Sunday, May 29, 2011

Last class at Schenley

From the PG:

"It was an eclectic mix of students that all worked together somehow," said Walter Moser, who coaches baseball at Schenley and has taught history there since 1984. "It was a school you'd be hard-pressed to find today in most cities.""

Read more:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coercing students into single gender?

On another post, Anonymous wrote:

"Please create a new post for this.

The Pittsburgh school district would coerce kids into taking single-sex classes
Friday, May 27, 2011
By Sara Rose
"Build it and they will come." That is what one Pittsburgh school board member said at a recent meeting about the school district's plan to turn Westinghouse High School, one of the city's lowest performing, into two single-sex academies for grades 6 through 12.

But the students did not come.

Read more:"

Comparison with Duquesne school district

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"How about analysis and discussion of the Duquesne School District based on the PG and Trib articles.

Can we compare and contrast the issues around poor districts statewide with poor schools citywide?

Can we generate solutions which will solve the lack of excellence, equity, resources, etc. for poor children, black children, hispanic children who have been 'DOOMED' to lives without even adequate educational preparation that would lead them to successful, productive futures?"

Certain parents, certain neighborhoods, etc.

From another post:

Anonymous said...
Pittsburgh is going to lose most of its students because it is incapable of providing a good education for any but those 'designated' as "gifted" in a particular area supported by certain parents and certain others.

Trust me, those kids/parents are fleeing just as fast as all the others.

And don't worry, I did understand the snark behind the remark, so don't feel compelled to add to it!"

Me either.

I just think It is sad that Allderdice is viewed as nirvana or viewed as the creme de la creme. It is a far cry from that. The bar and our expectations have been lowered by PPS and caring parents throughout the city are trying their best to limbo for their kids.

We ALL want our kids to be SAFE and get a decent education. Our kids ALL deserve it.

If Gates and Broad really want to help they would put their money into social work, community, parental education and
early intervention. This is not about teachers, it is about poverty, rascism, and how divided we are. Until people understand that it really does take a village, (sorry Hillary haters, but it is true) to raise a child and to help lift up parents in need nothing will change.

Allderdice is probably the safest high school. Safety should be a given not a luxury. My child is caucasian, gifted and we live in "that particular neighborhood".

May 27, 2011 3:41 AM
Anonymous said...
What is the "snark" everybody is getting from what was quoted?

Sometimes people create problems that don't exist? Minds are a terrible thing to waste.

Solving problems is what we should be doing here.

May 27, 2011 7:34 AM
Anonymous said...
If you don't recognize the "snark" you either don't have any kids in the schools or you are part of the administration!

The snark says that average performing and above white students have parents who are only concerned with their very own little darling and are out to actively ruin the educations of poor, black children.

This gets extended to the idea that *any* complaint about behavior, about curriculum, and certainly about children being bored or not challenged in the least by the curriculum means you are racist and actively working against the district and the goals of education.

It also ignores that *many* of the parents most concerned about the behavior in the schools are not these same parents!

This is also seen in Broad/Gates districts across the country. It's as effective as "No Child Left Behind" was initially as a slogan. If you pointed to weak aspects of that legislation, questions were posed to you that suggested you really did want to leave children behind -- or why would you question?!

It's now moved up to include charges of racism as well -- if you dare to challenge the wisdom of these reforms, you must hate the black children.

This doesn't work well on the black parents, obviously, but since the district is doing an increasingly good job of having segregated schools, that's less and less of a problem. They can be all sickly sweet, we're so concerned about your babies at some meetings -- though the parents I've seen there are not buying the act.

May 27, 2011 8:13 AM
Anonymous said...
Well anonymous 3:41, if we could only explain why the "funders" have not reached the conclusions you have we might get somewhere. I get tired of any arguements where stones get thrown at "that particular neighborhood" and wonder how nobody notices the decades of parental engagement of the highest level. And I am not from "that particular neighborhood."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pittsburgh Promise article

From another post:

"Pittsburgh Promise in PPG"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The other side of budgeting

The complement to cost cutting is revenue raising. It will be more difficult, but it would be great if community members could come up with even a short list of ways to raise revenue.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Behind "grass roots" advocacy- Gates

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

"In 2009, the foundation spent $3.5 million creating an advocacy group to buttress its $290 million investment in programs to increase teacher effectiveness in four areas of the country: Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., Pittsburgh, Memphis and Los Angeles.

