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!


Questioner said...

On another post Anonymous wrote:

I know it is an oversight that the EFA isn't on the calendar. Call 622-7920.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Who can live blog the meeting?

Okay, how about good notes then.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid I have another perspective entirely on the wisdom of discussing survey results in this forum. Unless there has been a very serious outreach effort to get more parents from every building to attend the meeting and not just the representatives, no discussion of any solutions should occur with any principals. Nothing past, "here are the results and what we will be talking about at our next PSCC meeeting" should be covered. Since the meeting was not on the district calendar it is doubtful that the meeting agenda topic was satisfactorily communicated with all parents. If this is the new parent engagement design somebody should at least say so.

Anonymous said...

How were principals forced?

Anonymous said...

My principal was told they had to attend. Many were there, but many were not.

At the EFA meeting, overall District survey results were explained and the following conclusions were given (from handout):
-Most of the parents who responded:
=Positive toward their schools
=Indicate that they are quite involved with the school and their children
-These parents felt that there was quite a lot of communication with their school, although there is always room for more information about your child specifically
-Parents of older students less likely to be positive
-Parents make recommendations, but are not convinced they are considered.
Many not satisfied with strategies for handling disruptive students.
-Bullying has significant impact on perception of fair treatment.

Next steps:
-Survey results are now available for each school. If you had a parent representative attend the meeting--he/she will have the results to bring back to the PSC meeting. Otherwise, each principal has the results--parents should ask to see them.
-Parents and principal should analyze you schools results compared to similar schools. Data was provided for similar schools; k-5, k-8, 6-8, 6-12, 9-12 and for ALL schools.
-Parents and principal will identify areas to look at more closely based on results.
-Parents and principal will choose an area for improvement and create a school action plan.

Farouk Williamson said...

This pure reform blog spot was shared with me by one of the other parents the other evening and I find all of it's content very interesting. On this topic, I was a quiet participant in the EFA session, however from my observations I do not believe that this current central administration truly is listening or even cares about parent opinions for that matter. I, like others believe that it was just another attempt to make the appearance of parent engagement, check it off on a list, and submit it to whatever foundation wants the evidence that parents were involved. The true engagement for me happens within the school as I have felt much more welcomed by my child's principal and teachers than anyone in central administration. The general feeling among the parents I have talked to in the parking lot is that Dr. Lane and her central office team members lack sincerity, and their robotic attempts to make it look like they care makes it even more obvious. I hope everyone shares this site as it seems like it would be the best forum for sharing real concerns, instead of the pointless superficial meetings parents are forced to endure with no real opportunities to be truly heard.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the overall lack of District concern for parent involvement and I have testified about this at public hearings.

I'm glad engagement at the school level is effective at your school, but this is not necessarily true at all schools. Not all principals are welcoming and interested in parent involvement.

This blog is a great forum to share concerns but ultimately, our concerns must get to the board members we elected. Our voices must be heard loud and clear…not in just in parking lots and on blogs.


Farouk Williamson said...

12:16 - Your point is well taken...thanks for sharing that perspective

1anon said...

At a september board meeting Mr. Brentley expressed surprise that 86% of our pps families are connected electronically and can get communication from pps in the more efficient ways available so that we can rely less on paper. Ms. Fischetti said the 86% is based on survey results where the number trended up over the last few years (if I recall correctly). The trouble with surveys is that you most likely are not getting a true cross-section of the school population and the results are therefore unreliable. Nobody is discontinuing paper, so no need to worry.

1anon said...

If a high school had 15% response and 13% are families of high achieving students how can the survey inform admin? With equity as a goal, can we use the survey results to make decisions? There is no substitute for conversation, unfortunately those who would benefit from telling their stories probably are unable to participate in EFA. The conversation factor underscores the thought that those best able to make an impact are called teachers. They just have to have the time to do it and admin has to provide the time. Recently a retired teacher who had tremendous rapport with one of my kids told be contacting parents was a big effort but usually paid big dividends.

Anonymous said...


Do you work at shadyside hospital? I believe that I met you in the summer 2011 at a community meeting held by Randall Taylor regarding the future of Westinghouse. The name sounds familiar, but perhaps, I am mistaken.

Mark Rauterkus said...

... If a high school had 15% response and 13% are families of high achieving students how can the survey inform admin?

Was it really 15% from parents of high school students?

How many are in HIGH SCHOOL and not in other grades too?

How many are in HIGH SCHOOL but did not get through PPS in Middle and Elem grades?

And, is that 13% of the 15%

Too many questions. Dang. I could not attend the EFA meeting.

Are these results going to be on the web? Why not?

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark, my numbers were hypothetical, to avoid using any real high school as a example. Did you get the emails trying to generate increased response during the survey period? I swear response rates were included, but principals have the school results if a parent rep did not attend EFA. No matter what survey, I am always stunned at the response rate.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to response rates by school:

It's interesting to note that Obama is the only high school separated by 6-8 and 9-12. So, we don't know, for instance, how many of the 100 Sci-Tech responders were 9-12.

There was a total 14.94% response rate.
56.7% White
31.3% Black
12% Other

Based on this statistic alone, the responses are not representative of the actual demographics of PPS schools.

How can we (parents) help to fix this?

Work has already begun to improve the survey for next year. You can make suggestions about how to improve the process even if you are not able to attend EFA meetings.

Call the parent hotline. Suggest ways to get responses from a more representative group. Suggest better questions.

Maybe next year's survey can inform administration?!