Monday, January 31, 2011

Teacher Academy begins with a small class

From the PG:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sports Illustrated article

On the January "Start a new post," Mark Rauterkus wrote:

Get the new Sports Illustrated magazine with Steelers #92 on the cover. Read the artcle @ the Quips of Aliquippa.

We need to get that article to Dr. Lane of PPS and others. Sports matter. A track story is woven in there too along with the football and community insights. (Dr Lane loves relay talk.)

Coach Mark Rauterkus

Friday, January 28, 2011

Controversial program in a PA school separating students by race and gender

In this program at Lancaster, PA high school, students are assigned to a homeroom based on race and gender for mentoring:

- The ideas behind the Lancaster approach are similar to explanations given for the PPS approach to Westinghouse and Milliones.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Administrators receive raises

From the PG:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

African American male dropout rate

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"African males high,drop out rate,suspension,expulsion among other things,where is the out cry from the PPS community
i thought the American Education System is for everyone and not the selective few,is there two system one to train students to play football and basketball and the other one to to make the honor roll and the debate team,being since we always say education should be for all students and just for a few after all we did intergrate Little Rock school dist
our black males have to be educated so thay they can contribute to society"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Disproportionate influence of foundations

Article in an online magazine arguing that foundations have a disproportionate influence in public policy on education, ahd that partnerships make it difficult for the media to be independent with respect to these foundations:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Study questions how much students actually learn in college

From the PG, "Study finds rigors of college wanting":

The research described in the article showed that 45% of undergraduates in the study show no significant improvement in complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years. The article describes light loads with little reading or writing required at many colleges.

Friday, January 21, 2011

100 day plan

At the agenda review it was noted that a 100 Day Plan has been posted on the PPS website.

But, the plan does not seem to be under "Plans and Initiative" and cannot be found by searching for "100 day plan" on the site's search box.

Can anyone find and provide a link to the plan?

Link to agenda review materials


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

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

Two sports items of note in the link below. One on the WPIAL/PPS topic and the other on the WPIAL interest in the score of a Brentwood-Seton LaSalle game. How many of our schools will be the next Brentwood in sports like girls' basketball once PPS is WPIALized?"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oakland, CA school honored for closing the achievement gap

The name of the school is "SEED," which stands for the School of Expeditionary learning, Equity and Diversity.

new policy

Currently posts containing personal comments or name calling are deleted. For the benefit of our readers posts that are exceedingly repetitious will also be deleted.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Level of interest

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

"The City Coucil session aired today featured testimony and public comment on the acquisition of a property to allow for the continued growth of the Environmental Charter School. I have heard parents and community memebers speak in support of several PPS buildings with the same passion as was on display today. These are often east end schools. Why is the level of interest greater in some areas of the city?"

Monday, January 17, 2011


A thought on MLK Jr. day.

Most parents want their children to get to know classmates of other races. Is it a problem that some city students feed into schools with very little racial diversity, leaving students with no diverse alternative unless they have the GPA and the luck to get into a magnet? Should there be a "diversity alternative" for those students who seek a more diverse school experience?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Year round proposed for Westinghouse High"

Article in the New Pittsburgh Courier. Unfortunately the online version of the courier has not been updated for some time, but the newspaper itself is available at the Giant Eagle for 50 cents.

The article notes there will be a trimester calendar (3 semesters w/ vacations of approx one month) but does not not explain exactly how it will run. Sep/Oct/Nov w/ Dec off, then Jan/Feb/March with April off, then May/June/July w/ August off?

According to the article, students will take 3 core courses each term and 2 elective courses; if a student fails a course he/she can take it the following term in place of an elective course.

If the calendar works it is something the district would "consider for the entire district."

Friday, January 14, 2011


On another post Happygal wrote:

"It would perhaps be beneficial for our purposes if posters to this blog could have a thread where everyone could anonymously list their school affiliation or status. That way we readers could see if we are hearing from a real cross-section of stakeholders. No comments just something like:

Allegheny Middle-Parent-PSCC or

East End-Teacher"

- Let's give it a try- understanding that some may be hesitant to provide even this information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Voucher proposal would affect 12 Pittsburgh public schools

From the Tribune:

The article does not identify which schools would be affected, except to state that they are low-performing.

