Thursday, June 28, 2012

Board approves PPS cyber school


Anonymous said...

Three years essentially before PPS starts their own.

They should just let
aiu3 run this for them to see if they can absorb a market share for investing in as a concept school.

People really need to
read this article-the board members probably need to know the difference between asynchronous learning
and synchronous learning.

People should not be jumping at this!!!!

This has to be synchronous learning for teachers to be hired.

If it is asynchronous learning,
not much accountability for a full time workforce.

As for a poster on another thread talking about swimming and cyber, please do not stop public education and mix this with Tebow- a representation of the counterculture of public education.

PPS have great Phys Ed teachers that can be part of swimming now with furloughed teachers.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda this concept school be an integral part of what type of PPS student population?

Mark Rauterkus said...

I'm not sure what you, above, are hitting at with the sports, Tebow, PPS angles. The message is hard, if not impossible, for me to understand and read between the lines.

Anonymous said...

Well, read at face value.

Or, go back to your latest postings on the other thread in relation to PPS Cyber School.

Every time any intellectual conversation or regal information filled post goes up--- an insertion from your viewpoint appears regarding swimming as an opinion piece.

It is a free country, but usually parents see that insertion and let their fingers walk away from this blog with "OH it is that parent self-promotion of himself-he works with another educational agency-that subcontracts in the city schools. '

Too much PA funding going beyond PPS to outside sources.
We need PPS teachers and administrators take back all their coaching and teaching positions including after school and summer programs..

Thus, no outsiders coming in to PPS having jobs.

Anonymous said...

Re: June Legislative Meeting minutes

Since there is no mention of the resolution of any litigation is it safe to assume that no action was taken during Personnel/Exec Session on the Chief Fadzen issue?

Questioner said...

No one is getting rich promoting swimming. Someone needs to stand up for sports. There are not always teachers willing and well qualified to handle coaching. That will probably be the case even more so in the future, as teachers are assigned larger and larger classes and additional academic responsibilities and paperwork.

Questioner said...

Re: Fadzen, the best bet would be to check the agenda review posted online. On the broadcast you only hear about those items from the review that board members decide to bring up for discussion.

Questioner said...

Re: Fadzen, the best bet would be to check the agenda review posted online. On the broadcast you only hear about those items from the review that board members decide to bring up for discussion.

Anonymous said...

The Personnel Report does not include a resolution where one would normally appear at the end of the report.

Anonymous said...

Regarding sports and coaches, PPS is going to have to open up positions to "outsiders." With all the teachers being cut, resigning, retiring, etc., PPS is running out of GOOD coaches. And certain sports will be competing in the WPIAL so city schools need to step it up to be competitive.

Anonymous said...

I'd agree that swimming stands in well as an example of a (lifetime) sports activity and of the extracurriculars and electives that used to be considered a normal part of a student's day and a normal part of the choices presented to students.

Those things keep disappearing and it's everyone's loss.

Anonymous said...

I particularly enjoyed the real hands-on attention the kids are going to get from a teacher.

$17 per student, topped out at 50 students a month? How much attention from your teacher does $17 get you?!

Who do you attract under those conditions other than people who just really need money, any money they can get. As they point out, those teachers have other "real" jobs so one can assume that most of their (extremely limited) time spent with students should come outside of regular school hours. I guess it's better than absolutely nothing if you get an answer back from your "teacher" 12-24 hours or more after you ask a question.

Anonymous said...

Good article reagarding technology & education.
" The technology mistake: Confusing access to information with becoming educated"

Anonymous said...

I firmly disagree-there are many great teachers at all levels of seniority that are certified and meet WPIAL standards that can coach swimming.

Some just need coverage of classes at other schools to go Coach let’s say at Obama. They need to repost positions. Sorry, but under the current climate many certified Phys Ed people are seeing things in a different light.

They know as well as other areas of certified teachers--- we have to fight to keep our jobs. Including but not limited to, after school, coaching, and summer school jobs.

Many people on this web blog just assume and believe people are just going to quit their jobs because of all the variables of extra responsibility and students.
PPS teachers are great teachers-they will do what they got to do to keep their jobs-they are not quitters.

The job market is very bad out there in all employment fields. Education is feeling the loss of many more jobs those other areas.
Again, a very intelligent topic lead and the last several posters are off topic.

I doubt swimming should be injected in the cyber school at this point, unless we are recruiting a future Olympic hopeful. Remember they must be city residents.

Anonymous said...

*Some just need coverage of classes at other schools to go Coach let’s say at Obama. *

Uh, so you're recommending hiring a coach who has to miss classes every day (practice and meets) in order to get extra money for coaching?

