Monday, December 27, 2010

Difficulties measuring value added by individual teachers

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

"Article on problems with latest approach to evaluating teachers

This article points out some of the problems with this recent way of evaluating teachers. I've always thought this evaluative approach is silly. A good principal is one who is regularly present, regularly visiting classrooms, regularly discussing with teachers what they're doing in the classrooms. Instead we want this impersonal, statistical tool that -- what? allows principals to not get their hands so dirty? I know, it's an old school, unfashionable approach, and one that takes time and training on the part of the principal. But I think it's also a more common sense solution than the silliness described in this article."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Continued city infrastructure problems

Two water main breaks in Oakland:

Pittsburgh's infrastructure is very old and in many instances falling apart. At some point it will become necessary to ask whether we can afford to allow large institutions to remain fully tax exempt in exchange for contributing to scholarships.

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.

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

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advisability of a national search for superintendent

See the first letter to the editor, PG:

Article on new Board president

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Booing incident said to have taken place at U Prep

Keeping this issue current:

An insider's look at testing

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Former school employees tackle Westinghouse reform issues"

There is an article on this topic in the current issue of the New Pittsburgh Courier. However, the link to the paper and the article is not working at this time.

It's official

From the Tribune:

Monday, December 13, 2010

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".

Adults blame parents for education problems

Results of an AP- Stanford U poll:

Adults blame parents for education problems more than "teachers, school administrators, the government or teachers unions".

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tribune interviwe w/ LLane/ reactions to appointment

From the Tribune:

The article mentions the candidate's view that getting out into schools is important. Over the past few years many have advocated greater visbility in the schools for the superintendent.

Roosevelt exit interview

From the PG:

- He's still trying (unsuccessfully) to justify Schenley.

Once again, tell us why Schenley had to shut down immediately with $8M interim costs thrown away at Reizenstein, when McKelvey/Miller in the Hill District with almost identical asbestos plaster conditions remains open and in use...

Why the $30 - $50M proposal by a committee of building professionals was not seriously considered....

Why the district can propose to spend $30M on 458 students at Arlington but Schenley, in a prime location and a true flagship school, is too expensive to renovate for 1300 students.

And in answer to the question of why he would choose to go through this- it is because at the time he was eager to launch smaller schools and new signature projects like sci tech and U Prep.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It cost $45 million to find this out?

From the NYT:

- Teachers who students say maintain order in the classroom, focus their instruction and help students to learn from their mistakes are often the same teachers who with good results on value added standardized test measures.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Incident said to have taken place at U Prep

From another post:

Anonymous said...

Here is something interesting I have heard from many others in the district.

Monday or Tuesday
The Principal at U-Prep asked the promise ready students at a school wide assembly, to stand up and give themselves, applause. They complied. Then he asked the non-promise ready students to stand up. Then he told them to (Boo) their teachers. They excitedly complied.

If this would happened to me, I would have been fired, maybe even arrested.

Talk about a hostile work enviroment for teachers. What an out right disrespect for the teaching profession. He is labeled the Rising Star of the PELA program by many.

He should be fired, of course the union is mute

Questioner said...
What a bizarre exercise- especially since the same teachers presumably taught the promise ready and non-promise ready students. No credit for the successes but blame for those who did not succeed? And when are the principal and administration held accountable?

Anonymous said...
Even beyond teacher and administrative accountability is STUDENT accountability. How absurd: pat yourself on the back for what you earned, point fingers at others for what you failed to achieve. What message are we sending students when we do silly stunts like this?

Can anyone verify that this happened firsthand? This sounds so outlandish that I hesitate to believe it --- except that so many unbelievable things have happened over the past 5 years that I simply can't dismiss it!

alldone said...
We do need firsthand confirmation on this alleged incident at UPrep. If it is an accurate account of what happened and there is no fallout, public apology, probationary period for the individual, etc. our problems are bigger than currently known. If this does not come up on a talk show today it will be a surprise. The parent hotine number is 622-7920. Just what the heck are the principals doing in professional development? If somebody is paid to train on effective motivational methods a refund is deserved.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New superintendent no surprise

From the PG:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facilities issues/ 6-12

Tonight there was a dance performance at CAPA, for all grades 6-12. The kids were wonderful but the auditorium is small and there was not enough space for the families and friends that came to see them perform. People were turned away or had to stand at the edges. So add performance space to the list of strained facilities in 6-12 schools that includes lunch rooms and athletic spaces. A 6-12 configuration may seem like a clever way to save money, but the price we pay is overcrowding.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Athletic committee feedback

Here is the link to feedback from community meetings- look toward the bottom of the page:|&NodeID=5867

Rhee's new advocacy group

NYT article on Rhee's "rhee-emergence":

"Top test scores from Shanghai stun educators"

From the NYT:

Monday, December 6, 2010

SHazuda elected president of school board

From the PG:

Public hearing tonight on 4 new proposed charter schools

From the Tribune:

Who should receive education rewards?

See the first letter to the editor, today's PG:

PVAAS results for Pittsburgh

From the PG:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Evaluating teaching based on videotapes

From the NYT:

"Schoolwork requires effort"

From the 8th letter to the editor, PG:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Superintendent's last day at work

On another post, Anonymous wrote:

"Today, December 3, 2010 was Superintendent Mark Roosevelt’s last day at the Pittsburgh Board of Education-this came from a parent that works for the Board of Education.

He is finished-and I guess he will be using his days till the end-uncertain if he cleaned out his desk.

Above should be a seperate blog entry.

Sorry to place this under this heading-but Mr. Taylor your summation again retiterates my concerns of the lack of consistent data analysis."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tonight- "African American Educators Address PPS Eastend HS Reform Plan"

Tonight, Wednesday December 1, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Kingsley Association (6435 Frankstown Ave), First Floor Conference Room.