Thursday, November 29, 2012

State of the District

On another post Anonymous wrote:

New Post

State of the District

You can view the State of the District video at the link above. The presentation/panel discussion was Nov. 15, 2012. Today is November 29th. It is very concerning that the video to date has had 9 views. What might this tell us? Might we all be looking at the bigger pictures of national concern; elections, cliffs, compromises? We seem to have created a climate of fear in so many respects. Fear of not making AYP, fear that the money will run out, fear of being suddenly unworthy of our positions, personal fears of being unable to maintain our already thrifty lifestyles and fear that we have less to give to help others. Is there any good news today? 


Anonymous said...

Booring.... Time for Dr. Lane to go some where else. We need leadership that can lead us into the future and she simply is not the one. We are going to lose our district under her watch. We will go bankrupt and the acheivement gap has worsened. We all know it and we are sitting by and letting it happen.

She might a great elementry teacher but a superintendent she is not. Please help us save our school.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the lack of views is related to the pervasive understanding that anything coming from 341 Bellefield Ave, including videos on "PPS Tube", is loaded with thrice-spun propaganda that makes those of us "in-the-know" ill? I don't care to watch...I perceive the state of the district, clear as a cucumber, without multimedia signed off by one L. Fischetti.

Maybe it is a positive sign for the state of the City that folks are not so interested in swallowing the PPS tripe?

On the other hand, maybe it is a sign that folks have become entirely disengaged with the "state of the district". Incidentally, activity on this blog sure has dropped off a cliff (other than updates on Schenley petition signature counts)...

Anonymous said...

Charter school enrollment is increasing while PPS head count is declining. Parents are voting with their feet.

We will soon enough know if the elected School Board is satisfied with: 1) being one of the last districts STILL under investigation; 2) being one of the worst performing districts in the state; 3) blind allegiance to failed programs of the Roosevelt administration; 4) spending $1 million on a survey; 5) hiring consultants because you could not/did not retain adequate intellectual firepower with educational expertise.

If the Board is happy with this direction, then we will see Dr. Lane's contract renewed.

If the Board is serious about saving this shipwreck, they will provide her 6 months notice of non-renewal.

Anonymous said...

There has got to be more to offer than The Pittsburgh Promise. Are the more attractive magnets seeing a surge in applications this year? Walk in anywhere and what you want to feel is that you have entered a happy place. If your kids are out of school now like many of us you can be just detatched enough to be completely fair, then track back to enumerate the bad choices. What have we learned?

Questioner said...

It is much more difficult to get an unhappy kid excited about learning, so first thing: Do not close schools where kids and teachers are happy.

Instead, build on that strength to tackle weaknesses, achievement gaps, etc.

Anonymous said...

The charter community smells blood. Remember that Roosevelt cut the back room deal that opened the Promise to charters.

Anonymous said...


It's screwed, if there are not major changes in the people who are running this district.

How can they sleep at night

Anonymous said...

I tried really hard to keep my child at PPS. They let the door hit us in the rear when we left for private school. Nobody cared enough to try and keep us. I have a well behaved smart kiddo.

Anonymous said...

I can't count how many years now I have heard the idea of exit interviews being discussed at board meetings. Pretty doubtful that anyone can take the time to do a few. There are excellent things happening in buildings and a good education is possible in pps if you can avoid letting things get in your way. Read the Obama Eagle newspaper and especially the Allderdice newspaper to see talent and the passion of students. To close gaps that spirit must become contagious and frankly, some of the upper admin just seem tired and possibly too beaten down by bad news to get crazy enough to let loose. Principal PD needs to include a lesson on fire and brimstone.

Anonymous said...

Principal PD (especially for PELAS) needs a lot more than fire and brimstone which will evolve when what you know is more than "below basic" even for principals.

PD in PPS more than sub-par. Sadly, they are not permitted or do not choose to participate in PD that is cutting edge and provides the basics for success in PA.

Again, it is the Broad/Gates influence that has little foundational experience in educational philosophy or psychology or practice.

Anonymous said...

"PD in PPS more than sub-par."

Quick story for you, Anon 2:15.

I was at a PD where the presenter was a PELA.

The PELA was telling us teachers that our classes must be student-driven. The students must do most of the talking, the PELA said. And the students must determine the direction that the class will take.

One of the teachers at the PD then raised her hand to ask a question. "Put your hand down," the PELA said. "I can't take questions and still cover the material I have to cover."

The PELA then kept on talking about how teachers talk too much!

