Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Be bold"

On the December "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:


Today's P-G, "Be Bold Dr. Lane" by Jeremy Resnick


Anonymous said...

Bravo for Boldness! Where Jeremy has succeeded with "boldness," I hope others follow suit and present, publicly plans that equally bold and even more encompassing

Given the status of Corrective Action II 3rd Year, and the rank of 496 out of 500 school districts in PA, PPS will need decisive actions that boldly move PPS off the "pathway" to the pits of educational decline

Anonymous said...

As bold as hiring principals who tell their students to boo their teachers ? Closing more schools like Schenley? I, for one, hope that advice is not taken!

Anonymous said...

Boldness, at this point, is moving away from the current state of reform that is clearly not working as it is clearly ill-conceiived_____including PULSE, PELA, RISE, PROMISE without academic achievement.

Questioner said...

It is incredible that someone who is here in Pittsburgh, involved in education, would write this piece. To start with- the whole idea behind U Prep WAS that it was a "new school" but the results nevertheless have been poor in terms of academics, behavior and student activities. On the whole the ALA's have produced poor results. Colfax has had some success but it is very different demographically from the other ALA's and was not originally intended as an ALA. How about instead building on what is good, in a reasoned and evidence-based manner (ie, try ONE ALA for a limited amount of time and only expand if the results warrant).

Anonymous said...

Message from the charter schools and private schools:

Great job Pittsburgh Public- just keep doing what you're doing!

Anonymous said...

There are multiple reasons for the success of Colfax and none have anything to do with being an ALA or using America's Choice. Just spend a few days visiting in the school at Colfax and then a few days at any of the other ALAs.

I wonder why more parents and community members do not spend more time in schools?

Anonymous said...


What, precisely, do you find "incredible" about Jeremy Resnick's letter to Linda Lane? Please give examples.

Given who he is, what he does, where he's been, and what his purpose is, Jeremy is paving the way toward his goals and has certainly take a "bold" step in that direction with his well-chosen words and selective statements. You do not have to agree with all of what he says to see that his purpose is well-served.

Would that someone would be "bold" enough to take on the challenge in behalf of our public schools using similar strategies to further the cause and accomplish the goal.

Questioner said...

Are parents and community members ALLOWED to spend time in schools, other than their own child's class (and kids don't always want parents in their classes).

When the Open East End Panel toured schools last year, tours had to be after hours since not all community members touring had federal security clearances.

As explained above, citing the ALA's and U Prep in support of new schools is incredible. And the possibility that any benefit to students moved into charter and private schools could be far outweighed by the harm done to the remaining students in schools which then suffer loss of enrollment and resources must at least be acknowledged and suggestions made to avoid that result.

Anonymous said...

Let's not miss the point, the point being, good schools are essential for all students no matter who they are or from where they come. No one can expect parents to continue to send ther children, our precious future, to schools that are inferior to others.

It must be the quality of the schools that make the difference not who the parents are or where they live.

Schools exist to educate children, if they cannot do that then there is no reason for their existence/

Questioner said...

Fine, then replace them by building on what is working (just about every school has some good feature) and making changes in a well-reasoned, evidence-based manner.

And in the mean time- do not benefit a few at a greater cost to the rest.

Anonymous said...

To which few do you refer that benefit at cost to which others?

Questioner said...

"The possibility that any benefit to students moved into charter and private schools could be far outweighed by the harm done to the remaining students in schools which then suffer loss of enrollment and resources must at least be acknowledged and suggestions made to avoid that result."

So the few would be those moving to the charter or Shadyside Academy, and the others would be those remaining in PPS in schools with dwindling enrollment. When enrollment goes down students are assigned to schools ever further away, or the district turns to unpopular options like 6-12's. Charters can fit in (a possibility is in Hazlewood where there is no school) but careful planning is needed.

Anonymous said...

Shadyside Academy, other private schools, and many, many city parochial school have been there (to a greater extent than currently) for those who chose them without a great loss of "benefit" to our public schools which once offered a more comprehensive and often a higher-quality education.

