Many want to leave, but cannot due to the economy. I am fortunate enough to have a spouse that can support our family until I find a new job. I gave PPS years of hard work, long hours, and was mentally beat to a pulp.

Don't judge me, I gave up a lot for moral reasons combined with the emotional toll it took on me. I can tell you that morale is horrible, and many employees work 60 hours a week salaried, not making 6 figures either. They know they will lose their jobs unless they walk the walk.

The grass isn't always greener, and the stress level for ALL (minus about 16 PPS ) employees is off the charts.

Anonymous said...

All these hours, all the extra money spent, all the stress and disruption and turmoil- where are the results?

Anonymous said...

There has been an egregious DECLINE in academic achievement in Pittsburgh Public Schools over the past seven years.

PPS High Schools are 2% to 15% lower than they were in 2003 when districts became accountable for results under state and federal legislation. W

While State Target Scores increased by 18% points from 2003 to 2010, PPS Scores decreased as much as 15%.

Pittsburgh children deserve much better! It is doable, as proven by many other districts!

Questioner said...

And yet, our Board members smile and nod and act as if there is no problem.

Anonymous said...

Yes, QUESTIONER, with the exception of Mark Brentley its enough to bring tears and ongoing anguish.

It's all about personal, adult agendas_____I wonder if anyone BELIEVES our children are CAPABLE of so much more.

Anonymous said...

Yes, QUESTIONER, with the exception of Mark Brentley its enough to bring tears and ongoing anguish.
I do cry at the charades of the Board members-their nods, yes and carefree, carte blanche attitude. Their nods, and giggles are stiffling.

Mr. Brentley is a breath of honest-fresh air-and how can we make sure others run like Kathy Fine to be a Board Member?

Anon, QUESTIONER and others-
What about our children?

Are the adult agendas allowing our children to receive the capabilities of being lifelong learners with all this turmoil for the 21st century?

Anonymous said...

No, the adult, majority Board agendas (Mark Brentley, the exception), do not seem to acknowledge that the children even exist___ as witnessed by the frivolous, self-centered, giggling interactions around the table.

The realities of substandard achievement are rarely questioned, much less the focus for specific problem solving.

It is a more than embarrassing representation of the city's children.

Anonymous said...

They smile and nod because of the glory and the power trip they are on. This administration is media-savvy in true corporate form. They appear to be extremely progressive while we produce students with limited skills.
I can speak for many teachers across the district in saying that we can write curricula that will both inspire and challenge our students. We can write curricula that will address the needs of our kids and will write curricula that enhances academic achievement.
That's not being done right now.
This administration can leave now--and each administrator and each consultant can hit the bricks.
Take your $40 million with you.

And I guarantee you--I guarantee you--that we will produce a better student and be a more student-friendly district, indeed, a family-friendly district.

This has been a situation of style over substance and one in which media and other corporate types are easily impressed by the nice shine. Pity the engine doesn't run.

I live for the day that department heads are humbled and thrown back into the classroom. So much here has been done wrong. So many injustices have taken place. I dream of the day that someone comes along and puts all of these arrogant, vindictive pretenders in their collective place.

Questioner said...

Now that's an idea for next time around- give the teachers a budget and put them in charge; let an executive committee of teachers hire someone at a reasonable cost to handle day to day administrative duties. Money that is currently being wasted without a thought could be skillfully and creatively stretched to accomplish much.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9/18 7:59

Depending on the department very little gets done. It is a hamster wheel! The goals that people have spent hours on, suddenly change. All that work goes down the drain. We also get blamed for it, even though we were doing what was asked of us.

Many of us have respect for teachers, and most of us know the broad kids have taken control. They are the finger pointers and MR listens to them, yet we can't speak to MR, we are below his time.

