Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still talking about K-12

On the March "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

"He is still talking"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Change in HS gifted classes

From the Tribune:

According to the article, anyone with a 3.0 average, 90% attendance and an 80 in the non-gifted course for a subject will be able to enroll in gifted classes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Campaign kickoff Dr. Regina B. Holley


Dr. Regina Holley has over 36 years of experience in the field of education, including both in the classroom and administration. Dr. Holley knows what it takes to raise the achievement level of our PPS students. During her years as an educator, she has:

• Raised academic performance of her students to achieve No Child Left Behind/Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

• Received the Title One School of the Year Award in 1997 presented by the PA Department of Education for increasing student achievement levels.

• Attained Dame Dame status, a recognition given to schools with majority free and reduced lunch students who make significant achievements gains, particularly in the area of mathematics.

Come and Meet Dr. Holley and Share Refreshments and Your Passion for a Quality Public School System

Thursday, March 31, 2011, 7PM
901 North Highland Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

PPS approached w/ concerns over U Prep

From the PG:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Take your father/ mother to school days

On a "Start a new post" momtwo wrote:

"The March 23rd Board Legislative meeting included time devoted to Mr. Brentley bring forth items related to Take Your Father to School Day and a new day proposed to salute Moms/Females who keep the kids and schools moving forward. A sampling of comments from building administrators was read twice and Mr. Brentley responded with controlled umbrage. As much as one might admire his devotion to the cause and the spirit of the day(s) he supports and proposes, his efforts might be better spent developing a new idea with the same goal.

As a parent who volunteered for the Take Your Father to School Day I must say it takes a lot of energy and focus to maintain order that day."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

PA Secretary of Education nominee

From the Tribune:

The expected new Secretary of Education intends to focus on choice, including charter schools and vouchers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Central office budget cuts

On a "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

"CENTRAL OFFICE BUDGET CUTS? If Dr. Lane id trying to prove how fiscally responsible she is why did they just hire another person whose "resposibility" is to put together the monthly Board Tab? Her track record so far says that she should have given this responsibility to someone already employed by the District and given them a pay raise. In this instance it actually would have saved the District money."

South Vo-Tech Annex

On another post Mark Rauterkus wrote:

"Making the South Vo-Tech Annex building the site for the RHVAC and welding programs instead of moving them to Pittsburgh Oliver.

What do you all make of this insight/vote?"

U Prep/ Academies/ enrollment

From the PG- way at the end of the article, the school board expresses concern over increased enrollment at Milliones/ U Prep/ whatever its name is now:

The other side of the coin, not mentioned in the article, is that increased enrollment at U Prep is the result of lower than hoped for enrollment at the Westinghouse single gender academies. Word is, 1200 for U Prep and 300 for Westinghouse. And if the 1200 figure is correct, "increased enrollment" is an understatement because the U Prep program was originally designed for 825 students. It is not possible to fit 1200 students into the former Milliones middle school building.

New turnaround model for Faison

"Faison has been historically low-performing despite all our interventions, our coaching model, our aligned curriculum, our response to intervention model," said Jeannine French, district chief of school performance.

So the district is trying something it hasn't tried at the other schools: It is restaffing the school and giving the selected teachers say over how the program will be redesigned."

Read more:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bills to reduce school mandates

From the PG:

"Separate and unequal"

From the NYT:

"One of the most powerful tools for improving the educational achievement of poor black and Hispanic public school students is... seldom even considered. It has become a political no-no.

Educators know that it is very difficult to get consistently good results in schools characterized by high concentrations of poverty."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

PPS organizational chart

On another post, Mark Rauterkus wrote:


Friday, March 18, 2011

Board discussion of budget

Well, the agenda review disposed of the budget issue in about 20 minutes! Board members agreed that they are "in a bind not of their own making;" that the things being cut are things they would love to have (like air conditioning and environmental upgrades) but not necessities (like fire alarms and roofs), and that was it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3 teens arrested

On a "Start a new post" Anonymous wrote:

"The 3 teens arrested yesterday are all U Prep. This school was supposed to be really working with kids there."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dr. Lane proposes 75% cut in planned capital spending

From the PG:

State using new method to calculate graduation rates

From the PG:

A link to rates for schools and districts is included.

