Friday, August 10, 2012

PPS does not make AYP

On another post Anonoymous wrote:


Pittsburgh Public Schools Fail to Make Adequate Yearly Progress

"We are extremely disappointed and puzzled by these results since the reforms we have put in place have shown promising results for our students over the past several years," Superintendent Linda Lane said in a prepared release."

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Questioner said...

Re: "A press release from the district said Pittsburgh's outcomes mirror those across the state"-

It has always been the case that PPS scores rise and fall with scores across the state (suggesting that in some years the test is a little easier or a little more difficult), but the district does not mention that fact when PPS scores are increasing.

Anonymous said...

We will have to wait until September to check the DATA as released by the PA Department of Education.

PPS always puts the best spin on their press releases.

Many districts have reported improved scores this year in other parts of the state.

In some districts there have been substantial increases in scores, as much as 20 to 30% since these districts are already in preparation for the Common Core Standards and Assessments.

(Note that the upcoming Common Core Assessment which have been adopted in 47 States(including PA)are more rigorous and more detailed with multiple skills assessed per item.)

Anonymous said...

We all know that one script doesnt fit all. Anyone who has children or ever taught anyone anything, knows that we all learn at different rates in different ways. Of course, "confused Lindy" will blame teachers instead of:
the script
announcing the closings and leavings in Jan and expect everyone to work their best
some kids need the reassurance-- not cheating- but familiar encouragement to succeed

Anonymous said...

PPS has remained in the bottom 30 districts out of 500 for the last 6 years.

Other districts have greatly improved their standings since 2003. That has not happened, comparatively speaking, in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh does not teach skills, but instead plays by a script that does not engage the minds of teachers nor students.

Questioner said...

We should compare the percentage increase in PPSA scores with the percentage increase in salaries and bonuses.

Anonymous said...

What did they expect? Just wait untill next year.

Just blame the teachers DR. Lane, thats all you know how to do. (Thats what they taught you at the Broad Academy)

How much did Westinghouse drop because of her inept leadership?

Hey Dr. Lane why don't you lay off more teachers and hire more administrators to blame teachers, and directors, and Broad Residents.

What a Crime, The PPS has the administration to run a district four times our size. We have the highest money spent per student and our kids have nothing compared to their suburban conterparts. Where does all the money go? Our teachers are among the lowest paid in Allegheny County. The money goes to administrators and consultants, and to match grants. Our kids do not see a cent, our teachers are grossly behind in technology in the classrooms, hell they do not even have basic supplies. They have to buy their own for the students after the budget cuts. We have no sports facilities to complete with the suburbs or booster clubs. While the administrators at the Ivory Tower are living the high life.

Get rid of this educational reform before it to late, clean up the PPS from all Broad/Gates influence.

Danny Green

I would love to see Bill Gates or Eli Broad teach in one of our schools, they wouldn't make to the class room.

Bill said...

Only 6 PPS schools made AYP. I think this goes far beyond teachers, don't you?
Making AYP will be a daunting task moving forward, as the acceptable percentage rate for "proficiency" continues to be raised.

How long before a better way to measure student achievement is on the horizon?

Anonymous said...

"We are extremely disappointed and puzzled by these results since the reforms we have put in place have shown promising results for our students over the past several years," Superintendent Linda Lane said in a prepared release."

"Puzzled"?? Actually, the results have not been promising when you look at the a few points up, a few points down and overall PPS never meets the ever-increasing PA goals.

Claiming to have met AYP over the last two years was fudging the truth since PDE has never listed Pittsburgh as meeting AYP outright since PPS has NOT met the stipulations.

Enough! It is time to make plans not excuses. What are the changes in curricula that will ensure progress?

RISE and PELA are not about changing the substance of teaching and learning which is skills and content. And clearly, RISE and PELA are not getting the job done.

Anonymous said...

Only 6 schools out of what, 58, 59, 60 schools made AYP? WHAT?

When will we know which schools made it and which schools dropped even further than last year?