A document describing plans for the group, posted on a Washington Post blog in March, said it would mobilize local advocates, "establish strong ties to local journalists" and should "go toe to toe" with union officials in explaining contracts and state laws to the public."

Remember how NO ONE in the media would report on the incident at UPrep? Notice how NO ONE writes critically about Gates/Broad initiatives? Let's all take a moment and acknowledge how compromised Eleanor Chute clearly is.

Long but good article:

"Primary reveals school board incumbents' struggles"

Rom the Tribune:

"In Pittsburgh Public Schools, voters indicated they want candidates who aren't closely aligned with the administration. Retired district principal Regina Holley won the Democratic nomination over incumbent Dara Ware Allen. Incumbent Mark Brentley, a frequent critic of the administration, won the Democratic nomination over three challengers."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reality based budgeting

The Westinghouse Alumni Association and Fiscal Friends of PPS' 40 point, $100 million Action Plan to Save Our School District

For no less than five years the Board, Superintendent, PFT, administration and community of the School District of Pittsburgh have received repeated and frankly monthly warnings that drastic measures would be needed to balance the budget as the impact of health care inflation, PSERS contributions, two recessions in the last decade, poor State and Federal funding outlooks ran, like two trains on a track, into very costly elements of a "reform" agenda such as pay for performance, principals emerging leadership academies, teacher academies, additional boutique high schools despite rapidly declining enrollment.

The Superintendent continued to downplay the risks, repeatedly saying that the State would never let us fall and that the Federal Government would step in to fund our initiatives. In the meantime, our annual academic gains have not outpaced our neighbors or the State as a whole. Only Mark Brentley paid attention.

1. It is time to go Back to Basics and institute Reality-Based Budgeting:
No tax increase. None. No need to talk about it when our cost per pupil is over $20,000.

2. Cancel our contracts with the Broad and Gates Foundations. Their influence, in creating ultimately unsustainable functions, bonuses and plans have been nothing but a cancer on this district.

3. Request that Mr. Roosevelt waive the remaining obligation to buy his life insurance coverage. The district - which for no less than five years has always projected that our budget gap could be as large as $100 million by 2013 unless it stopped trying every single new and great idea coming out of Seattle - needs a life line. Let your guilt guide you Mark. Estimated savings $200,000.

4. Eliminate the Board Office secretary. Board members are elected volunteers. Other urban PA school districts simply do not have this luxury. While the individual employee is solid, her functions should be consolidated with the Superintendent's office. Just to be clear, keep this good employee, but drop out the one or two lowest performing secretaries at the administration building. Estimated savings: $100,000.

5. Eliminate the elected internal auditor, the Office of the School Controller. When the City Controller is elected now, he or she is automatically the School Controller. This will require an act of the State legislature. As the 2005 Performance Study of the district noted, similarly sized school districts were performing the essential functions of this office with half or less than half the staff of Pittsburgh. A much smaller crew of maybe three, with the ability to directly report to the elected Board could do the essentials without the full cost. Estimated Savings $500,000.

6. Consolidate the collection of current real estate taxes with Allegheny County, appointing the Treasurer of the County the collector for the school district. This may require an act of the State legislature unless the City takes like-kind action. The district under prior leadership already took action to outsource the collection of delinquent real estate taxes (joining the County with Jordan tax services) and to outsource the collection of earned income taxes (Jordan tax services through Act 32). Estimated savings $1,000,000.

7. Eliminate all external communications consultants. Appoint a very streamlined function to report directly to the Superintendent of Schools. As a much larger district, Pittsburgh used to be capable of having honest conversation with its constituents when it was just Pat Crawford, Lynne Turnquist and a secretary. It's time to return to that model. This model includes blowing up the Office of the Chief of Staff. The office currently includes roughly ten unnecessary positions, such as a deputy chief of staff, a special events specialist, a manager of media relations, a manager of community relations, a call center manager, etc. We can no longer afford to behave as though we have 100,000 or more students. Estimated savings $1,000,000.

8. Move the Minority Business Enterprise functions and staff in with the Purchasing Department. RFP all external consultants over $10,000 using a short form quotation system. Embed participation language and goes into all quotes, bids and RFPs at the point of control. Estimated savings $200,000. The estimated savings is not from eliminating the positions, it is from a lower cost of business on consultant contracts.

9 Eliminate the Research office (approximately 8 staff), except for two staff who simply would continue to distribute and manage required and desired testing documents. Start using the very same already delivered and packaged State reports that every school district in PA that is making AYP uses. Estimated savings $500,000.

