Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lawn furniture for Linda Lane

On another post Anonymous wrote,

"This actual email speaks for itself:

McMullen, Jeanne on behalf of Superintendent Office

To:Operations Office‎; zz-Admin Bldg Only-Offices‎; zz-Budget Development‎; zz-Communications and Marketing‎; zz-Executive Academic Cabinet‎; zz-Executive Cabinet‎; zz-Facilities-ServiceCtr‎; zz-Finance‎; zz-Human Resources‎; zz-Office of Strategic Initiatives‎; zz-Office of Technology‎; zz-OTE‎; zz-Payroll‎; zz-Research Assessment and Accountability
Thursday, August 25, 2011 12:15 PM

Dear Central Office Team,
Thanks to the purchasing prowess of Leon Webb, I am pleased to announce the acquisition of low cost lawn furniture for the Administration Building courtyard for your use. With the cooperation of Mother Nature, we hope to have several months of pleasant weather to still take advantage of this option this year. I appreciate the extra mile folks are going to compensate for the loss of many valued individuals over the past two months. We all recognize that fresh air and sunshine do wonders for the soul, and the good news is that they are free!
Thanks to the “New Staff” group who met last year and provided this suggestion.
We expect to have a gas grill added by the end of this week. It is my hope that we can be conscientious about maintaining the grill and its utensils for the enjoyment of all.
Linda Lane"


Questioner said...

"...fresh air and sunshine do wonders for the soul"

- But yet we send some students to windowless buildings or buildings with little outdoor space.

Voice of Reason said...

This is the last straw.

There is no shame at central administration, no shame at all.

What's next? Will Linda Lane be hiring violinists to serenade her during lunch?

If you are a city resident, please, please find out who is running against the incumbent in your district.

Contact the challenger, and offer to help.

With the sole exception of Mark Brentley, the current board must be replaced. Support the challengers!

As the saying goes, evil flourishes when good people do nothing.

And if you are a city teacher, please support Mark Sammartino, who is running a slate against the current corrupt union staff.

If you are a teacher, go to Sammartino's website, read what he has to say, and volunteer to help!

Anonymous said...

This reads like a bad joke. Who is free? The lost "valued employees" or the "New staff" ?

Chillin' & Grillin' at PPS. Why are they trying to be Google when we are in serious trouble?

Anonymous said...

Excellence for All...Hot Dogs for Some...


The only the missing is a Post Gazette editorial applauding Dr. Lane's "courage to grill."

Questioner said...

There is something about administrators lounging on chairs at cookouts at Board offices that is inconsistent with a district urgently focused on raising levels of student achievement.

Anonymous said...

When have we ever heard about WHAT is being done or will be done to improve student achievement?

WHAT are the skills that students do not have based on the results of all of the testing? Again, what specific skills deficiencies must be addressed (not just generalities, such as reading comprehension, or algebraic concepts)?

HOW will the skill deficiencies be addressed, specifically?

Perhaps if parents or community knew what specific skills deficits their children had they could do the work of the schools and teach it!


Questioner said...

It is pretty unusual to hear anyone (Board members, administrators, concerned citizens) talking about PPS but not academics.

Anonymous said...

Who, What, Where on this site is the "talking" about academics that in not "unusual?"

In specifics? Not generalities? When? Where? What? (and Who, even "anonymous")?

A lot of talk here about teachers, parents, communities, (unruly and unmotivated students), administrators, school buildings, closings, consultants, exorbitant costs, Central Office, board members, etc. But where is the talk about academic skills strengths/deficits (outside of CAPA, Obama, and Sci-Tech)?

Questioner said...

All of those topics impact academics and are generally discussed in connection with the goal of increasing academic achievement.

Anonymous said...

Where are deficiencies discussed a poster asks? Well, there is a meeting held in buildings to comply with provisions for Tille I referred to as the Annual Title I Meeting. These meetings are still required but since they generally attracted few parents I believe they are rolled into the general back-to-school kickoff or are a included as an agenda item for the first PSCC meeting. Does that seem correct? Some schools do a very thorough job of discussing deficiencies at PSCC meetings. If you listen you might hear something like "we can see that 55/76 kids in 6th grade are not proficient in their understanding of fractions and can't convert fractions to decimals." That is pretty specific.

Now about the lawn me understand.

Anonymous said...