Something has to be done before school starts even though we will not be able to get the PDE data until September.

Anonymous said...

I know that is another of the statements that you will not post;
but several PPS Schools were offered professional assistance at no cost to the school or district.

That professional time and help were either scheduled, then cancelled, or refused outright.

(Maybe it's because it wasn't from Broad, Gates or their network.)

Bill said...

We know now:

CAPA, Obama and SciTech made it as high schools.
Greenfield as a K-8 and Allegheny and Dilworth as K-5's.
Arlington did not make it but is termed "making progress."
No other school was above assortment of warning, school improvement and corrective action terms across the board.

Anonymous said...

Colfax ddn't make it?

Anonymous said...

KDKA just lead off the news with PSSA scores troubling, are teachers to blame..or something anti teacher. WTF.

Anonymous said...

It is very discouraging the number of PPS schools that did not make AYP. Many many changes are in play here. MOST teachers were not allowed to administer the test to their students...I'm not saying that students couldn't take the test, but the teacher provides the environment and expectations...a different teacher doesn't know the students. The percentage went up this year in order to make AYP, and the discipline in schools is not present. I know for a fact that the atmosphere in many classrooms that were testing was not conducive for test taking and disruptive students were not removed. Shocked by last years results...just wait till this years results with buildings getting lots of new teachers teaching new material.....

Anonymous said...

On KDKA Lane actually said she talked to the Principals about new the budget, less teachers and combined schools, and it would make their and HER job more difficult. Not a peep about the teachers. Unreal.

Anonymous said...

My quick takes are that:

1) increased "fidelity" leads to decreased performance.

Increased fidelity coming about via RISE, PELA principals, and constant walkthroughs in poorly performing schools.

2) it's true that testing with someone besides the regular teaching maintaining order is like testing with a sub in the room. It's not likely to go as well.

3) some schools may well have had cheating and these scores are, IN SOME CASES NOT ALL, more accurate than they have been in the last year or two.

4) it IS more likely that a child will do better (especially elementary age kids) with their regular teacher administering a test. They are more likely to ask for things that they need (not cheating, but, for instance, asking for a math problem to be read to them, which is allowed if noted) or even just to ask for a new pencil or scrap paper or to use the bathroom.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many versions of Dr Poncelet's PSSA PowerPoint sideshow will be necessary to make this appear less than devastating. 115 versions? That there is no present attempt from Bellefield to paint these results as "ok", be prepared for the worst!

Anonymous said...

I just watched our fearless leader on TV trying to justify the drop in scores across the district. Of course "if we had effective teaching in every classroom we would reach our goal" are the words she used. As Usual! Effective teaching is absolutely necessary but so are good administrative decisions, discipline policies that work and having communities that support and encourage the children to value their education. The education of a child does not hinge on one thing-it needs to be a complete package. "it takes a village...." Just once I would like to see/hear someone at the top of this system admit that they may have made a mistake (think westinghouse) and work together to bring to the students the education that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

50 percent of African American students are NOT proficient in math and MORE THAN 50 percent of African American students are NOT proficient in English? District wide? This is a civil rights issue, no doubt! Come on Pittsburgh, WAKE UP!

Might you citizens concern yourselves if half of the Steelers were incapable of performing on any particular game day or couldn't even read the dang play book!

You reap what you sow Pittsburgh.

Questioner said...

If the definition of an effective teacher includes making AYP then any time PPS does not make AYP it will be because teachers were not effective. And the reason they are not effective will be union rules (even though as someone noted, union rules affected only a small number of furlough decisions).

Anonymous said...

Its time for Dr. lane to go. She has gotten her retirement time in now and will get a good retirement. She simply is not the one to lead our district in educating our kids. We are in trouble and we turn a blinds eye. In any other industry a new leader would be replaced and get us on track. Why not PPS. Wake up board do something.

Anonymous said...

7:24 -- I agree that she should go, however, if you don't lose the top level of administration along with her AND begin to sever our ties with Broad and Gates, nothing will change.