10. Auction all closed school buildings to the highest bidder. The average cost of just cutting the grass, plowing the snow and keeping a gas, electric and water connection to each closed school building has to be in the $50,000 range. Stop pretending that every closed building is a South Vo Tech, located in a prime market (South was sold for $1 million because of its prime location on Carson Street). Even if you dump every property for a $0.01 we will save on the soft cost of keeping them. Estimated savings $1,000,000.

11. Streamline academic administration into just four departments: Elementary Schools, Secondary Schools, Pupil Services and Curriculum/Professional Development. Eliminate every manager - every non-secretary - with less than 6 to 7 direct reports. Estimated savings $2,000,000. This includes the elimination of the office of strategic planning with Derrick Lopez.

12. Merge the MT. Oliver Intermediate Unit with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. The benefit will be tapping into a network of educational leaders not beholden to national foundations. Estimated savings $200,000.

13. Merge Murray, Arlington 1 and Arlington 2 into two buildings. Estimated savings $700,000.

14. Keep Obama at Reizenstein, avoid the cost of moving to Peabody, move special education administration out of Overbrook and into Reizenstein. Another alternative is move Obama to Westinghouse, which could free Reizenstein to be the consolidated administration building or to even sell Reizenstein (with the funds being used to pay down debt in accordance with the tax code). Estimated savings $700,000, plus whatever capital projects can be avoided as a result, which could stem into the millions.

15. Consider closing Oliver and merge with Perry or Langley if safety issues are addressed unlike what it happening with the east end merger plan that includes Westinghouse and the Peabody and black students from East Hills made to leave Allderdice. Oliver is too small (student population) to offer the kids a meaningful education. Langley is air conditioned. Estimated savings $700,000.

16. Eliminate all non-Head Start pre-k (keeping only those who meet the economic guidelines set forth by the state and federal government) and use any Accountability Block Grant funds that might be restored in the Governor's budget for kindergarten. Families that can afford to pay their way into pre-k who are not eligible for the remaining federal and state programs would be welcomed with open arms. Estimated savings $2,000,000.

17. Use Open Office or Google as the district wide platform for word processing, spreadsheets, etc. Estimated savings $600,000.
Cancel this year's Summer Dreamer's Academy except for free/reduced lunch students and below basic students. All others to pay tuition. Use the savings to make the 2011-12 purchases of reading and math textbooks and supplemental materials and/or look backwards at any and all expenses during the grant period that can be attributed to this funding source without supplanting. Estimated savings $2,000,000.

18. Cut the human resources department in half. We will be laying off, not hiring. As a sign of the current dysfunction at Bellefield, PPS is actually trying to hire another HR employee right now. Estimated savings $1,000,000.

19 Invite all unions back to the bargaining table to offer creative methods to save money, which could include wage or benefit concessions. Estimated savings $4,000,000.

20. Invite each bordering school district to merge with the Pittsburgh Public Schools (examples include Sto Rox, Wilkinsburg, etc.). If just two take the offer, the estimated savings is $1,000,000.

21. Eliminate the contracted solicitor services and either hire him or hire two staff attorneys solicitors to do all but the most specialized work. Historically the district had only two staff solicitors and a lower cost of legal services. The district uses real estate counsel, workers compensation counsel, labor counsel, bargaining counsel, special education counsel, etc. Estimated savings $500,000.
Realign school times and more fully populate existing yellow bus routes, pilot expanded use of port authority. Estimated savings $1,000,000.

22. Eliminate the centralized gifted center and go to decentralized elementary gifted education/differentiated instruction with supports. Estimated savings $2,000,000.

23 Cancel the balance of the Two Bell LLC contract, who is now doing financial duties. He's getting $50,000 a month. We had a very talented CFO that repeatedly warned us of what was going to happen and offered solutions like those incorporated in this plan. Where is he? Bring him back now before we go bankrupt. Estimated savings $100,000.

24. Cancel the external contract for lobbying and just leverage the joint power of the Pennsylvania School Board Association. This is exactly how almost every other school district in the state engages in lobbying efforts. Estimated savings $100,000.

25. Eliminate all reading/math coaches. Use qualified tutors, for instance, from the PACT Program at Duquesne University to work in small groups with Title I students. Duquesne has provided free service to our students for years, now its time to engage them and rely on their expertise to expand their services. Estimated savings $5,000,000.

26. Increase retiree contributions for health care benefits for future PFT and administrative retirees. The does requires renegotiation but to save or schools its worth it. Estimated savings $1,000,000 for each cohort of retirees (amount of savings would grow each year).

