Saturday, June 18, 2011

How we got where we are Part V (January 2007)

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"By January 2007 the work of the reform agenda was in full swing.

Despite being handed a comprehensive and totally independent road map on how to trim administrative cost and improve service in the form of the 2005 MGT by the Commonwealth's Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (they defined the scope, selected the vendor and paid for it – 100% independent), Roosevelt never cracked the spine on his copy, instead preferring to bring in strategic teams from Broad or the Council of Great City Schools to re-study what MGT did over a 6 month period of time in just 24 to 48 hours, providing in written format the conclusions our Superintendent needed them to reach.

1. January 24, 2007: The Board approves the contract with Community Education Partners (CEP) “to create an alternative education program for 432 disruptive and low performing students in grades 6 through 12. These students are at risk for dropping out of school, possible referral to special education programs and not graduating. This program will provide an educational placement for these students, offering them a fresh start with academic and behavioral interventions culminating in their return to their sending schools better prepared to learn and be successful. The annual cost of this contract includes all educational and behavioral services for this population of students. In addition, the annual cost of the contract includes the amortization of building renovation costs. District staff and Ira Weiss's Office will continue to work with CEP staff to finalize a formal agreement outlining the details of this partnership. The operating initial term shall be from September 1, 2007 to June 30, 2013. Total cost not to exceed $3,500,000 annually for a period of six years.”

The District would never reach 432 students at the school and it remains a great mystery on how the number was arrived at, especially given the enrollment decline projections from the Commonwealth. Even if 432 was the right number in year one – it was not – how the Superintendent could justify keeping the estimate flat over six years perhaps helps to explain the very same poor grasp on statistics that would be exercised in the creation of the Principal Emerging Leadership Academy (PELA) or the Teacher Academies proposed for Brashear and King.

Public relations were central to the mission, with the Communications department receiving approval for “a contract with Fredette & Associates. Establishing a clear and uniform identity for the Pittsburgh Public Schools is an important component of our Excellence for All agenda. Currently, there are inconsistencies in District letterheads, envelopes, business cards and web sites, including use of different colors, layouts, and logo placement and design. Branding campaigns help organizations to develop consumer awareness and loyalty. Branding is becoming more common among school districts as we face increasing competition and
decreasing revenues. Fredette & Associates, with more than 20 years' experience in creative design, will work with Communications & Marketing and Technology to create an identity package that includes print pieces and website templates for schools and offices.”

$3 million in change orders approved, many stemming from the “allowable technique” deployed for right-sizing, reflecting the impatience of a Superintendent to provide adequate lead time to design and bid appropriately and to an agreed upon educational specification.

Thrilled with her performance, Roosevelt extends the date of Cassandra Richardson Kemp's contract as principal of Allderdice to June 30, 2007.

Without a formal request for proposals, the Board appoints the Law Offices of Ira Weiss as Solicitor."


Questioner said...

What is an MGT? Is a copy available? Is there a way of finding what recommendations were made in the MGT but disregarded? It almost sounds like there should be a concept of malpractice by administrators.

Anonymous said...


Follow this link -

Questioner said...

The link is to the MGT report- thank you. Looking quickly the report does seem to be detailed and well-thought out.

Anonymous said...

Here is the home page for MGT.

They seem alot more credible than the individual PPS hired for $50,000 a month to work out of his Squirrel Hill home through a company licensed by the State on the day he started working for PPS.

Anonymous said...

Mark Roosevelt got out when the getting was good...

I can't wait until it all comes out.

Anonymous said...

I used the url listed and got this message.

Directory Listing Denied