A+ schools was created to get Broad in here, they did that, have continued that and will continue that with or without Lane.

The Board needs new blood that can look at the national picture, understand what has REALLY happened in Pittsburgh over the last 6 years and create change on the local level, using local knowledge and not overpaid consultants and Broad fellows.

Anonymous said...

7:36 - We know that you are correct about Central Administration. The Broad/Gates connection is part of Linda Lane's contract and all key members of the Administration and the Board have been sent to BROAD training. That has been documented.

As far as A+ Schools is concerned, is there similar documentation that they are connected to Broad/Gates? Can proof of that be provided?

Anonymous said...

Look at page 8 of the last A+ schools report, (Funded by a genorous grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation)

whats that tell you

Bill said...

Lane is a figurehead at this point, biding time until retirement. What would you have thought she'd say, anyway?
Let me say this.
French would be much worse.
Lippert worse than than.
And Otuwa? My God.

This is a district which has a great deal of deadwood at the top of the chain, and one that is allowing a great many more pieces of deadwood to hang on throughout the administrative scheme, even--unbelievably---shielding the entire structure from furloughs.

Teachers are not nor ever have been the problem. In fact, the teaching staff of PPS remains the strongest piece of the puzzle.

Now more than ever, we see the failure of outrageously poor curriculum. In fact, I am letting the administration off easy with such a commentary.

This report is just the beginning. Only 6 schools made AYP. Most dropped. Next year, it will be worse.

Anonymous said...

9:47 has summarized the PPS situation in fairly accurate terms altho some would say that French is the most deceitful or maybe just the most ignorant (literally) of the top three under Lane. Otuwa, sadly, wouldn't last one minute in any situation as Superintendent. No skills or knowledge at all. Both French and Lippert are very skilled at convincing non-educators that they the "one". Yet, it looks like the Lane legacy will soon be left to one of three very, very poor choices. So, how will the Pittsburgh community respond? Who will guide them? A+ Schools?

Anonymous said...

When Lane leaves she will be replaced by possibly French or a Broad replacement. All you have to do is look at Charlotte, NC, Heath Morrison and you will see how this cycle continues. The school board is really clueess. I know Randall Taylor posts here at times and I imagine he had no idea how twisted this was/is.

Anonymous said...

Thank god we have 6000 iPads! This is such a clusterf*k.

Anonymous said...

Greenfield principal and Dilworth's not PELA-- what will it take to add bad curriculum plus no achool order with PELAs to equal learning not happening? What school is better than they were 6 years ago? What teacher is better-- not in their fake meaurements but really reaching better? What will it take to wake up Pittsburgh? you've been had by the carpetbaggers and snake iil salesmen. You've let the most important thing-- our children's education to be outsourced and sold to charlatans.

Questioner said...

A lot was said at Board meetings about the Teachers Academy at Brashear and all the amazing progress being made there- but apparently, no AYP. How can a school not making AYP be a model for the rest of the district? Unless maybe it was a relatively minor issue with a subgroup or two.

Anonymous said...

We ALL share a part in the blame. The Board that doesn't look deeply enough into some issues to work to make a difference. Administration-CO or school- that at times has good ideas but no true clue on how to implement with the masses or doesn't know how to stand up against what ISN'T working. Broad residents who came here with information, yet not really knowing the 'machine' that is PPS, or the ties/history that bind to harm us all. Some teachers who aren't doing all that they could. A union who leaves its members wondering who-which member, school,cause, initiative-will receive its backing.Parents who need parenting classes on how to manage it all. Students who need to value learning and others. The truth is not ALL of any one group is leading to our struggles. The few bad/struggling/incompetent/overwhelmed/conniving/misguided apples throughout are ruining what has every opportunity to be a good district. Trust is broken throughout the system. When the State comes in to disrupt the apple cart as we continue our downward spiral, we can all roll away continuing to point fingers at each other.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the ipads will be distributed to schools? Which schools or which students?