That seems like a bad idea to me as a parent. It seems like a bad idea to me as a parent that the PPS can't manage to make it so that kids don't miss school for athletics, but now you're adding on extra missed classes for kids who don't participate?

Anonymous said...

ANON 6:03 PM
Our students miss classes all over the city the day of the meet or game. That is the only time class cover ages are needed. Practices are not part of the regular academic schedule.

By the way asynchronous learning will be the cyber school teaching method for PPS-all must read the board memo with the PFT and PPS.

That is what this thread and the other cyber thread should be discussion.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:59:

"Our students miss classes all over the city the day of the meet or game."

Yes, I know that, if you read my comment you'll notice that I think it's stupid that that happens.

" That is the only time class cover ages are needed. Practices are not part of the regular academic schedule. "

Generally practices have run at the end of school and, in the case of swimming, up until 30-40 minutes before school starts too. That would be pretty tough for a teacher at a different school to make those practice times.

And on the topic (if you'll recall, you've also been posting off-topic):

I'm far less worried about "asynchronous" (isn't that often touted as an advantage of online schooling?) than I am about the "teachers" they are hiring at $17/hour with extremely limited hours.

Does one teacher "teach" or "answer" content questions in all middle school subjects? Or would an online student be assigned a teacher in every subject?

How quickly is the teacher expected to turn around questions?

How are these teachers hired? Would furloughed teachers be offered (or barred from) these positions?

What is the union role for these teachers or are they going to be like Clayton?

Anonymous said...

The Union and PPS have arrived with an agreement that union members can purview.

The June Board minutes on the PPS web site might have the integral points regarding the cyber school.

It appears the teacher positions will be similar ro the aiu3's version of their adjunct teacher that services the cyber students.

I have not been able to read the approved version of the agreement, but jsut looked it as fast view without the gist.

Overall, the teacher positions are considered as one parent stated as supplemental in nature. It is not full time positions in nature.

Anonymous said...

The cyber school will be 6-12-thus teacher certifications are related to 6-12 subject area under PA law the indivual teacher is certified.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Golly. Some without a name above would think that "We need PPS teachers and administrators take back all their coaching and teaching positions including after school and summer programs.."

Well, I would think that WE, PARENTS, TAXPAYERS, own those schools. The schools are not the property of the administrators nor teachers. The positions you speak of are from a point of taking money for self. Meanwhile, the efforts I stand for are about doing for others, especially students, most often without compensation.

More jeepers.
"Thus, no outsiders coming in to PPS having jobs."

Frankly, I can't be an outsider. I am a parent and taxpayer.

I will be here and have been longer than most.

But mostly, I'm really worried about the locking, shutting, closing of facilities which goes hand-in-hand with the lack of opportunities for our kids. And, my worries about the school day are split from the concerns I often share opinions about what happens AFTER the school day.

To the others above, thanks for the backup. Have a good weekend in this free country!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mark, but in the economic climate of many Pa School and around the country-athletics and sports are about budgets constraints. I am not going to get into PPS specifics on how they should have had self-constraints on their annual budgets.

We need to give every aspect and concept of education back to the teachers. Too many hands in the pot that think they know what is right, politicians, parents, consultants, non-profits, research officials, etc.

Subsequently, the education money is handed to all the above in some form to be used.

Too many hands in the money pot thinking they have all the rights to the money.

You work at a non-profit-the present economic bust has been festering.

The funding money is just not there for after-school, summer, and athletic programs.

I do not like teachers being cut and furloughed.
I am a city taxpayer watching many

school districts slashing budgets realizing what is important.

Education and safety come first.

Many educators have noticed the loudest parents and the most visible try to get what they want for their children.

Nevertheless, it is not always the answer.

The parents can be stifling education by not paying attention to their Board members Instead they should bedding themselves by supplanting their elected Board members.

Additionally, many Board members can be wind baggers just to say words to be placed in certified Board minutes. We observed this past week on TV the many varied school Board meetings-as local media captured the same economic issues.

I am sorry, but when teachers lose jobs at this fast pace around the state-there are many certified and highly qualified educators that are able to work.

The position you have now , is it up for grabs ?

I sincerely doubt it.

Anonymous said...

"You work at a non-profit-the present economic bust has been festering."

I don't know what this means.

But I do know that Mark pretty much has nothing to do with the problems in the PPS and that you really need to turn your anger elsewhere, perhaps somewhere productive.