27 Eliminate CAS and PSP classes for gifted secondary education. These classes are duplicative and are not a state mandate. Other school districts right here in Allegheny County offer secondary enhancement through AP and IB only. Use AP and IB offerings, plus some differentiated instruction, to meet the needs of secondary gifted students. Estimated savings $5,000,000.

28 Cancel the employment contracts of all remaining Broad residents (approximately 5). This includes, for instance, the athletic reform manager, whose duties from day one should always have just been part of the responsibilities of the current Athletic Director. Estimated savings $500,000.

29. Raise the remaining student to teacher ratio from 14:1 to 20:1, keeping smaller class sizes in K, 1 and 2, plus special education and alternative education. Use precious Title I dollars to provide direct services to those students in need. Estimated savings $50,000,000. This may require further school consolidation.
Eliminate the PELA program to train new principals and the Academies to train new teachers. We should partner with our local universities to provide support and quality administrative and teaching candidates. There will be lots of qualified, displaced individuals across the State that we could hire to fill vacancies in specialty areas, if need be. Otherwise, we will be in furlough mode any way. Estimated savings $3,000,000.

30 Eliminate duplication of alternative education. Keep the Student Achievement Center and get rid of CEP. Estimated savings $2,000,000.
Consider a four day school week (increase hours per day). For transportation and facilities alone, the estimated savings is $5,000,000.

31. Use the balance of the central duplication services fund to pay a portion of this year's copying bill. This fund was created to capture the internal cost of color printing and it was meant to be used to pay for the cost of the central printing equipment and staff. The balance at year end should have been drawn down to pay for part of this year's bill. Estimated savings $100,000.

32. Adopt a 10 year cycle for curriculum renewal. First we had Kaplan, then we had the Assistant Superintendent continuing to tinker with curriculum and rewrite what had just been done. Do it once, do it right, do minor maintenance, but leave it alone for 10 years. Estimated savings $1,000,000.

33. Eliminate the use of recurring and duplicative educational services contracts to include consultants such as the Institute for Learning, Paula Bevin and others. Estimated savings $1,000,000. If our leaders and Assistant Superintendents are incapable of coaching other administrators, its time to find new Assistant Superintendents.

34. Consolidate Pittsburgh's career and technical education efforts with those of the surrounding districts. If our classes are not large enough, let's plan with the surrounding centers to share offerings that are fully enrolled. Estimated savings $1,000,000.

35. Because this plan shaves the district's cost per pupil dramatically, it will also reduce our charter school tuition rate. The rate Pittsburgh pays charter schools is simply a function of Pittsburgh's cost per pupil. As we generate savings, the cost per pupil will go down, thereby reducing the charter school tuition rate. Estimated savings $8,000,000.

The projected annual savings listed here exceeds $100 million. That is on purpose. The incremental savings that exceeds $100 million will be annually appropriated into an Innovation Pool from which individual teachers, administrators, joint labor management committees, etc. will competitively apply for mini-grants or one time costs to keep the District growing intellectually or to even fund certain costs that might be incurred in order to achieve greater efficiencies or economies of scale (such as a follow up to the very comprehensive 2005 study of all administrative functions that the Commonwealth's Legislative Budget and Finance

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A+ meeting on the budget today

Be Informed

Be Heard

City School Budget:

A Community Discussion on Setting Priorities

Tomorrow, Thursday May 19th, Dr. Lane will address the community about the impact of the proposed state funding cuts on PPS' existing financial challenges and explain the scale of the spending cuts that must be made.

Difficult decisions are ahead. This is your chance to hear directly from the superintendent and participate in the priority setting.

Join a very important community discussion tomorrow:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers Building

10 South 19th Street, 15203

South Side

Click here to RSVP

Major cuts to central office announced

From the PG:

- The article mentions cutting office workers jobs and possible future teacher layoffs, but does not specify managerial cuts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Incident at Roosevelt PreK-5

From the PG:


On a "Start a new post" Concerned Parent wrote:

"Not to play into the rumor mill, but this one has me concerned. Has anyone heard about an Obama teacher who was sexually and/or physically assaulted by a student? I've asked around and have heard second and third hand confirmations of this but nothing official. A young female teacher is what Im hearing."

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Back to school for the billionaires"

On another post Anonymous wrote:

BROAD __ Back to School for the Billionaires

“The setbacks had to be a humbling experience for titans accustomed to outsize success.

Broad entered the education-reform arena with riches amassed at two Fortune 500 companies.

