On another post Anonymous wrote:
How we got where we are, part 32, July 2009
July 27, 2009: Central office expansion continues as the Board “accepts a grant award from the Fund for Excellence in Pittsburgh Public Schools for $841 ,773. Renewal support is awarded from the Fund for Excellence in the amount of $841,773 over 16 months for costs associated with the Office of Strategic Initiatives: The High School Plan for Excellence. Specifically, funding is awarded to support salary costs associated with the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI).”
It was a summer of giving, as the Roosevelt/Lane/Fischetti/Weiss administration recommends “an agreement to renew a contract with Dr. Judy Johnston to provide training, support, consultation and recommendations to Assistant Superintendents and up to 20 principals in support of the principal-evaluation program. This work will require direct work with assistant superintendents and principals in the form of one-on-one instructional coaching, school and classroom visits, interaction with the Teaching and Learning teams, and the gathering of evidence for performance standards. Services to be provided between August 1st, 2009 through July 31 st, 2010. This support will be provided to meet district proficiency standards as identified on the leadership evaluation rubric. This work is in conjunction with the principal
evaluation project. Total cost not to exceed $107,750.00 for up to 90 days of work in the district.”
Yes, you did the math correctly. At well over $1,000 per day Johnston's compensation was greater than the Superintendent's.
Patricia Kennedy, Executive Director of Communications, resigns, lasting less than one year under the iron rule of the Chief of Staff.
The Board votes to add a K-12 Gifted & Talented Coordinator, a luxury we did not have at 30,000 students.
Focus on Results also finds PPS to be a day at the beach, with the Board approving a contract “to provide 84 days of training and consulting to 5 secondary principals and their leadership teams” with an operating period from August 1, 2009 to July 31,2010. The rate of payment which includes consulting $2,300 per day, planning $650 per day, books and materials $1,000 and travel shall not exceed $257,670.”
The Board, except for Mark Brentley and Randall Taylor oblivious to the repeated warnings in writing that the trajectory of administrative costs and program expansion would jeopardize the district's solid financial footing, reward Superintendent Roosevelt with a raise.
Mr. Brentley's commentary is scorching: “During these tough times -- remember just this month we passed a very, very high increase within the communication and marketing. In some areas it's selective on who determines and who gets what.....It's been extremely difficult to get the superintendent to focus on equity....I raised concerns over the years about the program, the community educational partnership program. It's a problem. I had asked for this administration to address it....we cannot get caught up into the slick media campaigns....we found out in some cases recommendations that are made in terms of who gets what principalship has been or may be influenced by some former board members and some folks within the foundation community....We've watched as changes will be made, and Mr. Taylor and I would be left out often. And so yes, it's great you have the majority here, but what good is it for the district?...the fact of the matter is that I am still an elected official here. I still have a responsibility to the constituents who put me here, and regardless of the negative things that continue to happen, we know that this -- this community and this district is still a district in crisis....When asked about we're losing we're losing so many students, well, [Roosevelt] said well, we're managing decline. If we're managing decline, and if enrollment is constantly going down, why are salaries constantly going up?...at some point somebody's got to begin to ask some questions.”