Monday, February 6, 2012

Dr. Lane to meet with Westinghouse community


Engagement Opportunity

Principal Crenshaw & Superintendent Linda Lane
invite you to attend a Pittsburgh Westinghouse
Parent School Community Council (PSCC) Meeting

Thursday, February 16, 2011
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh Westinghouse Cafeteria
1101 N. Murtland Street - 15208

Superintendent Linda Lane will provide introductory remarks regarding the District’s commitment to Pittsburgh Westinghouse and the school’s progress.

For more information, please call
Pittsburgh Westinghouse at 412-665-3940


Anonymous said...

I posted this on another WHS thread but it seems appropriate for this one, even more so.
This is a propaganda op for Dr.Lane, but...

You ask why other communities aren't concerned or involved. Isn't the answer simple? This is the way things go in America now. Every individual is out for himself. Every community is out for itself.
Roosevelt knew this, of course. So does Lane.
Nothing is going to cause the parents of 25,000 kids to march on Bellefield Avenue at one time. Heck, nothing is going to get a tenth of that number to march on down at one time. As such, the logistics are always clear:
whether the outcry
publish propaganda pieces.

We saw this with the closure of the Schenley building and the death of the Schenley name.
Why did it have to be?
We saw this with Peabody.
We've heard it from Langley.

The cavalier attitude of central administration is startling and also representative of how they treat teachers.

We're going to fire 400. We're going to fire countless more via RISE.

We'll count on the idea that the PFT will not stage walk-outs and mass protests.

And it always works like a charm, friends.

This all comes from the Roosevelt playbook, and it still works today. PPS banks on the idea that the voices of anger will slowly fade away.

Anonymous said...

Schenley, Peabody, Langley, Oliver . . . Why are students fleeing PPS? Its really not a mystery, is it? Look at the achievement levels, or rather the lack of it at PPS high schools. Would anyone with an alternative keep their young people in such schools?

PPS gets more money per child than almost any other District! So why are PPS schools not the best anywhere? Why are they not drawing students from everywhere? Why is there not a demand for more schools as opposed to closing them down? Something is not making sense here. What could it be?
Why are people fleeing? Why do Charters have long waiting lists?

We need educators who know how to create schools for kids, schools where students are learning at high rates of achievement, schools where students talents, gifts, needs, and goals are being met . . . by design!

It will never happen in "one-size-fits-all" factories. Our children deserve it! It is their right! Who is denying that right and why?

Or is it just the wrong people in the wrong jobs doing the wrong things? . . . and profiting exponentially, both personally and financially?

Anonymous said...

Even the young leaders with potential are fleeing.

Accolades to Heath Bailey and Alvin Gipson for ‘promotions’ to High School Principal at Sto-Rox and Aliquippa High Schools, respectively. Insight and independent thinking (even wisdom at young ages) will pave their way to success at these two high schools. Each is demonstrating substantial skill at leading while garnering the respect of their new school communities. Their combined, premature decisions to exit PPS put them in special class of “leader” and deprived PPS of those critical qualities. It certainly is a significant loss to Pittsburgh students.

Why did they make decisions to leave? Was it because their capacity to lead was over-ridden by Central Office? Is it likely that Pittsburgh will lose any and all such potential leaders to other districts? How can parents stem the tide of such exits and loss of such talent? We need to find the solution to this problem, soon!

Anonymous said...

The WHY is that not every educator or every student wants to just learn the script. Students teachers are pulled- because that is not what universities want for their students. High school people have no idea of how scripted elementary schools are. I'm glad that other districts are seeing the potential of young administrators who started in PPS. Yes we WERE world class-- schools such as WHS were leaders with their SAM program, especially physics. Our board has let carpetbaggers and snake oil salesmen sell us program after program.Teachers didnt go out and look for this stuff! PPS used to have the reputation of writing their own curriculum-- look at technology-- we WERE 10 years ahead- others came to use for training and implementation. We are all WHS- as it goes so goes the district. I dont have answers but it certainly wouldnt hurt to pester your board members, as the teachers are pestering the union.

Anonymous said...

So Dr. Lane is to meet with the Westinghouse community.

The announcement says that Lane "will provide introductory remarks."

Does that mean she will just mouth some feel-good phrases, and the leave? Or will she stay and take questions from the audience?

If she doesn't take questions, then the whole thing will be a waste of time - just another propaganda stunt.

Anonymous said...

I hope every parent and community member comes to that meeting in record numbers and let her know how she has hurt that community and their kids.

We would never allow that to happen in our community in the south. Thank you Jean Fink for keeping the others in check including Dr. Linda Lane. Im embarssed to hear what has happen to Westinghouse but glad to know that it will never ever happen to Carrick or any school in the south.

