Saturday, May 26, 2012

Smilarities to another Broad district

On another post Anonymous wrote:

I cannot find the find "start a new topic" thread! I hope this will be considered. As many people know PPS and Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC, (CMS)school districts have almost everything in common, although CMS is quite larger. They have a Broad superitendent, (Peter Gorman) who was replaced by another Broad graduate even though Gorman was driving the district into the ground. They also won the "Broad Prize" and the Gates Grant. I stumbled upon a blog very similar to Pure Reform about CMS and the conversations and concerns that community is having basically mirrors our community concerns. I found the following iPad seems too coincidental.

That is one thread of many.


Questioner said...

This particular thread is about iPads, and it is strange that the issue came up in another Broad district at just about the same time that it did in PPS.

It wouldn't be surprising, because if you look back to the start of Roosevelt's administration, virtually all of the ideas that initially appeared to be his were part of the Broad/Gates/school reform movement.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte has access to salaries and central admin information! I copied and pasted this scary paragraph from the insightful Charlotte Observer article. Central Admin DOUBLED during Tom Gorman's, (Broad Graduate) reign! Why can't we find out where our money is going?

The number of people earning $100,000 or more rose steadily from 50 in 2006, just before Gorman’s arrival, to 104 in 2010. Last year, as CMS shed hundreds of jobs because of budget cuts, the number dipped to 85. This year 75 people cleared that level.

Read more here:

Anonymous said...

Stop obsessing over Broad/Gates. They are not sitting in Central Office, but, the people who are are real and they're here, now, in the flesh, running this district with their own bad decisions.

Focus on moving them out and you have a chance of doing more than just obsessing.

Roosevelt is gone so get over it. There are much more pressing issues.

Anonymous said...

Lane is a Broad graduate. (plus we have at least 4 Broad residents that make 6 figures) What part of outside influences running our district do you not understand?

They ARE the issue.

Anonymous said...

Here is a workable hyperlink to the Newspaper story referenced.

9:48 I am confused by your post. They are running the district. I agree, we need to get them out, but how? The board votes (minus 2) for just about everything that is placed in front of them. The city residents do not pay attention because no attention is brought to the mismanagement of PPS. Maybe if citizens saw how much money was being dumped into consulting, private sector and bloated central office administration they would start caring. Informating Pittsburghers on how many millions of dollars are spent managing, (not teaching) a 25k school district compared to others might ignite voters to think and realize that it s an expensive community problem and inspire them to ask questions and vote for school board members that are not brainwashed. Roosevelt is gone, but we are neck deep in Broad Gates.

Anonymous said...

So, Lane and 4 Broad residents, you say, are controlling a District with thousands of employees and parents of more than 25,000 students. Really, how are these folks allowing this to happen. We are neck deep in people who are letting this happen. Where are the demonstrations, the letters, the emails, the public hearings, and creative outcrys, etc., etc., etc.

Relatively speaking few, very, very few are blogging here. What has changed because of it? Are you fooling yourselves or what?

Anonymous said...

People in our city, given the evidence at hand, would rather move to another area than fight for schools that will attract more people to our neighborhoods and schools (as opposed to driving them away in droves and closing schools).

That leaves the city with only those who have no choices and limited ability to fight.

Those with the means run, rather than fight (Broad/Gates). Worse yet, they could easily win if they stayed to fight.

Yes, we could have the best urban schools in the nation, IF we cared enough to join the "few, the very, very few" who STAND STRONG, as do HOLLEY and BRENTLEY for the more vulnerable among our children.

Anonymous said...

The "wire pullers" have some sway.

The "done-deal mentality" is like rust on our bones.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:09

So, what's your point? First we're not a Broad/Gates/"Reform" district according to you, now we are, but we aren't doing enough? Make up your mind!

Please inform yourself about changes in districts all across the country (NYC, LA, Seattle, Chicago, and now many in the south too, like Charlotte and Knoxville. Or look at Broad's maps of where their grads have gone and then search the newspapers there for the changes that have been made. It will sound very familiar, with very similar lack of positive results with lots of money spent.

The problem is that in most places, schools are still seen by the residents there as being local. They don't read about, think about, or investigate what's going on in other cities.

The average, involved citizen reads the newspaper -- in our newspaper you don't ever learn anything bad about a school problem or district bad choice until it's raging out of control (see Westinghouse -- predicted to fail as configured, chaos from day one -- but read the newspapers and you wouldn't have known about problems there for a couple of months and wouldn't know the extent of it for a couple more.