As I said in previous posts I left. PPS is a tough place to work and swiping a broad (pardon the pun) stroke towards all admin employees is about as fair as saying all teachers need training to raise scores.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentleman that is why the teachers have Unions to be actively engaged-with curriculum.
re all Central Office job openings posted on the PPS web site for the hiring process?

My concerns are the dressing down of the teaching forces- where our children are experiencing this tragic method of cooperative learning. My kids come home and wonder if their teachers are getting grades like those that they receive.

Maybe administrators need civics lessons on how to behave and exhibit collegiality.

Anonymous said...

And Ladies and Gentlemen, here we have a posting that is woefully out of touch with the realities of PPS, although I agree with everything the writer states.

Most Pittsburghers have a vision of unions in hearing the very word, but the PFT is not that entity anymore, for whatever reason. It has given back so many of the things it negotiated over the past 30 years that it's almost unbelievable.

We don't need this union.

Administrators are pounded with the idea that treating a teacher as anything but a grunt in the trenches runs counter to the mantra of arrogance that emanates from Bellefield Avenue. You see this mantra employed by assistant superintendents, by department heads, by PELA leadership and PELAs themselves. Administration is taught that teachers should be pushed, that they have no say, that they had better use curriculum verbatim, that they should be focused and dressed down.


Look, we don't need a union to right the ship. Merely give this administration a wake up call and truly empower teachers by allowing classroom teachers at every level of every subject area to comprise curriculum. Kick department heads and their clingers-on back into the classroom. Make them earn their keep and put arrogance where it belongs: in the trash. Let teachers comprise a curriculum that balances student needs with real world essentials associated with a springboard into further academia after high school. Write it so as to give students a solid preparation for standardized testing. Inspire kids to think for themselves.

And watch the atmosphere improve. Watch the appreciation of parents and college admissions reps alike improve.

It's nice to dream.

Anonymous said...

I am very in touch with the reality.

However, let us ask you the whys?
Why are teachers not mobilizing?

Fear-large numbers can win. Or the fear of the wrath.

Why are the SAME instructional curriculum leaders running the show?

What are values- if the teachers complain as parents are experiencing this deluge of dictatorship pouncing in our kids’ classrooms?

Can teacher acquire the connectedness to oust some of their superiors?

Where are the teachers’ strength and weaknesses to attain the eliminations of their dictators as superiors?

Why is the Union not addressing the curriculum pitfalls and asking for revised curriculum models and modules?

Why this taskmaster leadership with the teaching of this curriculum as academia and my kids tiny victims of the taskmaster teaching?

Is this the Fixed-mind set or growth-mind set theories of teaching anf learning?

Anonymous said...

You ask a great many salient questions that either cannot be answered or are rhetorical in nature.

Where the union is concerned, again, most of us do not believe that the union protects our best interests. You ask the question that many of us continually have for myriad subjects: why?

No answers are provided, no rationale is provided. The growing disenchantment recently manifested itself in 4 "non-slate" candidates winning spots in he union hierarchy. Two of those positions normally would have entailed leaving the classroom to work on issues as union leadership on a full-time basis. In something eerily reminiscent of Animal House's "Double Secret Probation" tactic, these two members were told that this would not be the case with them, that they would be staying in the classroom, that prior methodology did not necessarily apply to them.

It almost reminds you of La Cosa Nostra.

As for the fear,your questions are on target and you supply your own answers quite appropriately. Fear causes teachers to remain quiet. The pressures being placed on teachers who speak up is unimaginable. One look at board minutes illustrates it all. Furloughs, resignations for "personal" reasons, terminations. Losing one's job is a very real possibility with this administration, a group of people who care little about your children and more about maintaining power and control.

Reminds me of a James Bond movie.

How much latitude do we have in replacing leadership, etc? None.

So there you have it. Again, I like your thoughts but they are simply not applicable to the PPS teaching staff.

Anonymous said...

Comeuppance. It's all about comeuppance. Like the kids always say, karma is a funny thing.

I want to be there when these people are put in their places too.