Friday, August 24, 2012

Equity workshop

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Equity Workshop"

on Monday at 5:30

Conference Room A

Board of Education

Please try to attend the Equity Plan Workshop next Monday evening.

The Human Relations Commission has extended the review of "practices" that are discriminatory for African American Students for two (2) more yeas. years. ( The Advocates for African American Students in Pittsburgh Public Schools filed a “complaint”against the district many, many years ago. for multiple discriminatory practices.

Last year the EQUITY presentation, which is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, included the following:

1. Human Relations Commission Report

2. PSSA Results for all schools.

3. Achievement Gap disparities

4. Graphs demonstrating a comparative analysis of academic achievement results for Black and White students in PPS schools.

The EQUITY PLAN proposal will tell those interested how the PPS District plans to improve achievement for African American students in PPS.

Be there! Look for details. specifics, and changes in past practice! Ask questions of your Board members.


Anonymous said...

Has this been reported in the news, or just on the PPS website?

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen it in/on the news, but it is being announced via the televised Legislative Meeting from last Wednesday nite. There will likely be two more opportunities to view the Legislative Meeting today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday) at 3:00 PM on Channel 44.

And yes it is on the PPS Calendar on the PPS website.

Anonymous said...

This is not a workshop. It is a presentation. The title is misleading. All public comment was due by August 22nd.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why they called it a workshop.

Anonymous said...

Good question!

Typically the Board members just listen, nod their heads and compliment Administration on their "work." Sometimes there are a few questions, some are planned to evoke a particular answer and others are never answered, but given a stream of words.

The presentation last year offered handouts with graphs that when examined yielded some revealing statistics that were not highlighted in the presentation (for obvious reasons) and in fact surprised a number of central office people.

Maybe the "workshop" comes after this session for those who are challenged.

Anonymous said...

At around 2:19 of the board meeting Mr. Brentley announced a prayer circle will be held on the opening day of the school year at, I believe, Perry, (a bit hard to follow only using one ear). While I understand the entire community needs to be involved and interested in pps to close gaps and ensure equity, I am unsure how I feel about a prayer circle. I am thinking it is a-ok with me IF there is NO pps admin, board member, or staff leading the prayer. If it is a community effort, the title Rev., Mr., Mrs., Father, etc. is fine.

Does this matter at all?

Anonymous said...

I'd have a problem with it. Whose prayer from what religion? Will it mention Christ? Will kids have to choose to be in or out of the circle?

I have no problem with a group of students (or a group of staff) praying together as long as it's in NO WAY overseen or in any other way set up by the administration (would a teacher feel comfortable not praying if the principal has set this up?)

Bad precedent to set.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brentley has misstepped on this one. No staff should be present. If it is a community effort, fine, but to leave anyone with the impression that this is an event sanctioned by the district is a mistake. Mr. Brently should not even be there.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I will be out of town this week and can't make the play. I mean presentatation.

As far as bringing Christ back into the public schools, I think it is a wonderful idea and long over due!

I agree that no board member should reside over the opening prayer. It should be a community effort, but ALL board members should be present to show support. I know the 'divine' Hazuda would be there since she is a minister-in-the-making, or is she one now? It's so hard to keep up with the pretenses.

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about Christ?

Anonymous said...

Nobody but me said anything about Christ, so please do not read anything into it. I am a NOBODY. I just happen to be a Christian taxpaying Pittsburgher who frequents this site.

I am also a former teacher who was in the trenches and experienced may of the things discussed here.

I am concerned with the lack of true education that our children in Pittsburgh are receiving because certain adult wants and desires are met first. The slogan "kids first" is a joke.

I live in the heart of the City which most teachers do not. I see Christian Charter Schools moving in and providing much needed services for the families in the communities. Believe it or not, the majority of our families in the PPS District are Christians and have felt abandoned by the School Board and Administration for decades. They have demonstrated their frustration by 'voting with their feet.'

The major concern of families in Pittsburgh is the lack of discipline in the public schools. They know, as common sense tells you, that little learning can take place in a disruptive environment. The PSSA scores are a testament to that.