The administration building cafeteria was closed. This furniture was purchased to provide an inexpensive way to make life a little more pleasant for those still with us who must step up and do more.

Anonymous said...

Really? I was convinced until this point that this had to be a parody, couldn't be true!

You do realize that teachers don't have anything like this, right? If they're lucky, there's a functional fridge and microwave in a lounge with an old table. Or they can eat from the school cafeteria, but that's not the same food you were talking about I'm sure.

Who has time to GRILL?! Most teachers barely have time to eat.

Questioner said...

The Board of Directors had its kitchen remodeled lately, very nicely. Most Board members are not there at lunchtime. Couldn't Board employees use that kitchen?

Anonymous said...

Response from Dr. Lane in response to how the lawn furniture was funded:
No taxpayer funds were used.

Anonymous said...

The Ivory tower folk have time to grill? I kill my self every day, no time to eat or sit down.

It is a joke, these people, who cares how it was paid for. I work in a dirty, dingy, filthy, hot, overcrowed hole. Teachers bring roaches home, no kidding.

Excellence for the Elite Broadies.

I have to buy cleaning supplies for my room every year.


Pissed Off

Bulldog Forever said...

It would be a total lie to say that no tax dollars were used. Go ahead and cover your backtrail now; whether you move the charge, make a donation or what have you, there's enough of a paper trail to prove your original intentions.

In fact, maybe we need an explanation from Dr. Lane on why the Purchasing Manager was dispatched to a home improvement store during business hours to buy your lawn furniture.

Elementary Principal said...

So let me get this straight.

As an Elementary Principal I am told I have to pay for any and all drops necessary to connect the new Xerox machines out of my school's site-based budget.

It wasn't my idea to go from contracts that cost about $600,000 a year based on advertised, public bids to a $2 million per year no bid contract with Xerox.

On top of that, I am told that the installation of the new machines will not start until late September, yet I am further instructed that I cannot buy any more cartridges until the new machines are installed.

It used to be that are copiers were installed over the summer or over the Christmas break so schools and their teachers would not miss a beat.

So while I am now deciding what supplies to not buy for my kids because I have to use those funds for Mark Campbell's copiers I have the added insult that Dr. Lane, the Broad Residents, the human capital managers, PELAs and, of course, our just hired Archivist will be grilling hot dogs and lounging at Bellefield.

Is there not one good woman/man in this town that will speak up for our kids?

Please pass the mustard said...

This might be a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps PPS can sell hot dogs and shaved ice to pay for the Executive raises received one day before Governor Corbett released his proposed budget.

Old Timer said...

Dear Elementary Principal,

As I read the board minutes each month, I'm struck that more teachers than ever are either resigning, being terminated or being furloughed.
Strike teachers off of the list of those who can "speak up."
We can, but why risk our jobs, especially in light of a RISE process that can target us for literally anything.
As I read the testimony of public hearings that take place regarding assorted issues, I make note of the fact that the board has embraced the tactic of allowing the general public/taxpayer/parent to vent....let some time go by...and do NOTHING.
Strike parents and the general public off of the list.
We have a governor who is an opponent of public education.
We have a mayor who never set foot in a city school--nor did anyone in his family--during his own days in academia.
Strike government types off of the list.
We have a media that simply repackages and reads any press release that comes from the press office of PPS on the air.
They ask no questions. Ever.
Strike media off of the list.

Please...tell me who will speak for the kids and why it should matter to the current secret society running PPS????

Anonymous said...

"As an Elementary Principal I am told I have to pay for any and all drops necessary to connect the new Xerox machines out of my school's site-based budget."

That makes no zero sense.. Either Campbell has no idea how to negotiate, is woefully uninformed or simply too lazy to care about centralizing & reducing costs.

Veteran Teacher said...

Could be the start of a new Communications and Marketing campaign: "One burger at a time."

Maybe the on-call videographer hired this summer can produce a motivational shoot almost as mind-numbing as "We Believe."

I'm thinking we "We Marinate" would be a fine title.

Anonymous said...

Well, if Dr. Lane is spending her day grilling, at least she won't be making those incredibly moronic and condescending taped phone messages to send to parents weekly (and sometimes 2 or 3 times a week!) about how we should dress our children for inclement weather.

Anonymous said...

I think I like the tag line, "Empowering Flame-Broilers" or "The Pathway to the Picnic" much more, vet.

