Thursday, October 28, 2010

Traditional v. non-traditional

Is it time for a traditional superintendent to follow the non-traditional superintendent- kind of like Republican and Democratic administrations tend to take turns and (hopefully) balance eachother out?

Mark Roosevelt's report card

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

"Roosevelt's report card

Someone posted numbers here that were not quite as rosy as this report card states. Where are they getting the achievement gap data?

They didn't give him a glowing review, but I thought it was generous in many areas.

There is an comment board with the article. I don't have the knowledge of the numbers to reply."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

North Side redistricting

On the October Start a new post, Anonymous wrote:

"Pittsburgh Public Schools seeking input on North Side assignments
While the idea is not yet ready for a school board vote, school officials are circulating the proposal in North Side neighborhoods.

Read more:"

Not waiting for superman

But maybe waiting for the next superprogram?

See the last letter to the editor, "Pittsburgh hasn't waited for the arrival of superman," by Board president Theresa Colaizzi:

Boys' charter school proposal

From the Tribune, there is a proposal for a boys' science and math charter school to be located in Wilkinsburg for students from the Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh, Penn Hills and Woodland Hills district. The school would start w/ jr hs and expand to include hs:

The Wilkinsburg superintendent is quoted as objecting that the charter would rob the district of its brightest students.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Public Hearing October 25, 2010

Speaking were a former PPS coach, about a publication he wrote;

Dr. Johnson Martin, noting that the district does not need new ideas and urging the Board to select a superintendent that will continue existing initiatives (but also suggesting that the Board select an individual who has successfully designed and implemented a significant program);

Kathy Fine (discussing the widening of the gap between PPS and PA test scores over the past 5 years);

Annette Werner (dscussing the enrollment decline over the past 5 years);

Gayle Moss and Dr. Marilyn Barnett (NAACP), who were accompanied by a number of parents concerned about reports that East Hill students would be assigned to Westinghouse rather than Allderdice. Concern was also expressed about the planned merger of high school students from different schools, and about the new 6:00 public hearing time which is difficult for many working parents.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Accountability contract

Here from 5 years ago is Patrick Dowd's explanation of how the superintendent's accountability contract was supposed to work.

Has it worked as intended? Should the new superintendent have an accountability contract and if so, how can it be improved in the light of our experience over the past 5 years?

PPS enrollment drops 3.1%

From the PG:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bill Gates discusses teaching

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

Recruit Rhee?

On another post, Anonymous wrote:


[Text of letters to the editor deleted.]

Read more:

Open forums

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

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Search PURE Reform's blog/ start a new post":

I simply do not understand why Pittsburgh residents have no say or power while watching this ridiculous waste of money, time & resources is ignored. PPS deflects instead of admitting shortcomings.

Most cities would be so angry and try and hold the board and superintendent accountable.

I try and explain the situation to my family. Most are employed in education and all out of state. When I explain what is going on here; I get the following responses. "You're kidding right?" , " That does not make sense", "You must have misunderstood", followed by my favorite: "No teacher would have signed that contract.

We have zero open forums that allow discussion. This needs to change, and it is ridiculous that this is the status quo.

I want to know why and if anything can be done about it.

Why don't we even have easy access to our school board members? They don't publish their PPS emails on PPS site.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Playing to remember Schenley

From the PG:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Peabody on lockdown

According to this report the gunman fled toward the school.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Skill set for school board

Given that the PPS budget is now half a billion dollars a year- could the board perhaps benefit from a few members with some additional skills? For example- wouldn't the district benefit from an accountant, construction manager, or ethicist on the board?

Good-bye for sure

On the October "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote,

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Search PURE Reform's blog/ start a new post":

IT IS OFFICIAL. Roosevelt is gone.

Antioch College Names Mark Roosevelt Its New President Antioch College

YELLOW SPRINGS Ohio – October 17 2010 – Mark Roosevelt superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools system is the new president of Antioch College ...


Saturday, October 16, 2010

"School documentary (Superman) merits a failing grade"

From the PG:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Incident after leaving school at westinghouse

From the PG:

Police arriving to break up a large fight had rocks thrown at them. The article reports that the teens involved attend Westinghouse and are from Homewood and Wilkinsburg.

Why would students from Wilkinsburg attend Westinghouse? Is there an arrangement between PPS and Wilkinsburg?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Performance of Harlem Children's Zone schools

From the New York Times:

Antioch/ Roosevelt/ Broad

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

"Presidential nominee Mark Roosevelt live video today—Faculty ...
By edmkoz

Presidential nominee today Tune in today at 3:30 pm for live video streaming of Antioch College presidential nominee Mark Roosevelt in an open meeting at.
Antioch College Alumni Association... -"

In reference to PPS, this link is perhaps most interesting because it leads to the following:

"I have sought to learn about who he is and
what he has done, and what I have found indicates his close affiliation with
the Broad Foundation. This is unsettling news. Broad is not a good fit with
Antioch’s historic values about community governance, participation, and
faculty involvement..."

Rhee to resign

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Rhee, Washington Schools Chancellor, to Resign Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It is Wednesday and another super is resigning!

CHICAGO CEO Ron Huberman




The SUPERS AS reformers or gardeners are ditching their gardens for winter-they did not plant perennials. They planted annuals.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roosevelt departure/ bad seeds?

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

"Roosevelt's departure: Bad seeds?

Tribune Review

Now that the spinning tops are resting on their sides, some much-needed perspective on the coming departure of Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark ...