So, how does Christ enter the equation you ask? A sense of peace and tranquility accompanies one who has a personal relationship with Christ. Christ teaches you to love your neighbors and to treat others as you would like them to treat you.

Once that relationship is established (at a young age) and is nurtured by the community (including the Churches and Schools), discipline does not become an issue. Learning is front and center in the classroom.

Please, let me make myself perfectly clear here. I am not advocating for the teaching of the Christian religion in the schools, or the teaching of any religion in the schools.

I am advocating for the Christian-Judeo principals to be brought back into the schools. Afterall, these principals were cemented in the foundation of our Constitutional Laws.

I must reiterate here the importance of consistency and structure with our children.

Lastly, please bear with me as I share this personal/professional story to illustrate what I am advocating.

I taught mainly sophomores in high school mainstream classes, but juniors and seniors would be sprinkled in the mix. I constantly struggled with students who saw no value in furthering their education and spoke of dropping out frequently.

This one year, however, I was blessed with a student who during his last year in high school finally established a close relationship with Jesus (outside of school) and exceled during his senior year. Whereas, previous years he struggled and failed. He told me that it was because of his new found faith that he was able to turn his life around.

This was a young man that had a bad reputation with his teachers but a kicka-- party rep with students.

This young man finally found purpose and was a positive influence in the class. Other students did not give up and preserved because of him.

It was wonderful to witness God's hand in all of this. So why keep this great strength from other students?

Anonymous said...

Advocates for African American Students declare that for 20 YEARS there has been "no substantial progress" for Black students in PPS

Pittsburgh schools start to roll out equity plan . . August 28, 2012 12:11 am By Eleanor Chute

"In 1992, Advocates for African-American Students filed a complaint with the state Human Relations Commission over disparities in achievement. A conciliation agreement between the HRC and the district was signed in 2006. That agreement expired this year, but a new memo of understanding is in the works and may be voted on by the board next month. It would continue the existence of the equity advisory panel."
"At the Monday meeting, Wanda Henderson, who was one of the original members of Advocates for African-American Students and currently serves on the equity advisory panel, said substantial progress has not been made in the intervening years."

"She said the plan looks good on paper, but the proof is in the outcomes. If it doesn't change outcomes, she said, "It's just another pretty plan."

Read more:

Anonymous said...

My spouse worked at central admin. They were all required to attend a series of workshops/training about equality and racisim. Guess who missed meetings and the contract had to extended. It was treated as a nusiance?

Roosevely, Lane, French, Lippert, Spolar and others.

Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of hearing about "equity training". I used to work for the district and am a white male who used to work for 2 black administrators. I felt discrimanted against by both of them as well as many of the rest of the white staff, especially in the second building that I was in. At this point there is WAY more discrimination towards white staff and students from the black community than the other way around. It is they that should be attending all of these trainings.

Questioner said...

Doesn't equity training address all types of discrimination?

Anonymous said...

Not with this district. It ONLY addresses the perceived discrimination of the black employees by the white employees.

Anonymous said...

Equity is the focus for now and you may likley find several definitions. As a parent I always found it helpful to think in terms of "those schools that need more to reach goals, get more." The more could be more support in terms of teachers, smaller class size, etc. I was disappointed to learn the Courageous Converstion initiative was designed to discuss race. Deserves to be applied more broadly, especially when you think in terms of a return on investment, which is how we should all be thinking about every major expenditure.

Keep in mind that when a parent posts here, we get most of our info from other parents. It is easier since when you ask many admin they use so many words in an answer that you have to dig to look for it or they don't answer the question because they have some other info they would rather you have so that you can repeat it.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the school district needs a new solicitor who will not kowtow to special interest groups and fill his coffers as a result.

Anonymous said...

This has been a banner year for Ira. With the appeals in full swing from the reassessment he stands to earn an extra $500k from the school district this year. Don't forget for a second that it was a lawsuit that Ira filed that got the whole ball rolling.

He hasn't earned easier money since having a taste of Veon's BIG funds.

Anonymous said...

No details or specifics were presented! NONE!

I wonder why? What is being held close to the chest?

Not a good sign.