Anonymous said...

The Homewood and Westinghouse community only has their self to blame because it is their own that screwed them or allowed them to be done that way. Here are the people that did it to them, Randall Taylor Lane, lopez, otuwa and Sharene Sheally, Bailey and Mcniel. All African Americans. Not one of them are white. If they were white that whole community would be crying racism. But now that they dont have that as a excuse they are pretty much silent,

Can you blame Dr. Lane? She aligned her self with the people who got her appointed. It was the white Board members that did that. So that is why she is saving and protecting thoses schools and communities. And she is aware that the African American leaders sold there self out for small crumbs in the form of contracts to be quiet. Its a shame of course, but dont blame us for that one.

Anonymous said...

The African American Community was out smarted this time. Bill Isler put one of their own in the top position to ice them on the question of racism being a reason why the changes are happening the way they are, to the majority of African American students, their schools or communites.

Anonymous said...

Linda lane has been promising to come to the Homewood community and Westinghouse for a conversation for over a year now. Is this any different. What, she is going to say a few words and sit down? pathetic.

Until Homewood and Westinghouse stands up and take back its commuity with dignity dont expect no one else out side of our area to care. Where is our proud alumni now, the Esther Bushes, the Richard Adams of the world. Have they all sold out for their own personal interest. I went to school with both of them and would have never thought they would allow Westinghouse to be treated like this! But I guess when they have something else to gain and they got theirs who cares any more? OMG.

Remember the many meetings we have where we said resegration is not a option? What happen to that urban league and Radio activist?

Anonymous said...

Dont put Bailey and Mcneil in that category they were only doing what they were told. And yes they were well aware what was happening to Westinghouse was tragic but what were they to do? Anytime they brought us things to their superiors they were shut down.

Anonymous said...

If it were not for Mark Brentley and now Regina Holley, Westinghouse and the Homewood commuity would have no voice. I am ashame of what Randall Taylor allowed to happen to Homewood and Westinghouse.

Anonymous said...

Someome tell Ms Linda Lane at that meeting to close Westinghouse and send all the students to Allderdice and make Allderdice a 6-12 school. There is no need for two high schools in the eastend any more. If there is overflow they can go to Uni prep on the hill which is closer to downtown than in the east end really.

Now that would work. It would save money on facilites and teachers. It would help with the govenors budget cut of 1 billion dollars to education. But do you really think Ms Lane has the heart to put all those african American students in Squiril Hill? No way! Cant you see Homewood kids now, getting off on Murry and forbes shopping and doing what kids do, making noise and hanging in groups.

Lets be real the only way we can see Westinghouse out of this, is for PPS to work hard with the community and Alumni to get it done. Also no one is addressing elementry school from where the kids come from. It starts there.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The fact that they (Bailey & McNeil) are gone is the proof of what you say. The rest are still in position and "staying the course" with the Roosevelt/Lane/Broad/Gates construct which is on the fast track for annihilation of the once proud PPS district that some of us knew so well.

The young want-to-be's & PELAS who remain are well under control of the current regime. They dare not think about what is educationally sound for children. Rather, it is about protecting the adult agenda at PPS.

In fact, those of the once proud district who remain have sold their souls to keep a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot of praise being doled out (Bailey, McNeil, etc)and I wonder if maybe to some posters these people are heroes. Couldn't it just be as likely that not everyone agreed with their pratices but just chose not post about it. Everyone could not have had the same wonderful experience with the staff who departed and the same awful experience with those that remain.

Dr. Lane seems to be the first chief administrator to admit a mistake and she needs to be given a chnce to fix things. The financial climate has changed so quickly that plans will need to be modified constantly.

Anonymous said...

"The financial climate has changed so quickly that plans will need to be modified constantly. "

That's just a load of crap. Yes, the state funding has been cut. HOWEVER, the main problem here is the massively out of touch spending over the last 5-6 years.

You do recall that just one year ago interviews were gearing up to HIRE more teachers? Teachers the district was going to certify on its own and which was going to cost it $40M (on top of the $40M grant).

Who, in their right mind, thought that a district with dropping enrollment, excess space and what are now being called "small" classes needed MORE teachers? And thought that they needed to hire and train them, themselves in what has been an interviewers' market for several years?

Anonymous said...

Education need not be about finances and, in fact, should not be. Education is about a philosophy, knowledge, the skills to think concretely and abstractly, to broaden perspectives and experiences, to prepare for a successful future. The money in PPS for education is beyond most other districts; but it does not go to educating children.

And, you are right, neither principal is yet a hero; but, at least one had the courage to stand up to what appears to be incompetent dictatorships and that is what is earns respect. A first step, not the end goal!