We are losing (or have lost) that "higher-quality" in PPS and thus enrollment will continue to shrink in direct proportion to that lower quality. People vote with their feet______If public schools offered a quality education for ALL of its students we would be increasing enrollment as people would be attracted to city-living.

Why is it that we, all of us, (foundations included) cannot advocate, coalesce, influence and insist on the kind of education provided at Shadyside Academy, charters, and private school?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Well, a school tradition at Shadyside is SPORTS -- and the kids there MUST play SPORTS. I'm trying to push PPS in that direction. But, there needs to be a good attraction to that pursuit too -- and the activities need to be worthy.

Tonight the PPS Schenley had a swim meet with WPIAL based Bishop Canevin. Great meet. The boys of Schenley won the meet by 2 points. Lots of great races and energy.

Bishop Canevin has a nice squad -- for its SECOND YEAR of offering swimming at the school.

To tie in talk of CHARTER Schools here too -- watch out. If and when the Charters get their act together in terms of sports and community building beyond the school day -- PPS is going to have additional troubles in retention and attraction of students.

Questioner said...

When district enrollment was at 30,000 or 35,000 it didn't matter that many students were also choosing private or parochial schools. PPS could still support attractive, nearby choices for students. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to do so and not just in Pittsburgh; other districts are facing the same issue (was it the Penn Hills super who was commenting on this very problem?).

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that its too "difficult" to improve PPS?
That we can't attract students? That decline in enrollment will continue, regardless? That the enrollment fall from 35,000 to 26,000 was inevitable? Are other districts' comments the supporting evidence for your inferred pessimism?

What a bleak vision_____how might you or anyone on the same page be more pro-active?

Questioner said...

Nope, this blog is all about improving PPS and attracting students. It is however important to consider how additional magnets, charters, etc. will affect remaining students in a particular area and to plan carefully. Many districts are struggling with this issue.

Anonymous said...

Great! Getting result is the goal!

Looking forward, on this blog to pro-active comments, concrete suggestions, and productive support for "improving PPS and attracting students."

Questioner said...

It probably has to begin with really listening to students, families and the community. That's why throughout the blog and the PURE website many suggestions are directed toward transparency and effective public participation and parent engagement.

A product of this kind of participation is the report of the Open East End panel, which contains numerous concrete suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Resnick has long been a mouthpiece for charter schools. Another guy so out of touch with the realities of what is going on in PPS that it is amazing. His piece was the best free advertising the PG could possibly provide.
As for "this blog", it's all about letting the like-minded pontificate. Any teacher who thinks he has an ally here is sorely mistaken.

parent1 said...

I felt offended that Mr. Renick decided to offer Dr. Lane this advice in a public way. Almost attempting to call her out or something. Often when I see this kind of action it is followed by the actor being brought down a few pegs. That's karma.

Had this advice come from Joe Schmo it would have been acceptable, but in Mr. Resnick's case it is self-serving.

Anonymous said...

Linda Lane has no time to meet or discuss anything with anyone unless it is for seek advancement.

This is a public school district. We have the right to question any public figure. It has been unusual for the press to ask diffucult questions over the past 5 years for reason's I will never understand.

People are always ready to rip apart the Mayor, yet questioning, disagreeing with the Superintendent in a public forum is in bad taste?

Anonymous said...

Resnick no friend to PPS...just a wolf dressed as a sheep. He wouldn't know an effective urban public school if one fell on top of him. We're in a time period that finds credence being lent to university types who provide advice from the ivory tower. PPS has its affiliation with Pitt's IFL that has destroyed creativity in classroom instruction via the design and implementation of horrible curricula across all content areas (find any teacher--just one--who sees the merit) and now this guy.

What's always funny to me is this:
you wouldn't find Roosevelt going to an Oliver or Westinghouse without a bodyguard, if at all. And you'd never see a Resnik or higher up member of IFL--at such a school.

And what does that tell you?