Monday, October 29, 2012

Schenley petition reaches 600

The goal now is 1000.

Those who want to know whether information about the extent of asbestos was withheld from Board members and the public prior to the vote to close; the cost of the temporary move to Reizenstein; and an updated estimate for a basic renovation of Schenley should contact their Board members, city council members and other elected officials, share the petition and comments and ask them to sign on.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Schenley petition/ 500 signatures reached

Number 500 was Toni Haney, who wrote:
"It was the place where my children and their friends received their educations while they matured and it deserves to be treated with respect and to shine on!"

Value added methods for evaluating teachers

On another post Anonymous wrote:

New topic:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Schenley investigation petition reaches 400

Those who would like to see an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closing of Schenley should visit

to add their voices to this effort (or go to and browse Schenley).

(Or go to and browse for Schenley.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reizenstein building

On another post Anonymous wrote:


I was just watching the city channel where city council was having a meeting and they are rezoning the part of the city include Reisenstein school. Can someone refresh my memory and tell me how many millions of dollars we just put into that building a couple of years ago? Think of how many teachers etc....that could have paid for. Another Linda Lane/Mark Roosevelt "light bulb" moment.

Schenley petition

Kathy Fine's signature brings the number to 250 since the petition went out on Thursday.  Please keep it up- more signatures = more strength!

Kathy's comment:

Kathryn Fine
Pittsburgh, PA
We have to redirect the misinformed reform of our schools and save our public school assets before it is too late. Schenley is just the tip of the iceberg!

To sign, go to

 Or go to and browse for Schenley

Teacher evaluation

On another post Anonymous wrote:

new topic- even esteemed Harlem Village charter admits-- if we go by scores, you wont keep the good and get rid of bad teachers:

New student survey at approx $900k

On another post Anonymous wrote:

From the Board Action Information Sheet:

Did you know that the Pittsburgh Public Schools is paying $896,3000.00 to Cambridge Education, LLS to do the Tripod student survey that will be used to evaluate teachers.

This tab was submitted by Sam Franklin and Jerri Lippert and passed at the Legislative Meeting in September, 2012.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lessons from a top rated charter in Minnesota

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Lessons from a Top-Rated Charter in Minnesota...

Link to Diane Ravitch's Blog:

If you swapped the teachers with those from Upper St. Clair

On another post Anonymous wrote:


PPS Central Office needs get off the bandwagon and stop blaming their teachers...

From Brian O'Neill's Article in Sunday's Post-Gazette:

"If you took the teachers from Upper St. Clair and swapped them for a full year with teachers in Wilkinsburg,'' he asked. "Do you really think there would be some miraculous difference in each school's test scores?"

No, nobody would. Teachers matter. They matter quite a lot, as anyone who's had a great one would tell you. But teachers aren't the biggest factor in low -- or high -- test scores.

Just ask Diane Ravitch, who was in the White House East Room with President George W. Bush in 2001 when he announced the reforms that became the No Child Left Behind Act. Since then, Ms. Ravitch has made a 180-degree turn, writing a book, "The Death and Life of the Great American School System,'' that decries a "simple-minded focus on standardized testing'' and the "punitive'' use of test scores.

"Part of what is going on is to try to blame low performance on teachers instead of recognizing that poverty is the single greatest determinant of low scores,'' Ms. Ravitch, an assistant secretary of education during the first Bush administration, told the Economic Policy Institute a couple of years ago.

Read more:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Three shot near Peabody/Obama

The report says "in a field near" the school.  Was this on school property?  Is there a field near the school that is NOT part of the school outdoor athletic area?

Survey/ student conduct

On another post Anonymous wrote:

New Topic:

Interesting the disconnect between what the teachers observe in their schools and what the principals perceive is happening.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Schenley petition going viral

Go to and browse "Schenley" or click on

You can add a comment as well.  Comments can be sorted by "latest" or "most popular"- try both options to see them all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Still heading in the wrong direction on Schenley

From the PG:

Still need a complete investigation and report on how the plaster contains only trace amounts of asbestos and how the risks and renovation costs were overstated.

Incident near CAPA

On another post Anonymous wrote:


New Topic? I just saw on channel 4 news that my good friend and colleague, Jim Addlespurger, was knocked out cold by a teenage boy among a group of boys in a Capa High alley after school. I'm curious how CO will spin this. But more importantly, I'm curious how CO is treating Jim. I knew Jim during his stint at Carrick High. He is an excellent, caring teacher whose students think fondly of him.

Stand tall Jim and know some of us got your back.

Now, who here thinks it was the teacher's fault?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Expecting the same from every student

Start a New Post Please:

Pittsburgh Mirrors LA Unified's Themes: "We're going to expect the same out of every student"

Jaime Aquino mentioned in Mary Morrison's article was hired by PPS a few year's back as part of the failed ALA reform efforts. 

Quote from the article: "The LAUSD has tapped its new, $250,000-a-year deputy superintendent Jaime Aquino—from the Dominican Republic, no less—to engineer and implement the Common Core State Standards Plan. As he explains: “We’re going to expect the same out of every student,” meaning that all students—including those in Special Ed classes—are supposed to perform at the same level."

Read Entire Article @

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Too much testing?

On another post Anonymous wrote:

New post please:
Teachers: I need your help!

In response to the new testing added to the assessment schedule for this year, I complained to administration that there is too much testing and teachers do not have enough time to teach.

Administration told me that teachers have "begged" for more assessments (example 4 sights).

Please explain.

I understand the need for periodic formative assessments but don't see the need for the amount of testing scheduled for this year (for instance, 23 assessments for 6th graders).

Thank you.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Schenley/ WMD

PG Letter to the Editor:

As I thought of the triumph and tragedy that surrounds Schenley High School, it dawned on me that former Superintendent Mark Roosevelt's decision to close Schenley because of asbestos was the local government equivalent of George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq because of WMDs. In both instances, cherry-picked information was utilized to muddy the waters and drive elected officials toward a conclusion they would probably not have chosen with more complete information.
In the case of Iraq and the WMDs the national press largely vacated their responsibility to investigate and report beyond the official White House and Department of Defense talking points. They failed the due diligence test that is the hallmark of a free press. In our local situation, the Post-Gazette failed to investigate the claims of unsafe asbestos levels and instead chose to accept as gospel the "facts" as presented by Mark Roosevelt.
It is too late for a do-over regarding the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But as long as Schenley High School is mothballed and not sold, we have the opportunity to do the due diligence and reverse this decision. I urge the Post-Gazette and the entire school board to do a real fiscal analysis before taking the step to sell Schenley. Listen to the community and get the answers to their questions regarding the asbestos. Then listen again to their concerns about the future of public education and the storied history of Schenley High School.

Regent Square

The writer is a member of Allegheny County Council.

Read more:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October EFA meeting

On another post Anonymous wrote:

New post please:
The Excellence for All (parent/guardian committee) meeting tonight at Sci-Tech (5:30 food-6pm meeting) should be a good one!

The results from the Parent Survey will be revealed to each school.

Principals are required to attend and develop an action plan with the parents/guardians.

I believe this collaboration a good first step (even if principals are forced into it). I hope to see lots of parents there!

Monday, October 1, 2012