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Lane seems to be the first chief administrator to admit a mistake and she needs to be given a chnce to fix things."

How is it that she hasn't been "given a chance to fix things"?

SHE is in charge, she's running the show. She started this school, she saw what it was like first thing in the year and she (and other upper administrators) did nothing. When they couldn't hide the mess any longer, she's circulated how many people through there? How much better has it gotten?

The school should never have started when it did. No school should ever start without schedules.

Then, after the chaos was confirmed -- over and over -- the school probably should have been closed down for a week of training and planning. Real training and planning, issues chosen by teacher concerns with the school. Schoolwide agreements on what proper behavior is, what gets sent to the office, what's handled in the classroom, how issues are dealt with would be settled and written up.

Then before re-opening there needed to be a school-wide meeting with parents, teachers and administrators -- to spell out the rules and changes and the roles in supporting that. (And of course, letters sent home, phone calls made, etc.) Re-open the school with a ton of upper administration support -- those people needed to be there all day, every day -- pulling kids not following the rules into a meeting, writing it up and calling home, clarifying that a further infraction would lead to. Students showing dangerous behaviors would be sent home and not allowed to return without a parent meeting -- including one of those administrators in every meeting.

These extra bodies would only be taken away slowly, as things settled in and could be handled in the same manner by the existing staff.

Worst case, at least those administrators would know what they were asking people to do. Better case, they'd develop an understanding of the problems there and be better able to help, rather than shuffle problems from one person to another.

But hey. I'm just a parent not someone paid 6 figures to allow failure under my watch.

Anonymous said...

NO other supoerintendent in the past 40 years (all I can account for having met etc) but probably none before that-- ever opened a school without classlists, schedules, bells, and any form of organization. NOW- 6 months later she admits to the mistake?? Where was she Sept 1, Oct 1, Nov 1 etc??We all know that every other superintendent would have had THEMSELVES AT THE SCHOOL after the first story leaked, after the first call tyo the ignored hotline. (Well all but MR- he never was a school admin so wouldnt know what to do!) But all the others have had the experience of walking down a chaotic hallway of energetic young people-- and brought order to the situation.
When will she take her chance to solve things? Maybe rearranging staff like furniture hoping to get school fen sui is not the answer.
Apologies are lame when kids have lost that much time. My colleagues told me they saw the students going to WHS in August- bright,excited, uniformed and ready for school.Lane owes them more than an apology. I understand it would be hard to get everyone to march etc as others have said-- but, the stories are all around the district-- when a school falls apart, nothing is done. It may not be yours this year-- it wasnt WHS last year-- but other schools did fall apart. So join these parents- in person, in spirit, and demand your ELECTED board members DO SOMETHING and address this issue before it comes to visit your house.

Anonymous said...

Love the apologist thread running through this thread. A few want us to canonize Bailey and McNeil. Why not throw in Abbott, too? Please. These people--like any other administrator--are part of the problem in PPS.
Someone wants to absolve Dr.Lane. Isn't it her job to make sure these types of situations don't happen.
And to put the icing on the proverbial cake, an individual lauds Jean Fink---Jean Fink for God's sake--as a true hero of taxpayers.
My God, if there is any one individual who should be the poster child of all that is wrong with the school board, it is this woman. I like to think I can find some good in any politician (and let's face it, this is a politician), but in Fink's case, that's simply not possible.
She's been the ultimate rubber stamper for Roosevelt and Lane and reflective of residents in the south and their voting habits.
How pathetic.

Questioner said...

Re someone who is "I am ashame of what Randall Taylor allowed to happen to Homewood and Westinghouse."- You realize that RT has been off the Board for over 2 years now, right? What did he allow to happen to Homewood and Westinghouse?

Randall Taylor said...

THANK YOU QUESTIONER for the clarification.
Ignorance is just as big a problem in Homewood as Indifference. But a quick Google would reveal a Post-Gazette article in September of 2011 when I called on parents to NOT send their child to Westinghouse.
I opposed: (1)the non-plan for WEstinghouse, (2)the merger of 4 schools at one time,(3) the 6-12, (4) the lack of a strategy to attract effective teachers,(3) the lack of a plan to improve academic outcomes, and on and on and on. I opposed to the Westinghouse proposal openly, publically, and loudly.

Anonymous said...

Questioner, Oh I know Mr. Randall Taylor is not Homewood's Board Representative. But the problems with Westinghouse didnt just start this year with Bailey, Mcniel and Abbot. It started 10 years back under his watch with the removal of one the best principals to ever come to Westinghouse, Lester Young. And ask me how I know? I worked for all seven Principals and survive them all. And I will survive this one too. And should I say again.

