Friday, September 16, 2011

Agenda review from 9/14 now on TV

(9/16 10:00 am).


Questioner said...

By all reports there are serious problems at Westinghouse, but the school was barely mentioned at the Agenda Review.

Why would that be? Is it because the issue is not on the Agenda snd it so, should it be? Who prepares the Agenda anyway? Is the process of accepting grants and approving expenditures "busy work" that distracts the Board from the real issues that need to be addressed?

Joe the Barber said...

Isn't it funny that the district would open this school and then run it with a "by the seat of its pants" approach, place it in a horrible position by NOT having student schedules for almost three weeks and NOT having class rosters until just recently and then have central administrators do their "learning walk" at the building for a couple of days?
The resulting severe critique of administration and teachers at the school is downright funny.
Here's a suggestion---
Dr.Lane, put your money where your mouth is and make yourself acting principal until further notice. Bring your learning walk team and central administration in to run the proceedings, to ensure discipline and to teach some classes.
Come on, Dr.Lane...let's see you and your staff walk the walk.

Sure. Another group of ivory tower types who have all the answers but who themselves were miserable failures in the classroom.

And more kids suffer in the process.

Seen It All said...

Questioner wrote:

"By all reports there are serious problems at Westinghouse, but the school was barely mentioned at the Agenda Review.

Why would that be?"

The Agenda Review will never, ever contain anything that reflects poorly on central administration.

So the public WILL be informed about things like purchase of pencil sharpeners.

But the public WILL NOT be informed about the serious discipline and organizational problems in the schools.

Anonymous said...

i have to believe that all the boardmembers read this blog. Mrs. Colaizzi has been doing less eye rolling, that should be proof enough. There must have been some kind of agreement between the nine that they would save the most contentious conversations for executive sessions.

Anonymous said...

Do you think there are ANY contentious conversations that go on between and among any Board members (other than the issues that Mark Brentley brings forward in public sessions)?

Rubber stamps are never contentious. They all go along to get along primarily because, educationally (K-12) speaking, they are all very limited. This applies not only to the Board but to Central Administration, very few of whom seem to have a "clue" (pardon the term which unfortunately captures the essence of the situation.)

Anonymous said...

superintendent Lane stated that Pedro Noguera was scheduled to come to the District in September.

Does anyone know if Dr. Noguera, one of the nation's most important voices on equity and social justice in education, has been to Pittsburgh yet? Is the meeting a privately scheduled one for District Administrators or is it one that will and should be publicly held for the benefit of any and all who are working on behalf of the African American students in PPS where the disenfranchisement of Black students and the failure of PPS to educate is profoundly evidenced the District's Report on the "Achievement of African American Students.

We can only hope that PPS opens this meeting/discussion to the public so that ALL have the opportunity to hear and problem-solve with Dr. Pedro Noguera.

Any possibility of demanding an open meeting?

Anonymous said...

Here is what I want to know. If Westinghouse has about 80% new teachers that were basically displaced from somewhere else, why didn't they take the "Teaching Academy" teachers from Brashear and put them there? Shouldn't the most effective teachers be in a school that has a track record of poor performance?

Anonymous said...

**If Westinghouse has about 80% new teachers that were basically displaced from somewhere else**

Nonono, they didn't get displaced teachers, they interviewed and were able to choose their own staffing (just like Faison got to do as well). Most of the displaced teachers (also teachers who didn't want to apply to W'house, noting the lack of planning there) seem to have ended up filling the now more full UPrep.

Questioner said...

If a teacher was unable to stay at Brashear due to the teachers' academy and as a result interviewed for a job at Westinghouse, wouldn't that teacher still be "displaced" from Brashear?

As for choosing staffing, there were reportedly substitutes instead of teachers in some Westinghouse classes from the first day on- raising the question of how much actual choice they have.

Anonymous said...

The word from Westinghouse teachers is that there is total chaos there, the likes of which have never been seen in this District. The new teachers have no chance, as they do not know the kids and with no schedules, sometimes 40 kids in a class, and not always the same kids, then, sometimes none, and lots of walk-thrus by admin., no paper, lined or xerox, new curricula, new assignments, no prep time, irrelevant P.D., three and four teaching preparations, almost everyone teaching something they've never taught before, and criticism, criticism, criticism. Kids, even those who initially came in uniform and ready to learn, have lost hope and interest, have stopped wearing uniforms and taking every advantage of the "chaos."

Where are the Board members? Does anyone care? Would this be permitted at Allderdice?

Questioner said...

Remember how single gender classes were supposed to result in a school that resembled Ellis, or Central Catholic/ Oakland Catholic?

Anonymous said...

It behooved central administration to ensure that the opening of this school was planned to the tee and ready to roll long before the kids came back. No other school in this district---and certainly within the last decade---screamed for such an opening.
And with so many people in central administration, one would think that organization would be the key.
But as usual with PPS and especially when placed in the hands of central administration and/or PELAs, you have complete and utter dis-organization.
Dear taxpayer....need I say more?
And dear taxpayer, please remember that if it were not for teachers in this district, you would have absolutely NOTHING.

Pittsburgh teachers succeed in spite of outrageously poor central administrative leadership. It succeeds despite having absolutely no union leadership.
Shame that Westinghouse is going through such things, as the kids lose out again. Why doesn't it surprise me?

Anonymous said...

**If a teacher was unable to stay at Brashear due to the teachers' academy and as a result interviewed for a job at Westinghouse, wouldn't that teacher still be "displaced" from Brashear?**

There were also teachers having to move from Peabody,6-8 grade of Lincoln, and 6-8 grade of Faison, as well as other teachers just wanting to move -- Westinghouse was one of the earliest schools to interview and were able to pick and choose.

I don't believe the problem at Westinghouse is the teachers.

Anonymous said...

10:09 - You are exactly right! At this point in time there is not a teacher in the system who would not do a better job if left to their individual skills, professional knowledge, and 'feel' for their students.

Central Office has a mind control, behavior control philosophy and authority which seems derived from an antiquated psychologically Skinnerian approach to education. It will NEVER be productive and the longer this regime has a hold on PPS the quicker we will see its demise.

In this day and age, it is unfathomable that citizens, parents, community sit by and allow a school system fall apart, putting the future of our city at great risk. Unbelievable!