Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Pgh and Phil cite educational innovations"

From the PG:


"4100 students prove 'small is better' is wrong

From the NYT:


- Large diverse school, strong sports and activities, and an emphasis on reading, writing and reasoning- sounds like what PPS families would request, if they were asked.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Obama discusses education reform and private school for daughters


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Federal money to match the Gates funds

From the PG:


AYP results for Allegheny and surrounding counties

From the PG:


The article includes a specific discussion of AYP results for the "suburban" districts in Allegheny County (ie, not PPS).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gangs/ PPS

From the PG:


Friday, September 17, 2010

Students turned away from school for lack of logo on shirt

On another post Anonymous wrote:

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 wrote:

"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."

District taking on debt

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Maybe-this should be another blog entry
Taking Care of Business? Alternatively, Show ne the Money?

Parents, educators, and community leaders-please watch this week’s Board Agenda Review meeting-especially the Business Portion.

are at a very tense and interesting juncture-Money, Debt and Construction-is this where we will see Roosevelt sweat –or the superficial tease to have us watch this as a reality TV show for next year’s reelections?

On the other hand, will we see our taxes increase next year because of the lack of money to pay for the facility projects. You know the wrong estimates for change orders on construction projects.

This is real and not something to take lightly.

A lot of talk about money, debt, and bonds.

Collazzi rose from the dead when it came to money-and Go Girl she was sweating from the heat or she is fired up [ ]. She was very demonstrative.

However, she is back to life. Now is this a good thing? I believe the Smartboard will be the issue as the hidden joke of their posturing for debt load.

They need to learn about the latest editions of Smartboards to use for the demonstration of their debt load..

This might be the turning point for Roosevelt- he appeared nervous because the word debt was used as Ms. Fine explained eloquently on this Blog-as a house would need reserve cash flow.

Is the Board spending too much-what is the real amount of reserve money-many parents and educator see and hear enrollment is down in many buildings and will we need to cut teachers now this early in the school year? The numbers are not there in some school buildings to hold the employee base.
Isler took over as usual reiterating, clarifying and elaborating with constant reiteration-as usual it set the stage for the this play to act out.

This is frustrating because other Board members have to listen to his verbiage without talking.
It appears the Cookie jar is empty and we need to regroup. Now-the backroom players who do the talking behind closed doors are speaking and talking again with their voices in the public eye of the camera.

The rest of the Board was silent-somewhat dumbfounded because they have never dealt with this issue of debt.

Ms. Fink definitely knows this topic because she has the experience of her tenure on the Board.

Brentley knows that the debt and construction has been out there for 5 years under Roosevelt. He has complained-and kept it on public record the consturction and money.

This was the Isler show."

Posted by Anonymous to PURE Reform at September 17, 2010 10:16 AM

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Testing, the Chinese way"

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Starting another new topic or adding acommentt to the appropriate topic.

Testing, the Chinese Way


PA Board of Ed considers RISE evaluation system

On a "Start a new topic" Anonymous wrote:

"Another new post?

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 ...

postgazette.com/pg/10259/1087895-53.stm "

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Closing middle schools

Recently, the closing of "failing middle schools" has been cited as an accomplishment by the current administration.

But, looking at Milliones then (2004-05) and now (2009-2010), it is not clear what has really been accomplished.

In 2005, 22.7% of 8th grade students at Milliones Middle were "Below Basic" in Math.
In 2010, 59.6% of 8th grade students at Millions 6-12 were "Below Basic" in Math.

Reading scores show some but not a lot of progress:

In 2005, 45.7% of 8th grade students at Milliones Middle were "Below Basic" in Reading.
In 2010, 38.5% of 8th grade students at Milliones 6-12 were "Below Basic" in Reading.

"Obama tells students to dream big"

From the PG:


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PSSA results for 2010

The link to school results is at:


Monday, September 13, 2010

Superintendent's 5 year performance

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Superintendent Receives Nod for His Year Five Performance (Sep 13, 2010)

This above link was published tday by the Board= under the heading of Good News at PPS site-I was not able to give excerpts of Roosevelt's acheivemnent of hi set standards and his goal accimplishments.

Please purview and review-maybe this should be another blog entry after Blog Adm reads the Good News Artivle and be ready for a nwq blog wnret for comments."

"Test scores not increased solely by spending"

From the Tribune:


SAT scores flat nationwide

From the PG:


Friday, September 10, 2010

Fight at football game

A fight broke at at this evening's HS football game and a number of police w/ dogs were called to the scene. Will we see reports on this or public discussion of how to prevent and control problems?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blue Ribbon schools

From the PG:


- It would be interesting to know what the Cornell elementary school is doing to get results.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lack of black teachers

From the Tribune:


In the article a Pitt faculty member states that

"We just know that people learn better from people who are like them and can relate to their experiences."