The new principal hired to replace Mr Young was Ms. Barnett. She tour Westinghouse apart, program by program, teacher by teacher. In fact her mission was to dismantal Westinghouse's senior teachers and staff and she did this with Mr. Taylors full support. How do I know, because we complained to Mr. Taylor and our Union many times and nothing happened to stop it. She detroyed our CTE programs, and affected our sports programs, by getting rid of senior coaches, with the exception of Girls Basketball. She knew this was a big mistake. I saw it with my own eyes and called out for help, to no avail. I have been at Westinghouse almost 20 years an although I like Randall Taylor and most of us do, he was apart of the destruction. But what I can say is we appreciated his visabilty, and fight towards the end, but now we have no representation at all.

I watched Mr. Taylor allow Roosevelt to destroy this district too. Mr. Taylor was very Loyal to Roosevelt in the begining and did not even chalenge Roosevelt until his last 2 years he was on the board. Ive heard of more Advocacy now of Mr. Taylor than I ever did when he was on the Board. Many Many days he left Mr Brentley out there by himself,and that was a shame what Mr. Taylor allowed to happen to John Thompson.

But I do believe now Mr. taylor would be a much better Board member, cause the one we have now, Ms. Sheally is horible, we never see her at the school and Westinghouse is not even on her radar. He acts ashame that the school is even in her district.

Mr. Taylor allowed our best teachers and staff to be taken away from WHS and now wonders why we are hurting. This is the same thing that happen under Bailey and Mcneils watch, except they were forced to do it. The board has know Ideal how much teachers like Cabiness and Beale do for WHS. They wanted to be here and they were replaced with teachers that did not want to come, and look what we have now. This is just plain wrong. I would walk out tomorrow but I know my students and athletes wouldnt have anyone who truly cares for them.

And finally Crenshaw is a terrible principal despite what you read in the paper. She is harssing the heck out of these young teachers, making it impossible for them to improve. Someone please help them, cause if you are not tenured, you dont have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Jean Fink is a hero. If Homewood had her as their representative there is no way Westinghouse would be in the state of affairs its in now. Homewood has no one to blame but there self. Lets be honest their representatives have not served them well.

As far as canonizing Mcneil, Bailey and Abbot. No one is doing that either. But what I can say, is no one was asked to take on more than them either. They were giving two months to turn around a school that is going to take years to get back what was taken from it.

If Otuwa thinks Westinghouse can be turn around it that short period of time, lets see her do it. There is so much fat in the board administration, why dont we send them all out to Homewood to run a school. Lippert, French, Rudicack etc. Is there even a male in the bunch? Wow I just noticed that.

Anonymous said...

Look eveyone sit back and relax. Crenshaw is back and she has it under control. It doesnt matter that they hated her in Northhills and wanted her out of there district. It doesnt matter that she was removed from Westinghouse by Lopez for not meeting expectations. It doesnt matter the havock she caused at A leo Wile, to the point that teachers said they would walk out if she comes back.

Hey Crenshaw can do it, and thats all that matters. Oh did I say that Dr. lane is regreting that decision now and Owtuwa wants to remove her so bad? Sorry didnt mean to let that slip out. Carry on troops.

Anonymous said...

7:53 - Here they are, the "girls" at Central Office:
1. linda lane, 2. jerri lippert, 3. jeanine french, 4. lisa fischetti, 5. barbara rudiac, 6. christiana otuwa, 7. jan ripper, 8. nancy kodman, 9. jody spolar, 10. viola burgess, 11. virginia hill, 12. marni pastor, 13. cate reed, 14. rhonda taliaferro, 15. mary jane conley and 16. rhonda graham

The only male is david may stein.

Anonymous said...

What happened at Westinghouse and Peabody was shameful. Civil Rights to an education is currently being violated. Unfair labor practices continue to happen with the unjust treatment of Shawn McNeil.

It was tough to witness people at the board successfully sabotage a reform effort. Many who witnessed the plan unfolding knew that it needed support. Those supports were promised but were never delivered to Westinghouse or the administration. Instead, Lopez got fed up and left for HCV, Otuwa arrived, the Pinnacle Scheduling system failed DISTRICT-WIDE, the state budget was cut by Corbett, Dr. French gave a presentation to principals about the forthcoming downsizing efforts, Otuwa directed the Westinghouse administrators to place 16 teachers on improvement plans, simultaneously Otuwa put the administrators on improvement plans, teachers panicked (SOME QUIT), students became restless (some were already very challenging), parents became worried (most who initially supported the principals motives for a better Westinghouse), and the massive exodus began.

Dr. Crenshaw is suffering from "Black Stockholm Syndrome." Google it!

May God bless the children of Westinghouse

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anyone ever talk about UPrep?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:01 pm

Is Paulette Poncelet stll at the district?