Evaluation to be done of results of the reform agenda to date

From the PG:

Monday, January 10, 2011

WPIAL/ increased travel time

On another post not-lol wrote:

Questioner, since you mentioned sports I just like to ask if anyone from the athletic reform committee has presented anything that might resemble what a schedule will look like once PPS is WPIAL-ized? I do not have a kid who will be impacted right now but there is some concern about increased travel times causing delays to being promise ready. It would also be a load off a lot of minds to know the bus rides will include a catered dinner for games that require departure at or before dismissal.

Updated plans for single gender academies

From the PG:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Revolving door for superintendents

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

READ an excellent insight-of OUR board of ED-WE KNOW THE BOARD MEMBER he was indicating. . . this article states indicators of the future and past that eual the present.

Will the Revolving Door for Urban Superintendents Ever Slow Down ...
2 election, and Mark Roosevelt is tired. The Pittsburgh schools chief has a cold and is in the third or fourth week of a diet and he's been up until nearly ...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Teacher residency program

On the January "Start a new post" the following was posted by Anonymouses:

"I am confused. What is the Teacher residency program? I looked at this job description and the quakifications andhonestly I thought it was a misprint at first.

"Eligibility Requirements: -Must not have (or be earning) a BA or MA in an education program that leads to certification. -Must not have (or be earning) teaching certification in any state. -Must not be enrolled in or have completed another alternate route certification program. -Must not currently work as a full-time teacher for Pittsburgh Public Schools. Long-term substitutes and paraprofessionals are still eligible for the program. -Must be able to pass background investigation. -Must meet subject area requirements for Pennsylvania."

"Anonymous said...
Thats Scary, Not to be parnoid but the district in year or two will replacing teachers, with their version of teachers. Only the State should be able to certify teachers. The programs should be run by universities not these crack pots.

Next year a lot of math teachers will be focused and replaced by PPS trained teachers.

Of course John Tarka got dupped again"

"Anonymous said...
This should be on its own blog "

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CFO resignation

On another post Anonymous wrote:

" 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."

An Anonymous responded:

"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."

Posted by Anonymous to PURE Reform at January 4, 2011 7:59 AM

Start a new post/ search PURE Reform's blog

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".

Monday, January 3, 2011

Different incident reported at U Prep

From another post:

Anonymous said...
I am a parent of a UPrep student and my child will not return there next year!!! The things I've seen at the school are shocking to say the least. Every time I walk into that school the Security Guard has her butt planted in the main office either talking on the phone or "working" on the computer. I'm no principal but isn't the security guards job to be patrolling the halls???? When the bell rings to change class the halls explode with students running, screaming, horse playing -it's unsafe to say the least. My child has told me that Hardy physically man handles students, throwing them into walls, lockers etc. and this is not in response to fights. If that's not bullying what is??? I've seen students on cell phones, listening to mp3 players. That school is falling apart at the seams. As parents we definitely need to take a stand.

January 3, 2011 6:22 PM
Questioner said...
It's hard to imagine that a principal would take that kind of liability risk.

Maybe the community needs to start seeing the schools for itself- ie, each month a group of community members can choose a school the group would like to visit during school hours and then arrange a group visit w/ PPS.

January 3, 2011 6:31 PM
Anonymous said...
This Principal?

I could see this happening, instead of dealing with the kids behavior he his trying to show he is a tough guy. He does not suspend them so inturn he looks good to the Ivory Tower Types.

If this toughguy put his hands on my child and pushed him into a locker for anyother reason except for breaking up a fight, it would be last time

Hardy is a joke, a Bully

Fire Hardy Now

January 3, 2011 7:05 PM
Questioner said...
The district really would not want to have 3 principals at Milliones/ U Prep in 3 years.

Can any of the other staff at U Prep be asked to help- like the Gomezes, or professors from Pitt?

January 3, 2011 7:13 PM
Anonymous said...
SORRY But I have a stupid question. What about the PSCC did they get rid of those?

January 3, 2011 7:22 PM