Sunday, February 5, 2012

Westinghouse regroups

From the PG:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12036/1207983-53.stm

Isn't it more like Westinghouse goes back to how it was before the reform? Why was Dr. Crenshaw transferred in the first place?

30 comments:

Questioner said...

From the article:

"The plan for Westinghouse required doing a lot of things well at once.

"It was just too much," said Ms. Shealey."

But, in its April 2010 report, sent to Board members including Ms Shealey, the Open East End Panel warned of this issue (see exerpt below) and received no real response except "Thank you for your comments." Legal issues with the proposed single gender format were pointed out the day the plan was announced in April 2010 but were also not addressed.

From the OEEP Report:

"We are struck by the scope of proposed changes that may affect students in the East End.

Initiatives under discussion include:

• Reorganization of Career and Technical Education
• New feeder patterns and configurations, including closing Peabody and merging Peabody students with Westinghouse and/or Milliones students
• The “Big Picture Learning” program including a new internship program
• Year round school at some locations
• A longer school day at some locations
• Separate boy and girl classrooms at some locations
• The Teacher Effectiveness initiative
• Possible new location of the IB program and the robotics program
• The new Keystone exams
• A 6-12 format for Westinghouse
• A social justice and leadership component at Westinghouse
• Greater community involvement in Homewood schools (including Homewood Children's Zone)
• Possible new location for credit recovery
• Summer Dreams Camp replacing summer school for middle school students
• Block scheduling at some locations
• Changes in the Special Education program
• New plans for facilities
• Recruitment of nontraditional teachers
• Curriculum changes
• Move to “online” school libraries rather than libraries with printed books
• Graduation in 3 years
• Various mentoring programs

Families, students, teachers and staff are adjusting to and evaluating other recent changes within the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

• Formation of new schools including University Prep at Milliones, Sci Tech, IB (Pittsburgh Obama), Clayton/CEP
• Closing of Schenley High School building and the phase out of the Schenley student body
• 6-12 grade configurations
• Many new principals
• Changes in magnet procedures
• New courses including African American literature and history that must be worked into schedules"

Anonymous said...

If this fiasco had occured inside a classroom instead of an entire school the teacher would have received unsatisfactory on the rise domain of preparation and planning, an unsat in creating a culture for learning, an unsat in treating students equitably and an unsat in contributing to a professional community. This teacher would have been put on an employee improvement plan and more than likely eventually dismissed. Instead the superintendent gets a bonus for having met her goals. There is something wrong with this picture.

Anonymous said...

Principals too in this district have been put on EIPs-- so that could have happened.
My question on the article is: the whole idea that a office referral for "something minor like using a cell phone" -after the whole discusion here about "light weapons" and Otuma-- shouldnt all schools have uniform enforcement of discipline code ? And honestly, have you ever been in line at the Eagle when someone was talking on a cellphone? classroom atmosphere?
I know usually it is music etc. but honestly at other schools, students at least say sorry if they leave a phone on!

Anonymous said...

First we need to see why students are being suspended at record numbers. How is it that half of the school has been suspended?

We need to stop sending all those kids to the magistrate for what amounts to school infractions that are suposed to be handle in school.

Then look at why atleast five staff took Medical leave based on the stressful conditions at Westinghouse and why teachers are resigning from Westinghouse at record numbers because of the current principal.

Then look at why there have been 8 adminstrators there since the school opened in august.

Anonymous said...

Is the rate of staff leaving higher under Crenshaw? They lost quite a few before she came too.

The suspensions *should* abate. But, I can't quibble with that as a first month rate. The school was out of control. Totally so. Students talking on cellphones in classes? That should be a suspension. You can not run a school that actually provides an EDUCATION if students won't at least be quiet and not interrupt the learning of those who do want to be there.

So, yes, in the first month actually enforcing the rules that allow for learning to occur is a necessity. If it doesn't begin to fall each month, then you know that it's not working to get the behavior under control.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, you don't think the Fadzen hearing shows some vindictiveness? I do think that actions can show it!

Questioner said...