My understanding is that those positions are always up for grabs -- but that good principals choose the *best* person for them rather than the person who whines the loudest.

I can't even follow your argument -- you seem to be saying that all extracurricular positions must go to staff, whether they want them or not, but that really they should be cut. But they can't be cut, because then teachers will be paid less.

Maybe find some AC and gather your thoughts?

Mark and other parents have NOT been the ones spending us into corners. Also, not the ones suggesting that consultants and administrators be hired and teachers fired.

Parents understand the value of having good people doing the direct teaching and coaching of students. If it can be a teacher, in that building, I think that's great. If it's a teacher that will have no other contact with those kids because they're at a different school? Not so great. Retired teachers also can make great coaches. Where do they fall on your good coach/bad coach scale?

Anonymous said...

Mark won't like to read this but I would have to believe that if we continue down this budgetary path and PPS is hellbent on keeping administrators gainfully employed, that right after even more teacher cuts, we are going to see middle school sports get the ax. Perhaps hoops will survive, but it's only matter of time.

I am at a loss to describe the lack of foresight where athletics is concerned at this point in time. Truly, George Cupples and Bob Pajak are doing flips in their graves. Yeah, it was a nice thing to send some schools into the WPIAL for sports, but what about those schools that are determined to be "un-worthy?" What recourse do they have?

What is left of the city soccer leagues?
What is left of the baseball and softball programs?
Why even have those schools compete?

Anonymous said...

**What is left of the city soccer leagues?
What is left of the baseball and softball programs?
Why even have those schools compete?

I'm convinced this is part of the unspoken, but clear, intentions of many of these changes, like smaller schools, 6-12 schools, etc.

With each change more programs are lost. Then you end up with schools which are very unequal -- so then the district can say it's unfair.

That gives them the impetus to cut the programs from the schools that still have them in the name of equity. See: librarians.

When the general population finally wakes up, they are going to be so shocked at what happened right under their noses.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Again, baseball and softball now have three team city leagues. The AD has told coaches to fill their schedules with WPIAL exhibitions and hopes schools departing city league play will still schedule their old city foes that were left behind. He has even stated that hey, a Perry can schedule an Allderdice JV if it feels that it can't compete.

Amazing, huh?

Softball. Baseball. Soccer. Swimming. Why have these sports for schools "left behind?" It's hard to believe this was all done without any type of foresight.

Anonymous said...

Fill your schedule with WPIAL exhibitions? The competitive WPIAL teams won't play the "left behind" city league teams. Why? Look at past schedules and see the scores, forfeits, etc. Would you want to waste your team's time "competing" with these teams?

Regarding hiring "outside" coaches, what about allowing successful retired PPS coaches to continue coaching? The PFT and Board don't allow it. How can they be considered "outsiders"?

Questioner said...

Anonymous wrote the following, along with a note about a comment not being posted (however, the date and time the note was sent are needed in order to track comments):

Anon 5:03 PM
"You work at a non-profit-the present economic bust has been festering."

I don't know what this means.
It is the Neighborhood Learning Alliance
Neighborhood Learning Alliance is a non-profit-even if he volunteers it is where he has affiliation.
Reread and you stay cool-many parents and educators know what a great coach means.
“Retired teachers also can make great coaches. Where do they fall on your good coach/bad coach scale?” A great idea they can do it as charitable with no pay and tutor in our overcrowded schools

Ageism is not a factor to discriminate.

But, many PPS retirees would or would not to do it for free?

Anonymous said...

I've known retired teacher coaches -- were they breaking rules?

Why in heavens name would you expect anyone to do for free what you think others should be paid to do? Honestly, I'm sick of public or private enterprises expecting to get things done for free -- whether it's from retirees, or students, or "interns."

If someone wants to donate their pay back to the organization (or give it to a charity of their choice), that's a different story.

As I understand it, any teachers/staff who apply for a coaching position have to be interviewed at the very least, I think they have some leg up in hiring as well. BUT, if there is no one qualified in that sport and/or no interest in the position then it is opened to "outsiders."

Anonymous said...

The important word is "qualified." Too many of our coaches are not qualified to coach their sport(s). There is no accountability. Sure, they are PPS teachers, paras, etc. and thus meet the contract qualifications. But many coach 1, 2, or even 3 sports for the money. A coach can't do justice to 2 or even 3 sports in a school year - not if they are doing it right.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I fear for a possible cut to middle school sports. No news there.

The other twisted talk above is hardly worthy of a reply.

Anonymous said...

After what PPS has just done to city athletics, I have to wonder just who would want to coach at a school which has been "left behind." Other than a nice paycheck, for what purpose????

