Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tonight's meeting

On another post Anonymous wrote:

D"id anyone attend tonights meeting? It was not streamed on PPS. It was a continuation of last weeks legislative meeting.


Annette Werner said...

Last week the Board said goodbye to the cable company's film crew.

I emailed to the parent hotline asking if that meant that Board meetings would no longer be filmed and received no response to that email or to a follow up email.

Anonymous said...

Another one bites the dust.

Questioner said...

And another one silenced by a separation agreement.

Questioner said...

PG article on the topic:

Anonymous said...

The health issue is BS.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes PPS is the cause of health issues.

Anonymous said...

He has been there long enough to be able to take extended medical leave, well over a year, at full pay and benefits. It makes zero sense.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the real story is here____view the last meeting where Mr. Berdnik was put on the spot. His reactions and responses were curious. Usually, he handles himself calmly, cooly, and professionally although often evasively_____who knows why______the behind the scenes pressure of that position, given the demands of the previous administration, must have been horrendous. One issue was the huge PR contract that was awarded. God bless the honest folks at Central Office!

Anonymous said...

He was a hard worker, but he was spineless. He never had the cojones to pull a trigger, he had other people do that.

What goes around comes around. He was the master of silenced seperation.

Anonymous said...

What meeting? He has not been to one this month?

Anonymous said...

This is a Facist District

Anonymous said...

November Legislative Meeting_____lots of questions.

Anonymous said...

"This is a Facist District

December 23, 2010 12:05 AM"


Berdnik was one of the major Fascists in the district. He tried to play chess to further gain his career. He encountered Bobby Fischer. (AKA, Roosevelt, Lane, Lippert, Broad and Gates. He did not know he was in over his head, his ego got in the way.

He was a master finger pointer, and he rode that wave as long as he could. He lost and fired many people around him. I am not sure if he was forced to make the choices he did or if he did it by choice. Many of these people covered
his flaws, he had nowhere to hide once they were gone.

He took on too much responibilty by choice. That was the kiss of death. He was not well liked or respected by many
of his peers. He would throw a random person under the bus to save his job.

I imagine many peope with bus tire tracks criss-crossing their bodies due to his actions have renewed faith in justice.

He was always a yes man, and was very much the Stepford employee in 90% of what he did. His social, business skills are quite awkward, and as hard as he may have tried, he simply didn't get it.

I was surprised he was let go, but then again nothng surprises me anymore.

Big ego's

He tried to be a bully, it backfired.

Questioner said...

From "Start a new topic":

"Anonymous said...
"Something is off. Can the public squish into that room?
Someone needs to keep tabs if they do not have a video of the meeting due to a convenient, oops our new video company is not contracted until January."

I tried to warn you."

- Well that was convenient timing.

Questioner said...

More detaile PG article, noting the many awards that Mr. Berdnik and the district have received for financial management over the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Timing is everything. The meeting and news coverage and yes, even the discussion here on this blog, probably has a few people sitting back sipping a glass of good reisling next to a crackling fire with Lassie resting nearby.

Anonymous said...

Who is next to go? Any guesses?

Anonymous said...

By the time school goes back most will say Chris who?

Does anyone know why King will not follow the ALA calendar? With no coverage at least there will be minutes to read.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there will be minutes...

Anonymous said...

Everything is Suspect

He is being paid with tax dollars, the tax payers should demand a full disclosure of what is going on and how much he is being paid to keep his mouth shut.

The public is never told the truth

This has happened before with a payoff of 250,000 dollars to that spaminella woman. The former assistant super.

Suspect, Demand the Truth

Questioner said...

For personnel matters the district is able to keep everything confidential. It does seem strange that even Board members, who must vote on arrangements, are not given information. At least some Board members, anyway. The district has lost several people over the past few years who seemed to have records of excellent performance.

Randall Taylor said...

There have been Board Members in the past who wanted to end televising Board Meeting. It appears they are half way to their goals. Obviously, there is now only one camera. How unprofessional it looks. I actually got dizzy watching the camera swing from one end of the long table to the other. The public also has a right to SEE as well as HEAR their Board Members. If you are on the"wrong"side of table you only see the backs of heads(Why would the camera be on the side where Mark Brentley can't be seen, being that he makes the most comments?).

The saddest part of the evening was the change in the school calendar for Martin Luther King. The extended day and year was how, according to Mark mRoosevelt, the students, who are behind grade level, would catch up. More time on task was the acceleration.

Obviously, this was done for the new Teacher Center and not the students.One Board Member pointed out that because King was the new Teacher Center the students would access to better teachers. Maybe so, but the foundation of ALAs were extended day and year.

It was sad to see no Board Member, except Brentley, raised the questions of Why this was not on the Education Agenda for Dec.2010?, What does this mean for the other ALAs?, Is the Administration saying"Because they have access to better teachers they no longer will benefit from more time on task? It was sad to see, particularly our African-American, Board Members not ask questions about this dramatic change.

I was unable, when on the Board to hold the Administration accoun tible for the ALAs. I was unable to get it place on the agenda for a substantive discussion. My hope is the Board will finally ask once for all "How are our ALAs performing"? "Did the ALA concept succeed?