Anonymous said...

Black Stockholm Syndrome, please. She is neither a slave nor a hostage!

Stop making excuses, please!

Anonymous said...

Oops, yes,10:43. make paulette poncelet number 17 on "the girls" list. and, perhaps there are others that you know of that should be added?

Bulldog Forever said...

Talk is cheap.

Dr. Lane's actions around Westinghouse spoke volumes.

There should be no free pass here.

Anonymous said...

You might as well add Judy Johnston to that list. She gets so much "consulting" money she's practically on PPS' payroll.

Anonymous said...

The word is that the phrase, "the girls" should be corrected to "her girls" meaning Linda Lane who has surrounded herself with "girls" most of whom are not educators, not having spent any time teaching in K-12 classrooms.

How many of "her girls" (does anyone know), have spent significant time as classroom teachers (as opposed to phys ed teachers)?

Anonymous said...

What is the problem? Dr. Lane is the best superintendent PPS has ever had. She has the heart to do what no other superintendent has done, which is close all the underperforming african american high schools or high schools in african american communities. She knows whites will not attend schools with a strong african american presence or in african american neighborhood,unless its a very specialized school like Capa. And even then PPS took Capa from Homewood.
Dr. Lane did right by closing Schenley and peabody. The she will now close oliver and langley. And please please close Westinghouse, its the worst of them all. Thank you Dr. Lane.

Next Dr.lane please close all the african american elementary schools that are underperforming or are in african american neighborhoods. Dr. Lane it's a proven fact that african american students do better in a non african american school just like the ones you attended in Iowa. Therefore Dr. lane must realize keeping students in Homewood school will only hurt them.

We have wanted to do this all along, but feared being called racist. Now you can do it for all of us. Keep up the good work. Aplus will help you close these schools and will collect the data to show this is the case. Aplus please continue working with PPS and exposing them for what they are doing to all our other kids too. You have showed that PPS is spending way too much time and Money trying to save kids who cant learn in these morally corupt communities at the expense of kids and communites that are doing the right things.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lane please close Westinghouse now! You are entirely spending to much time on a failing school in a Crime ridden neighborhood. Why are you even going there to speak? They dont get it and no one cares about a failing school.They hurt our district as a whole and effects our reputation. Close all failing schools in Homewood, the Hill and Northside and send the kids where they can get some help and really learn.

Dr. lane needs to focus her attention now on linden. You are planing on removing a vice principal, engagement specialist and messing with its budget. Why? Havent they done what you asked? There scores are good and its a safe environment. But now it is being punished.

Please send 80 students, from Homewood elementary to linden and I promise they will get a better education. Once linden gets 80 more students it will have the numbers to keep its staff in place.

Anonymous said...

There are Superintendents who can and do make an African American school in an African American neighborhood the highest achieving school in the District. Yes, it has been done and it is being done! Unfortunately, NOT by Linda Lane and "her girls."

Anonymous said...

What person in there right mind would send their kid to Westinghouse? Why is it even open? Dr. lane you should have close it before you close Peabody. Please get out of the business of trying to save a failing school such as this. Its costing us too much. Turn it over to the state, or the community.

The comnunity is acting like the care about it right? Let them have it and all those underperforming kids as well. But before you do please continue to let Crenshaw suspend the whole school and send all those bad students to the magistrate and get those bad kids out of there. Also let her get rid of all those underperforing staff as well. This will save us money and headache.

Westinghouse is history, its just a matter of time and any person in the business of trying to save it is wasteing their time.

Anonymous said...

Is this Dr. Lane meeting open to the public?

Questioner said...

Yes it is.

Questioner said...

9:16, please provide the names of several of these schools.

Questioner said...

There are 2 groups seriously interested in opening charter schools for middle and high school students in Homewood. One group has already purchased a building.

Anonymous said...

If we really want to help african american students we must close their schools and Dr. Lane is doing. Cant you see she is trying her best to save them from their self. Please take them out of schools such as Peabody, olver, and langley. Send them to other schools and communities so they can at least have a chance to learn and live.

Anonymous said...

Can Westinghouse even be saved at this point? If so how?

Who are the real stake holders in this attempt to save westinghouse and is the board really trying to work with them or is it easier to see Westinghouse fail and say I told you so.

Anonymous said...

What groups are interested in opening a charter school in Homewood? If it were my kids thats where they would go if they had to stay in that community.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lane republican nominee for president of the United States. Shut them all down Dr. lane, then pick up your retirement and move back to Iowa.The people here dont appreciate what you are doing, but they will thank you later. Stay the course, my friend, stay the course.

