Thursday, June 28, 2012


On another post Anonymous wrote:

New Post:

At Last night’s PPS Legislative Meeting the following Personnel promotions/appointments/resolutions were passed:

“Dr. Jeannine French was appointed Deputy Superintendent at a salary of $142,000.

Dr. Jerri Lippert appointed Chief Academic Officer at a salary of $142,000.

Dr. Christiana Otuwa, Assistant Superintendent at School Performance - $131,000.

Mr. David May-Stein, Assistant Superintendent at School Performance - $123,000.

Dr. Barbara Rudiak, Assistant Superintendent at School Performance - $131,000.

Ms. Viola Burgess from Principal on Special Assignment to Executive Director at $9,578 per month.”

(There are no longer Assistant Superintendent designations for Secondary, Middle or Elementary in this document.)

All of these appointments include an “annual performance increment up to $2,000 and an annual achievement bonus up to $15,000 subject to the limitations set forth in a formally executed Employment Agreement.”

Most violent schools

On another post Anonymous wrote:


“Wilkinsburg is Pa.’s most violent school district” and Pittsburgh Public is 9th in PA

About The Tribune-Review

The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.

From the article:

“If there’s a kid in these schools, it can create a harmful environment.”
"Nine Pittsburgh schools, including Murray PreK-8, King PreK-8 and Westinghouse 6-12, made the list of the most violent schools. The district ranked as the state’s ninth-most violent, with 4.13 incidents per 100 students.”

"District officials could not be reached."

Comment: Since we know for a fact that some, if not all, PPS schools keep this data a dark, deep secret, since reporting it jeopardizes the Principal’s job, we could conclude that PPS true data could make Pittsburgh the “most violent school district.”

Board approves PPS cyber school

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cutting edge in teacher training?

The A Plus Schools website features this statement from a PPS teacher: 

"Pittsburgh Public Schools is currently at the cutting edge in teacher evaluation and teacher training..."

- There is a lot of debate about evaluation, but in what way can Pittsburgh claim to be on the cutting edge in teacher training?  Yes there is a teachers academy, but what specific training (as opposed to evaluation) happens there that is cutting edge?

Friday, June 22, 2012

PPS starting a cyber school

At this week's agenda review, plans were discussed for PPS to start its own cyber school to compete with existing cyber schools.  Tom Sumpter expressed concern about whether a cyber school can be put together in 2 months.  He also noted, and administrators agreed, that the Pittsburgh Promise would be the carrot that would lure students away from other cyber schools.

But... JLippert also noted that the students were a very transient population.  Don't students need to be enrolled in a PPS for all 4 years of high school to qualify for even a partial Promise scholarship?  If so, the Promise will not be a carrot for students who are already in high school at another cyber school, or who are for whatever reason "transient" in a way that includes attending schools outside of PPS.  It will be interesting to see how many students who choose the PPS cyber stay with the cyber or another PPS.  Will the cost of enrolling and ironing out technical issues, disenrolling, and possibly reenrolling all these transient students really be worth the savings?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why are there so often problems w/ Board broadcasts?

Today's meeting is being broadcast without sound.

The show immediately before it had sound, and all the other FIOS channels have sound, but the school board meeting has a picture only. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

NPR selling out?

It today's New York Times page A9 there is a large colorful ad for something called StoryCorps, part of the "National Teachers Initiative."  Sponsors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation AND NPR.

Shouldn't NPR be objectively reporting on issues, not joining with particular advocates and pushing a particular agenda?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gates wants to measure engagement physiologically

New topic..second attempt.

This is not a joke. Google "galvanic skin response" Gates foundation is investing serious money towards this for teachng tools. It is Orwellian. PPS is mentioned in this education blog.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Westinghouse (selective?) update

From the PG:

New post: interesting article regarding Westinghouse

things that jumped out at me:

Students were able to make-up courses VERY quickly

emphasis on CTE courses which PPS

got away from (unfortunately)

because every student should be

college bound

principal wants input into

teachers she gets (PFT??)

school seems to be not so

"scripted" curriculum

community is getting to input

Principal is getting a big

say so in how school is run


It will be interesting to see if this all comes to pass. I hope it does.

Teach one

Teach one.

Teach one class. Please. Just one.