Technology will be tested by the state in a very few years.

Is PPS getting ready?

Which children will be left behind?

Anonymous said...

You do mean salaries and bonuses of non clasroom teachers don't you!?

Anonymous said...

The State did not know what to do with Duquesne, the smallest of school districts, so they sent the children elsewhere. The State, and its new leaders, haven't the slightest desire to take over Pittsburgh. They have less a clue than many very fine Pittsburgh-based educators. If the State could do it better it would be a good thing for kids if they came in and took over.

The State sent a team of 10 educators in 2005-2006 to assist the District in turning things around but allowed Mark Roosevelt to send them packing.

The solutions are here but educators like Regina Holley are powerless without massive support from the community which does not seem to be forthcoming, except in tiny bits and pieces. Sad, sad, sad.

Anonymous said...

With PPS test scores more or less returning to 2010 levels, doesn't this mean that the intensive partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has stunted our growth?

Anonymous said...

Good thing PPS has spent so much time, energy and money on the Fadzen case. Glad to see that Dr. Lane was focused on results.

Anonymous said...

This press release sure seems a little light on the Roosevelt/LaneFischetti/Weiss bravado that Pittsburgh is a national model for pay-for-performance, principal training, managed curriculum, and teacher evaluation.

Never fear, the results are so bad that it will be near impossible not to have growth next year. At that time they'll hang another meaningless banner on Bellefield without recognition that Pittsburgh's trajectory - despite all the spin - has lagged and enrollment plummeted under their watch.

I'm eager to see how the Gates Foundation and their funded puppet - the Aspen Institute - explains the dramatic downturn.

Anonymous said...

Diane Ravitch blogged about PPS test scores today!

She questions the Gates reform efforts…..
So do I!

Anonymous said...

Today's PG states: ". . 15 schools (PPS)will be eligible for school choice, which means their students can go to another district school which did better on the AYP standard." ". . .The only high school on the list to which students may transfer under the choice provision is Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12 in Homewood."

"Westinghouse, . . . had a 7.5 percent of its students proficient in Math (the minimum PA competency level for Math is 69% this year) and 30.2 percent in reading . . . in grade 11" (the minimum PA competency level for Reading is 81%).

So, who will choose a school where 11th grade students are more than 60 percentage points below the minimum competency level in Math and 51 percentage points short of minimum competence in Reading????

Have mercy, please! Help is desperately needed in PPS.

Eleanor Chute's positive spin on this is embarrassing and further masks PPS's total disservice to Black children.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Sorry! The PA minimu competency level in Math is 78% for 2012. That means that Westinghouse 11th grade missed the mark by 70 points!

How do people keep jobs in school systems with this kind of failure to educate? Is there no one in Central Office who is accountable?

Always excuses, excuses, excuses. Never productive action or even a plan? What is the plan?

Where is the outrage???????????

Anonymous said...

OBVIOUSLY, someone outside of PPS must write the PLAN. Right?

Well then, WHO?

Bill said...

Has anyone contacted Ms.Chute--or any other "journalist" in this town---about the outrages that are so disturbing to all of us? Has anyone ever asked why the PPS budget and expenditures are never questioned? Has anyone inquired as to why few administrators lost their jobs in this year's bloodbath, reserved especially for teachers, custodians and secretaries, it appears? Has anyone ever asked why there is such a reliance upon Pitt's IFL for curriculum approval, and whether that curriculum should be tossed out, as Pitt and their IFL should? Has anyone ever inquired as to whether too much time is spent on the RISE process instead of the exploration of sound educational strategies that heighten the level achievement of our students?

Has anyone here EVER contacted a journalist in this town and asked them any of these questions--and told them to go beyond the standard answers they will receive?

I already know the answer to that question. No. You would expect teachers to put their names out there and face firings instead of writing an email or making a call. You would expect a teacher to protest instead of contacting a school board member.

