Saturday, March 5, 2011

Budget cuts to start with the central office

From the PG:


Anonymous said...

A good move would be to eliminate Derrick Lopez's position and make him principal of the boys' academy, since he is very interested in single gender education. Or principal of U Prep, to give him every chance to clean up the situation he created there.

Questioner said...

Tribune article on the same topic:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:05
It's clear that you do not have students in either of these schools nor are you a part of these two communities.

Questioner said...

Mr. Lopez apparently has a good record as a principal in the past.

Anonymous said...

Really? Where was he principal and for how long?

How do you account for his implementations during the past four years?

Do the results demonstrate success for students?

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the story published when he came to Pittsburgh:

Unfortunately he seemed to lose his touch once he got here. Or he's better suited to be a principal than any of the jobs he's held here.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to assume a "good record" as a principal from the Trib's report in 2007. It does enumerate nine different positions, five of which were in schools. That’s quite a bit of moving around. Was he a teacher, what certification and how long?

A "good record" should include being in a school long enough to establish a record. Also, the schools were, “Jesuit”, “predominantly white,suburb”, "alternative", "charter", and "parochial.” None were identified as urban.

Questioner said...

Maybe so, but it would not be unreasonable to give him a chance as principal of U Prep or the boys' academy. At least compared to the likely PPS alternative- a PELA with even less experience.

Anonymous said...

It's "reasonable' only if your children are not arbitrarily assigned to those schools.

A PELA might be preferable given the fact that there is not a "good record" from a school where success for at least one year is substantiated with a bit of evidence.

Anonymous said...

This morning during an HGTV show a commercial aired for the Academies at Westinghouse. Mr. Lopez did the voiceover and performed splendidly. From a bystander's perspective (no kids in school, never taught), it seems he has a strong work ethic.

Nobody wants to fail. Some because they are building a resume.

Anonymous said...

yes also you can cut some of these assistant and deputy jobs such as the one assistant chief of staff to the chief of staff among other titles in PPS.this will not hurt people in those positions to take on a LITTLE!!!!! more responsibility after all not big like the New York City School Dist.
most of the times these titles are the same job description meaning duplication serve the same job duties.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. No one wants to fail!

Just a few questions.

1) If, those in admin over the past five years, knew how to succeed, would PPS be in the current state of decline?

A "good record" of success, in a similar situation, before coming to PPS might have informed the decisions made here subsequently. 2) Isn't previous success, typically, one of the criteria for hiring Superintendents and Directors of Educational Reform?

3) Without a "good record" what is the likelihood of "failure" whether you want to or not?

Anonymous said...

Once the Governor lays out the budget cuts it will become very clear that 10% cut from central administration will fall way short of what is needed. If they keep HR numbers & layers of management and cut education it will be very telling.

Old Timer said...

Let's be honest. This district was constructed by closely following a corporate model from day 1 of the Charlatan Mark Roosevelt's tenure. Everything we have seen since has gone exactly as planned, from the destruction/capitulation of the union, to the hiring of many, many failed teachers/school administrators as central office administrators/PELAs to oversee the workers on the production line.

Dr.Lane, a 10% cut will be like a butterfly bandage on a foot long gash. Dr.Lane seems to understand who the district should be out for: the kids. She seems to understand the charge she has: provide students with an education that will act as a springboard to their careers.

Let's hope she sees the useless, sniveling individuals masquerading as educators who hide in central office positions. The time for having a payroll rife with 'research' types or 'headhunter' types has passed, as has the funding.

If central administrative types are not having a hand in working with our kids, then they should be looking for employment in some other field in which they can hide.

I can only hope that Dr.Lane realizes that teachers are not now nor ever were the problem. That problem exists within her own administration.

Clean house.

Anonymous said...

10% is window dressing. Roosevelt took advantage of the reconfiguration of the coaching model to pretend that he cut central office. Smoke and mirrors doesn't last forever, but perhaps if you don't have any students, maybe nobody cares...

We'll know how serious Dr. Lane's intentions are if she takes on the following:

1. communications and marketing - this department has ballooned under the current chief of staff. I sure can live without the glossy postcards.

2. broad residents - since the Roosevelt years, the district has become a dumping ground for broad residents. They start out being paid in part by the foundation and then become yours forever!

3. multiple chiefs in the HR department - wow, what school district has two folks running HR? Pittsburgh, as though we had 100,000 kids! It's time to cut the drama and have Spolar run the whole department. When you reach the $130K level, it's time to do more than employee relations.

4. deputy chief of staff - do I really need to explain this?

5. contracts for legal services - The Law Offices of Ira Weiss has found Pittsburgh to be such a productive revenue source that it is now turning business away from longstanding clients, such as Montour.

6. how many secretaries do you need? The superintendent's office has three, PLUS the chief of staff and her team. Really? Get a blackberry and synch it!

7. do your own research - how many mid-size school districts have their own research office AND still pass out evaluation contracts like candy? Here's a hint: keep the staff that works on required testing and just print your test results and use the PDE provided tools for the rest like the districts in the Commonwealth that make AYP do - USC, Mt. Lebo and others are making progress without this function who's sole purpose seems to be to find ways of presenting PSSA results so they don't look as bad as they do on PDE generated reports and analysis.

8. assistant superintendents - districts not much smaller than Pittsburgh are running with two assistant superintendents. Folks the second largest school district in the state is not so much larger than the third or the fourth...wake up and do some comparables.

9. Westinghouse single gender - what will Dr. Lane do when the projected numbers are not met? Rum the school as designed, no matter what?

10. close underenrolled schools - do you really think any community can forever afford high schools filled to 1/4th capacity? Yes, its not your fault that MR fell in love with the small schools concept that Gates was pushing 5 years ago, but at some level common sense is needed. You are not doing kids any favors by keeping them in schools that cannot afford AP classes, etc.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! 9:44




Anonymous said...

yes true we have more senior administrators then WALMART!!!!!!!
if PPS wants all these senior position why not make them PART-TIME and without benefits.
that cut all the cost for the dist

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much would be saved if the "Budget Cuts" were made in just these three areas:

1) Central Office/Broad managers, administrators, etc.

2) All PR items external to District staff

3) All Consultants external to District staff

These three entities alone have caused more confusion and subsequent decline in PPS than all others combined.

Anonymous said...

Some departments (not HR) can't attract decent talent due to the residency requirement. They have no choice but to hire contractors.

PPS will suffer if they continue with the residency BS.

Anonymous said...

Lane selects management team of 8.
Close 5 executive positions, but fill 3 = net reduction 0f 2 jobs.
The reorganization will help reduce costs by $141,000 annually. But look at the salaries (and raises) of her 8.
She needs to do better than this. $141,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to $34 million. This is all just more smoke and mirrors.