If you work anywhere in PPS and hold a valid teaching certificate, please volunteer to teach one class next fall in a school that really needs it. Help reduce overcrowding in the classes. Volunteer to pick up a section of history. Or math. Maybe Spanish?

Almost 300 of our colleagues have received furlough notices. What a sad era this is. We all have to sacrifice. We all need to stick together. Teachers are being told to expect increases in class size. 35 in a class. Maybe 37 or even 38. Yet somehow we're supposed to reach every child, differentiate, give detailed feedback and regular meaningful formative assessments, maintain up-to-date grades and attendance, address racial equity, learn all names within the first week, be empowered and more.

We're already struggling. Next year will be worse. Help. Pitch in. Please.

Teach one class.

Devote an hour of your work day to teaching a forty minute class, prepping, and grading. Choose the school. Ask the building leadership team where your efforts would be most helpful. Ninth grade mainstream bio? Seventh grade language arts? Fourth grade phys ed?

Building principals, please join in. Teach one class.

Central office administrators, please do your part. Teach one class.

Union officials not still in the classroom, please help out, too. Teach one class.

Dr. Lane? Will you teach one?

Dr. Otuwa and Dr. French? Will you teach one?

Dr. Lippert? Will you teach one?
Sam Franklin and Kim Basinger? Will you teach one?

Nina Esposito? Will you teach one?

Who else will help? Is it you?

Help alleviate the burden of next year's budget cuts. Let's all work together. We're all educators. We're all in this together.

Please. Just one.

Teach one class.
What do you say?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Schenley/ Now it's not the asbestos, it's the "crashing plaster"

On another post Anonymous wrote:
Asbestos and the End of Schenley High

To quote the story: "It turns out Schenley’s plaster only contained trace amounts of asbestos."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer program grant

On another post Anonymous wrote:

new topic??

SELLING OUT for next year already--if you had any hope at at that pps selling out to Broad,Gates,Walton is over note that we are selling out ahead! How can they not see there is no free lunch?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Candlelight vigil/ yinzer

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Couldn't find the start a new post link. Tomorrow June 13th there will be a candlelight vigil outside the Bellefield building sponsored by Yinzernation in support of furloughed teachers. The time is from 6-7 pm and the plan is to light 285 candles to show support. Of course the union officials are all busy at a dinner and won't be able to attend.. The support for teachers is absymal. Thank you to all of the yinzers parents and colleagues who are there for us everyday. Hope to see you in Oakland.

"Teachers help lead Faison"

From the PG:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Another school incident

On another thread Anonymous wrote:

Another School Incident and another thread. . .

PITTSBURGH — Two middle school students have been disciplined by the Pittsburgh Public Schools system for engaging in "inappropriate sexual acts" on a school bus.

The incident involving a 13-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy on Monday was also referred to city police, who did not immediately say Friday whether any criminal charges might result.

The students attend Clayton Academy, a private school which contracts with the city school district to provide services for students with chronic behavioral problems.

District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says she cannot comment beyond confirming the incident and saying that appropriate disciplinary action has been taken.

A third student who witnessed the acts reported them to school officials.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

PPS student rescued on school trip

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Child rescued from pool on field trip to Claysville-and they are cutting back on teachers and classroom services

And this was all over the news-no mention of Arsenal

A third-grader at the Pittsburgh Arsenal PreK-5 school in Lawrenceville was rescued from a pool while on a field trip on Thursday with fellow students, Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said.

The student was flown to Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville after being pulled from the water by a lifeguard at the Sunset Beach Park Pool in Claysville in Washington County, Pugh said. She said the boy was in good condition at the North Side hospital.

"He can swim. He apparently got tired and went under," Pugh said.

She said the students in grades 3-5 were on the field trip as a reward for doing well on their Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

Displacement notices

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"May need a new thread on this topic. Mass confusion district wide with displacement notices going out. Teachers who have certification and seniority In their schools are being told to look for other positions in district. The person responsible for these errors should be fired. HR has been bloated with inept non teachers who must be held accountable for this. Admin constantly violates rights of teachers and the union is slow to respond. "

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Privatization of schools

On another post Anonymous wrote:

I couldn't find the place to start a new post, but thought this was a scary harbinger of things to come. Notice how the desirable schools have very few spaces available for vouchers while the school that uses television instead of books has ple of space.