As a teacher, I saw all of this coming when Roosevelt hit town 7 years ago. None of this is a surprise, most notably the decline in achievement and population. And we will see much, much worse.

Our city has enabled PPS administration to continually harass teachers instead of focusing upon the students. Our focus has been upon getting all teachers to capitulate---from forced, bland, nameless curriculum patterning to myriad other items---and they have paid no attention to our students.

Please know this: your students' scores would not even be where they are without the efforts of teachers. Left to administrative know-nothings, we would be far worse off.

The school board....MUST GO.
The superintendent and her lieutenants....MUST GO.

Anonymous said...

I already know the answer to that question. No. You would expect teachers to put their names out there and face firings instead of writing an email or making a call. You would expect a teacher to protest instead of contacting a school board member."

You know what? Those of us who have made those calls and written those emails (I have both to her and to Joe Smydo before her) learned pretty quickly that it's futile, though we still do it when things are really being ignored.

Heck, I actually started checking the Trib and considered subscribing because their education coverage is not completely BOE-centric.

"Schenley parents" saw many of these problems coming long ago, as we asked lots of questions before the closing. These questions were district-wide issues about curriculum, about low enrollment and low test scores at various HS, about plans for true reform and true community input.

But we were repeatedly painted as "only interested in Schenley" or as "only interested in our own kid." The PG wrote stories that would say things like, "while parents claim _____, district officials state______," presenting the administrators as holders of all truth.

We were in a meeting where Mark Roosevelt actually said, "I can't tell what we plan to do, because then it couldn't happen." Hahaha, he laughed.

My point is parent voices and teacher voices have to be heard together and even that may not be enough. Yelling at people who have tried to do more than just preach to the choir isn't going to help.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we'll, when Roosevelt started, the Press, particularly the Post Gazette, agreed to lay off the hard coverage they had been doing of the district, especially when Thompson was superintendent. Amy Schaarsmith was sent off to write about food or the PG, and Smydo reigned over Chute. Then Fischetti was hired originally just as the marketing/commiunications consultant to make sure Roosevelt had good spin as he got started. The PG previously had been very, very harsh, really scathing, in it's coverage of PPS.

The news coverage situation was very much influenced by the elite leaders of the city seeking to ensure Roosevelt got a good start. They were confident that a person of Roosevelt's background, education, and experience would also prove t be honorable and ethical.

Anonymous said...

Bill said at 4:43: Truthfully, you do NOT know the answer to the question about contacting (in person, via email) Eleanor Chute. There are more than a few of us who give her questions and provide information that is not anywhere apparent in her articles; but, there is something that keeps her from being a good journalist. What is it? Who knows?

Clearly, there are no real journalist left in this city. PPS begs exposure for the devastating effects of the past six years, but there are no takers with investigative and/or media savvy skills.

Bill said...

Parent, let me say thank you for your efforts. You've gone above and beyond. Yet, in this era of teachers being fired each month, I cannot imagine who would ever put their name "out there."

And yes, you've described the MR game plan to a tee, as witnessed in the closing of Schenley and subsequent closings of other schools: pay lip service to parental qualms....let them have "open hearings"....let it pass....and it will all go away.

Like MR, Lane and her people know that they will not have the media to ask questions, know that they will not have mass marches on Bellefield, know that the PFT is weak and will not organize walk-outs, so why would they ever worry?

Theirs is a wonderful existence. Do as they want without fear of repercussion or questioning, and without fear of losing their jobs in hard financial times even though they have nothing---nothing---to do with students and classrooms.

I am one teacher who looks at every administrator as the enemy. No, it's not personal, but these people are the true problem in our district. We could save a lot of time and a lot of money if they would get out of the way. Allowing teachers to make crucial decisions with regards to the achievement of our students would drastically raise scores from day one....I guarantee it.

Sadly, it's a panacea that only now happens in other countries.

Bill said...

