Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Support Westinghouse's history and name tomorrow 10/5 at 4:00

Wednesday October 5 4:00 Westinghouse room 121

Under consideration by PPS administration is a name change for Westinghouse High School. The Westinghouse Alumni Association encourages those interested in retaining the Westinghouse name to attend.


Questioner said...

Elimination of the Westinghouse name represents disrespect for and disregard of Westinghouse alumni, community, and the school's the accomplishments to date. Think of it as the reverse of naming a school after a president. In general it is part of an approach that dismantles rather than builds on the successes of our traditional high schools, breaking connections with alumni, community and supporters along the way.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know who is on the naming committee?

Anonymous said...

Isn't this what happened when the another school was named Obama?

Anonymous said...

When the community insisted that the name Milliones be retained as part of the name change for University Prep, the Board and Administration agreed to do that; however, what was submitted to the State was "University Prep." Check the PDE PAAYP DATA and you will see that the name of Milliones is not there!

Please do not allow a maneuver such as this to happen to Westinghouse.

Westinghouse MUST retain its illustrious history and alumni from the Hall of Fame. These are a model for what Westinghouse can BE AGAIN if the Community and Educators Who Care are involved in changing the philosophy, the organization, and the curriculum. We know enough for that to happen in one year!

Please reach out to all of those who remember the glorious Westinghouse which can be restored forthwith!

Anonymous said...

Have to love PPS. They want to make it sound like it's a consensus thing. No one opted for the name Obama and yet, that's what the school is called.
I have the feeling that the fix is in here, too.
As long as it isn't Dick Cheney High.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they plan on naming it Mark Roosevelt High School. Anything is possible with the decision makers we have today.

suburban girl who cares said...

Can someone please get this on the news somehow-- Westinghouse is a Pittsburgh tradition and cannot be lost to the carpetbaggers. The history of a school, teams, and our city is being stolen

Memory Man said...

suburban girl, this district believes that erasing such names is akin to being "progressive."
Schenley folks could tell you something about that. So could Fifth Avenue grads.
Imagine how it feels to be a part of the Reizenstein family, that donated a great deal of money and had their name forgotten to make space for Schenley, and then Frick/Obama.
Hard to believe we call these people "educators."

Anonymous said...

The next Public Hearing is Monday, October 24 at 6:00PM. Can we get at least 50 people to come out and testify (3 minutes) about reasons why the name of Westinghouse MUST NOT be changed? A few to think about might be:

1. Glorious history of success in Graduates, former Academics and Athletics and Arts . . .

2. Scholarships/Contributions

3. The success and contributions of the Wall of Fame graduates and others . . .

4. Models of "success" for African American children

5. Loyalty to tradition, culture, community . . .

6. Restoration of pride in accomplishments via culturally relevant curricula, athletic superiority, artistic contributions to the world in arts, music, higher ed, literature____ journalists, authors, historians, lawyers, physicians, etc. . . .

All of us who have been a part of the Westinghouse Community MUST come out strong, proud, and persuasive! “NO” is NOT an option from this PPS Board!

Please take a point of view and be an advocate for this revered institution and express it with passion, vigor, and even drama. Give voice to your convictions and let yourself be heard loudly and strongly!

Call the Board at 412-622-3600 on that Monday (10/24/1) before 12:00 noon and put your name on the Agenda.

Questioner said...

You can also call the Board during the week before Oct 24.

Zeppo said...

"Maybe they plan on naming it Mark Roosevelt High School."

Ha! My money is on that actually happening.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Westinghouse High School is under fire. Pittsburgh Public Schools floated idea that the school name needs to be changed. No! Stay Bulldogs.

Well, if I had to think it over and pick a name for a Pittsburgh High School, I'd strongly consider a wise and prudent name after a person who did plenty for the area. Name it say, ... after George Westinghouse.

Here is a point of PPS trivia, first hand info too. The top vote getter among the students for the name to select in the wake of closing Schenley High School was.... Schenley.

Second was Hogwarts.

Go figure.

A run-off vote between Pgh Obama and Pgh Clemente would have been a landslide, IMHO, to favor Roberto, the Great One, an International Hero with a Pittsburgh connection.

Oh well.

Stay Dogs! Stay! Add my bark to the chorus.

Let us know how the meeting and decisions unfold.