The reality is PPS only needs 4 High schools. Allderdice, Carrick Brashear and Perry. It only needs 3Magnet schools. Capa, Scitech and Obama. Get rid of all the rest. Get er done.

Anonymous said...

At least Randall tried to work with the community. This representative we have now can care less about Homewood. All I hear her talk about is colfax and Linden. It must be where her kids go.

Anonymous said...

A plus schools is a joke. They get the same funding from the same fondations as PPS does and are told to not say anything disparing about PPS and to work with them to create a positive imagin when they know that things are bad. The corporation know its difficult to attract talent to piitburgh to live when the schools are bad.

The best thing Aplus does is the Bookelet of test scores and data on students in the various schools. Other than that, PPS uses A plus as a PR group as well, but make its look like they are speaking from and for the community. Please.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

No A+ definitely does not speak for the community. It can't because it is beholden to PPS and Foundations for its existence.

Also, there are many flaws and distortions in the Booklet that they print and distribute with so-called achievement data.

Is it better than nothing, perhaps, or perhaps not?

Watching from Harrisburg said...

This is too funny.

There's not another Superintendent in Pennsylvania that issues a press release to announce they are visiting a school.

Questioner said...

This isn't really a visit to a school though, it is an evening meeting with the Westinghouse community. How will people know about it if it is not announced?

Anonymous said...

The Pittsburgh communities are clueless or in complete denial.

What makes you think that Brashear and Carrick, predominately white schools, are performing any better than the black schools? Student fights break out on a daily basis at Brashear, and the halls at Carrick are riddled will roamers talking on their cell phones. There is no order at both schools.
I'm sure test scores would validate this.

PPS is not the world-class district it once was and never will be until there is a thorough house cleaning!

The only national recognition this district will receive is the news regarding corruption due to the unholy alliances among the foundations, board, and teacher union leadership. Some legacy, huh?!

Unified Homewood said...

Randall Taylor voted against the appointment of Mark Roosevelt. I never heard him do anything other than speak out against what was going on. I was always impressed with what he said and how he said it. I never heard anyone complain about him until now! Let's not turn on each other. Let's hold people responsible for what they did to our children.

Anonymous said...

Randall is working closely with the homewood community and the Westinghouse Alumni Association and we appreciate it too. Its time we move on any board Rep in this district that is not working with our Homewood or the alumni to help to clean up this mess.

This board knows that they allowed Westinghouse to be treated in this manner or they were a sleep at the wheel. My thoughts are someone wasnt being honest with them. I find it hard to believe the just didnt care. Am I see it wrong?

Questioner said...

Board members say they represent all areas, but realistically they need to pick their battles and a school elsewhere in the city probably won't be one of them.

Anonymous said...

Get real. The issue of student behavior took a spiral downward when MR's regime came in and touted the expectation of keeping poor behaving students in school without consequences such as suspension or citations. If a teacher's lesson is engaging, then student behavior will fall in place. Teachers will teach and students will learn.....FALSE!

The fact that the majority of Central Office Administrators never served as teachers in the higher grades or even as a successful seasoned principal speaks volumes as to what is happening today in PPS. Their lack of hands on experience and their strong armed hold on current principals in managing unacceptable student behaviors is the issue. How can you turn around a school when "the girls" never had to accomplish such a task? You read the research and tout that learning through the PELA bible. Eventually the non-PELA principals are also asked to drink the kool-aid at meetings. Many do but those who know better like Crenshaw takes a course to try to get the school back to a state of control. So why the fuss with Central Office after moving her there again? She went against the grain. Students are cited and suspended as consequences for their disruptive behavior. OMG when students are out of class, they can't learn. Hum, but with those preditors out of class, the students who want to learn can learn!

It's time for PPS to implement night school as an option for high schoolers who continually disrupt classes for the volumes of students who want to learn. There has to be another option along with CEP.

Too bad so many of the strict and succesful principals have retired. Many retired well before their time under PPS current leadership. I wonder if any Board members actually called any of them and asked them why they were selecting retirement?

Anonymous said...

I like the night school idea. Schenley used to have night school and it was very sucessful.

Anonymous said...

a good idea-- and now-- what about the disturbed, disruptive-- under 10, non magistrate young people-- who are escalating their disruptions in cries for attention? Yes, we get them "help" over months, over years-- and teachers and learners are somehow blamed-- the old style principals did "in house" and when that happened more than once a month or so, they did "your house" and at least then parents signed for treatment. Because losing $$ benefits when a child is placed in care is a very real problem.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't people calling for Lane's resignation over the Westinghouse mess? She said she accepts responsibility for it-she has to because this came from her.
As teachers have been told by the administration many time, NO EXCUSES for student behavior, grades, test results, etc. the words NO EXCUSES applies to them also. Resign Dr. Lane!