Questioner said...

You really have to ask whether King is an ALA at all. ALA's follow a special curriculum (America's Choice) that non-ALA's do not follow, right? So will the teachers' academy use that curriculum even though most of the district does not use it? Or, will the teachers academy not use it, leaving little of the ALA concept at King?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't it be possible that Mr. Brentley knows exactly what the situation was/is with the CFO, but chose to present himself as unaware?

On the teacher centers, is it too late to stop for another year and think it through better? Or are we contractually required to forge ahead? Of all the reforms, this is the one I think will cause the most chaos and the one likely to be reversed.

Anonymous said...

The continuation can be viewed under pps tube.

Anonymous said...

Seeing people getting let go or "resigning" because they have no choice, when they have nothing but excellent reviews is not a reason to celebrate. In some cases it karma comes into play. Regardless, it is af multi-layered screw.

Anyone that accepts a C level job at PPS without a contract is a fool. The past year has proven that. The rules changed, it s brutal over there. It s also a resume killer.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:24, be careful...questioner will be looking for verification of what you are saying before she agrees with you. I'm surprised she hasn't censored you yet.

Anonymous said...

M.L King ALA dropped 2% in Reading and 3% in Math over the past 3 years with longer days. longer years and America's Choice_______with 64% of the students currently NOT proficient in Reading or Math_____so its anybody's guess whether less time on task will make a difference, since what was done during the time spent over the past three years only decreased "proficiency."

Anonymous said...

It was uncharacteristic of Mr. Sumpter to be anything but clear when he speaks at meetings but he had me confused on King. More/less time on learning? Shorter year means less, right? Was King the school Mr. Roosevelt visited during Summer Dreamers with a reporter?

What Mr. Weiss said about the CFO departure, not termination, not resignation, but a separation agreement? Makes you think it was crafted to ensure allowing a collection of unemployment.

Questioner said...

Sine the cable company is no longer filiming- does that mean PPS meetings will no longer be broadcast on cable? That will mean less access for those without computers; it also makes it more difficult to make time to watch by getting things done with the Board meeting on in the background.

Anonymous said...

Can we find out if there exists a law regarding –citizen rights to the access of public PPS board meetings?

There has to be a legal law on the books for attending the public meetings.

This could be the way to force the cards to televise.

Our board is a sham-three vital board items were on the PPS web site that needed to be out there.


What can we do as citizens and taxpayers regarding this matter?
Feel like I am living in 1910-I feel it is a communist move.

Not all families have broadband capability; yet even computers.

There are no written board minutes accessible at the schools or at the board-this was brought up by Brentley.

They post the minutes three weeks later-never in a timely fashion.

Again, where is A+?
Can legal action be taken?

Anonymous said...

Someone finally gets it. The reformation of the schools has nothing to do with improving student achievement and everything with embedding progressive communism in education. It is similiar to the subliminal messages embedded in the films shown at the movie theaters. Our children are being exploited at so many levels it is mindboggling.

Anonymous said...

This must have been a swift back alley move.

PPS no longer has a Chief of HR.

Tarka has proven to be useless and nobody has been in charge of human resources for months. The position is not filled, yet not posted. However if you look at the PPS website the position is listed as TBA. I have no idea why this is going on but I find it very strange.

It appears nobody has employee interests at heart, and the lack of HR, (other than multiple layers of Broad residents) clearly shows how Roosevelt/Lane roll the dice and play the game. It is about their "legacy" not the district, and certainly not the children or teachers of this district.

Anonymous said...

Deputy Chief of Staff Pittsburgh Public Schools Career Seekers ...

Do you enjoy challenging and meaningful work? Would you like to be at the forefront of change in public education? Can you lead an organization to higher ...

Anonymous said...

Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of HR or "Talent Management" are not the same job.

The title is listed TBA on PPS's website.

Old Timer said...

I can do this job...and much better than anyone currently in administration.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... December 29, 2010 2:45 PM

Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of HR. or "Talent Management" is not the same job.

Friendly neighbors state the old regime is running the Board-Spolar is the head of it all-with the Union as the other side.

Spolar is in charge of Talent Management-she makes the decisions to keep as PPS personnel. As you can see, many heads have rolled at the ADM building.

Amazing to hear Fink abstain to Berdnick’s departure. She is in charge of Personnel as her Board member duties.

She certainly takes care of her own people-family.

Another man named Frank is the HR Director-as my y neighbors stated-he attended board meetings since October.

However, has he disappeared?

Spolar should not have this much power-it is too much for one person to handle and have this much power-it is best when it is distributed for the best perspectives.

Old-Timer love having you back-we missed you!!!

What is your take on Spolar and her position with the board and working with the Union regarding Teacher career ladders, etc.

Old Timer said...

My memories of Spolar are from way back and they would not place her as someone with any regard at all for teachers, but again, I have not kept up with her and certainly, she is not one of the problems that we teachers must contend with. I can think of numerous administrators---from assistant superintendents, to department heads, to learning walk leaders, etc...who I would place as being vindictive and venomous, as someone here recently wrote.

Anonymous said...