No problem with a comment that the Fadzen dismissal shows vindictiveness, as opposed to just an unexplained comment that PPS is vindictive. Epecially if you explain how the Fadzen incident shows vindictiveness.

Anonymous said...

Wrong thread for fazden comments.

Anonymous said...

Yes it way more staff resigning under Crenshaw, secretary, nurse, vice principal, all went out on medical because of her. Teachers walked off job and refused to work with her. Never in the history of the district has this happened. Teachers are about to stage a massive walk out. Teachers have iundated the union with numerous complaints about her, and Heileman is working over time just on Crenshaw issues.

Crenshaw has even asked to be reasigned and otuwa said no. The next assignment for her will be out the door if she does not change her disrespectful ways. And I disgree that the suspension show be that high. That was over half the school. That was simply a lack of supervision on the administrations part and not wanting to deal with the students.

The bottom line is the school was not ready to open under this bad plan and everyone knows it, but since they were some poor kids from Homewood, easthills, lemington, eastliberty and larmer, the district didnt give a damm.

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Abbott come back and crenshaw be assigned to work for her. She will get her together or send her home. Abbott couldnt handle the students but she did a heck of a job to staff. She would wip Crenshaw in to shape so fast it would make her head spin.

Anonymous said...

The word is the New Vice Principal Valotta is already wanting out and upset he was made to go to WHS. I understand that him and Crenshaw have bumped heads already and dont see eye to eye. Now who is it now, Him or Crenshaw?

Well dont be suprised if he is able to convince the board that she is a major problem and is destroying the atmosphere. The best thing that needs to happen at WHS is to bring Mcniel back and give him the support he needs and allow him to select the outside people he feels that can help WHS. He never got the support that even Crenshaw got, and he lost respect from the community because he had to continue to change things on them.

Mcniel was force to accept teachers who didnt want to be there and community groups who linda gave contracts to hush up. WHS should be allow to select the best teachers who want to come to whs, like capa was allowed to when it was new. And please bring in that alumni group they love their school and know the community.

Anonymous said...

Where is Abbott or lisa Foose, they both have been very quiet. I know lisa was let go and was supposed to start working for the childrens village, but that never panned out because her and lopez fell out. But Abbot has been very quiet, although I know she is still getting her full pay.

Anyone have any updates on her?

Questioner said...

Alumni are a huge asset that is lost when schools are made to disappear without a trace. As far as Mr. McNeil- supporting principals was one of the superintendent's "goals," and the goal wasn't limited to just when things are going well.

Anonymous said...

Abbott would whip Crenshaw into shape? Hardly.

However, the Superintendent must intervene here. Otuwa is out of her depth, without a doubt. Typically, she is extremely authoritative and demanding without any rationale or good judgement. It is a battle of wills and in her position she will win____ and the students will pay the price until she is relieved of that position.

Look at the pattern over the last five or six years, Dr. Lane and please, please put someone with background, experience, commitment, and reasoning capacity at Westinghouse as well as at Secondary Ass’t Superintendent. Bring someone or two back from retirement who have been successful in Pittsburgh's High Schools. Please!

Anonymous said...

Abott was interviewing for a job in chambersburg but didnt get it because of the WHS fiasco. They called back and talked to Otuwa and people affilated with WHS and the gave her a bad review, so Chambersburg took the offer off the table. She decided not to fight with PPS cause she thought she had that Job, now she is screwed for not fighting for her rights with PPS and they had her sign some sort of release that has boxed her in.

She banked on that chambersburg job and got screwed. She had bad representation as well. Lopez and Homewoods childrens village offered her a job when they open their charter school in Holy Rosary, but no telling when that is going to happen. SO for now she is holding her head down in shame for believing in people who didnt help her in the end.

Anonymous said...

Mcniel or Abbot should have requested a public hearing like Fazden did if they feel they were unjustly treated and dismissed. This way all the wrong doing can come out for the public to see and scrutinize.

Does anyone know what the status is for Mcniel? Did he get demoted, terminated? He is out with or without pay?

Anonymous said...