Is this statement true? If you think back to your own education, did you learn best from people who are most similar to you?

PPS may use $18M in reserve to balance budget

On anoother post Anonymous wrote in reference to a Trib article at http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_698426.html:

"Pittsburgh Public Schools Board may use $18 million in reserve ...
Pittsburgh Public Schools could use nearly $18 million in reserve funds to help balance its 2011 budget, according to preliminary data presented to the ...

Oh the money woes.

This desrves a failing Grade?"

On the August "Start a new topic" Anonymous wrote:

Pittsburgh Public Schools Board may use $18 million in reserve funds

To cut costs next year, the district will need to be "more aggressive" with furloughing teachers due to declining enrollment and could replace only half of the retiring teachers, Roosevelt said. An average of 150 teachers have retired in each of the past eight years, he said
This makes no sense at all-he wants to hire new teachers for teacher academy and have more non-teaching positions!
What about Central ADM needs to have cuts in staffing and grant money that flows like a running river goes to needless programs?
Moreover, is this a tax increase-where teacher salaries are paid.
How about pay freezes or wait-a CONSULTANT GROUP TO be hired at a hefty sum to cut the pps board AD? Where is the PFT with this statement?

We only started THIS School year? Take the millions wasted on summer programs and be creative to get the bucks for the regular school year.

Ask Warren Buffett for the money.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Addendum to post on lunch options

On a "Start a new topic" Annette Werner wrote:

"As a postscript to earlier discussions on healthy lunch options and nutritional education- from KDKA:

"Vegetable-based protein a healthier option"


Documentary: Race to nowhere (tickets available)

On a "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Starting new topic":

Documentary Race to nowhere. One day only in this area. 9/30/10 Tickets available on the second link.



Latest A+ report card on school board

From the PG:


Friday, September 3, 2010

How are ALA's really doing?

The district's AYP report states that:

"From 2009 to 2010, students in ALAs posted increases in proficient and
advanced 2.1 times greater than the remainder of the District in
Reading and 1.7 times greater in Mathematics."

Does anyone really understand this?

The accompanying chart shows that the "percentage point" increase in reading as 1.6 percentage points in "the rest of the district" and 3.4 percentage points in the ALA's. In msth the increase was 2.7 for "the rest of the district" and 4.5 for ALA's.

These numbers could result for example from the rest of the district proficiency rate in math going from 60% to 62.7% and the ALA's going from 15% to 19.5%. Wouldn't this be pretty much the status quo (nothing to get particularly excited about)?

The "1.7 times greater than" seems to come from dividing the rest of the district percentage of 4.5 by the ALA percentage of 2.7 and rounding the resulting 1.66 up to 1.7. But what if both the rest of the district and the ALA's increased by 3 percentage points? Dividing 3 by 3, would the ALA increase be "one time greater than" the rest of the district increase, and the rest of the district increase be "one time greater than" the ALA increase?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Schools w/ PELA principals

The revised district report includes statements about the performance of schools with PELA principals. It lists the following schools as having PELA principals but didn't other schools such as Peabody and Weil also have PELA's?

"Pittsburgh Emerging Leadership Academy
(PELA), one of the District’s major reform
efforts, continues to show promising results
in the second year of implementation.
Schools with Principals who participated in PELA
Pittsburgh Allderdice 9-12 Pittsburgh Rooney ALA 6-8
Pittsburgh Arsenal K-5 Pittsburgh Schiller 6-8
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 Pittsburgh West Liberty K-5
Pittsburgh Langley 9-12 Pittsburgh Westinghouse 9-12
Pittsburgh Morrow K-5"

Reporting incidents

On a "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

"wpxi reported on this armed robbery across the street from reiz


still wating for post gazette to mention it."

Rising number of non-teaching employees in PPS

On a "Start a new topic" Anonymous wrote:

"Why So Many Non-Teaching Employees in Pittsburgh Schools?

The Pittsburgh Public schools have alot of employees--but how many of them do something other than teaching? And how has this group changed over time?

This is a very good example of charting last year to this year-this is a first real core data-as parents and edcuators find info regarding PPS present trends.

A new blog entry?



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?


"Venture philanthropy"

On "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Starting new topic":

Venture philanthropy? Isn't that an oxymoron?


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Value added method

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Formula to Grade Teachers' Skill Gains in Use, and Critics
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
By SAM DILLON, The New York Times

How good is one teacher compared with another?

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10244/1084144-298.stm#ixzz0yHfFnDEz

or link