I think the influence of foundation money and Gates money/grants has extended an understanding to local media. I cannot believe that they are still giddy about attracting a "name" like Roosevelt or about attracting big money from Gates but rather, some understanding was hatched. How else could someone like Andy Sheehan, who has kids in PPS, stand so mute?
We continue to see this of course with the furlough issue, of which Lane is amazingly still banging the drum. when you have foundations saying it is time to throw out old teachers, they are in effect saying that "older thinking" equates to dissent that they don't embrace. Younger teachers are wonderful, but they also fear for their jobs and longevity, and are quite a bit more intimidated. They are also much more impressionable.
I can't answer as to why journalists are now rip and readers, that is, that they simply read or report press releases rather than ask hard questions. This is certainly the case with electronic media and the PG n town, and it is a shame.
I want to thank all of you who have gone the extra mile in contacting the press. I appreciate the fact that you care. I hope you can appreciate why teachers are so reluctant....just look at the human resources/personnel portion of the board minutes each month. Those "resignations" should give you great pause.

Anonymous said...

The Post Gazzette or the Trib could plant a substitute teacher in the system who could realy get a feel of whats going on in the district by seeing first hand what chaos is occurring in the schools ran by PELA's.

Yes to the other poster, I have contacted Joe Symdo and E. Chute more than once, they were not real interested in information from a teacher in the trenches. (Remember teachers are the enemy in this district)

In todays paper Lane mentions accountability for the low scores. Yea, starting at the top baby. With you and your minions getting shown the door. (No more Broad Superintendents first thing to fix in the PPS)

Westinghouse last year is a preview what to expect this year in the district. With all the lay offs, larger class sizes, no teacher support or disipline (Year 7), and teachers moved all around the district. Just wait for the scores next year.

Broad & Gates are doing this in urban school districts accross the nation. Wake up Pittsburgh and fight for your children. I was told a few years ago I was a conspiracy nut by a Union official. I wish I was wrong, research the net its all out there. My Union is run by weak incompetent people, to bad the Teachers for Change lost the last vote.

Get rid of all Broad/Gates/Walton influence in this district. Bring back real disipline and pricipals to our schools. Stop RISE and have administrators focuse on student behavior instead of watching teachers. Get rid of all the core curiculums, you can not polish a turd. Hire back some teachers to reduce our class sizes back to what they were. And the scores will rise. This stuff does not need outside colsultants, just common f***ing sense.

Danny Green & a pint or two

I hate the current PPS administration but I love teaching and I love my students.

Dr Lane & Co. kiss my arse!

Anonymous said...

Posts above are correct-- Teachers know how to teach, how to adapt course work for various students and like doing their chosen profession. Administrators should take responsibility for-- running the building! Even the lousy script isnt an excuse for the PELA practice of letting students literally run wild. And if they are allowed to disrupt, scream, and curse for 136 days (Lane's number til pssa) how do you expect a decen testing environment.

Questioner said...

Allegheny Traditional is reportedly one of the few schools making AYP (in the grade 1-5 category), but last month it was included as one of the lowest-achieving schools in the area on a list released by the PDE. Huh?

Anonymous said...

I teach in PPS and I also administered the PSSA's this past spring. I want to make it very clear that the teachers were forced to administer the test to a group of kids that they have never taught/had very little contact with throughout the year, to ensure a "better testing situation". I can tell you that I administered the test to a group of students where I didn't know their names, didn't know if there were behavioral concerns when I moved their seats around a little to avoid them looking off of each others tests, and I had no rapport with them. I think that this definately added to why we didn't make AYP. You take the "most important" time of the year (well, in administrator's opinions), and put a teacher in there blindly to give the test. And, let's face it, there are some teachers that have better classroom management than others, so for example, I had a teacher that wasn't very strong in classroom management administering the test to my kids. The kids knew that this teacher was easy to get over, and acted accordingly, but the scores are all a reflection of MY teaching. Every year we had a teacher come over from the gifted center to oversee the testing (not this year) and to make sure teachers were following protocol. Why doesn't the state have people working in all of the schools during PSSA times to make sure no cheating is occuring instead of wasting all of their time after tests are collected to see if cheating has occurred? Also, on a side note, does anyone know why all of the Ipad's were bought and who will be getting them? I know my principal has one now, but who else will get them? The ITL2's?

