On another post Anonymous wrote:
"How we got where we are, part 20, July 2008
July 23, 2008: The Board approves yet another contract with Focus on Results, this time for $2,400 per day to provide “training and consulting to 18 K-5 principals and their leadership teams around The Seven Areas of Focus - A Strategic Framework for Whole School Improvement. Through this initiative, principals and their teams will develop and refine the skills and strategies they need to lead effective, results-driven efforts at whole school reform. Three consultants will meet monthly for 8 months with principals and their leadership teams. These meetings will consist of professional development training in content and process so that the school based teams can return to their schools better equipped to engage in whole school reform. The consultants will also make school visits to provide additional support as the teams work with classroom teachers on the school's area of focus. The consultants will also plan and debrief with the K-5 executive director. In between visits, the consultants will provide distance coaching, planning, preparation, coordination and collaboration with principals.”
This contract of course begs the question, if we have Focus on Results for $268,650, exactly what are we paying the Executive Director for Elementary Education to do?
The Communications and Marketing team was back at the table, this time recommending a another contract with Dennis Moran Design to “create secondary graphics including: (1) color palette, (2) fonts, and (3) imagery. They will deliver marketing materials including: (1) a capabilities brochure, (2) audience inserts, (3) school summary, (4) letterhead and envelopes, (5) presentation and display boards and (6) electronic mechanical art, and (7) additional materials as needed. Responsibilities of the contractor include print production coordination and management, layout, image creation including illustration or photography, and delivering these complete materials on time and in accordance with the
marketing and communications plan.” All yours for the special price of $150 per hour!
The Fund for Excellence provides $614,000 to pay for an additional half year of cost for the America's Choice model for Accelerated Learning Academies (ALAs) and yet another $612,411to fund the Office of High School Reform (Derrick Lopez) for another school year. Memo to Fund for Excellence: how are you feeling about both of those investments today? Total busts.
The Board hires an Executive Director for Marketing and Communications. Patricia Kennedy would last less than one year working with Chief of Staff Lisa Fischetti. In a move that defies logic, the starting salary of this position is close to $30,000 more than Kennedy was paid for similar work at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
Although Pittsburgh had an Office of High School Reform staffed by a highly compensated Chief of High School Reform, duplication of services was the theme of the day, as the Board approves a contract with an Acting Executive Director of High Schools. How is that for organization chart design – the Chief of High School Reform reports to the Superintendent, the Executive Director of High Schools reports to the Deputy Superintendent. Makes perfect sense.
The financial statements again note that “significant efforts must be made to reduce operating costs”, urge “an even greater premium on cutting expenses”, and asks the Board to make the sale of closed school buildings a “priority.”
Mr. Brentley votes no on the entire Committee on Education report, explaining that “my vote represents zero confidence in the leadership of this Board, as well as this administration.”