These PELAs think they know everything. But it's more correct to say that they know nothing. Yet they lead our schools.

Anonymous said...

First off, I'll take the Obama Eagle over Dice's paper any day, thank you. It's updated daily and they actually ask questions that you won't even see in the PG. Second. there's a real disconnect between central office and schools and it's almost amazing.Makes you wonder how these people can stay employed. Have they ever even been in a school?

Anonymous said...

The Eagle may ask some questions but the aarticles that may reflect negatively on the school are sometimes moved to "uncategorized" on Wordpress or whatever platform they are using, so that you don't see the article unless you already have the link.

Anonymous said...

You have that wrong, 100% wrong, in fact. I'm not sure how many articles have ever been written which appear negative in nature---likely very few-- but they sure don't show up in "uncategorized." Where you get your information from is questionable, at best. I don't think "uncategorized" has ever been utilized at all save for an oversight, and I'd be willing to put money on it.
You're making it sound like articles are hidden from view, and that's a misrepresentation which I would have to wonder about.
Why provide what amounts to a prevarication on a public forum?
You owe readers a retraction.

Obama Parent said...

Pardon me. I should have listed my name as Obama Parent after my posting at 4:26.

jane doe said...

10:51 the PD story belongs on a sitcom. I am aghast that any PD would not have a free-flowing of ideas. Makes me want to scream "stop wasting money!!!" It is all about presentation and no substance. We need to have an adminstrative opposite day to see how things would go. You know, a day where the message is the direct opposite of what has been up to today. A deviate from the curriculum day.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I became a subscriber to the Eagle but at times when I open an email my jaw drops and I wonder how they get away with publishing some stories, then I cheer the power of the press!!

jane doe said...

For some good news/bad news see link

wow, three suggestions provided by the author:

"• First, we need to reward the many teachers who are successfully helping their students to learn, and replace the teachers who are just going through the motions.

• Second, we need to cut the billions of dollars in school district spending that's going to administrative overhead, sports and other noninstructional programs, and focus school funding on improving education proficiency.

• Third, we need people leading our school districts who will implement these kinds of bold changes. Now is the time to recruit candidates for next year's school board elections who will commit themselves to ensuring that every child has the skills they need to be successful."

Let's break it down a bit. For the teacher suggestion. From what I have heard I am not satisfied with the empowering effective teacher program and the way evaluations, surveys, etc are determining so much. For that matter I will have to see if I can find the rubric on the distict site that was used to determine awards for principals, because that could need improvement too. I can't even take a guess as to how many teachers might just be going through the motions. With the hammer all ready, I doubt there are many now who think they can do that and get away with it.

For #2, don't mess with sports, lol. Some of the most vocal parents believe increased participation will bring academic performance up.

For #3, I guess someone will step up to run for the job of boardmember.

Anonymous said...

Check the PDE "State of the District" information at the sites below.

Jane Doe at 6:10 who cites the
Regional Insights would find very different statistics about achievement in Pittsburgh Public School if she checked the PDE PVAAS and PAAYP sites:

Allegheny County Report

Pittsburgh Schools Report

Anonymous said...

Now we (consumers of education) need to play who do you trust when it comes to reports and measurement tools. All is so slanted.

Anonymous said...

There was an individual who posted here a couple of months ago that put the question of statistics to rest. This individual, who had worked with Dr.Poncelet's office, wrote that she could bend the statistics to suit any need.
'Nuff said.
Although the poster back-pedaled after being called on such a cavalier statement, the message should have been clear to all teachers and parents here and really, should have been made a permanent link at the top of pure reform's site. To wit, anyone who believes virtually anything coming from Bellefield Avenue either is incredibly gullible or someone who needs a psychological examination.
Whether it comes down to covering up the actions of top lieutenants who display lewd conduct at out-of-town conventions on the taxpayer's dime, or sweeping the grotesque actions of administrators, teachers or security officers under the providing mysterious statistical information for parents to obfuscate the failings of our inane curricula, PPS top officials continue to lie to the public.
This is not a corporation.
This is a publicly-funded entity in the business of educating our children. The Lane administration---with the many left-overs from the previous administration must be held accountable for its actions and failings.
It's a shame. There are many, many good stories that involve our students. There are many positives in our schools. I would question any story that needs to be filtered through central administration, however.
I am hoping that people like Dr.Holley and Mr.Brentley are cognizant of what they are part of, and am hopeful that they can work hard to exact change which will bring in administration that works to solve problems and not hide them, and seeks to work with teachers, and not torpedo them are seek to deflect blame onto them.