Questioner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Questioner said...

In a district where kids are supposed to come first, why have students and their families not been given PSSA scores? Students would have had the summer to work on weak areas or set up a plan for attacking problem areas in the year to come.

As for iPads- they are different enough from PC's and macs to require a real investment in time for use of the device itself. Probably a good skill to have but one that will come at the expense of time spent of learning in actual subject matters.

Anonymous said...

I am using an iPad and I am an older 50+ woman with very limited technical skills and the iPad is super easy!

Questioner said...

It can be, depending on what you are doing, but even at the Apple store they will tell you that training is a must. What are you using it for- have you composed a long research paper on it? Used it in a process of working with several other people on a shared project?

Anonymous said...

I do not use any shared programs or anything in depth. However most students are going to be using educational apps that are really simple to learn and download.

If 600 iPads have been purchased to cover a district of 25,000 kids and intensive training is involved and it costs more or around a million dollars, it becomes a question of priorities and negligence.

Anonymous said...

Uh, wrong.

6000 iPads were purchased by the district.
All schools were given the opportunity to write proposals for a portion of those iPads. The proposals addressed numerous frame worked areas.
I believe 45 or 46 schools applied and 25 schools were awarded iPads. I also believe that the idea is to bring more iPads into the district....that this is the first step.

I think this is a wonderful opportunity for our kids.
I think its about time that we came into the 21st century as a district.
I also think some of the comments here about this process are patently ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Ipads are not difficult to use. I love my Ipad, and my children using them. However, Ipads do not easily replace all computer functions. My family does have full scale computers. In the suburbs, students still do real research papers. Ipads also easily facilitate rote learning, short answer responses, and an "electronic response" (similar to the thumbs up, thumbs down) that the neww scrpt loves.
Yes, there are a lot of cutting edge applications, but somehow I am doubting the video projects etc. that other districts are using. Why? Well, we exiting all the talented techs that could have made this kinda of interface happen.

Anonymous said...

Questioner: Are you saying that PPS students/parents/guardians did not get their 2012 PSSA scores in early July? That is when the scores were sent out by schools to every student.

Students in surrounding school districts received their scores with letters. Didn't this happen in PPS?

School districts begin immediately, usually in June, to make educational plans for students based on the scores. Parents and summer programs create interventions for students who are Basic or Below Basic.

Are you saying this did not happen in PPS??????????????

Anonymous said...

Conversation leaning towards IPAD use....we won't know until the school year starts WHO is using the IPADS......

Not making AYP....thoughts on teachers not testing their own students for PSSA's? In ideal world, it shouldn't matter WHO tests the students, but in a realistic situation, would the teacher that students KNOW vs a teacher they don't know be the best way to go?

Anonymous said...

5:35. I disagree, the money spent should have been used to keep teachers.

Anonymous said...

6,000 ipads for 24,000 kids. So, which kids will get the ipads?

Those whose teachers wrote grants, right?

Well, we all know the leftover teachers who know the least are in the schools where the kids need the ipads the most. Is it safe to assume, as Sharene Shealey stated in disagreement with the method of awarding ipads, that the stable, in-the-know teachers will get the ipads for their students. Those kids in schools where there is turmoil, dysfunction, and furloughed teachers will not get ipads, is that right?

Equity, you say? The most vulnerable students have no equity in PPS. If this is wrong, please set it right.

Bill said...

Ba-lone-y. Just when will you wake up and smell the napalm instead of thinking there is some great scheme going on behind the scenes? It's always the same hooey.

46 schools submitted proposals. 46. Let me see....the district has 57, I believe. There goes your theory. Then, a panel spent weeks poring over the proposals to assess the ideas for implementation. 25 schools received iPads. 25...of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.