Thinking his billions might make a difference, as he did in the Los Angeles arts and cultural community, Broad embarked on a yearlong investigation of education. “It was clear to me that if we wanted to have an impact, we could look at what others had done and then what we could do,” he told NEWSWEEK. “There weren’t many positive results that we could identify with. There was always pushback from powerful interests.”

Undaunted, Broad plowed ahead—investing in attempts to upgrade school governance and management, charters, and experiments to pay teachers for their performance instead of their length of time on the job. “We said we were not going to just write checks,” Broad said. “We were going to make investments.”

School boards seemed an especially ripe target. Broad began training efforts to get them away from what he saw as mind-numbing minutiae, like choosing paint colors for buildings or fixing stadium lights. The effort proved frustrating. Board members themselves, as he saw it, were often problematic; too many were well-meaning but not especially savvy parents, micromanagers, or excessively political.
Broad moved on to the front lines: superintendents, principals, and school-district management, ultimately spending $116 million on training people to work in schools and district offices, and another $71 million on central-office reforms and teacher evaluation, preparation, and pay schemes.

“Our role is to take risks that government is not willing to do ... People question my motivation,” Broad said. Not least is a growing unease with the prominent role of private foundation money that doesn’t have the accountability constraints of public tax dollars. “The fact that I don’t concern myself about criticism or pushback helps,” Broad said.
He’s had to take some lumps. Several principal-training programs, to the tune of $45 million, were a bang-for-the-buck disappointment; student test scores under most of the principal graduates did not meet his expectations.

He pulled the plug . . ."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

College grad statistic

"Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ... as many as 50 percent of college graduates under the age of 25 are underutilized, meaning they’re either working no job at all, working a part-time job or working a job outside of the college labor market -- say, as a barista or a bartender."

- There seems to be a mismatch between what colleges are teaching and the work that needs to be done.

Parent involvement/ book club

On a "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

The link above will take you to an article about a book club at Obama. There is no limit to what we have to learn from each other of the possibilities when effort and thought are spent. PARENTS asked for more exposure to the classics and the school's response was the club. What we have to learn from this is that parents can no longer be the missing factor in a school's success. If you are reading this and have kids in elementary school now and think you have years before needing to worry about this stuff, think again. Don't wait until your kids come home from college for the summer and hear them lament what they did not get in high school compared to others.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Pittsburgh Courier endorsements

New Pittsburgh Courier endorses Mark Brentley and Regina Holley.

Kelly award nominees

From the PG:

Schenley was nominated in 8 of 13 categories.

Other PPS receiving nominations: CAPA 4; Allderdice 1.

Dist 2 candidate Basant endorses Holley

Press release

From District 2 candidate: Celina Basant

May 11th, 2011

This announcement comes after taking may factors into consideration. My husband recently took a job with West Virginia University, and as a result, opportunities arise to be involved in various educational projects between Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

To be fair and to be able to give 100% to all students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools I can no longer pursue election to the board.

I have spoken to both Dara Ware Allen and Regina Holley and find them both to be outstanding individuals with exceptional service to the students of Pittsburgh Public Schools.

However, for Pittsburgh Public Schools to be successful in putting forth initiatives that will allow it to become a premier school district, it’s going to take someone with sound experience in education within our school system as well as the fortitude to stand up for what is right for our students and teachers.

It will also take someone that, given our financial situation will keep our school taxes as low as possible.

I believe that Dr. Regina Holley is that person and has my endorsement.

Our ideology and the direction that we hope to see the Pittsburgh Public Schools move are strongly aligned. Regina and I believe that schools should be run with shared governance and that principals, through shared leadership with their staff, should have more academic freedom/autonomy in setting policies to serve their population. We also agree that when it comes to education, it is definitely not a “one size fits all” model.

Last, we both agree that the Pittsburgh Public Schools central office is “top heavy” and that deeper cuts must be made in order to close our deficit. We must also strengthen accountability for those in charge.

I would ask that my supporters cast a vote for Regina Holley, on May 17th.

Thank you.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Athletic recommendations released

From the PG:

A+ Schools candidates forum on Wednesday

"A+ Schools Citywide School Board

Candidate Forum

Hear directly from the candidates for

Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 in a forum moderated by Lynn Hayes-Freeland of KDKA TV News.

When: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6-7:30 PM

Where: 31st Floor, Regional Enterprise Tower

425 Sixth Avenue, Downtown

Click here for a map.

