Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Certain PPS among schools that qualified but did not apply for school improvement funding

Anonymous wrote:

"I do not understand the explanation given by French. PPS is in debt big time...


"Education chief slams 101 schools
Grants released for 26 institutions that applied, but most eligible ignored the funds... Edit

Local grants awarded announced on Tuesday were $1.29 million each for Highlands High School and Pittsburgh Faison PreK-8 in Homewood and $3 million for Big Beaver Falls High School... Edit..

In addition, in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Murray, Northview, and Arsenal elementary schools and Arsenal Middle School qualified but did not apply. In the Philadelphia School District, more than 50 schools qualified but did not apply.

Jeannine French, chief of school performance for the Pittsburgh schools, said the district was "very strategic" about its applications in the second round of the funding because it wanted to ensure that it successfully manages all of the grant money received last year and this year."

Can anyone explain this juggling of funds while laying off teachers & closing schools?"


Questioner said...

The article explains that

"The grants are aimed at schools where a substantial number of students are performing below grade level, where substantial progress on state assessments has not occurred or where graduation rates of less than 60 percent have existed for at least two of the last three years."

and that Murray and Northview qualified but applications were not submitted. Possible explanation: it would be difficult for the district on the one hand to claim great success for ALA's and on the other hand to admit that substantial progress on state assessments has not occurred.

Anonymous said...

They did not apply for grants they were eligible for.

Anonymous said...

Closing a school and moving the students to a more successful school is one of four strategies you can deploy under SIG.

Anonymous said...

The reason why they didnt apply for the SIG grant from certain schools is because they knew that they were going to be closing those schools. PPS made decisions way in advance of the community input reguirement and public hearing reguirements.

For example PPS created the East End advisory committee supposedly to look at the east end school situation. But in reality they forced the group in to thinking they had to decided between the closing of westinghouse or peabody. But PPS already knew they were closing Peabody because they cant close Westinghouse because of the Tremedous bond debt on the building. That is why they didnt apply for the SIG grant for peabody.

However, PPS did apply for the SIG Grant for Westinghouse in May long before the board even voted in August to make Westinghouse a single gender school. The PPS SIG application to the state had already called Westinghouse a single gender school long before the committe thought they came up with the idea. Oh the cleverness of Lopez, gotta love it. The Committee got used and was made to think they really had done something worthly, when in reality they were simply a step in the process to sneak by the state PDE. He even out smarted the state.

Look at the other schools that PPS didnt apply for that could have gotten the grant. I bet there are similar reasons. Dr. Lane knew PPS would be either closing those buildings or changing those programs. But to close a school you must have public hearings and community input. The same with the SIG grant, it reguires community input. Thats why all those fake meetings with attendence sheets are passed out and used.

Finally this is why we know PPS will be closing other schools in the our neighborhoods like the hill and Northside because they qualified for the SIG but PPS didnt apply.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons they didnt apply for all the schools is the money may be used over three years, and the receiving schools undergos an extensive monitoring and documentation process in each of the three years in order to get the continued funding. PPS knew that they would be watched and didnt want that type of scrutiny.

In addition, a few of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Murray, Northview, and Arsenal elementary schools and Arsenal Middle School qualified but did not apply. They knew they were going to close this schools its just a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Since Fasion was awarded $1.29 million for a PreK-8 in Homewood does PPS have to give some of the money back, since it is now a K-5 school? Didnt PPS close the middle school at cresent and send 6-8 graders to Westinghouse and Uprep?

Anonymous said...

Cresent was never officially a called a middle school athough it had the smell of a middle school. It had 5-8 graders, in a different buiding, and did adminstrators and teachers. But the called it fasion two or an extension of the fasion campus.

This was done so PPS woud not have to report to the state and the feds that they had a failing middle schools too. So they still called it a elementary school just in another buiding. Yeah right. And the people went for that logic. PPS did the same thing to lincoln Elementary school.

They put the lincoln, eastliberty 5-8 graders in a different building, Belmar in a different part of town, Homewood, and still called it linncoln 2. And the people went for it and never questioned why it was not called a middle school. Wow.

Both were done to make it appear that we had two failing schools instead of 4. Oh and they bused those same lincoln school kids to belmar, but when they sent them to Westinghouse 1 block away they have to walk. Thats Dangerous, and opens PPS up to liabilty issues.

Anonymous said...

Well PPS for the Fiason school at a minimum would have to let the state know that the school has changed from a K-8/middle school fake out, to a real elementary K-5. PPS would need to amend the SIG application.

