Monday, January 31, 2011

Teacher Academy begins with a small class

From the PG:


Anonymous said...

here we go again another program put in at PPS the big question of the day did anyone do fact finding or research about this Teacher Academy from other schools who had this concept?
especially when we are dealing in DOLLARS!!!!! it's like PAY AS YOU GO i come to the conclusion PPS likes to throw money at anything that looks GOOD!!!!!!
meaning is there anybody in PPS who know how to budget MONEY!!!!!
one day PPS going to wake up and find out they are BROKE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon, I am quite certain that anyone critical of the launching of so many expensive programs and an outrageous contract to boot has been silenced one way or another.

It is not rocket science. You project the number of retires vs. enrollment decline vs. the number of schools you promised to close in the Gates proposal vs. the number of teachers you promised to reduce in the Gates proposal to actually see if you really need an academy at all.

Such an initiative might have made sense in a growing or stable school district. Not in Pittsburgh. Not with the PSERS rate spike coming in 2012. Not with the State budget $4.5 billion short.

It is fascinating that the newspaper coverage of the district's budget throughout the year--in fact going back a couple of years--continued to point to a severe 2012 problem in their forecast, but folks blindly marched ahead with the agenda (and then marched to Yellow Springs).

bystander said...

The scope of the academy has already been scaled back to match the reduced dollars from the grant. I hope anyone thinking about taking advantage of the academy at a point past the length of time covered by the grant realizes this is a short term offer. Just like summer 2011 is the end of federal funds supporting programs beyond traditional summer school. The lesson is that money dries up.

Curious George said...

Will someone please explain this Teacher Academy to me. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Traditionally, it takes four years to get certified to teach a subject, say mathematics.

But it seems that the city now has the ability to certify math teachers in one year.

How does this work?

Do the prospective teachers already have to have their four years of college math completed?

Or do they learn four years of college math all crammed into that one Academy year?

Or do they simply need less math to get this alternative certification?

It's that last two possibilities that, for the sake of the students, worry me.

Anonymous said...

Is their someone out there who may be able to cost out this initiative. There have been rumblings that this program maybe be a budget buster. Some believe that this could be part of the Berdnik mystery. How could this program get financially out of hand? I am asking for someone who is good with budget projections to take on this challenge.

Anonymous said...

They will have already have undergraduate degrees -- this would certify them as teachers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:56, the word out of Bellefield is that Berdnik was merciless in reminding his boss and anyone that would listen that dramatic reductions had to accompany the new programs given the rocky road ahead.

I suspect that if one pulls the transcripts of committee meetings where they jointly presented the budget you will see them jousting on the seriousness of the issue.

It does make one wonder if his exodus was important to preserving the Roosevelt legacy and an ugly punishment for being a voice of reason.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:51, you clearly have not watched the "believe" video enough to understand the importance of opening a teacher academy even if there may not be jobs for its graduates.

a-parent said...

Within the last few weeks one of our local papers did a very thorough article on the components of the Academy/ies. There might actually be 4 separate initiaves or academy "schools." I can't find it on a website but will keep looking. As a parent there are times when the jargon and amount of explanation just put it all over my head, but this article was pretty clear. Does it ring a bell, anyone?

Perhaps it is noted in an older post? Sometimes it almost seems deliberate the way things are designed and presented. Almost to confuse and confound parents to the point where the effort to understand is too time-consuming. This isn't always the case but the academy plan seems to fit the category.

Disgruntled said...

Hey -- if there are no jobs for the graduates, it'll be a money=maker for them -- they'll each have to pay back the 20K!

I keep wondering how they'll deal with finding that someone in the program just isn't a good teacher in the classroom?

Do they keep them on for 5 years, because they invested in them?

Certify them, don't hire them, but don't make them pay back?

Pretend they're good and use them for a couple of years, then ditch them with bad ratings?

Don't certify them (here's hoping they've thought about all these possibilities and aren't going to be sued.)

Questioner said...

Good question! Odds are- the assumption is they'll all be great, since they attended the academy. Just like everyone who attends the Broad academy makes a great superintendent, and all the new schools the district starts (ALA's included) are assumed to be great successes.

Anonymous said...

"here we go again another program put in at PPS the big question of the day did anyone do fact finding or research about this Teacher Academy from other schools who had this concept"

Every single "useless" (Admin) person who questioned this, or questioned any project no longer works for the district.