Anonymous said...

"Her girls" need to be gone before Linda Lane. One of them in her position could only be worse for PPS, if, in fact, "worse" is even a possibility at this point.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion for those students who are 10 and emotionally disturbed you need to collect the data and have a student discussion with the school's staffing team. Engage the parent and test for special education status. If the child is designated ES, seek a placement either at your school or at a PPS regional classroom. If the student still struggles, collect additional data and make a McNaugher/APS referral.

Yes, it is a long process but if you never begin it the child and his / her classmates will continue to struggle. The research indicates that intervention at an early age has the best results. By doing nothing we fail not only the child in need of services but all of the other students by his/her constant outbursts.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lane will not be taken questions from the people present. She will give a few remarks regarding the current situation at Westinghouse and how she is trying to fix the problems. After that she will answer a few pre prepared questions handed to her from Crenshaw and then Crenshaw and the parent engagement specialist will take over the meeting. What a joke.

Dr. Land is only comming to the meeting because the state instructed her too becasue PPS is in jeporday of losing the SIG grant for Westinghouse and may have to pay it back. This is because they have reversed everything they said the would do in the grant and the grant reguires community input. So this is her attempt to call it community input.

Crenshaw has been instructed to not allow the community to engage or express an opnion so she will act as if there is a lot of pssc stuff to cover for the meeting. Therefore she cause the meeting to be feel with a lot of BS and then proclaim that she has run out of time.

Again this is just a stage meeting so Dr.Lane can report to the state that she has engaged the community. The state has received some many complaints and there is a pending state investigation and local criminal investigation out of the District attorneys office regarding the cover ups at Westinghouse. Nice try Dr. Lane but not cigar.

Anonymous said...

Most of the meetings are now "staged" meetings. Nothing at all is accomplished at the meetings. No goals are set, no outcomes expected, except to cite the numbers and the engagement of community and parents as evidence that PPS has met with community.

Every meeting has a new person in charge from Central Office. Over the last two years PPS alternates between (Derrick Lopez, now gone), Jeannine French, Lisa Fischetti, Linda Lane, Christiana Otuwa, Rhonda Taliaferro and/or one of the Directors or Principals and each claims that they don't know what the other said or did and so are not responsible for what happened previously. Meeting after meeting after meeting at Westinghouse, and U-Prep with NO RESULTS.

What is happening to the EDUCATION of children in Homewood and the Hill (with 60 -70-80-90 % of the students NOT proficient, with 40-50-60 -70% in Below Basic for Reading or Math) is CRIMINAL. This rate of achievement is the LOWEST in the State of Pennsylvania.

Anonymous said...

Thats sad. I dont think the community is going to let that happen. Lopez and Sheally attempted to control the last meeting and the Alumni and parents took it over.After than Dr. lane claimed she was going to come to Westinghouse and address the community ASAP. But guess what? That was over a year ago. Thank you Dr. Lane for keeping your word. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Someone should invite Abbott, Bailey and Mcniel to the meeting so we can really see what happened to Westinghouse since Dr. lane and crew are blameing them for Westinghouse's failure to achieve.

Anonymous said...

And remember, the state tests have been testing the same skills, the exact same skills, officially for the last 10 years, and unofficially for the last 15 years!

Do teachers realize this? Do they know what these skills are? Or does the District's core curriculum not include the tested skills? It is really hard to understand why kids aren't learning these skills, if they are being taught? Can anyone explain what is going on here?

Anonymous said...

What happen to that Lisa Foose lady? Wasnt she the one in charge of puting this together and pulling off the merger? She used to conduct meetings. She didnt have a clue. Ha Ha. Oh my goodness she conducted meetings like the people were youngsters and campers.

Invite her too, lets see her perspective as to why Westinghouse is in its current state of affairs. Heck invite lopez back to speak. He was the architect of this fisaco. He is still around with HCV. They are working out of the school recruiting students to go to the charter school they are opening in Holy Rosary building next year.

Anonymous said...

With all that is going on with Westinghouse, is it worth saving? Are we sure its not the parents and the kids fault that they can not learn and do well?

Anonymous said...

Tom Sumpter along with a few other board members will not allow Dr. Lane to blame the Westinghouse situation on the Principals. He wants to place them back at Westinghouse and give them full support and to bring Crenshaw back to Weil on the Hill. The current principal at Weil is not getting the job done and the Hill is not happy either.

Is there an active principal in PPS that can handle the Westinghouse situation, or should they bring one out of retirement? What about Dr. Barnett, she was the principal in the early 2000s before Crenshaw came.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Charters believe that they can educate the children. What's wrong with PPS? No belief? No skill? No clue?

Anonymous said...