I certainly hope that we get more out of getting information out through this blog than just the sad opportunity to say "I told you so." :-p

Anonymous said...

At the May 24th PPS Legislative Meeting, several District officials DISAVOWED ANY CONNECTION with BROAD. The same disavowals were articulated, repetitively, for SUCCESS SCHOOLS.

However, there seems to "documentation" to the contrary. So, who do you believe? The Eli BROAD Foundation & SUCCESS SCHOOLS or our own Central Office Administration?

Additionally, but not necessarily complicit, is the repeated phrase "Not that I'm aware of" as the answer from Central Office individuals to many Board member questions.

Listen for that phrase and the questions to which it is applied. Is that, possibly, a way for each to circumvent the truth. It certainly is NOT a "yes" or "no" answer which was needed to answer the question directly.

Listen carefully to the PPS answers to questions is required for all observers.

Anonymous said...

I agree. We (and I include myself in the “we”) become so focused/localized on the schools in our own neighborhood that we do not look at the bigger picture. Maybe it’s because we think we are not well-versed enough to speak about what’s going on in someone else’s school in their neighborhood. Some Board members take the stance that as long as it doesn’t affect their neighborhood and the schools they represent; they don’t care a flying leap. Trust me, if they thought their constituency would have a problem with the way they vote on certain items, they would vote differently. The only way to stop the insanity of some Board members who continue to vote blindly on issue after issue is to get rid of them. Does anyone see a real chance of that happening anytime soon before our District becomes the next Philadelphia or Duquesne? I would also venture to say that the majority of central admin do not live in the city, so their children aren’t affected by the stupid ideas they propose Board members vote on; their neighborhoods aren’t affected. Central admin and support admin who have important decision-making roles don’t have a vested interest in the District as a whole, and that’s the crux of the problem. They hold good paying jobs that allow them to keep maintaining their spacious homes in the suburbs and their children going to “cream of the crop” schools. If the District fails, they will find another job. If the District fails, I can’t afford to send my children to private school or travel miles to another school district.

And speaking of the bloated salaries of the Broadies, I have worked for the District for 20 years and was beginning to think that I would have to become a Broad resident to climb the career ladder. I loved the response the Chief of HR gave to one of the board members when she questioned a new appointment of a Broad project manager at the May legislative meeting. The HR Chief said that anyone working for the District can apply to become a Broad resident. Well, that’s true if you’ve been working for a very short period of time. This statement is directly from the Broad website: “candidates currently working in a district, charter management organization, or federal/state department of education can apply only if they have been in their organization for less than one year by the time they join the program (i.e. candidates cannot have been employed by their organization prior to June 2011). Since these candidates enter the program with a position already, The Broad Residency plays no role in determining their salary or placement.” Well, that disqualifies me. Also, the same Board member questioned the HR Chief about appointments at the April legislative meeting and brought up another valid point that I have been waiting for someone to bring up for years now. Why is it that some jobs are posted and others aren’t? I would love to hear HR’s rationale for how they get away with this. I’m surprised that someone hasn’t filed a huge lawsuit against the District by now to get them to stop this practice.

Anonymous said...

What we are learning here from astute, long time observers of PPS is allowing us to see a level of subterfuge that is truly unconscionable. Evasive strategies abound on a regular basis.

Are we becoming paranoid about what is happening in Pittsburgh Public Schools? Or is the accumulating evidence so beyond belief that we cannot adjust to a reality that defies justification?

We need serious, intelligent people to keep a very watchful and discriminating eye on what is transpiring at 341 S. Bellefield Avenue. The most recent Legislative Meeting was an eye opener in so many respects.

Anonymous said...

Watch the players. The behaviors between and among those at the Legislative table tell us more than some of us want to know. And in itself, the fact that inattention, or dismissive looks, or little smiles? intimately exchanged, or pre-occupation with electronic devices when serious questions are under consideration, or condescending, placating, but patiently delivered explanations that often fill space but make little sense are the responses picked up inadvertently by the cameras.
Yes, please watch the players. There is much to see.

Anonymous said...


"However, there seems to "documentation" to the contrary. So, who do you believe? The Eli BROAD Foundation & SUCCESS SCHOOLS or our own Central Office Administration?"

None of the above.

Anonymous said...

May 27, 9:40

Exactly... French and Lippert spend the entire meeting texting and checking their Blackberries.

Anonymous said...

We'll know that they read this blog if they change their behaviors at the next meeting. Aha!