I thought Mcneil was working at Sto Rox High school as the principal. I thought he faked a medical by saying he was stressed out and took the time to interview with other schools.

Questioner said...

Wasn't that Heath Bailey who went to Sto Rox?

Maybe if Dr. Lane is freed from staying the course we would have better results.

Anonymous said...

Can some insider tell us a bit about the HCV at Westinghouse?

Anonymous said...

It's hard for me to believe that there are those who wish to somehow continue to make Abbott and McNeil somehow look good in all of this. Yes, there is a lot of blame to go around but principals are in the line of work they are in--especially as PELA's in PPS--because they have all of the answers and know the right things to do and say.

As for Tony Varlotta, he's a good man. It's a shame that a guy with middle school background is being thrown into this mess.It's surprising that none of the geniuses on Bellefield Ave who sit on their big backsides can't come out and spread their magic to put things in shape.

While we're at it, where's Judy Johnston? She has the answers to everything. Why not have her come in and put her pension/consultant/A+ fees to good use?

Anonymous said...

Yes that was Bailey who went to Sto Rox High. McNeil and Abbott are still on administrative leave. Abbott is on with pay. Im not sure about Mcneil.

Varlotta will not work there next year if Crenshaw is there. He has made that known. One of them has to go. So they are attempting to get the Principal from Oliver to come to WHS, although he would be better to go with his students to the perry building to give them some stability.

Crenshaw will be asked to leave and Varlotta to stay or Varlotta will leave WHS or the district entirely. No one wants to work for Crenshaw. The best thing to do would be to allow Mcneil to come back and give him the support he needs to turn the school around. He was just given too much to soon and Lane acknowledges that she didn't think this one out. But once Mcneil left Crenshaw was able to take things back to the way it was. How fair was that?

Anonymous said...

What do you want to know about Homewoods Children Village at Whs?

Anonymous said...

Heath Bailey is Principal at Sto-Rox High School where, as witnessed, he is highly-valued, highly-respected by staff and students. The teachers speak of him as a "hero" who is turning the school around for the first time in many years. Heath has autonomy, energy, ideas, and the opportunity to exert leadership.

Students come to the principal with individual problems. Teachers are working collaboratively and are encouraged by the direction and order that is being established day after day. It is a new day at Sto-Rox H.S.

Anonymous said...

Who is it that can free Dr. Lane from "staying the course"?

How soon can she be "freed"? It needs to happen soon.

Anonymous said...

You tell em Mr. Bailey. We miss you at Westinghouse Academy. Can you please rescue us from this dictator. Teachers are talking about walking out every day. This is the worse it has every been and I have been at Westinghouse over 17years and have survived 7 principals at Westinghouse, to include Crenshaw on her first tour. She is now worse than ever and the teachers will not tolerate it much longer.

There have been more complaints filed against her in the 3 months she been her than the whole 3 years Mcneil was there and the year you were there. Dr. Lane has been made aware of this but has done nothing. Otuwa is ready to release her in a heart beat but Dr. Lane does not want to be embarrased for sending her back over there.

Anonymous said...

What does HCV do in the building at Westinghouse? The website it has (which displays a handsome pic of Dr. Lopez announcing his appointment) does not give a whole lot of detail. It does say it is modeled after Mr. Canada's Harlem Children's Zone. It seems only the upper management team is listed on the site. How many HCV staffers work and have offices in Westinghouse and, with its affiliation with Pitt's School of Social Work is the social work component proving affective?

Corbett announces his budget this morning and it will mean even bigger cuts to education. It makes one suspect that we will see more HCV and HCZ's born and funded without government dollars and wonder if that might be the plan in the minds of some people. On the other hand, how many of these efforts are sustainable? 20 years from now will they be shutting their doors after the effort has been declared successful?

Anonymous said...

It's Mr. Lopez. He does not have a doctorate in education. There are many limitations that are problems.

Anonymous said...

I thought Lopez did have a Dr. Degree.

Anonymous said...

He didn't have one while he was in PPS. Did he acquire one since he left?