As far as Bus transportation the State of PA pays for that. The rule is If a student is in elementary or middle school and they live more than 1.5 miles away from the school they are entiled to transportation. So PPS either violated the 1.5 mile reguirement then they are doing it now. My assumption is the did it then when they bused the students from lincoln's feeder pattern to send them by bus to Belmar in homewood. I think that is less than 1.5 miles.

If the state was aware they did this, PPS would be in trouble and would have to pay the money back. So hush child, this is between me and you.

However, because the principal of lincoln school at the time was well aware of the dangerous travel routes from eastliberty to homewood she made that a condition of the move. She fought to make sure those kids were not in danger and wouldnt have it no other way. But apparently the same is no longer true for new pela principals and the 6-8 students have to walk all the way to homewood.

Please! Its far more dangerous now, and Lane is letting them walk to school. What are they going to do when it gets dark? Are you kidding me? Its a nightmear waiting to happen. Is there anyone out here that can help these parents and students get a good education under the safest conditons possible? If you are here please help now!

Anonymous said...

*The rule is If a student is in elementary or middle school and they live more than 1.5 miles away from the school they are entiled to transportation. So PPS either violated the 1.5 mile reguirement then they are doing it now.*

There's a dangerous route exception. That can refer to traffic dangers or to dangerous neighborhoods.

My guess is that the new administrators at W'house were "encouraged" to not fight for those extra buses, thus saving the district money. I'm sure if something really horrible happens, they might change their minds.

You know, it's MOST important to save/cut the dollars that affect the children directly. :-p

Anonymous said...

The dangerous route exception really applys to routes that deal with rail road crossing, and country roads in rural areas. To declare a road dangerous because of prior criminal activity is extremely tough. But a quick call to the board transportation office or the state would confirm how lincoln school was able to do it. I bet the board gives you a vague answer.

Oh and its 2.0 miles for high school.

The 50 African American students that are being put out of Allderdice feeder pattern from easthills and made to go to Westinghouse are being bused. The high school students from that area are giving bus passes.

Anonymous said...

Are some of these easthills kids going to the Iamni charter school?

Anonymous said...

Imani is not a charter school, it it is a private school. We do not get public charter dollars. Students are on private pay. Our students come from all over the city but the largest percentage is from the east. However, there are some kids coming to Imani Christian academy from East Hills, but not an over abundance.

The reference above regarding the East Hills students being removed from the Allderdice feeder pattern, deals with PPS's decision to make Allderdice Whiter and Westinghouse Blacker. This is Re-segration at its finest. And we are very diappointed in Dr. lane for allowing this to happen, and share this with her at a public hearing and now we are very sorry we supported her promotion.

Dr. Lane is not from here so she is not aware or could careless about the strugles the NAACP and the Urban League put forth to stop PPS from segregating our schools before her arrival. She is, as we all are, feeling the pride of her promotion. But from my standpoint she is pretty much willing to do any thing to impress and reward the people who promoted her to Superintendent,even at the expense of hurting our kids education and safety.

A prime example of this is what PPS is doing to our 6-8 grade Black students from East hills who were assigned to feed into Allderdice. PPS is sending then into hostle territory, homewood, knowing there are revalries. They have been assigned to Westinghouse, without our input from East Hills at all. And our Black students from East Hills who our currently in Allderdice are being phased out one class at a time. There are no EastHills 9th graders in there now, and the 10-12graders are being phased out year by year. I guess PPS did it like this so our kids can finish out playing basket ball and sports with the lower grade point averages(1.5)that PPS just passed. This will help boast Allderdice's sports record for a couple more years.

Anonymous said...

The most significant fact regarding the lack of PPS ability to manage this district successfully is the fact that there is no representation in central office that was successful in Homewood, the Hill, East Hills, Garfield, Lincoln-Larimer, etc. or that even demonstrates one clue that the care or understand anything about what it would take. It is that simple. PPS leadership represents a very different set _____ outside urban Pittsburgh, outside the state of PA, outside the academic repertoire, outside the race, (for the most part), outside the kinds of community/urban knowledge and commitment necessary to know how and what needs to change.

That is no doubt why they need so many consultants who for the most part fall into the same "outside" categories just cited.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! I never wanted to be a "back in the day" person, but honestly,people that showed leadership skills in the trenches became administrators. Teachers knew that when they gave advice, it was from experience. There was instant respect on both sides. Many principals had been union leaders- and didnt take grievances personally because they knew that most of them were for benefit of students. In fact, principals would tell reps to call the union on issues if they came down badly from above. Administrators were for the most part- teachers to the core. Definitely a different world!

Anonymous said...

Thanks 7:02. You "get" it!