Sunday, May 8, 2011

Competitive board races

From the PG:


Questioner said...

It is unfortunate that Mr. Isler is not being challenged, when he is probably the board member most responsible for bringing in Broad. The district could benefit from much more discussion about the pros and cons of the Broad influence in Pittsburgh.

Questioner said...

Ms. Freeman presented a persuasive case at a board meeting against proposed new charter schools based on charters' tendency to send problem students away, but the article notes that she sent her own child to a charter high school.

Anonymous said...

It would be difficult to criticize anyone with an option to send their child outside of PPS, if they were assigned to Oliver, Peabody, Langley, Perry, Westinghouse, Carrick where education for Black students has been significantly substandard.

Yes, PPS is seeing a decline in enrollment with some of the worst achievement levels in the state.

People are choosing alternatives. Would you do differently if the PPS assignments/feeder patterns/choices were out of your control?

Questioner said...

But should she not then support other parents seeking to make the same choice?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, that's what she seems to me to be doing by running for school board. PPS needs change!

Otherwise, we should all be finding alternatives.

Now that Propel has it first school within the PPS District, perhaps Propel expansion is the direction we should be advocating, since they are public but NOT controlled by Broad/Gates and are offering better and better educational venues.

P.S. I never thought I be suggesting that; but, the priority must be the best education for all children. That is not happening in PPS. BUT, IT SHOULD BE!

Anonymous said...

Mark Brently is the only one who has not even sipped the Broad koolaid.

Questioner said...

But she does not seem to be supporting Propel, at least as it is currently operated.

Anonymous said...

Right! Mark Brentley is a man of conscience, integrity, and strong advocacy for the most disenfranchised.

It is a puzzle that he cannot move anyone at PPS forward. But, maybe he is the only one who has not sold his soul.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Ms Freeman and I certainly did not mean that she was supporting Propel. My only point was that we all should be supporting public education (PPS), but not at the expense of education for our children. If Propel can do it better, (and they are demonstrating that they can), perhaps the only option for those with children is Propel or anywhere other than PPS.

It is certainly hoped that anyone running for school board does so with the goal of improving education for our children. That is the ultimate goal, right?

Yet, given what we have ( with the exception of Mark Brentley) who knows? The questions are multitudinous!

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is If the current (Broad/Gates) PPS administration CANNOT provide equity and excellence for ALL of its children, we need to turn it over to those CAN.

Anonymous said...

We seem to ask continually for details from exit interviews when kids leave PPS. True that getting anyone to sit for or respond to an exit interview/questionnaire must involve a lot of effort. Are there any details available on kids who started a charter and were either asked to withdraw and return to the assigned school or who withdrew because they could not conform to a different mode of operation in the charter? There must be kids who returned to their feeder schools at least at the high school level for various reasons.

Anonymous said...

The statistics on IF and why students from Charters would be very interesting given the claim that it happens. It seems doubtful, however given the great pride most charters take in being able to educate those that PPS has been unsuccessful in educating, it is highly likely that the reverse is true.

Excuses from either public or charter in this regard are absolutely unacceptable, since ALL does mean ALL when talking about kids, any kids, being educated. No exceptions!

Anonymous said...

Yes, charter schools are public since they receive taxpayer money. The difference is that these charter schools are managed by private companies and educational groups (similar to Broad/Gates) for profit and the taxpayers money is leaving the state. Propel's home base is in Virginia. Other charter schools are based out of Texas, like Kipp. The CEOs live in New York.

Where's the logic in this when my state income tax and property tax are supporting other states and not the state in which you or I live?!

Anonymous said...

That's a broad brush you are using 8:10. There are other charters that do not operate out of state, but right here, successfully, locally, in low-income urban neighborhoods.

BUT, why does the focus or point always move to money and not education? We pay an extraordinary amount per pupil in PPS, with no results. That should be the focus instead of criticizing the fact the some of our children are lucky enough to be actually educated in schools where people know how to do what they are being paid to do.

Let's focus on a demand for PPS to educate all of its children given the taxes we pay, instead of debating.

Board members and those running always prioritize
money/cost/taxes, NEVER education. Until that is the priority and we see success all of the money is being wasted. We allow this to happen. Why?

Anonymous said...

Why do charter schools get to blame previous schools because their test scores suck too?

Whether a school meets federally-mandated student achievement goals is based on the number of students who score as advanced or proficient, meaning they showed a solid understanding of the material. About 75 percent of Pennsylvania public school students scored advanced or proficient in reading and math, compared with about 59 percent of charter school students.

"The discussion of quality schools always revolves around a test," said Wertheimer. "At our school, our mission wasn't to raise test scores; it was to graduate students with great talents and abilities, and for them, a year after they've left here, to be successful at what they're doing."

Anonymous said...

Wertheimer's is correct, the mission is not to raise test scores, it is to graduate students who have developed their talents and abilities (all students possess the rudiments, but not often not identified much less nurtured). When PPS moves away from "one-size-fits-all" and develops every students' talents and abilities the test scores will skyrocket, simultaneously!

Ask PPS to bring Wertheimer and Wooten and Walker to the table to share local Charter School strategies on how to develop talents and abilities among ALL students, not just CAPA, Sci-Tech and Obama IB.

And believe it or not, I am not an advocate for Charter Schools. What's notable is that they are educating their students to much higher and successful levels than PPS. There is something PPS can learn from that.

Old Timer said...

HDNET's Dan Rather Reports did a two hour show on Detroit Public Schools last night that everyone here should watch. DPS's $1.2 billion annual budget provided a glimpse of modern crime and graft for all to see $47 million disappearing. Contracts worth millions awarded to friends and family. Incredible, outrageous purchases that once they were shipped, disappeared from schools.
And most pointedly, a school board that shouted down parents and superintendents alike, and one that closed ranks and smashed questions that delved into their dealings.
This has gone on for a decade.

While I don't think PPS is anything like DPS in terms of corruption and academic shame, some investigative reporter should spend time looking at this district in all regards...from purchases and expenses, to top heavy administrative hirings, to board alliances, to the failures of some schools, to dubious programs like PELA, enacted at taxpayer expense.

Maybe a true activist type of board member can move some rocks.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think crime and fraud is only for Detroit?

Check your April Board minutes.

There literally was a company just founded, running out of a house in Squirrel Hill, that was just awarded a $50,000 per month contract to do financial analysis.

The corporate filing to found this company was not filed at the State until AFTER PPS had already posted their April agenda review materials on line.

The company to do this day does not even have a website.

We're for sale right now, no bid needed; skip the references, just live in the right neighborhood or have the right Gates/Broad connections.

Anonymous said...

Who is the "true activist type" that will move rocks?

Mark Brentley, alone, has pushed very hard to move rocks only to have a united effort hurling rocks back at him (with support from media._

However, some of us believe that even mountains can be moved, so let's join Mark Brentley.