It is enlightening and very encouraging to hear that there is more than one Board member who agrees that the blame for the Westinghouse debacle is not place upon Principals. However, if Principals are returned, what will be different?

Will Principals, any principals (on leave or retired or new) have autonomy to change District policies, curricula, Professional Development, and other counterproductive structures?

Those opportunities have been expressly denied and are right now being prohibited at other schools that are struggling under Central Office mandates, decisions and obstructions.

What will change, explicitly?

Anonymous said...

to anon 11:25

"Can anyone explain what is going on here?"

I can try to explain what's going on, at least at the high school level.

Two problems. The first is discipline. I once worked for an old-school principal who told us teachers: "Teaching is your job. Maintaining order is mine."

That mindset is gone. If a student disrupts a class, it is more than just the teacher's responsibility, it is the teacher's fault. So now a teacher must devote more time to classroom control, less time to actual teaching.

The second problem is the current teaching philosophy in Pittsburgh.

Teachers are NOT to teach, but must instead guide learning groups. Students are to get in small groups and teach each other. This is called "cooperative learning."

Old way (still used in successful suburban schools): a science teacher introduces a topic, say E=mc squared, then guides the class through practice with the equation.

New way (Pittsburgh): Students are put into groups of four where they are expected to "discover" that E = mc squared.

Students get off-task very quickly this way. It is very chaotic and inefficient.

But if you are Pittsburgh teacher, you must have your students working in small groups when a supervisor walks in.

You must not be at the board teaching concepts to the class. You can get fired for that!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2/10 2:41

You hit the nail on the head! One thing though, the pedagogy that is being used in Pittsburgh is not cooperative learning but is socializing intelligences. That says it all.

By the way, there was an article in the Trib, 1/30, comparing the success rate of charter schools to public schools. What was noted was that the traditional public and charter schools out performed the nontraditional charter and public schools. The lowest performing schools were the cyber charter schools.

Enough said!

Anonymous said...

Remember that the PELA mentality focuses on principals as leaders not managers. That's why we're seeing so much chaos in our schools. The PELA's place all responsibility on the classroom teacher. No one is in charge of managing student behavior on a school wide basis.

If you want to find middle ground then consider organizing the schools in the following manner:
*A principal who is responsible for the school's general operations, student discipline, budget, student services, parent/ community outreach and observing/confering/evaluating staff performance.

*Add a Dean of Instruction who's primary focus is on being the instructional leader. Immerse this person in core curriculum content and the observing and conferring process, RISE. They are also responsible for planning PD content sessions that guides lesson development using data to interpret progress and set instructional objectives for students that target areas in need of growth. Collecting evidence and evaluating teacher performance is the primary task of this administrator.

*In large schools add a VP or two who's primary responsibility is to moniotor student discipline and assit the principal in the general operation of the school. This administrator also serves as an evidence collector of data as related to staff performance.

Quite frankly the RISE process is so cumbersome that schools who have only one administrator are struggling with all of the tasks that on their plate. The upcoming year, the workload is expected to balloon again. Budgets for the 2012-13 school year do not provide an Assistant Principal unless there are 500 students. If you think student discipline is an issue this year, just wait until next year.

So where do we find all of these persons? There are plenty of PELA Directors who could be assigned as Deans of Instruction. The current Assistant Principals whose main responsibility has been to manage student discipline and support the principal needs to be used in that same capacity. If there are budget gaps, then PPS needs to make cuts in the offices of staff members that never touch a Media and Marketing, Human Resources, Summer Dreamers Program staff would be a starting place.

Anonymous said...

It might also be a good idea for all educators to revisit basic Philosophy 101, Psychology 101 and Education 101 so that there is a retreat from the "one-size-fits-all" methodology, "mass production" format, and an attempt to reduce all education to reading and math lessons that are not applicable or useful to real learning about the world beyond.

The so-called "business model" does not work where the "products" are human beings.

Anonymous said...

This year, 400 teachers will be fired due to budget cuts. 400.

Dr.Lane has chosen to keep her administrative ponzi scheme intact and put students and schools in peril.

The PFT....has done nothing. In fact, they've told young teachers that RISE firings might "help them get placed." What a great union, huh? This is "empowering teachers."

But what will happen when Gates money runs out? Just how will Dr.Lane shield administrative do-nothings. Let's face it....most PELA's were wash-outs in the classroom. I can't imagine them going back.

Anonymous said...

Whew, good thing Dr. Lane's putting this Westinghouse thing behind her so she can focus on matters of real importance to Roosevelt/Fischetti/Weiss/Isler, like the Chief Fadzen hearing.

If they spent a fraction of the resources righting the Westinghouse schedule as have been wasted on this witch hunt, those students wouldn't have lost much if a school year.