Anonymous said...

linda lane buying lawn furniture and griling in the court yard is just another form of symbolism that she does not give a hoot about our tax dollars. She could careles and she does not understand how laying off all these people hurt our district adn our kids education. She does not get it and is showing disrespect for the workers that were laid off. My co-workers are hurting now. How are they going to pay their bills and take care of their family while she is in the court yard eating her bar b que chicken.

She took care of her adminstrative people though by giving them the following rasies the day before the governor announced his budget. French got $13822,Lippert $8251, Otuwa $5251, Camarda $10909, Spolar $10500. And she knew we didnt have the money. Thats just wrong. She has to go.

The only thing she is hanging around for is to get her 5 years in so she can get a big fat pension from the tax payers. Dont let her do this to us. If she makes it to october she will have enough sick leave and vacation time to get her 5 years in and run back to Iowa with our tax dollars.

Questioner said...

Word is that a raise is in the works for the superintendent. Would the raise translate to a higher pension paid for years to come? Is EVERYONE it it for themselves?

Anonymous said...

Yes that is the reason they were trying to get that raise in for Dr. Lane last month. But she felt the heat and pressure and called it off for the august meeting. She will try to bring it back up in september or october if we are not watching.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lane is not going back to Iowa. I heard she will be going to Antioch College to be Dean of students. A college that does not even have any students. ha ha. Oh she has pull the wool over everyones eyes dont let the hair style fool you.

I think because she is a african american and we are all very proud of this district courage and accomplishment to hire its first fullly apointed african american female superintendent. Remember Hellen Faison was interim. The people have let her get way with doing things that we would not allow another superintendent to get away with.

This is the cleverness of Bill Issler and Jean Finks madness. I gotta give it too them. The white community does not want to go to hard on her for fear that they will be labeled a racist. And Black community dont want to go hard on her because they fear what they may get next and are still proud of this historical accomplishment.

Issler is making sure she is the one that is doing all the dirty work to the African American community so race can not be a issue for the ways things have turned out. And the other african american board members except mark Brentley are to uninformed to notice it.They are just proud to be on TV and are hurting their own communities. That is why they are voting off Dr Allen.

Pension Expert said...

"Would the raise translate to a higher pension paid for years to come?"

If Dr. Lane's pension is like that of any other board employee's (and not some sort of sweetheart deal), then the answer to your question is yes, absolutely.

Dr. Lane's pension would be based on the average of her three highest years salary.

So a raise would increase that average and so would increase her pension.

In case you're curious, her pension would also be based on her years of service in Pennsylvania. Five years of service is the minimum required (which, in my opinion, is way too low).

Age also plays a part. Someone applying for a pension after five years of service and who was 60 would get much more than someone who applied with five years of service and who was 40.

Rigby Reardon said...

Anon at 1:37, are you insane?
I mean, really...are you completely insane?

Playing the race card in this issue?

Look, maybe you haven't been keeping score, but Lane is doing exactly what her mentor, Mark Roosevelt did. Why make the ridiculous comment that she has been given carte blanche because of her skin color? Look at your's 2011.

I had high hopes for Lane. I'd hope she'd remember what it means to be a teacher. Alas, she has sold out to the ideologies that exist among people like French, Lippert, Otuwa and numerous others.

It transcends skin color.

It's all about big money. It's always about big money. This district became corrupted by Gates and Broad and the gang. It sold its soul for national notoriety, first by hiring a corporate leader with the name Roosevelt and not thinking about kids in urban classrooms and their best interests, and then by accepting money from a big that has a social agenda...and again, forgetting about kids.

But please...keep your bigotry to yourself.

Anonymous said...

The pension vesting time is now ten years for new employees. But Dr. Lane is grandfather and will get the higher amount. Lopez was another one that attempted to hang on until he made it to 5 years to get the pension but was not able to make it. Him and Lane fail out because he began stabing her in the back.So she got rid of him. But sent him straight to WHS to screw that situation up even further.

But all he has to do is hook up with a charter school or another public school or back at pps for another year and he would qualify for his pension. Dont be suprised if he shows up and the urban league charter school for a year or back at pps and the HCV pays his salary and but runs his payroll through the school inorder to qualify for the pension.