Faculty managers have said that the decisions to send certain schools/programs to the WPIAL was kicked around in discussion for a couple of days and that the topic of the "left behinds" and the viability of a "city league" was never broached.

If that's true, then the collective intelligence of those in attendance must be something approaching what we see in kindergarten. Or at the local bowling alley.

There is an entire segment of kids in PPS that the athletics department has failed. I'm utterly shocked by this.

I'm also wondering what Mark thinks about this. Incredible.

Mark Rauterkus said...

We, of the athletics reform committee, did some heavy lifting. Then all went off. Months later after the committee stopped, there was newspaper articles.

Participation and academics and other key concepts were part of the work we did.

In the early discussions I advocated the concept of expanding the city league. We could have recruited other districts to join us. No said the others. :(

Then I also suggested we do merge with the WPIAL with some sports and some teams. Well, that came to pass. But, there were lots of other considerations that may or may not be happening.

It is a wicked problem.

Anonymous said...

While I usually can appreciate your comments on athletics, Mark, this sound like political mumbo jumbo. I've talked to two faculty managers who corroborate the story listed here, that there was discussion about some schools/programs joining the WPIAL. They also stated that there was no discussion about those left behind.
In the euphoria of the Obama swim program going to WPIAL, did you fail to think about the schools left behind in the city? I have to wonder if any coach or faculty manager of a program or school leaving the city even begins to contemplate the damage done by this incredible lack of foresight.
All of this kinds of runs counter to everything you have put forward over the past couple of years. This move is great for some segments of the city but completely destroys programs in other parts of the city.
What do you tell an Obama baseball player?
What do you tell a Carrick soccer player.
How about a swimmer from Perry?

I would have loved to have been at the meetings you speak of. I'm a little bit long in the tooth now, and I can tell you that I would have had objections about the moves that were made. Like you, I share the vision of athletics across the city and the benefits it provides youngsters.

This action served more to harm than help the overall picture in the city.

Incidentally, having worked for a number of WPIAL AD's over the years, I had to chuckle about the notion of WPIAL programs "joining the city."
That's almost as funny as the current city AD telling "left behind" programs to schedule exhibitions with WPIAL schools. It's a nice idea that gets laughed at in suburban corners.

Questioner said...

It seems very strange to have some city schools in another league and the rest just kicking around. There must be precedents in other districts for handling the type of situation PPS faces. Has the proposed new arrangement worked well anywhere else?

Anonymous said...

In at least 2 meetings held to discuss joining WPIAL I came away thinking since approximately 80% of the attendees were not in favor of it we were safe. Now I think after seeing the schedule and travel demands, 2 years of high school soccer may have been enough for my daughter. For all who wanted this I am pleased for you, but it doesn't work for my kid and that is okay, not everyone can be happy all the time.

Questioner said...

These extra travel demands will be in addition to extra travel time required for those whose neighborhood schools have been closed and in addition to extra time spent waiting around by those who are now in a 6-12 school and do not have the same access to facilities that was available when HS and middle school were separate.

Anonymous said...


The majority of people running other districts understand that schools are for developing the minds and bodies of children and they are held in check by their Boards.

In PPS, its about making big bucks quickly without alot of work.

This pertains to central office and NOT teachers. The work keeps getting tougher for teachers at the hands of the greedy, self-centered, not-too-bright central office people.

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I would have a hard time justifying my kid playing for one of those schools that were left behind if maintaining good grades were our overall goal. Why? To play against two other schools on three occasions? How does that make sense?

This is a crying shame and yes, I kind of see Mark and coaches in similar circumstances being very happy to go against "the big boys" while failing to see what has been done to the city landscape.

I'm not sure who is responsible for this ridiculousness, but they forgot about city of Pittsburgh children. With few rec programs available to our kids, this one really hurt.

I am of the opinion that children of all ages need a solid athletics program. If this was the brainchild of the current athletic director, he should be made to explain and quite possibly seek other employment.

We are a district of 24,000 students,and shrinking. This is not the city of Allderdice or city of Brashear. I have to believe that any family who prioritizes athletic activity has already looked at Central Catholic, Oakland Catholic, Seton, North and other places to send their kids.


And Mark, I'm disappointed in you.This move flies in the face of everything you have talked about.

Anonymous said...

It should have been all or none.
City League athletics as we knew it, is on the way out. Soon, we won't have any sports.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The move to the WPIAL was DOA in terms of the outcome of the Athletic Reform Committee. We decided to do nothing. Lots was talked about. But, we knew that a move to the WPIAL needed to come with overall reform measures. That program boost was not to happen. So, it was deemed to be content to keep the status quo. End of reform efforts.

Then, months, if not a year later, long past our final meeting, we read something in the paper that came from PPS and not the reform committee. Some mergers were to happen after all.

When the news hit, I worked to plead the case that to insure that the team I coach would be PUT within its proper WPIAL Classification.

Swimming has Allderdice going to WPIAL AAA and Pgh Obama Academy going to AA Classifications for 2011-12.

There are other serious changes and challenges that I tried to advocate for that have not taken root yet.

I would like to co-host an invite with Allderdice. I would like to co-host a meet with Westinghouse. I would like to sponsor an overhaul of all the city swim meets from Elementary to Middle School. I'd love to have middle school kids swim -- even if it is exhibition -- in the city high school championships. This is done in other states.

I want Westinghouse to have 5 or 6 days per week waterpolo.

I am coaching swimming this summer at UPREP, sorta. We are doing it in Pgh's Hill District (again).

I'd love to see Obama swim two middle school seasons, one in the winter and another in the spring against suburban teams.

The list is far too long to talk about in a blog posting as to the overhaul desired and already suggested.

As for the Perry swimmer -- well -- there was ONE at our meets with them this winter. A few came another time. Never enough for a relay (4).

There are great worries on my end and efforts put forth to try to champion GREATER participation in school sports at all schools.

Years ago who would have thought that TCU would be in The Big East? It came to pass for a few months. Wilkinsburg, Riverview, Sto Rox, Brentwood, Avenworth, WT, Ellis, Charters, and a few others would have strongly considered an URBAN WPIAL / City League. But, it would have taken some vision and efforts to champion a different solution. The WPIAL does little for some of the smaller districts.

There is plenty to be done for the kids who like sports who play in non WPIAL schools in those sports. A city-league might be with more appeal than what they've ever had. But, we'd need to be creative. Hold a 100 IM, 50 fly, 50 back, 50 breast at city championships and in dual meets. Hold some invite meets.

Consider New Zealand going to the Olympic Games. Well, I've been there. They value every soul in terms of their sporting potential.

Some good things have unfolded as well. Getting a school physical has been easier. Getting an athletic trainer to cover games and practices has been common now too.

It was asked if the proposed changes worked elsewhere. Sure. In water polo, a non WPIAL / PIAA sport -- a 'non league team' can play in tournaments. A non league team can schedule some games with JV squads. A non-league team can go to Ohio or the Metro League for games. It would be best if we played waterpolo in the city and didn't NEED to join the official PA Waterpolo League -- for now. That's just one example.

Mark Rauterkus said...

This is total BS, BTW:

"In the euphoria of the Obama swim program going to WPIAL, did you fail to think about the schools left behind in the city?"

No failure on my part. None. And, I'm not sure you can say that there is any euphoria on my part with the challenge of going to the WPIAL.

FYI: Every Wednesday for the past year I did volunteer coaching in the swim pool at Westinghouse. In our varsity season, I scheduled WED a day off for my boys HS team so that I could go to Westinghouse to have after-school practices. Doubles on M,T,Th,F.

We also got intramural swimming for a bit at WHS on other days of the week, M, T, Thur. Coach Hosea.

Then this spring I asked for 5 day a week swim and waterpolo at Westinghouse so that the kids could get good enough and play games and be strong swimmers, really motivated. The principal was happy enough with one day a week for 2012-13 too. :(

In the spring of 2011 I worked hard to get a group of kids to swim and play waterpolo at Brashear. Meeting held. No interest.

In the winter, Feb 2012, we put in a pool permit for swimming 2 times per week for the spring for Perry. Permit declined. The lockers would be used by other teams then too. Sigh. We had coaches and players coming from the north to help too.

Know that the institutional outcomes at PPS and my vision are far from identical.

The failure is not mine. Perhaps talk of failure is more fitting for the faceless posting who do not help in direct ways -- and help is greatly desired by me. Call me as you are able: 412-298-3432.

Think again.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Hi again,

By the way, this too is BS: And Mark, I'm disappointed in you.This move flies in the face of everything you have talked about.

Just know that everything that I talk about and everything that PPS does are not the same.

My sway at PPS is at its height when I make the decision to speak at PPS public comment now and then for 2-minutes and 50 seconds rather than the full 3-minutes.

When I disappoint, I always want it to be fully justified. Here, it isn't even close.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Woops: Typo in a fact I posted above.

City League Swimming has Allderdice going to WPIAL AAA and Pgh Obama Academy going to AA Classifications for 2012-13.

(Prior post had the wrong years.)

Anonymous said...

Mark, if you aren't in politics, you should be. You deflected most of the concerns here with missives that had little to nothing to do with the disappointment many parents and student-athletes must now feel.
I don't know where it was stated that city school athletics and yourself were synonymous with one another, but to the observer, this entire scenario just smells very badly.

I don't blame any coach for being happy with moving into the WPIAL and yes, such a move would bring euphoria to a dedicated coach who believes competition brings out the best in his athletes. I do blame the people making the decisions with an incredible lack of foresight where the remaining schools were concerned, and an outrageous lack of compassion for student athletes who may go to Perry, or Obama, or Carrick, etc. The Perry swimmer example was just that. I won't even begin to discuss how this move destroys a prospective swimmer who wants to go to Perry or a baseball player who wants to go to Obama.

I lose a lot of respect and yes, am duly disappointed by people who contradict themselves. I'm even more disappointed by "explanations" that have little to do with the issue at hand.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:37 -- and Questioner:

I have no idea what this person has against Mark Rauterkus. Do I think Mark's ideas are all grand? Nope. The 13th year thing is, in particular, one of my least favorite.

But, do I think that ANY parent in this district has anywhere near the power that anon 3:37 seems to think he has? Hahahahahahahaha. I wish.

It seems pretty clear that Mark has an idea of what it's like to coach in the city -- both at an Obama and at schools unlike Obama (like Westinghouse). From what I can tell, most of what Mark does is...volunteer, with coaching at Obama (?) and Summer Dreamers being the exception.

I'd ask that any comments that are mostly about Mark as a person not be posted. If the person wants to talk about the substance (what for instance is your problem with his noting that Perry had hardly any swimmers? He didn't think that was a good thing and he certainly didn't cause it to happen in any way!)

Questioner said...

All right, please do not include comments about any commentator as an individual, focus on ideas.

Anonymous said...

Bud, I don't know Mark as a person and I am sure he is a scholar and a gentleman. I'm not sure where you gleaned a personal attack and you missed the substance of the "Perry swimmer" notation, as well. (It was a general comment about swimmers, as was the comment about the Obama baseball player.)

Like Mark, you are missing the point.

I agreed with Mark about what athletics needs to be across the city. I agreed with Mark about what athletics can do for young men and women. I agreed with Mark about the idea of having orchestrated efforts for middle schools to be parts of bigger high school programs. And as a long time teacher and coach, I actually agreed with Mark's comments about "some teachers" and why they take coaching jobs.

You will pardon me for re-stating that given all of mark's feelings as presented here over the years, what Mark has found himself caught up in--only via his association as Obama swim coach---must be hard for even him to swallow, as the decision that allows some schools to join the WPIAL effectively destroys athletics for everyone else in the city who does not go to one of the designated schools.

I don't blame Mark for the decision. I'm not asking him to resign--certainly not. I was just wondering whether what I have heard from faculty managers is true--and I believe it is.

I would have thought a better response was coming from Mark than the pretzel logic-tinged replies he has provided. No, I don't think he IS PPS athletics but just as certainly, no, I don't think he has much of a voice in what is going on.

I simply believe the individuals who DO have that voice and made this decision---who probably have allegiances to the Allderdices of our district--should be made to answer.

Please know that I have appreciated your comments in the past but please know that I see the irony in you being a part of a movement to WPIAL, and nothing more.

We are closing the doors to numerous student athletes in this district through such a ridiculous idea. Perhaps the idea is to eventually simply move all city high school students into Dice and Brashear...and of course, CAPA.

Anonymous said...

Doubt that seriously, 5:53, since at those schools, the District has just re-drawn feeder patterns to exclude large numbers of Black students from attending Allderdice and Brashear.

These students have be reassigned to Westinghouse and Milliones-UPREP.

The subtle or not so subtle message is that Black students are not quite so welcome at Allderdice, Brashear---and at CAPA, the process is selective.

Anonymous said...

"the District has just re-drawn feeder patterns to exclude large numbers of Black students from attending Allderdice and Brashear. "

As a Schenley parent, around for the whole debacle of the closing, I can't begin to tell you how angry this makes me. White Schenley parents were repeatedly accused by MR's administration (specifically, MR, Derrick Lopez, and Cate Reed) of being racist. Even if we were parents whose children had always attended majority Black schools and had chosen Schenley over a feeder pattern Allderdice assignment.

To watch those same people literally resegregate the district (and many white and black Schenley parents warned them that this was going to be the case) makes my blood boil.

Anonymous said...

... while isler, fink, mccrea, colaizzi, hazuda and their buddies, shealey and sumpter, sit complacently by voting the majority rules against African American students at every turn. . . majority rules with the help of a few traitors and you challenge the race card . . . shame on you all . . .

Anonymous said...

When were the borders redrawn? Is it found online?

Anonymous said...

"When were the borders redrawn? Is it found online? "

It ended up happening around the time they were trying to fill Westinghouse -- which meant they could use the cover of closing Peabody and reassigning those kids to make other changes.

Last time I looked the online look-up for addresses wasn't working, but that was a couple of months ago.

Basically, East Hills kids are no longer Allderdice and parts of Regent Square/Park Place were redrawn too. Penn Ave. the main divider in that part of the East End.

Questioner said...

And also, portions of the Hill that fed to Brashear were reassigned to Milliones/U Prep. These changes are no coincidence. The main reason seems to be that PPS desperately wants to show it can produce a successful Black high school, and a successful Black high school requires a core number of Black students.

Anonymous said...

The 2012-13 Street Directory is currently unavailable. To determine your child's school assignment based on your home address, please contact the Parent Hotline at 412-622-7920.

Yup, still no street directory.

Anonymous said...

Is real Regent Square, south of Forbes/Braddock still part of the Minadeo-Sterrett-Allderdice pattern? It is such a small sliver but homeowners would be really ticked off. Knowing how PPS works, they kept that sliver and dumped north of Forbes/Braddock. Less affluent, minus Park place.

Anonymous said...

I think the cyber school issue bugs me because when you add all of the thoughts within this thread up, it is a contradictory arrangement.
On one hand, you want to woo back families that left the district for cyber or charter school by dangling the Promise under their noses. On the other, you're happy to show parents the door if they don't like this new athletics arrangement, which is ludicrous.

I'm a little taken aback by the race card comment and it seems to be a poor usage of wording within the context of leadership within PPS. I would rather have to believe that district leadership has exhibited misguided thinking, an incredible lack of foresight, undue influence from financial entities and the like. Our district has been and is comprised mostly of African American students. It follows that these students are most likely to be the group which is most impacted by poor decisions.

Mark Rauterkus said...

A poster / map hangs in the hallway outside the PPS board room, for those that care to see or upload a photo, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Well, 11:20, "creating a successful Black high school" is a no-brainer if you use the research---instead of using the PPS model, which will never produce success for Black students---as evidenced in the persistent achievement GAP that continues to exist in the majority of Pittsburgh schools to the tune of 30 to 40+ percent.

Rather, the District is implicitly acknowledging that it can't successfully educate Black children so it cannot send them to Brashear, the PPS model for effective teaching; instead, send them back to the Hill so that Brashear will not lose credibility as a model for PPS under Broad/Gates auspices.

Anonymous said...

Questioner: "PPS desperately wants to show it can produce a successful Black high school" you say?

Well, at Milliones U Prep, the graduating class this year had a 22% proficiency in Math and a 32% proficiency in Reading on their PSSA's!

Would you call that "successful" after 4 years at this University preparatory school?

Now they have brought in the Clayton model--Success Schools--to "change the climate" so that students can be "controlled."

True educators all over the country have been successful in creating successful Black schools. Check out the 90/90/90 schools.

Pittsburgh continues to fail miserably in educating Black students in all of its schools to the point that, as you say, they are "desperate".

Questioner said...

It would be helpful to have a list of schools that are not selective, charter or magnets with a 90/90/90 record over multiple years (ideally 5 or more).

Anonymous said...


Are you really questioning the fact that Black schools can succeed?

Or do you think, as PPS does, that you must have a model that you can follow with "fidelity" in order to be successful?

The schools in the 90/90/90 category had leadership that did NOT follow a model with so-called "fidelity." Instead, as they will tell you (again and again) the leaders were true leaders who could problem-solve and think outside the box and most critically, the leaders had the courage to DEFY central office mandates and carve their own way using the key principles of effective practice, serious caring and culturally relevant congruence in curriculum and alignment to thinking skills needed for the state's standardized testing.

Are your beliefs similar to PPS in that you must have a precise formula to superimpose? That will never work as we have seen in PPS!

(See the work of Douglas B. Reeves for information on the 90/90/90 schools)

Questioner said...

Asking for a little help for people pressed for time- if someone knows the names of schools with a track record of 90 90 90 achievement- so that we do not have to look up Mr. Reeves, and his work, and schools he lists, and whether they are charter/ magnet etc.,and try to find if they have a record of success over multiple years.

Anonymous said...

"Are you really questioning the fact that Black schools can succeed?"

Look, you obviously know how to use the internet, so please link us up to the websites of the schools of which you speak or to newspaper articles. It's like telling us about a great restaurant that we're all missing but refusing to give us the address.

I know of NO urban districts with more than a couple high-achieving high schools. (Except in NYC, due to size, I'd multiply that "a couple" a few times over since the district is so huge.)

My only caveat for you is that they can't be application only or entrance exam schools.

Please link so we can read and learn.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for posting the 10:43 response!

It makes a lot of sense, so why doesn't PPS use the local experience and expertise in the areas suggested?

Anonymous said...

P.S. to the 10:50 comment --

The "Black schools" part was not mine -- I'd like to see ANY district with more than one or two NON-selective schools with high scores and accolades.

I don't care at all what the racial make-up is.

Even in smaller suburban districts with only two high schools, there is usually "the good" HS and the "not nearly as good" high school.

Having a good to great school is NOT easy as some here imply.

That's not to say that our district hasn't gone about having great schools in the worst possible way, either.

If anything, they've used a technique very unlikely to produce greatness with its top down, "fidelity," try too many new things, change too often and not the right things, and never listen to the people on the ground methods.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we have the 'race card' poster showing up on this thread, too, you know, the individual who does not believe there is such a thing as "reverse racism" and apparently has a difficult time attaining meaning from postings when it doesn't mirror her/his own beliefs.

Education success starts in the home. Period. If parents/grandparents do not see the value of education and reinforce that to their children at a young age and on a continual basis, it is doubtful that the light bulb is suddenly go on in 11th grade. This transcends color, friend.

Secondly, the overwhelming majority of our students are black. Of course there is an "achievement gap." How is that achievement gap between the highest scoring black students and the lowest scoring black students? What does the research say?

The success of a given school must be an "all in" scenario otherwise you will have areas in which one can only assume failure.

Incidentally, I had to laugh out loud about the Brashear High comment, a place in which teachers-in-training and who are white were taught earlier this year that they are the problem in urban education, that they just don't understand black kids. How outrageous. No such thing as reverse racism, eh?

I tend to look at such commentaries as being intentionally divisive and unintelligible to the point that they distract people from the important work at hand---which is educating all students and helping them to realize their potential.

Ashamed to Work Here said...

What a tremendous example of administrative bloat to have a director of virtual education.

The coursework is all being run by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit's program. What in heaven's name is there for a director to do? Tuck this program underneath a single high school principal, provide some curriculum support and manage reality as though resources are finite (which they are).

It took more than two years to get off the dime on the this idea originally laid out in pretty good detail by our former CFO and Library Services director. The Roosevelt/Lane administration, content perhaps to see funds diverted to private interests running cyber charters, refused to act then because the roll out would have coincided with the launch of the intensive Gates partnership.

Running a cyber program to compete with cyber charters may be news to PPS (at least in terms of implementation, certainly not in terms of conceptual design and planning), but all across the state school districts have figured this out without adding an administrator to oversee it.

Only in PPS where every new challenge is the opportunity to hire a Broad resident or place a PELA fellow does this mindset exist.

Anonymous said...

Administrative bloat, you say?

These people take care of their own without fear of reprisals. To say they are cavalier would be an outrageous understatement.

Principals fail at one school and are shifted to others.

Vice principals are shifted not into the classroom but into other just-designed titles.

PELA "directors"...there's a funny, mysterious term, don't really have a job description at their schools.

In reading the board minutes for last week, we see that a number of coaches (reading, math, etc.) who didn't go for or get the ITL2 positions are not moving back to the classroom, heavens no, they have new jobs as part of the Keystone something or other.

And most pointedly, being an administrator means being exempt from all of the "difficult cuts" that apparently are reserved for teachers, secretaries, janitors and people who work in IT.

The best part one questions these charlatans. No one.

You can continue to be incompetent, sip coffee, make lunch plans, send a few e-mails, maybe do a few observations and critique those dirty teachers, and enjoy life.

Anonymous said...

"It took more than two years to get off the dime on the this idea originally laid out in pretty good detail by our former CFO and Library Services director. The Roosevelt/Lane administration, content perhaps to see funds diverted to private interests running cyber charters, refused to act then because the roll out would have coincided with the launch of the intensive Gates partnership.".

The former CIO was on board with the former CFO. It was shot down very fast. I never understood why until you made the Gates connection.