Sunday, September 18, 2011

How we got where we are Part XXIII (October 2008)

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"How we got where we are, part 23, October 2008:

October 22, 2008: We start this edition with a $32,000 amendment to the Campos Research marketing contract to “to expand the services provided through the original contract to include the addition of two statistically valid representative telephone survey projects among parents/caregivers that will inform the assessment process for the District's ALA schools as well as the assessment process being done to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons why parents may be choosing other educational options or leaving the City."

Miller and Vann are reconfigured to send all grade 6-8 students to University Prep.

Board authority is granted to “make the necessary arrangements with the David Lawrence Convention Center (1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15222) in order to accommodate approximately 3,000 PPS employees for a common half day professional development session on January 27, 2009 for a total cost not to exceed $89,000.00. Having all District professional staff together at one time will build coherency and continuity around the district-wide academic initiatives as we support and commit to ensuring that students will be Promise-Ready.”

Old friends from Boston paid us a visit, with the Board voting to “enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with High School Futures, Inc. for the purpose of developing leadership teams in our high schools consisting of principals and teachers. Services will consist of developing a curriculum for leadership training and data-analysis training to provide over a period of 15 days of professional development.”

Mr. McCrea points out that High School Futures is “it is a new program, it has no history at all.”

Feeling short-handed in the Office of the Chief of Staff, the Board approves “a contract with four (4) Journalism and Communication Interns from local colleges and universities to provide assistance to Communications and Marketing staff in gathering and preparing information for publication of good news stories about District and school activities and events. Stories will be submitted for publication in community newspapers, Pittsburgh Educator and the District website. Additionally, interns will take video and digital photos to accompany news stories.”

Not satisfied yet, the Board also hires another secretary for the Office of the Chief of Staff.

The District enters into an agreement with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh to assist with the marketing and sale of closed school buildings.

A $294,000 bid is awarded for masonry restoration at Fort Pitt.

Roughly a month before Broad Superintendent's Academy graduate Paul Gill, Chief Operations Officer, announces the end to his less than one year tenure at Pittsburgh, the Board rushes to approve a reorganization of the Facilities and Plant Operations divisions.

Derrick Lopez is name Acting Executive Director of Secondary Schools, but keeps a monthly stipend as Chief of High School Reform.

The financial statements again warn that “significant efforts must be made to reduce operating costs” and urge “an even greater premium on cutting expenses.”

Mark Brentley speaks against the continued shuffle of Hill District students: “it would really be helpful if -- at some point, if it is the leadership of this Board, or if it is through the Broad Foundation, or wherever it is from, that they tell us early on what is the plan for the poor black children in this District, and just tell us straight up. Because to continue to move, and move, and then change, has negative impact on those is unspeakable, it is outrageous, it is terrible, and it definitely does not fit under the slogan that is thrown around here, the Excellence for All.”

Mrs. Colaizzi cheerleads for the Board majority: “U Prep is an unbelievable educational opportunity, we should be very proud of it, we should be looking at it as a future opportunity for our children that otherwise maybe they would never have received.”"

1 comment:

Questioner said...

U Prep... another school we hear very little about at Board meetings. Have any Board members been interested enough to ask how many of the students who started in the Fall of 2008 are still at U Prep and how many are on course to graduate? Or how the PSSA, SAT scores and GPA's of Hill District students compare with the scores of Hill students who attended Schenley?