Monday, March 14, 2011

PCTV: "PPS in Crisis- Westinghouse HS"

Part oneof a three part series, focusing on the reform plan for Westinghouse HS. The host for this show is Mark Brentley, Sr., Pittsburgh Public School Board Member, District 8. This program is scheduled to air on the following 9 dates.

Wednesday 3/9/2011, 8:00 PM, Channel PCTV

Thursday 3/10/2011, 6:00 AM, Channel PCTV

Friday 3/11/2011, 5:00 PM, Channel PCTV

Monday 3/14/2011, 9:00 PM, Channel PCTV

Tuesday 3/15/2011, 6:00 AM, Channel PCTV

Wednesday 3/16/2011, 10:00 PM, Channel PCTV

Thursday 3/24/2011, 7:00 AM, Channel PCTV

Monday 3/28/2011, 9:00 PM, Channel PCTV

Wednesday 3/30/2011, 7:00 PM, Channel PCTV


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Evaluation of changes over the past 5 years

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "PPS management team and salary raises announced":

Let's make a list of changes that happened in the last 5 years and how many were successful...

I can think of one that was an improvement:

The Parent Hotline

Cost: I imagine it doesn't cost a whole lot to run -- someone to send the questions/complaints/concerns out and to gather their responses and relay them to parents. Keep notes of interactions.

Other changes:

ALA program
K-8 model
6-12 model
University Prep model
Non-transparent magnet lottery

Saturday, March 12, 2011

PPS management team and salary raises announced

On another post, Anonymous wrote:

Lane selects management team of 8.
Close 5 executive positions, but fill 3 = net reduction 0f 2 jobs.
The reorganization will help reduce costs by $141,000 annually. But look at the salaries (and raises) of her 8.
She needs to do better than this. $141,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to $34 million. This is all just more smoke and mirrors.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gates Foundation funding an organization to sway public opinion

But trying to keep a low profile so people don't realize the Gates Foundation is behind the organization:

Governor's budget proposal: response and political fallout

Mark Rauterkus has left a new comment on your post "Start a new post/ search PURE Reform's blog":

Two pondering questions loom large:

One, if the Gov's budget proposal comes to pass and PPS needs to cut a couple dozen million from its budget, what could and what should be done in terms of management of the schools?

Two, what impacts are in the political future for the Gov and for PA if these cuts are to pass? Is there going to be fallout? How? Why? When?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two Propel schools receive national honors

From the PG:

Proposed education cuts

From the PG:

Monday, March 7, 2011

A+ schools wants higher turnout for Board elections

Article from the PG:

- Isn't this putting the cart before the horse? What we need first are some opposing candidates. Why should people turn out if there are no choices? And if there are no choices then what would help is an investigation into why that is the case and what can be done about it.

Teacher layoffs likely in PA schools

From the PG:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Budget cuts to start with the central office

From the PG:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Start a new post/ search PURE Reform's blog

To start a new post, reply to this post with your question, comment or suggestion for a new topic. The adminstrator will then start a new post with your topic as a title.You can post anonymously if you prefer. Click on "post a comment". Type in the word you see for word verification. Choose how you would like to be identified in the post click "publish your comment".

Plan for efficiency in NYC/ why were we paying $240k/yr

A recent NYT article describes how the governor of NY State has noted the need for school systems to reduce "back office overhead, administration and consultants," and to encourage consolidation.

He is also seeking to limit superintendent pay. The article notes that the chancellor of the NYC school system, who receives $250k/year, would not be subject to the new limits.

Integration by achievement

A school district in NC was in the news after abandoning its procedures for socioeconomic integration. According to a recent NYT article the NAACP submitted a complaint to the US Dpt of Education Office for Civil Rights, which is investigating whether the new policies have lead to resegregation, and that a national school accreditation agency is conducting a similar investigation.

Now the NC district is considering a new plan: integration by achievement. Under the plan, "no school would have an overwhelming number of failing students."