But back to the bar b que chicken at the adm building, that is a true example of everything that is wrong with this adm. She does not care what the blue colar employees thinks and is only trying to impress Isler and crew. He has allowed her to tasted real power for the first time in her career and she wants to show the majority her loyalty by destroying the AA community and dreams for givening her a shot at the helm.

Questioner said...

Would everyone please just make your points without questioning the sanity or intelligence of others posting on the blog.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances we will see someone around the table at the next board meeting give a special thank you to the staffers responsible for the lawn furniture? That people or departments are singled out for oompleting a project (Campbell for negotiating recently) has become tired. Can't A+ make them stop by giving them a bad grade on the boardwatch report card? It is also frustrating when a boardmember singles out some one they know personally either from their own experience in a building or because his/her kid goes to a school and praises that person. How many might never have taught a "connected" kid to get a special shout out at a board meeting but deserve the recognition for teaching and helping all the unconnected kids.

Anonymous said...

California Superintendent "gives back" pay. Hint, hint Lane and the gang.

Anonymous said...

How can Lane and her crownies live with themselves. These people have no Souls. We need immediate change now!

Would we be better off if the state came in and took over?

What are our options, should I move out of the city?

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:37 - YOU are paying attention! It is fascinating to watch Board meetings. One can learn a lot, too much, in fact, from the interactions, words, eyes, faces, physical movements, etc.

A lot there to learn about these people who are running/controlling a district of 26,000 children/students.

With the exception of Mark Brentley there is little in the way real concern, passion, ideas, questions, or votes put forth by anyone that challenge the lack of academic achievement for the majority of PPS students, most particularly the Black students.

The words are largely vacuous.

Just Passing By said...

anon 2:54 said: California Superintendent "gives back" pay. Hint, hint Lane and the gang.

Anon 2:54, you are really on to something.

Perceptions matter, they matter big time in large organizations such as the PPS.

If circumstances require people at the bottom to be laid off, then those at the top - who are already richly compensated - should take a pay freeze.

And those at the top should come into the schools occasionally (maybe twice a month each) not to observe or to criticize, but to actually TEACH a mainstream class or two.

All of this would do wonders for morale, and would build team spirit.

I am reminded of the famous, and successful, US general Omar Bradley. He spent time at the front, and he ate the same rations that the foot soldiers ate.

Do I expect the central administrators to do anything that wise?

Well, it's more likely that I'll be appointed Board GrillMaster first, as remote as that might be.

Anonymous said...

A+ Schools will never give PPS a bad grade because of their connections with the Administration and Board members. Casey Harris, A+ executive, is now pleading help for the Catholic come the vouchers, no thanks to the Chelsea Wagner connection!

Those who support public schools need to stand strong. We can beat this!

P.S. Jeb Bush is somehow connected with the Propel schools I believe. I am not sure, though.

Anonymous said...

**And those at the top should come into the schools occasionally (maybe twice a month each) not to observe or to criticize, but to actually TEACH a mainstream class or two. **

Wouldn't that be lovely? Especially if people from the school weren't left in the room to "help out." Have them do it alone, like the teachers do, or like a sub. It would be such fun to watch them try to follow their scripts in regular classroom settings.

Anonymous said...

Wagner is not pro-voucher, at least not in the current incarnation of the proposal from our governor. But your point that many local politicians were educated in parochial school is not something to be taken lightly and certainly screams caution. Personally, I would like to see the rule on vouchers to be "no give backs." If you take a kid into your system they are yours and this should apply to private and parochial schools. Let me know when a plan includes that provision.

Anonymous said...

"anon 2:54 said: California Superintendent "gives back" pay. Hint, hint Lane and the gang.

Anon 2:54, you are really on to something.

Perceptions matter, they matter big time in large organizations such as the PPS.

If circumstances require people at the bottom to be laid off, then those at the top - who are already richly compensated - should take a pay freeze."

That is not how they operate. It is advanced dysfunctional! Change this, change that..They need this NOW, nevermind scrap 2 days of overtime on workers (and bottles of xanax), 1 day later they need something completley different finished in 2 hours to make it look pretty for a meeting.

They are hamsters spinning their wheels, central office creates a chaotic, frantic and stressful work environment on purpose. If things go smoothly it would make sense to decrease employees. If things are always changing and in crisis mode it is easier for them to justify increasing central office staff. It is by design.
want prettier