There are a great many people who are growing tired of the woe-is-me shtick, friend. It doesn't fly anymore. Maybe 30 years ago, but not now.

Incidentally, I believe PPS is looking to bring more iPads in for the future and this is something of a pilot.

I disagree with the earlier poster who talked about money which should have gone to teachers who were furloughed. If you are consistent, you should too. We need to reach ALL students where they live, so to speak. In other words, we need to assess how they learn and mirror those efforts. The iPad is a step in the right direction.

NO teacher should have been furloughed. NONE. Instead, we should have furloughed myriad administrators who do nothing and have nothing to do with the students. We should have placed a moratorium on paying millions to consultants.

It should be all about the students, I am sure you would agree. Playing the conspiracy card time and again only detracts from the argument at hand.

Grow up.

Anonymous said...


You have an attacking way of responding to people that disagree with you, therefore I find it difficult to read your posts with an open mind.

Anonymous said...

No matter how you spin it, 6,000 out of 24,000+ is less than 25% of PPS students got ipads.

Which of the schools and students got the ipads? (And who did not?)

That was the question. What is the answer?

Anonymous said...

Call me a cynic, but most of the kids getting these ipads to work on will in a best case be doing the sorts of tasks mentioned above -- rote practice (which IS needed for some things, but can be done on ANY computer), and silly little "survey" questions and the like.

The even more likely case is that kids will be developing their angry bird skills and attempting to circumvent the systems and get on facebook or youtube.

USING simple technology simply is not an educational or learning process.

Anonymous said...

Ok, then I will call you a cynic.

I think the beauty of the iPad is the ability to apply knowledge in myriad ways. I also tend to think it is a way of deepening knowledge and gleaning more information. It truly mirrors the way most of our kids learn in their own worlds.

Yes, the curriculum is useless, rife with methods in which students can learn from other students because the belief is that they cannot learn in traditional ways. Yet, I see the iPad as a new, invigorating pathway to knowledge.

And where good teachers are concerned, your comment about a pathway to Facebook is laughable.

Anonymous said...

I think our news people are openly ignoring the issues at PPS. On channel 11 news tonight they talked about the highest salaries in the city and county. Not one PPS employee was named and yet dozens of folks on Bellefield make more than 150K as their base salary and then get 2-3 15K 'bonuses' a year. So that would make their salaries 150K-200K a year, and yet not one person, including Dr. Lane was mentioned on the news, while other city employees that were making less than 150K were mentioned as in the top 10. Why is the news people turning a blind eye to everything negative in the district? Will they notice when every parent has pulled their child from the district and there are STILL dozens of Bellefield adminstrators making that kind of salary? Probably not. The city should be embarrassed and outraged by the fact that only 6 schools have made AYP...

Porfessional Outstanding Teacher said...

I learned a great deal when the furlough issue came to the fore. The PG in particular was complicit in pushing the idea that seniority should play no part in the furlough process. You had Brian O'Neill sipping coffee with Jeannie French, you had leaders of foundations who donate to PPS writing op ed pieces, you had the PG editorial staff trumpeting the same issue, and then you had Linda Lane coming out in all media forms.

And that told me something about, again, big money.

I used to have a lot of respect for the PG, but lost all of it in their ignoring of what is transpiring. Eleanor Chute, who I believe is a PPS grad, may as well just run Ebony Pugh's press releases as her articles. Not once did I read her asking about the absence of administrator furloughs. Not once.

And the standard Lane line about "examining all avenues" and "difficult decisions" deserved a true grilling but again, sadly, no one bit.

And again, that tells me something. Pittsburghers fell over themselves when names like Roosevelt and Gates became synonymous with the urban district here. They became giddy when Franco became a large part of Promise fundraising. You would not expect this type of ignorance and teeny-bopper approach to pervade journalistic circles locally, but it has...along with, no doubt, payola's influence.

Enough good people here have said they have contacted the PG or KD about inconsistencies and disturbing incidents within PPS and they have been rebuffed at every turn. What more needs to be said?