On another post Anonymous wrote:
"How we got where we are, part 16
April 23, 2008: The Board approves “Submission of an application for $1,248,491 from the U.S. Department of Education would support the new University Preparatory School's development as a "Smaller Learning Community...an environment in which a group of teachers and other adults within the school knows the needs, interests, and aspirations of each student well, closely monitors each student's progress, and provides the academic and other support each student needs to succeed"...Funds will be used to 1) provide ongoing professional development for teachers on the implementation of research-based math programs that are part of the Johns Hopkins Talent Development High Schools Model (Geometry Foundations and Algebra II Foundations) to work with students whose math skills are below grade level; 2) enable students to participate in two college campus visits per year; 3) cover the cost of stipends for up to 3 full-time KEYS Service Corps Americorps members who will provide tutoring and mentoring services; 4) contract with the University of Pittsburgh for the provision of Master of Teaching interns who will decrease the ratio of students to instructional staff; and 5) contract with the University of Pittsburgh for the provision of student tutors. The funding period shall run from August 1, 2008 to July 31, 2013.”
Wouldn't you just love to hear an assessment of this partnership from the Pitt's perspective?
If Gates can admit that small learning communities have been a failure, why can't PPS?
Do you really think the non-IB students were any better off not having Schenley stay intact?
Architectural contracts are authorized to prepare the Milliones and Reizenstein facilities to receive high school students. $2.5 million in construction contracts are awarded for Peabody to receive the Schenley robotics program. $3.7 million in contracts for work at Milliones. $2.8 million for Reizenstein.
Pause the tape for second – presuming Schenley was not inhabitable, wasn't the most cost effective strategy to combine the Schenley and Peabody feeder patterns and simply move Schenley intact to Peabody? This would have avoided all of the costs at Reizenstein and Milliones.
Mark Brentley calls this one right too: “if the issues are still somewhat undecided as to the finalizing the issue at Schenley, why do we continue to move forward, and spend, and spend, and spend...if we are looking at a temporary move, why not use the facilities that we have that are available? And we have available a ton of unused space in Westinghouse High School, we have space at Peabody...much more dollars less than this. And so my question is again: Have we, and why have we not, explored the possibilities of moving
those Schenley students to the Westinghouse facility?”
The Board also entered into a contract with “Rachel Curtis, former Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in the Boston Public School District...her expertise is being sought to provide program evaluations and recommendations for the Leadership Academy and Pittsburgh Emerging Leadership Academy (PELA) as a means of informing our work as we plan year three of the reform initiatives around leadership training.”
The contract with Curtis was approved the very same night that the Board hires a lead principal facilitator for the PELA program.
Brentley points out the duplication, “it appears to be some duplication of services here...with the serious financial situation we are facing, I would think we would be able to find a better use of those dollars.”
The Curriculum Shuffle returns, with $900,000 spent on a buffet of elementary math programs.
The Board approves a Gifted Pilot for five elementary schools. It's almost impossible to believe, but the model proposed is more expensive than the pullout program, which almost no districts in the Commonwealth or across the country deploy simply because it is too expensive."