Thursday, February 16, 2012

"What went wrong at Westinghouse"

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"What went wrong at Westinghouse?

By Emily DeMarco | PublicSource | Feb. 16, 2012

The Pittsburgh Public School District embarked last fall on an expansive plan to change historic Westinghouse High School, one of the city’s lowest performing schools, into a prestigious single-gender academy.

The reconfiguration of the school included student uniforms, a new trimester schedule, expanding the high school to include middle-school and developing leadership skills in students. The question many are still asking is 'Why did it fail so quickly?'"

- A timely piece given today's 6:00 pm meeting with Dr. Lane at Westinghouse.


Questioner said...

The article says:

"Lane said she hopes the meeting on Thursday evening will help the community heal and make Westinghouse "the place the kids deserve."

"I personally want to hear from parents and families," said Lane. "What would be something that they would be willing to jump in and support?""

- At the community meeting in the school's cafeteria last spring parents and families discussed extensively what they would support, and very little interest was expressed in a reform build around single gender instruction. The Open East End Panel formed by two Board members also met extensively and prepared a report with community input, which was presented to Dr. Lane in April 2010.

Questioner said...

From "About" Public Source- sounds like this is what we have been waiting for:

"PublicSource is an independent, non-profit news group that focuses on original investigative reporting about critical issues facing Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania region. It was launched to undertake in-depth reporting in the public interest.

The economic uncertainties facing many traditional news organizations have left their staffs with little time to delve deeply into some of the subjects that will have long-term effects on the community. PublicSource will concentrate on issues that have a major impact on the lives of citizens and on those who have the power and responsibility to influence those events.

PublicSource is a newsroom free from partisan political influences. We work on stories that we believe are of vital importance to readers in the Pittsburgh region, whether they involve education, the environment, business, non-profits or any other topic.

We approach every story with our ethical statement in mind and strive to be fair and accurate in all our coverage."

Anonymous said...

Lopez, Lopez, Lopez. Thats where is starts. He hurt the students failed programs.

Then Lane,Lane, Lane. She didnt provide the support to the principals and staff and Make promises she didnt keep.

Then Otuwa, Otuwa Otuwa. She simply lacked the skill set and is is not bright enough, and is in cultural shock.

And finally Crenshaw. Crenshaw crenshaw was sent back there after haven been removed from there to terorize and finish off the teachers.

Everyone involved should be fired, just like they did Lopez, except he resign in leu of being fired.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the person who hired them all. Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Roosevelt.

Anonymous said...

Could Westinghouse be closed completely? I heard something to that effect very recently. Where would all of the students go?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Well, Westinghouse could close. Hints of this were expressed last night in that the existing debt from bonds to refirb the school would NOT need to be paid back until the building was sold to a for-profit company.

I do not want that to occur. Just saying.

My crystal ball predicted that single-gender would be a ploy from PPS, and it came to pass. The community was surprised. Meanwhile, my earlier suggestion to talk of and discuss fully single-gender options were waved away.

Oh well.

IMNSHO, Single gender could work with PPS if it was done well -- in different buildings / campus locations, city wide, only for 9-12, etc. But, it won't unfold now given these situations.

Westinghouse could move some of its students back to K-8s or even middle schools.

Furthermore, Westinghouse could move its students in grades 10, 11 and 12 to Allderdice if all the Dice freshmen went to Westinghouse.

Prediction for Pittsburgh's future, Intermediate High Schools will emerge as an option.

Even with the North Side, put all the 9th graders in Oliver and the kids in grades 10, 11 and 12 into Perry.

Just saying, they've sliced and diced (pun) it every which way, except this way.

Time will tell.

The meeting last night at Westinghouse was with the tone of 'back to the drawing board.'

I think everything goes back on the table again -- unless they have another hidden agenda. But I doubt that to be the case.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that we have to give westinghouse students the best shot at making it out in the real world--genders are mixed, managers are of both genders. Also the "locker room" mentality that emerged when we has single gender suchbas health classes does not serve to make these students compete in the world -- right now in America comprehensive suburban high schools seem to mimic corporate America-- for good and evil. I think the strongest strides pps has made is when the school staffs give the students the support-- schools paying for psats is an example -- to show we care about school and learning-- just a thought.

Anonymous said...

To answer the question "What went wrong at Westinghouse?"

We have a Central Office staff that clearly does not have the educational knowledge, experience, background, and expertise to do what needs to be done to be successful in an large urban district like Pittsburgh.

We should not be hiring consultants to do the work of Central Office highly-paid Chiefs and Assistant Superintendents! Rather, we need to hire qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, educational experts for these internal positions.

Anonymous said...

The school board should approach the top board administrates to resign or leave now.

Are they afraid? Dr. Holley headhunted teachers as a Principal. Can you do it now? Show what you can do with fellow Board members-the students are lost because of previous boards.

Or there’s a hidden agenda to close the school for monetary reasons-this was a facade movie for taxpayers. They choreographed this for Oscar performance-in a year we will really see what is real.

Or this Adm had no purpose of common sense. There are no apologies-fire the top brass. No empathy for Adm errors in this mess.

free photo editor said...

I don't know, maybe that's because reorganizing the whole school system is not such an easy task...And of course the uniform can't save the situation, only the looks)))