Anonymous said...

When it's convenient it's still Schenley- as when admin's are asked "what is this Obama program" and the short answer is "it's Schenley".

Anonymous said...

Schenley is closed. So is Fifth Avenue. And South Hills. And South. And Three Rivers Stadium. Geez, get over it already.
As for the Hogwarts comment,it is all urban legend. Period. Always have to love the idea of spreading such tall tales.

Anonymous said...

You raised Three Rivers. I am over it. Thruth. Don't repeat the same mistakes.

Questioner said...

The recommendation is- for Westinghouse to remain named Westinghouse, albeit George Westinghouse Academy (presumably Pittsburgh George Westinghouse Academy). One of the most enduring legacies of the Roosevelt administration may be that schools are now academies.

In the process, community members including elderly alumni were made to leave the meeting room so that a closed meeting could be conducted. About 50 supporters waited and rallied on the school steps.

After the meeting the results were announced not by the administration but by a committee member or two. It was also noted that the Science and Math program, a longtime fixture at Westinghouse, is not in place this year. It is not clear if students or families were given any notice or if the program will return next year.

Anonymous said...

Questioner, they make this up as they go along. You know that. They care more about their lunch plans than the feelings of parents and children. After all, it is not like they will ever actually come in contact with, yuck, students or anything.

Anonymous said...

Question on law for someone out there--
"elderly alumni were made to leave the meeting room so that a closed meeting could be conducted. About 50 supporters waited and rallied on the school steps. "
Does our state still have sunshine laws? I understand closed "personnel" meetings but this isnt about personnel. So what gives?

Questioner said...

It's subject to interpretation- here's a good link:


But isn't it a shame that our district only opens meetings when it has to, only releases PSSA data when the state finally makes it available, etc.

Anonymous said...

Westinghouse is a public school. "The Sunshine Act" applies here.

65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701. Short title of chapter
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Sunshine Act as follows:

65 Pa.C.S.A. § 702. Legislative findings and declaration
(a) Findings. — The General Assembly finds that the right of the public to be present at all meetings of agencies and to 
witness the deliberation, policy formulation and decision making of agencies is vital to the enhancement and proper functioning of the democratic process and that secrecy in public affairs undermines the faith of the public in government and the public's effectiveness in fulfilling its role in a democratic society.
(b) Declarations. — The General Assembly hereby declares it to be the public policy of this Commonwealth to insure the right of its citizens to have notice of and the right to attend all meetings of agencies at which any agency business is discussed or acted upon as provided in this chapter.

What in the world was PPS attempting to hide. Eight citizens all of whom had deep roots in Homewood and tremendous commitment to Westinghouse were in the meeting room and were ejected with School Security escorting them out. They simply asked to be observers of the "process." The PPS Chief of Staff stated that there would be no "process" unless the observers left the room.

Very strange! Raises lots of questions about WHY?

Anonymous said...


Please use this site if you cannot print the relevant portion of the Sunshine Act that was sent previosly. (Pennsylvania Sunshine Act 65 Pa C S A 701 et seq)


Questioner said...

The "Findings" and "Declarations" sections of the Act are one thing, but it is necessary to parse through the statutory language and defnitions to determine what the Act does and does not require.

Anonymous said...

Pps working hard at maintaing a warm, safe and inviting atmosphere.

Nice show of security force yesterday at Westinghouse working to keep elderly graduates of the school out of the school naming meeting.

Ringleaders included Chief of Staff Fischetti and Assistant Solicitor Kraemer.

Very classy.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet they had another name in mind, but wisely bowed to the pressure exerted by the alumni. They just wanted to make it seem like they were "deciding" in private. They could have announced the "new" name from Bellefield. What a waste of time and energy.

Keep it up alumni and maybe you'll rescue your school from their grand experiment which we all know is a failure.

Randall Taylor said...

Shameful experience yesterday. I certainly did not believe that the Board would threaten the name of Westinghouse in the current environment. Yet, no one reached out to communicate that to community. There were about 30-40 people that showed up, and more gathered because of the commotion. Many students witnessed the barring of the community from their own school in their own neighborhood. There were some who came early and went inside. They were asked to leave. It was very heated I understand. A dispute developed between two Principals which lead them to ask the students on the naming committee to go to another room and wait so they would not witness the dispute. Among those asked to leave were Reggie Bridges head of the Westinghouse Alumni, and John Brewer and Valeria Williams heads of the Wall of Fame committee, and a woman from the Class of 1943. If they are treating are Seniors, community leaders, and concerned residents with such disrespect, how are they treating the kids?