Good Read-Hmmm has MS BEEN OUT OF TOWN-"

- The link is:

Monday, October 11, 2010

PPS in corrective action II, 3rd year

Many people may not realize that PPS remains in corrective action II for a third year:

Can someone please explain why the district is in corrective action despite the AYP year in 2009?

Sci tech 34% female

On another post Mark Rauterkus wrote,

"Noticed this today. Perhaps it is worthy of a posting on the main page:

Sci Tech is now with 34% girls as per the PPS web site.

Does that make sense?"

A must read article about NY's experience w/ standardized testing

From the NYT, "On New York school tests, warning signs ignored":

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Improving the process

On another post Questioner said

"With so much money involved- is there a way to free the process of the effect of favors done for certain people at certain times?"

Anontoo said

"Wow, Questioner. This query should be reposted everyday until an answer is found."

Looking back/ "It's premature..."

That's ironic!

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

"Antioch College is listed as an asbestos job site "

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Who should the next superintendent be?

From the PG:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Propel Schools awarded $3.4M grant

From the PG:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hasta la vista

From wpxi:

Proprosal for city teams to join WPIAL

From the PG:

Expansion of summer camp

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



Pittsburgh Public Schools expand summer literacy, activities camp
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
By Karamagi Rujumba, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The Summer Dreamers Academy, a five-week literacy and activities camp the Pittsburgh Public Schools created ...

Pittsburgh Public Schools expand summer literacy activities camp ...
PennsNews provides Pennsylvania news and information and includes features such as important PA links, forum discussions, business listings and classified ...

Another bad survey or interpretative data feedback regarding this well-funded Summer Dreamers Academy.
It appears --- never addressed the issues of the curriculum and the diversification of differentiated instruction for the varied student educational needs/
The civics responsibility as citizenship.
The same leadership Edie Wilson Board -people needed to look at his qualifications and true evaluation of his work from his superiors. He should have been fired for evaluation of his work this past summer.
His chant SHOULD BE THE EXIT SONG AS HE IS KICKED OUT THE DOOR ON HIS DUPA-with the rest of his so-called staff-they performed so bad they should not be given any more chances-let the teachers have chances-change this regime.
THE Kansas City article WITH Roosevelt gave two renowned quotes from an author’s on the spot analysis of this Program from King –two experiences as the article illustrated both were revolting from the filth of a bathroom and students filthy mouth of words given to a teacher in front of an audience.

This was a failure because of the students that quit-more than just that assumption.
This is not about the afternoon activities.
Many of us have sent state legislators regarding the funding of this program. Those were the excuses that the staff gave to keep their jobs for next summer."

Superintendent job status

From the Tribune, "Roosevelt evasive on job status."

The article reports that he will address the issue today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Televised interview on achievement, cultural relevance, and more

A PCTV21 interview with Board member Mark Brentley and educator Marge McMackin can be seen on Comcast Channel 21 or Verizon Channel 47 at the following days and times, or online at

10/7 at 7AM

10/11 @ 8 PM

10/15 @ 7 PM

10/18 @ 8 PM

10/20 @ 2 PM

10/22 @ 7 PM

10/25 @ 10 AM

10/27 @ 2 PM

11/1 @ 10 AM

Search PURE Reform's blog/ start a new post

To start a new post, reply to this post with your question, comment or suggestion for a new topic. The adminstrator will then start a new post with your topic as a title.You can post anonymously if you prefer. Click on "post a comment". Type in the word you see for word verification. Choose how you would like to be identified in the post click "publish your comment".

Surveys about PPS

From another post:

"Anonymous said...
Survey finds city teachers happy with school environment

More than three-fourths of city schools' educators are happy with the learning and working environment at their school, according to an independent survey released today.

Gates-funded survey finds city teachers happy with school environment.

This was found in the Triblive edition.

This blog is very quiet and really too quiet!

Where are my favorites Questioner, Oldtimer and Mark Rauterkus.

I cannot believe all the PPS teachers are this happy as indicated by this April 2010 on line survey.

Being an online survey with PPS computer software programs-would this present an issue of identifying the teacher or professional answering the questions.

This survey could be biased data for conclusions.

I would like the title and information regarding the school now has a teacher who will develop building-specific strategies to improve the teaching and learning environment, including addressing students' behavioral issues.

For this last statement-the title job position for the teacher addressing students' behavioral issues."

and parent1 said...

"I was otherwise occupied but took a call last night from a nice girl named Abby asking me about many things for a survey. What did I know about the Gates Foundation? Do I think PPS is moving in the right direction? Is the federal government moving in the right direction with education? Am I familiar with Empowering Effective Teachers? Am I satisfied with principal...etc...? As usual I came away knowing once again that surverys are useless. We need the opportunity to qualify our answers and explain why an answer to a strategically worded question might contradict a previous answer. I hope Abby got it down each time I asked her to include a footnote.

For a half dozen years I listened as parents discussed the results of the surveys sent out each year for PPS. There is little room for comment after you point out reasons for any STRONGLY DISAGREE answers. I get why phone surveys are needed, I doubt the response rate for the yearly mailed survey is worth writing home about, but can't we have other options. Town hall meetings by grade levels or mini-EFA meetings with a focus, break out sessions. How about a call in-show on cable or radio? The superintendent did live chats not too long ago. We are preoccupied with the big picture and are neglecting the day-to-day stuff. Speaking of which, I need to go help a kid with homework now. "

October 5, 2010 6:13 PM
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