Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"When foundations go bad"

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Maybe another blog entry-this article is a must-read!

"When foundations go bad"
Philadelphia Daily News

... in corporate-style management practices) as well as the Gates Foundation (which has given Pittsburgh Public Schools $40 million for teacher evaluation ...

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/When-foundations-go-bad.html "


Anonymous said...

This article enlightens the true definition of "being bought".

Quote from the Parents United web site:

“Yesterday, Parents United for Public Education, the Philadelphia Home and School Council and the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP filed a complaint with the City Ethics Board requesting an investigation into whether the Boston Consulting Group, private donors, and the William Penn Foundation acted as lobbyists and principals to influence policy in the School District of Philadelphia.”

Can this be achieved in the City of Pittsburgh?

Do we have an Ethics Board in Pittsburgh?

If we have an Ethics Board-can we unite and be fearless of the consequences to oneself?

Anonymous said...

Great article. Time for someone to ask the same questions here.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Yes, we have an ethics board in Pittsburgh. I have filed complaints there, but not about schools. But, by and large, the ethics board is a complete joke in Pittsburgh.

It is a toothless, slumbering watch dog that those in the realm of "do nothing" can point to from time to time.

One of the rules of the Ethics Hearing Board in Pittsburgh, get this, is that once you file a complaint, you can not talk about the complaint. So, the ones who make a complaint give up all rights to free speech by making a complaint. So, I filed a complaint to the Ethics Hearing Board against the Ethics Hearing Board for having such an unconstitutional rule in place, then I went out and told everyone (press release, blog postes, public comment, etc.) I could about my complaint.

Go figure.

The ethics board had been around for a year prior and had only one other complaint ever submitted. I gave them three back in the day, if I recall properly. They didn't do squat about any of them.

Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board = joke.

It fits right at home in the realm of "Do Nothing Pittsburgh."

You might have better luck and leverage with some other entity, perhaps the Health Department.

Anonymous said...

In a broader sense, an examination of the "foundations" who provide funding to PPS and the Promise are the definition of the idea that money truly corrupts.
Money should have nothing to do with education policies and yet, why is it that I have little doubt that its influence prompted the idea of a 50% grading policy which undermined the idea of academic integrity in the district. What an outrage...selling out to this type of thinking for the public relations coup of getting more kids on the pathway to the promise, even if they really don't deserve to be there.
When the district chose to furlough 300 teachers last spring rather than cut even one administrator, it was the foundations who were making the rounds on radio talk shows and in the newspapers, writing op ed pieces as to why experienced teachers--veteran teachers--should be on the chopping block, too.
Funny, but one look at the monthly minutes would reveal that it is mostly these veterans who are being chopped by principals these days and yet, it was the foundations that envisioned even more savings by lopping off veteran teachers and their salaries.

And our wonderful superintendent--again, a woman who decided to keep our 700 administrators and their staffs gainfully employed---who could only agree.

Big money corrupts. Gates and Broad money have corrupted this district and undoubtedly, if Andy Sheehan truly launched an investigation, he would likely get a bird's eye view of the payola and corruption. If this district obfuscated and continues to cover up the sexual misconduct of administration, teachers and security--and does so, apparently, for years--imagine what secrets involve millions.

Everything is corrupt. Politics are corrupt, entertainment is corrupt, and sports is corrupt. You like to believe in your institutions, but even on the local front, the reality is that there are a great many people getting rich thanks to your misguided beliefs.

I'm almost done. Thank God. As the years go by, I just feel increasingly more dirty by being involved in a district led by charlatans.

Anonymous said...

It is PPS that needs an Ethics Professional. Look at all of the situations that make the news let alone the ones that are kept quiet. I remember a few years ago filling out a survey about district ethics for someone who performed a training at my school and don't know what happened to it or him. It is very frustrating because he was one of the few people I trusted or liked at Bellefield.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Me too! Mr. Long was probably the most professional person in the building. It is my understanding that he did a computation from all of the results, reported the findings, and then got in a heap of trouble. DISGUSTING! Anyone who met Mr. Long would know that his intentions were honorable and he wanted to make the district better. That was obvious from all the assistance, attention, and honest support he gave to schools. But here's another example of the good ones no longer a resource for us.

Anonymous said...

That's right. Mr. Long actually received his MS in Business Ethics from Duquesne, and did an ethics audit of PPS. The results were dismal at best. What he got in trouble for was that he sent his findings to the board, Dr. Lane, and HR. The question is, why didn't the board members pursue or at least question the findings? Wouldn't that have been a wake-up call then?

Mr. Long also got called on the carpet when he called into question a suspected district policy that would have been fraud. Now, doesn't that speak volumes about district ethics! The person who didn't want the district to commit fraud gets in trouble. WOW!

But now he's gone. He was not only the most professional but the most valuable. He helped us bring in close to 100K/yr for the bubble sheets.

They need to bring him back. I don't know what he made but I'm sure it wasn't close to the worthless people that are at the helm. Make him Chief of Ethics. At least there would be one chief that would be worth it.

Anonymous said...

Well, part of what happened to Mr.Long then truly refers to the Roosevelt playbook. Obfuscate...that's the word. Cover it up. Gloss it over.
Get rid of whistle blowers or better yet, devalue their opinions.
Ethics. If there is one industry that must inherently have an ethics code, it is the education community. Simply put, each and every professional must be a model of ethics because being an inspiration or being a role model demands that one conducts himself in an exemplary way.
I won't repeat what I have heard about top administrative types in this district, and I've heard it from many different sources. I have to believe the public has heard, too.
I won't go into the comments about sexual misconduct that we saw on other threads here.Such behavior can only be called disturbing.
The utter greed of many in the top echelons of this district is another avenue that we can only hypothesize clouds the decision making abilities of those in charge.
Has administration done its best to push our children forward? Certainly not. Ask yourself why.
Has administration consistently acted with the best interests of our students at heart? Certainly not.

I used to wonder how the leadership of PPS--dating back to MR--can sleep, knowing it has terminated so many good teachers, knowing it has silenced many voices that wish to better the district like Mr.Long, knowing that it has decided to obfuscate the truth rather than get rid of those who have serious character problems which hurt our kids. I don't wonder anymore. Any of these issues would entail individuals having consciences, and sadly, their own best interests, their own needs and their own arrogance seem to trump all of that.

Anonymous said...

Needing a distraction I finally got around to reading the link and related links cited. Everything must come with strings attached in the education world. If it seems that impropriety exists it does exist.