Friday, January 29, 2010

Midterm schedule

On another post Anonymous wrote regarding the decision to schedule 6 midterms for today:

"I believe after hearing about the nightmare of finals at a parent meeting last night the district might make a different decision if faced with the same circumstances again. From where I sit/live, the two hour delay was needed due to conditions in my community. What I am unclear on is just when did Plan B emerge? Shouldn't we all expect the unexpected? Afterall this is Pittsburgh."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Venture philosophy/ Broad Foundation

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Please Check Out

"The Rise of Venture Philathrophy and the Ongoing Neoliberal Assault on Public Education: The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation" by Kenneth Saltman
I found this on the School Maters blogsite

Excellent, A must read for all

Saturday, January 23, 2010

IB to Peabody?

We are told that Derrick Lopez was a speaker at a meeting and mentioned that the plan is for the IB program to be at Peabody. At the same time, the district's East End panel is just beginning to consider configurations for the East End. However, the panel seems designed more for merging Peabody into Westinghouse than for considering whether this merger is in the best interests of the students.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Small gym/ not enough space for fans

On the January "Start a new post," Anonymous wrote:

"I was outside of Schenley and observed numerous students, standing in the cold outside and unable to see the game. Getting there early isn't a real solution snce it's a zero sum game- only a fixed number will fit and people will just get there earlier and earlier. Is this really how we want our students spending their time, sitting and waiting for a game to begin? (Theoretically they could do homework but you know how that goes.)"

January 18, 2010 9:50 PM

Opportunity for public comment on East End school closings

From the PG:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Girls sports- please post

On the Title IX post Anonymous wrote:

"If every parent posting comments gave all their school friends the pure website address and a thread for anonymous comments on girls' sports it would prove interesting."

TItle IX

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Did the Title IX audit report get published? I may have missed it when I was away."

Friday, January 15, 2010

High School Futures

Does anyone know what became of the "High School Futures" program described in this article from Fall 2008?

How does its work mesh with the teachers' academy?

Open East End Panel meets this evening

The Open East End Panel meets this evening at the Reizenstein facility from 5:00 - 6:30.

A panel of individuals from a wide range of organizations and backgrounds, all committed to successful public education in the east end, has been assembled. On the agenda for tonight is the configuration of schools and feeder patterns in the east end. After the group concludes a series of meetings in January and February, a report on its findings and recommendations will be presented to the administration, the school board and the community.

The meeting is open for the public to observe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mixed income housing

PG article on new mixed income housing:

- The same reasons for seeking mixed income housing would seem to apply to seeking mixed income schools.

Problems with young children and bus transportation

WPXI report on the most recent incident:

Monday, January 11, 2010

A+ recommendations on teacher recruitment and staffing

From the PG:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Asking tough questions about the Pittsburgh Promise

On the January "Start a new post," Anonymous wrote:


This is in the Tribune Review today regarding the Pittsburgh promise."

- This is a hard hitting opinion piece titled "Failed Premise" which asks if corporations are doing a lot of good with contributions to the Promise. From the article:

"Presumably, the goals of the Pittsburgh Promise program are two-fold: to reverse the long-term trend of falling enrollment in Pittsburgh's public schools and to improve the academic performance of its students. By all accounts, the early returns are not encouraging."

Substitute teachers

On the January "Start a new post," Anonymous wrote:

"Interesting article in today's (1/10) P-G's Forum section B - page 1 about substitute teachers. It contains some statistics and mentions a bill before Congress, the "Substitute Teaching Improvement Teaching Act." This article has some excellent information and is very thought provoking."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Recommendations from the Pennsylvania State Education Association

From the PG:

Many recommendations are in line with measures PURE has been urging, including "supports tailored for students at risk of academic failure and encouragement of parental involvement" and piloting "a small number of schools as community learning centers which would not only provide classes but also would provide after-school social services."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cost of renovations

This PG article notes that Imani Christian Academy spent $1 million to renovate a former elementary school as a K-12 school. Renovations included a new gym and cafeteria:

Read more:

Question: Why are PPS renovations so much more expensive? $8 million was often quoted as the cost of a new gym for miller. Something like $15 was spent to make Milliones middle school into a 6-12 school, and another $15 million to make Frick middle school into a 6-12 school.

Naming schools after current political figures

From the PG, see the last letter to the editor:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Travel distance

From WPXI, police are searching for a 12 year old:

Is a North Side (Clayton) to Homewood trip by public transportation a bit much for a 12 year old? There is some wisdom behind the old idea of neighborhood schools, at least until high school.

Hopefully a report of this child's prompt and safe return will follow soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ten Master's of the New Universe

On the January "Start a new post," Anonymous and then Observer said:

"Ten Master’s of the New Universe

Skills to Fix Failing Schools"

January 3, 2010 12:26 PM

Observer said...
"“It’s not because we think they have all the answers,” says Mr. Nathan. While schools are not businesses, he says, education leaders can nonetheless use corporate skills. Harvard’s program places third-year students in a partner organization, much as medical schools place interns. (They earn $65,000.) Mr. Schwartz hopes the program will attract those heading into public policy, business or law school “who want to change education.”

Now YOU, too, can be a superintendent. Education degrees simply aren't necessary. Instead, embracing the gift of being a political hack can earn great sums of money while fooling the public through public relations techniques, also taught within the course.

Mr.Roosevelt ought to be a poster child.

Clearly, there is something wrong in this country when turning the needs of kids over to corporate management is the rule of thumb. 30 years from now, we will all laugh at our own stupidity for allowing such an outrage."

January 3, 2010 8:41 PM

Saturday, January 2, 2010

District criticized over charters

From the PG:

Cleaning up?

On the November "Start a new post," Anonymous wrote:

"A preview of coming attractions: Teachers received a letter dated 12/21 from the BOE and the PFT. The letter asks people who intend to retire by the close of this school year or during the summer, to sign a "Separation Notice" by January 29th. This will be an official (can't change your mind) notification to PPS and names will appear in the February Board minutes. The PFT is "seeking Board authority to purchase gift cards in the amount of $250" as a thank you for this early notification. You won't receive your gift card until after the effective date of your retirement.

A $250 gift card? How generous of them and by the way, don't let the door hit you on your way out. What a slap in the face to all the long time, hard working teachers. Let's hurry up and start cleaning house for the Gates' money. This is just the start of what is coming. What employee would sign now before the new contract is put out for review? You would have to be crazy. The letter concludes with,"We appreciate your years of dedicated service to our students." Yeah right.

Here is an interesting idea. Since the superintendent is not an educator, why don't we get rid of our so-called "former educators" who run the PFT? They are so far removed from education that they no longer have a clue. They are content to cozy up to Bellefield and collect their checks. Who needs educators running the show? We don't have any now.

I feel for the majority of our teachers. They are at the mercy of the BOE and have no support. This new contract should prove to be very interesting."

December 31, 2009 10:44 AM

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