There were about 6 or 7 elderly people there sitting on the concrete for the 2 hours we were there, could not someone in the school offered them a chair?

Anonymous said...

NEW from the PG: "What to name old Westinghouse High? How about Westinghouse?
With a new school open in the Westinghouse building in Homewood this fall, the school board now must decide on what to call it "(Today


Since the Post Gazette did not attend the meeting, this must be the press release from Pittsburgh Public Schools.

It does not include the refusal to allow community, parents, concerned citizens into the meeting in violation of the Sunshine Law, nor does it reflect the ejection by School Security of those who arrived early and had already entered and were seated in the Meeting Room.


The reporter from the Tribune Review did attend the meeting and was permitted into the Meeting by the Principal, but was also ejected. This reporter took notes and interviewed many Westinghouse supporters, but her report appears to have been pre-empted in today’s Trib by a very short summary with no byline.

Hopefully, we will see the Trib journalist’s on-site report very soon!

Congratulations to the WAA representation for ensuring that the name of Westinghouse was kept in consideration. The Board review committee has the right to change the name completely; however, the voice of the community is loud and clear and hopefully the Board Naming Committee which consists of Tom Sumpter, Sharene Shealey and Dara Ware Allen will honor Westinghouse students, alumni, and concerned community by retaining the name of Westinghouse.

That did not happen in the Hill District where the Board agreed to keeping the revered name of Milliones which is on the building but does not submit the Milliones name to the PA Department of Education. The PDE documents and data all carry the name of Pittsburgh University Prep. The name of Milliones is not there!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all here-- at least you keep them feeling that they must"explain" their naming committee- still no explantion for:
closing a public meeting
why this is necessary to add ACADEMY-- they've done it before without meetings

Is this another PSSA ploy to fool the state? Is the state really fooled by the name changes?
Or, is there still westinghouse money somehow involved?
So many unanswered questions for our PR professionals

Anonymous said...

Does changing the name (even a little bit)wipe the slate clean as far as the state scores? In other words, the "new" school starts from scratch.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 8:48. That is precisely why the name change! However, the change of name must be accompanied by a very clearly articulated plan that is different from the current plan and that includes curriculum. There is absolutely no evidence that there is a plan to change the curricula without which there will not be improvement academically, And, improvement academically is the only reason to change go through this whole process. PPS Admin has "closed the school" and removed the majority of teachers; but, what are the changes in curriculum?

The new teachers at Westinghouse have never before taught what they are assigned to teach this year. They are new, young, and white. They have no operational schedules as yet.
More than six weeks into the school year and schedules are not yet confirmed and in place for the year. What are the expectations beyond changing the name to fool the state.

Yes, it is true that Westinghouse gets to wipe the slate clean and start all over as a new school. That means they start at 'square one' in terms of accountability for PSSA and AYP.

But given the chaos, confusion, and lack of appropriate courses and scheduling, what does PPS Administration think is going to happen at Westinghouse. KNOW THIS: IT WILL NOT BE AT THE FAULT OF TEACHERS OR STUDENTS! It will be at the expense of teachers and students. PPS Admin will continue to expand and increase in numbers and salaries as we watch year after year.

Questioner said...

Re: the teachers are "new, young and white"-what is the significance of the teachers being white?

And can anyone point to a regulation, guideline, etc. indicating that a name change will enable, or help enable, a school to be considered "new"?

Anonymous said...

When the end of September came, what happened to the students who wanted to leave and go elsewhere? They supposedly could "opt out." Remember, the ones who were assigned there against their wishes...

Anonymous said...

Very good question. Do you think the students (and most parents) were even aware that the option had been offered? Do you think anyone reminded them of the option?

I wonder if it is too late?

Anonymous said...

This is yet another sad and disappointing day in the history of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
The people who come up with these ideas seem to have NO concern for the teachers, students or parents in this district. Maybe they don't care about traditions, but many people who actually live in the city do!

City Taxpayer

Questioner said...

The Board members do all live in the city though and they have let all of this happen... the question is why.