On another post Anonymous wrote:
"How we got where we are, 4th installment, December 2006:
1. December 4, 2006: Prophetic comments from Board Member Randall Taylor at the reorganization meeting: “But I really do want to say to my fellow board members, I do believe that the lack of this board of asking questions, which is our basic fundamental responsibility here to ask questions. I feel that this board has failed to do that. And in that failure, they have failed not only this board in your responsibilities. I believe you failed our superintendent, administration. I think you failed our taxpayers and the public. I think most importantly, you failed our students.”
2. December 13, 2006: The District's empowerment plan is approved, including goals to improve academic achievement and specifically reduce the achievement gap.
Nearly five years later, neither our rank among PA school districts in high stakes testing has substantively improved, nor has the achievement gap shrunk.
Dr. Linda Lane is hired as Deputy Superintendent, enhancing the influence of the Board Foundation in the district.
3. December 19, 2006: $152,000 in grant funds are dedicated to Kaplan for professional development.
Essex 3 is hired to tabulate the results of the parent survey approved in November (I imagine contractor Matter and the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff were simply overwhelmed).
Another PR firm is hired to do print and website logos and templates.
Focus on Results receives its first contract from the district “to meet with selected staff to: 1) enhance the urgency and the cross-department processes necessary for accelerating academic performance, and 2) build teamwork and identify tools that will assist with monitoring the timeliness and quality of work for greater accountability and higher levels of customer service”, for $237,000, funded by a grant.
Although the grant would dry up, this FOR would milk the Pittsburgh cow for a few more years.
The Communications team hires Jpapa to “to complete an assessment and develop a comprehensive customer service plan that will increase the District's ability to provide timely and consistent responses to parent/community inquiries, minimize staff duplication, and capture data for analysis of common issues and trends to shape other district initiatives.”
Reductions are taken with the 2006 budget, although almost entirely in the Operations divisions (e.g. maintenance).
Right-Sizing seemed to have no impact on academic administration or the office of the chief of staff, other than to increase central office staffing.
Paulette Poncelet is hired as Chief of Research, although this seems to have no change on the amount of research contracts awarded to RAND and subsequently Mathmatica (once the Broad Academy connection migrated from RAND to Mathmatica).
MORE TO FOLLOW. Enjoy the reading; sorry today's history lesson is comming in pieces, there is a character limit to submissions. Installments 2, 3 and 4 comprise the 1st semester of the 2006-07 school year."