New Superintendent Dr. Lane will she run the dist. with her own Goals and Objectives or continue the policy and legacy of Roosevelt if so this is telling the public that the board want to stay the course of Roosevelt policies,Dr. Lane have more experience as a educator in which Mr. Roosevelt ran the dist like corporate america
she should repeal or slow down some of Roosevelt projects.i hope that she be more fiscal responsible than Roosevelt instead of spend,spend,spend sometimes needless money,also i hope that she get involve with various community groups such as PURE who has a interest in the dist. to listen to some views and concerns in which could help her be a more affected school leader,if she can't makes a compromise doing that
yes there should have bee a national search as a school tax payer i have the right to make a say so on how the school dist is run among others as parents,etc
they call it FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Anonymous said...

Yes as free citizens (for how long?) of the US, we have the inalienable right to speak freely. As a persuasive speaker, you could perhaps have some influence in the direction of the school district. Unfortunately, the District is ran by the elected board members. As inepted as they are, they run the show.

Now with that said, we as tax paying citizens have every right by law to know how our taxes are being spent and to be able to freely criticize the decisions made by the people we elected. They, as our elected representatives, have a responsibility to us.

All of their business is public record and should be made available to us in a timely fashion upon request. We should be able to attend any board meeting with the permission to speak freely. And if these board members were wise, they would not only listen to their constituents, but consider the advisements made in their decisions. Otherwise, vote them out!

Anonymous said...

yes we should be able to attend all
public school board meetings.
also do the pgh. school board have policies such as the ( board of governance and operation ) meaning
a board policy hand book available on line?
i think that they need to hold a board policy workshop for the public for those who might be interested to run for a board seat.
and this can be use to help educate
people the function of being a board member in dealing with the school dist daily operations in what role the board plays

Anonymous said...

New postings on PPS web site for Central Office!

Central Office Personnel
Project Manager - RAA (Research, Assessment, & Accountability)
Staffing Manager - Non-Certified
Compensation Analyst
Budget Analyst
Secretary to the Superintendent
Coordinator, Strategic Planning
Deputy Chief of Staff
Coordinator of Board Legislative Items

Anonymous said...

The Office of Talent Management (yes, that is the name) sent out letters to "Former Pittsburgh Public School Teachers" to make them aware they can apply to teach the Period 10 classes. (new credit recovery spin) Classes are offered at Brashear, Langley, Oliver, Perry, and Westinghouse and are open to grades 9-12. Participation is mandatory for 9th and 10th graders who fail a core subject in the first semester. Classes in English 1, English 1 with reading acceleration, English 2, Algebra AB, Geometry AB, Biology, Chemistry, Civics-Be the Change, and Special Ed. certified teachers may also apply. Classes are 2 hrs/2x per week for 10 weeks. Salary is $1,750 per course. Classes are Mon/Wed or Tues./Thurs. so one teacher can teach 2 classes. There is also 9 hours of required professional development. In addition to teaching, clerical duties, interacting with parents, counselors, and "Promise -Readiness Corps teams, teachers must assist with supervising students during snacks and dismissal. Whew...

Questions: Is grant money paying for all this? (salaries, transportation, snacks) How can you require a student to attend after normal school hours? What about students on athletic teams? What about students at Carrick or Allderdice? Do they not get to participate or can they travel to another school to take a course? Do they anticipate a shortage of current teachers on the payroll not applying so they notify retirees they can apply? Is the "Office of Talent Management" the new HR? Who came up with this name anyway?

Anonymous said...

The new Director of Talent Management could answer those questions. Why not ask him? In the interest of truth and accurac?

Anonymous said...

The Director of Talent Management is Marni Pastor. Did this person come from within PPS or is she another outsider?

Questioner said...

She is from Broad.

Anonymous said...

Marnie Pastor (a Broad resident) was an assistant in H.R under Frank Chester. She has been with PPS less than year, about six months?

What happened to Mark McClinchie? He was moved to the Talent Mgt. position from short-term principal, at Weil ALA.

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

This is PPS's version of musical chairs - keep moving people around or out the door.

Anonymous said...

Why is the matter of Chris Berdnik being ignored here? 3+ people have posted on the start a new thread. $140,000 plus attorney fees and 9 months health care insurance is a lot of money.

Taxpayers are footing this hush money. I am personally tired of these back alley deals. They are pubic employees, I am surprised we and the board have no rights regarding what is going on. At the very least the board seems to get minimal information.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of people on the Board who know what is going on. Chances are they all know but choose to pretend not too, which is a good bet with the CFO situation.

For every new or open position somebody should have to sit down with a group of parents and answer the question "How will this position raise my kids grades?" Then the candidates would have to TALK to my child. Thirty minutes, that is all I am asking for. Let my child be the reason the candidate wants to do a good job. I am offended by the use of the Talent Management title. Is this the trend in edcation? Some creative naming to create the illusion of greatness? Way too much upper management.

Anonymous said...

Anon, then you would get rid of three-quarters of those currently in administration, as they have no impact on your child whatsoever.

Let's start with the assistant superintendent position and work down.

ZERO positive impact.

Anyone have a pink slip?