Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Up to 300 teacher positions may be cut

From the PG:



Empowered Teacher said...

....and to think that just one year ago Dr. Lane was inviting us to join her as Pittsburgh said farewell to Mark Roosevelt at the Carnegie....

South Hills Stan said...

Is this our future? Rhee was such a hero to the Roosevelt/Lane/Fischetti/Weiss administration.

Over 40% Of DC Students Attending Charters.
Washington Post (11/8, Turque) reports that new District education data indicate that since 1998, the ratio of students in the DC Public School System attending charter schools has risen from 5% to 40%, noting that the figures "show charter enrollment at 32,009, an 8.2 percent boost over last fall's 29,557. Traditional public school enrollment, which ticked up last fall for the first time in four decades, dipped slightly to 46,191, down less than 1 percent (419 students) from last October." The piece quotes a DC Schools spokesperson attributing the declines largely to "four schools that encountered what he called 'bad press' in the 2010-11 academic year."

Questioner said...

Some say that former PPS administrator Derrick Lopez wants to start a charter- although based on his efforts at U Prep and Westinghouse single gender it is difficult to see him being given this opportunity.

A Word from Bellefield said...

Empowered Teacher 7:22:

Oh yes, I remember the Roosevelt farewell party quite well. In fact, when it appeared that not enough central administration and school principals were going to attend, Dr. Lane sent the plea out as follows:

From: Lane, Linda
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 3:51 PM
To: zz-OTE; zz-Executive Cabinet; zz-Office of Strategic Initiatives; zz-Communications and Marketing; zz-Admin Bldg Only-Offices; zz-Human Resources; zz-Student Services
Subject: Event to Bid Our Superintendent Farewell -- Wednesday Dec 1, 2010 Dear Colleagues, By now you should have received an invitation from the Pittsburgh Promise for an event at the Carnegie Music Hallto express our gratitude to Mark Roosevelt for his leadership and efforts these past five years. The event on December 1 is a fundraiser for the Promise and tickets for PPS staff and their guests are at a special reduced price of $75. I hope you can join me that evening in wishing Mr. Roosevelt a warm farewell and best of luck in his new endeavor. For more information please visit the Promise’s website at www.pittsburghpromise.org or e-mail katina@pittsburghpromise.org. Hope to see you there!
Linda Lane

As we continue to see this house of cards fall - my heavens, the Board and Administration were repeatedly warned since at least 2008 (well covered in the "how we got" series) it begs the question - how grateful are you for the time Roosevelt/Lane/Fischetti/Weiss spent/are spending in Pittsburgh?

Average Teacher said...

Let's add to the memo. RISE training for ITL's was canceled on that date to, as one executive board member stated at an ITL meeting, "Say goodbye to Mark Roosevelt."
No misprint.
A PFT executive board member who is aligned to RISE.
This entire administration AND the administration of the PFT is a study is mismanagement. Each one should be made to pay with termination and loss of pension.

Old Timer said...

Having been around for a great many years now, I think what bothers me most about Roosevelt, Lane, Lippert, French, Otuwa and Fischetti is the outrageous clinging they do to their collective ideology.
There is just no telling these people they are wrong.
This is the most troubling point for me, that they have all of the answers and as for other ideas--be they with regards to curriculum, to grading scales, to budgets---thanks, but no thanks.

Really, it's no surprise to me that there is an effort to protect central administration. In this regard, these people take their cues from the same corporate guidebook that Roosevelt did. It's no surprise to me that myriad children will be inconvenienced in an effort to ensure that the offices at Bellefield and Greenway have no such inconveniences. And it is no surprise to me that the grandstanding that goes on here with taxpayers--the clinging to the idea that hey, but we didn't raise your taxes--will continually be pushed by Lane and others.
It's all for those who can't read beyond the headlines.
The way out of this mess, sad as I am to say, is to raise taxes.
(And please, spare me the vitriol. I pay far more tax than any reader here, and I don't have kids in the local district. I do however recognize my responsibility.)

Like her mentor, Lane will not risk the PR nightmare that WOULD come from a tax hike and instead, will risk the minor cat calls that will come from major teacher layoffs.

Isn't that a hoot? Doesn't that cavalier attitude just kill you...that a public official can count on a public with its priorities wildly out of kilter.

Anonymous said...

As a former PPS teacher, this sickens me. I taught for 3 years(2007-2010) and saw first hand the destruction of this administration. We have good teachers in these buildings to educate the kids, but the dysfunction lies at the policies sent down from central office, the curriculum, and the overabundence of control from so-called subject specialist.

Let teachers come in everday and do the job!! Last time I checked they are college educated individuals able to make appropriate decisions that best fit the students, not people that never spent a day in a classroom and can transform a class based on a 15 minute observation once a quarter.

Get rid of administrators that we do not need and allow teachers, the real professionals, to do their jobs and keep them in the classroom!
In my case, I had a great rapport with the students, was told continuously by my principal and ITL I was doing a good job, I maintained contact with parents, and always invited central office in on walk-throughs and never one had a bad mark, but because our buildings budget had to be tightened, (probably because that money had to go to Roosevelt's pension), I was told sorry kid you are the low man in terms of seniority you won't be here next year. My current occupation is computer programming, thanks PPS for taking my dream job from me.

Just Passing By said...

Most people don't know it, but the Pennsylvania School Code prohibits teacher layoffs for financial reasons!

From a recent posting by the Avonworth Superintendent:

"The school code presently prohibits the furloughing of teachers and principals for economic reasons. The only way a district can eliminate teaching positions is if we have substantial declining enrollment or change the organizational patterns of the district."


So I've got to ask: Has anyone checked to see if these teacher cuts really match the decline in enrollment?

Questioner said...

Pps is always reorganizing!

Anonymous said...

11:55 nailed it. There are many, many excellent and dedicated teachers in our schools who are actually prevented from using the knowledge, commitment to students, and creative implementation necessary to meet all of our collective goals for children.

Professionalism, expertise, training, creativity and the ability to educate children is DENIED by Central Office in their insistence on a one-size-fits-all regime.

Student of History said...

Old Timer, you wrote:

"I think what bothers me most about Roosevelt, Lane, Lippert, French, Otuwa and Fischetti is the outrageous clinging they do to their collective ideology.
There is just no telling these people they are wrong."

I recall reading a history paper that was comparing the average US army unit (of WWII) to the average Soviet army unit.

The paper concluded that the US unit was vastly superior. One reason was that the US army allowed, even encouraged, junior officers to modify plans in response to the ever-changing conditions in the field.

On the other hand, the Soviet doctrine was to follow the original plan at all costs. Not only was modification discouraged, it was forbidden. Modify, and it's off to the Gulag with you!

Interesting, eh?

Anonymous said...

3:31 - A terrific analogy/metaphor! It tells the story of PPS.

Anonymous said...

next thing you know you be cutting
300 students per school,i thought another IDEA lets just cut PPS completely i thought i just throw that out there

Mark Rauterkus said...

Cut PPS, okay. Slice it with a horizontal chop between 8th and 9th grades and then make 3 or 4 districts for K-8 in city with 1 HS PPS.