Light refreshments provided.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP)
Education Voters Institute of Pennsylvania
Govern For Kids
Hill District Education Council
Lawrenceville United
League of Women Voters
North Shore Community Alliance
Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP)
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

A+ Schools is a nonpartisan organization. We do not support or endorse any specific candidate. Our goal is to educate the community and promote increased participation in school board elections."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Security guard injured at Brashear

From wpxi:

"Persistent and severe decline in Homewood"

From the PG:

- It is good to see attention directed to helping Homewood. But does it make sense at this time, when recovery efforts are just beginning, to assign students from other neighborhoods to attend school there?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Competitive board races

From the PG:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Broad virus

On a "Start a new post" Need a doctor wrote:

"How to tell if your school district has been infected by the Broad virus.

Toward the end of the posting (which sounds like it could have been written here in Pittsburgh) there are a couple comments about the abject silence of your local newspaper with regard to the Broad Foundation and its connection to your school. Uncanny."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Westinghouse/ having it both ways

The administration was faced with a difficult issue regarding its plans for single gender education at Westinghouse.

It has finally acknowledge that students cannot be forced into single gender classes. Alternatives for students who do not want single gender were to assign them to U Prep, or to also offer mixed gender classes at Westinghouse. However, the first option- students not choosing single gender defaulting to U Prep- resulted in too many students at U Prep. And the second option led to complaints from single gender proponents that the plan was being diluted.

The solution was to have it both ways. At Wednesday's legislative meeting Dr. Lane stated that students living East of Negley would be assigned to Westinghouse. The plan is that core classes will be single gender while art, PE and CTE classes will be mixed. Students assigned to Westinghouse would have 30 days to opt out and be assigned to another school, most likely U Prep.

HOWEVER, the actual language of the Board resolution does not mention the 30 day opt out and does not specify which classes will be single gender and which will be mixed. The language simply states that single gender and coeducational classes will be offered at Westinghouse. It's a hope for the best approach- ie, hope that most students will go with the assignment to single gender, but if too many opt out the district will be able to keep them at Westinghouse anyway by offering mixed core classes if necessary. To maintain the mixed classroom safety valve there will not be two schools at Westinghouse, just one school with single gender core classes and the option to add mixed classes if necessary. But really there kind of will be two academies, with the principal planned for the girls' academy signing on as "co-principal."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PELA program

From another post:

Anonymous said...
Years ago, wasn't it necessary to have a certain number of kids enrolled in order to have a VP position in a building? But now some schools will have directors, too?

May 4, 2011 7:29 AM

Anonymous said...
It's the same theory as training your teachers. Can't you remember Roosevelt talking about the "pipeline" of administrators he was going to need, hence PELA.

So now every year when there are far more PELAs available than jobs the District creates jobs for the PELAs.

I guess the simple reality of enrollment decline was never accounted for in this plan.

May 4, 2011 11:17 AM

Dr. Holley/ Lincoln

From "Start a new post":

Anonymous said...
Regina B Holley...

Holley is lather rinse repeat. Wasn't she the principal of Faison? How can that be considered a success?

I forgot administrators/CEO's are held to lower standards than the teachers. Blame the teachers elect the person that ran one of the worse schools in the district.

I don't get it.

May 4, 2011 12:48 AM

Questioner said...
No holley was principal of lincoln very different results.

May 4, 2011 5:32 AM

Kathy Fine said...
Anon 12:48

Dr. Holley was the principal at Lincoln K-8. During her tenure there, she has received accolades from the students, parents, and teachers for her leadership in educating a student body that is predominantly poor. She has won awards at the local and the state level.

She is concerned about the lack of sound educational basis for much of the PPS programming, the often poor implementation strategies and the fact that no one is being held accountable. She worries that too much money is being spent on consultants and PR, money that should be spent in the classroom.

I am still waiting to hear from the many of you that have been keen to the fact that we need a real change in leadership at the board level. We have a chance to get an experienced, articulate and dedicated advocate for our children and our schools, but we can't do it without a real grassroots effort. Please, we need your help. (

May 4, 2011 10:57 AM

"Single gender academies draw wrath of ACLU"

From the Tribune:

""The most troubling part of this is that there is clearly a lack of desire on the part of families to send their child to a single-gender school, and the district seems to be trying to force them into these academies through the back door," Rose said."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meeting tonight on plans for Westinghouse

Meeting of the Board's Education Committee, addressing plans for Westinghouse. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at Reizenstein at 6:00 pm.

Proposals to cap school tax increases

From the PG: