Sunday, July 8, 2012

Public schools in other states trying gender separate schools

From wpxi:


Anonymous said...

I have no problem with separate gender schools as long as they are a magnet and parents have a choice. It is not the choice I would make for my children, and I say this as the victim of separate gender education, but maybe it works out well for some children.

Mark Rauterkus said...

My $.02.

I think a big benefit for separate gender education comes with distinct and separate campus settings.

One way to work for equality in the distinct locations could be in flip-flopping of the sites as well. For example: In Pittsburgh, the boys could attend Westinghouse and the girls attend school at Oliver (or Peabody or whatever). Then three years later, the boys and girls -- and most of the faculty -- could swap school buildings.

Questioner said...

PPS will probably not be experimenting again with gender specific education any time soon.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they will either. I was also amazed, before Westinghouse opened to see someone from the magnet office talking to 5th graders at one of the feeder schools. That district representative actually told the kids: you know that they are separating boys and girls, right? You don't want that, do you?! That would be awful, wouldn't it? So, be sure to get someone to sign you up for a magnet program.

Those aren't exact words anymore, but wow. Talk about working against yourself. I'd guess almost all of those kids ended up at Westinghouse, too, after her great description.

Anonymous said...

I wrote before about violence and was attacted by the comparison to same sex education and the amazing argument of girls hearing differently to boys. I was born and raised here and went to Catholic schools my whole life. A same sex education has served me well and is a solid foundation that I draw from to this day. Funny how the public school advocates want private perspective but don't want the heavy lifting. My parents had seven kids and we all went to St. Paul (Oakland Catholic) the girls or Central Catholic the boys. What the heck makes you think that this is bad! This is the foundation of good, solid, structural education. I was given the ability to function in this society on a level that is embraced by employers. I thank my parents for the sacrifices they made to invest in my education. What is so wrong with same sex classes? I'm 55 years old and I feel that my base to function has been a core strength for me. I'm sick of PPS demonizing everything that is good with education. We never had "hearing problems" We just wanted to be educated.

Anonymous said...

Good for you. But you were in seperate buildings and in a area that was not in ruins and riddle with violence. Do you think your mom would have let you go to Westinghouse where the seperation was by floors or classes along with all the other stuff going on please. You mom took you out of public school for a reason I would suspect.

Anyone who sent their child to Westinghouse single gender academy is because they had no other choice or they live in that community and did not want to bus their child away from home. Lets face it, pps's single gender experiment was a failure and Linda Lane lacked the insight no better.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I think it would take something big to get single gender moving again in PPS.

Humm.... Single gender boarding schools might not be out of the question.

In Christchurch, NZ, a city about the same size of Pgh, there are two boarding schools for girls and two for boys. Not fully PUBLIC, but they get INDEPENDENT subsidization from the government, I think.

Sure, that trend is counter to the cyber school development where the teachers and students hardly (if ever) meet in person. With a boarding school, the students only depart on certain weekends.

Let's see, the dancers at Pgh Ballet come to Pgh and go to school here and live in a special setting.

There is the Milton Hershey School in PA.

Anonymous said...

It would have to be a 100% magnet school like CAPA. You cannot have a fake magnet school with a feeder pattern.

Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who sent their child to Westinghouse single gender academy is because they had no other choice or they live in that community and did not want to bus their child away from home"

I disagree. There were children at Westinghouse who most definitely would not have been there the previous years, despite the undoubted lack of enthusiasm from district representatives. These kids were also the first to leave. There was a steady exodus of the better students out of the school over the first 3 months or so. I had no strong opinion on the educational soundness of the single-gender decision for Westinghouse, but I agree with the comments about single-gender being best carried out with two separate locations. But the number one cause of the failure of single-gender at Westinghouse was a lack of concern for the basics such as lack of student schedules, rosters, bells and discipline. As soon as those new students saw what was going on, they fled. It's a shame, because they could have changed the culture of the school.

Anonymous said...

There is no ONE magic formula for a successful school. However, our administration seems convinced that the right combination of a canned curriculum, empty slogans, and window dressing (uniforms, single gender, big banners) will do the trick sooner or later.

There are great single-gender schools -- but it's not the single-gender that does it, there are great schools of all different types. It's the whole deal which includes teachers who are trusted as professionals, knowledgeable leadership, and a positive, inclusive approach to making changes.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right a single gender in the same building. It was a joke from day one. Westinghouse was never a single gender school and there was not a mass exodus. The numbers are the same, the only difference is they added a 6-8 grade group. So I beg the defer. Keeps outside that neighboorhood did not want to go to westinghouse and if they had options they went else where from the gitty up.

That was all made up so PPS could make the Dept of Education feel the reconstituted the school under no child left behind, when in reality they have hurt the school and that poor neighboorhood. Ask your self why not one teacher, professional staff or administrator sent their kid to that school. They all knew it was a joke, a failure from day one. Noone who has options and truly cares for their kids future and education would sent their kid there if they have other options. Its the plain truth. I dont like it either, but it is what it is.

The only way to save that school is to have community buy in and support from those who are not afraid to go in there to help and seek out change. It can be done, but it takes the right people, including staff, coaches teachers, adminstrators and alumni.

Anonymous said...

Westinghouse should be shut down and all the kids that are left there sent to Allderdice. This way they will get the attention that they need. Westinghouse is academically vacant and condemed. Linda lane should be relieve of her duties for allowing this to happen by faking out the public and Homewood with a false single gender school.

Linda lane was negligent and committed educational malpractice. She allowed the HWD kids to be raped of an education and allow them to be experimented on like labaortory rats. This stole their chance at success. She now owes it those kids and community to repay them back for what she allowed to be taken from them, or get her bags and get to packing.

Anonymous said...

Of course, that wouldn't even solve the problem, because there are two schools' worth of 6-8th graders there now, too. Remember that they also closed Lincoln and Faison.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:01

I agree with you that PPS hurt the school and neighborhood. As far as the numbers, just because they are the same totals doesn't mean they are the same students. Also, we know to take the numbers from the district with a grain of salt.

There was a teacher at WHS who had a child who went there. He left after 2-3 months, so you are wrong about that. The first kids to leave were from outside district schools (charters, private), then the kids from other PPS schools or those who were accepted as transfers to other schools. Some people, including students, parents, and teachers, really did have hope for new school. Many bought the PR campaign. So most of those who had other options did not come to WHS, but there were definitely some who did.

I agree with what you're saying about community buy in. However, I want to defend the teachers brought to Westinghouse last year. There seems to be a common argument among some on this blog that the teachers were cast-offs, disgruntled or inexperienced. This is not fair to them, for the most part they were experienced, committed and enthusiastic (knocking on doors in the middle of the summer!). Unfortunately, they could not could overcome the lack of support from district administration and the basic disorganization of the school.

Anonymous said...

Another aspect at Westinghouse is the size and capacity of the building. They are trying to save it after 20 million dollars to refurbish it with hardly any students enrolled. If you want to save a local high school you have to have students. As for Allderdice, I think the are jammed packed. I commend Linda Lane for her leadership.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Westinghouse is a wonderful building, the best in the city schools. However, it is a school. Its purpose is to educate. When you have education going on at high levels, with creativity and energy and electives and options and opportunities and caring, experienced teachers---where students are engaged and successful; then you will draw students from everywhere and fill the classes.

Envision a school where African American students want to attend and apply in droves from all over the region because the school is designed to prepare and produce graduates that succeed in reaching the "dreams" that PPS PR promises.

Is that an impossible dream? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Anonymous said...

Please provide a few examples of the "leadership" that you commend, 7:52.

Anonymous said...

A few examples. Well she is closing alot of Black schools in Black Neighboorhoods. She knows no one wants to be there. She is getting rid of alot of PPS workers and teachers cause they are did weight. He has aligned herself with the right board members as she knows what Regina Holey and Mark Brentley say dont matter. She exposed the lack of learning that was occuring at Westinghouse by getting rid of their lack luster leaders and replacing them with one that will get the staff and community straight. She segregated the problem kids and safety issues to the Hill, Homewood and northside saving the rest of us from their problems. She has let the Black community know that their opinion does not matter and will only matter when they move to the higher tax paying neighborhood. She has allow experiments be run on the kids that are the lowest performinging kids so the other gates funded schools can compare notes. etc etc. She is the greatest.

Anonymous said...

Is this a joke/sarcasm or worse?

Anonymous said...

high-level satire

Anonymous said...

The racist tone on this board is incendiary and counter-productive. To lash out at Linda Lane for making decisions to improve schools in black areas suggests that she targets them for failure. She concentates on the schools that need help. I remember Miss Shealy saying that where was the outrage about the failing Westinghouse all those years? Linda Lane said it's time to fix this. Do you want to keep the failure as is? Leaders lead.

Anonymous said...

where are leaders who are leading?

leading where? leading how?

with empty words? with no action whatsoever?

consultant, consultants, consultants?

why? no leaders? what is in place?

year after year after year?

how many years of no results?

what has been accomplished with Roosevelt? with Lane? with Broad? with Gates? with the Board?

were the student results better before these people took over the district?

Yes! Definitely and definitively Yes!

Anonymous said...

"Linda Lane said it's time to fix this. Do you want to keep the failure as is? Leaders lead."

I would agree. They don't follow the recipe book given them 7 years ago at Broad and reinforced with Gates and foundation money.

This administration took a bad situation and made it FAR worse. And was totally unable, it seemed, to DO anything about it for months. They knew before that school ever opened that it was in trouble, but they let it happen, in slow motion.

Did they have people in this district who could have planned it better? Implemented something far better? Yes. But those are not the people they listen to -- those are the people they are trying to get rid of, instead.

Anonymous said...

Was anyone fired from the Westinghouse team? They all talked the talk but failed to walk the walk. And then, silence. Where are they now? It is not that Linda Lane did not invest loads of money, attention and planning. The failure was in the building and the human factor. The people were ill equiped for this task! They sould have been fired!

Anonymous said...

"It is not that Linda Lane did not invest loads of money, attention and planning. The failure was in the building and the human factor. The people were ill equiped for this task! They sould have been fired!"

What?! I agree that some of them should have been fired -- but so should members of the Bellefield administration been fired.

They let the problems fester for FAR longer than they should have.

They were there the day school opened and SAW it was bad. They didn't jump in and help, they didn't do...anything. Now, to be fair, who among them has any real experience with discipline and management on that scale?

But they did nothing. They knew it was falling apart and nothing.

They knew, months ahead of time, it now seems, that there would be no schedules and they LET THAT HAPPEN, at their newest great idea.

It's a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

"They" have let all of this happen because they do NOT KNOW anything about what works in schools.

They simply do not know. You cannot do what you do not know.

So they hire consultants----and you can't hire the right consultants IF you do NOT KNOW enough to make the right choices.

Round and round it goes without anyone knowing what they need to know to do the job for which they are responsible.

Anonymous said...

At a Cabinet meeting French told Lane what she needed to do and who the people were that she needed to bring back to correct the errors that were happening at Westinghouse as it opened. PPS had several retired principals who would have been able to set Westinghouse on a path of success quickly but Lane refused to act. These retired principals were all successful and went against the grain of the BROAD philosophy. They did what Lane and Roosevelt could never do, manage a successful school that most would label as challenged. French identified these administrators but Lane's inexperience in turning around a challenged school made her take a pass on acting. It's sad that Lane chose to permit the education of students be compromised. French's suggestion never made it past the Cabinet to the Board. Politics! Maybe some day PPS will see the benefits of home grown consultants who have a track record of operating safe and successful schools. Sometimes what we're looking for is right in our own back yard.

Anonymous said...

They are "retired" principals. Just more consultants to manage. But, I guess that's ok because they are "your" consultants.

Anonymous said...

Well, 7:02, your comments are very revealing as to thought processes and educational philosophy.

"Your" key concepts: "retired" means without knowledge, wisdom, or skill, is that correct (or is too much being inferred?); "managed" is the core concept of the PPS system; and you are CLOSED to alternative ways of thinking and doing.

Heaven help the children in PPS.

Anonymous said...

7:02 AM A retired principal could have been requested to come out of retirement. That's acceptable under PSERS. The retiree would not have collected his/her pension benefit since he/she would have been considered to be employed. No, they did not have to be hired as a consultant yet alone "my" consultant!

All I'm suggesting is that sometimes the person(s) who could provide a solution to a problem may be in our own back yard. It's better than what PPS is currently doing and that is searching the country side for BROAD graduates to right a wrong in terms of Pittsburgh students who have been let down by the system. Look at what the BROAD's have done to the education in PPS. We are failing miserably so what do we do? Solution, hire more BROAD's to Central Office or school them as PELA's. Well good luck with that. So far their track record of improving education for PPS students and bringing staff together to be successful has been for the most part a failed experiment in producing leaders. One year as a PELA then next year a principal...think about it. No where in business would any executive ever think that one year of grooming would be sufficient to serve as a leader yet alone a successful change agent.

It's time for Board Members to get a wake up call and start asking some difficult questions instead of just nodding their heads in agreement. When the ship is way off course, it's time to change the captain and a devise a new plan to get our students to the "Promise Land."