Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Motion passed to obtain a new estimate to renovate Schenloey

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Maybe another post-but this the first sign of a different stroke of votes!!!!!!!

Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Regina Holley Wednesday tonight successfully persuaded her colleagues to get up-to-date estimates of how much it would cost to renovate the former Pittsburgh Schenley High School in Oakland.


Questioner said...

As requested by 1030 petitioners, plus government officials including State Sen Jim Ferlo, outgoing Aud Gen Jack Wagner, City Controller Michael Lamb, Alleg County Council members Barb Danko, Amanda Green Hawkins, James Ellenbogen and Bill Robinson, and City Council members Daniel Lavelle and Natalia Rudiak (City Council members Bill Peduto and Darlene Harris indicated they were sending letters).

Questioner said...

Oops left off part of Anonymous's post:

Schenley High School renovation information sought by Pittsburgh ...
Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Regina Holley Wednesday tonight successfully persuaded her colleagues to get uptodate estimates of how much it would ...

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Regarding this P.G. quote:

"Ms. Colaizzi also said the district does not have enough students to fill another school."

In the last few years, 3,414 students have left PPS to enroll in Charter Schools currently costing PPS 52 million (as reported last week in the Trib.)

Perhaps if Schenley was returned to the District with a new emphasis on educating all students, PPS could bring back the thousands of students who have left and those who are planning to leave due to the current status of education in PPS. PPS has more resources, more money and more creative educators than any Charter school. Let's use those resources, money, creativity and commitment to our city's students to design a truly world class school for those who are seeking something that serves the needs of the future. We know enough to do that!

Read more:

Bram Reichbaum said...

I think it is good information to know... its completion should be prioritized so as to avoid unnecessary delay of the building's sale... and if it's a reasonable amount, we need to be lectured about new debt and holding the line on taxes and see how we feel. Plenty of U Prep students would probably thank us, as would some at Obama. How long until we need to reopen another school so we can dodge No Child Left to the Top?

Questioner said...

If it's a reasonable amount why do we need to be lectured on new debt? Peabody has not had a renovation for 35 years; Uprep does not have athletic facilities suitable for a high school. Either way PPS will in the foreseeable future need to spend some money on a high school facilities in the East End. Schenley may very well be the most cost effective option.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Schenley and Uprep in terms of size (for High School students) is like night and day. Uprep was re-constructed from a Jr. High to an open-space Middle School, then walls were put up, literally everywhere confining the classrooms and hallways to narrow closed-in spaces with minimal daylight. Schenley is bright and spacious!

Schenley and Uprep are in the center of the city with lots of quality options for partnerships.

Attract students from everywhere for two premier, innovative, diverse and high-functioning schools, one Middle and one High School.

Let's get back the thousands of students PPS is losing to charters and private schools along with the millions of dollars that have gone with the students.

Anonymous said...

YES! 12:31!

How about Pittsburghers ENVISIONING for the future in two, new-concept schools in the center of the city___one a middle school and the other a high school, Schenley and Milliones!?!?

Bram Reichbaum said...

What I mean, Questioner, is we'll be lectured on new debt because that *will* happen. I would not fall over shocked if Schenley did turn out to be the most cost-effective option to some real quandary given a reasonable length of time, but we'll still suffer a lecture on debt (with a patronizing primer on building maintenance), even if the real holdup is some strategic education-related direction of the schools, routine political pressures to strengthen segregation for the sake of enrollment, or even a tide of inertia after all the change that has already been inflicted.

Questioner said...

Oh ok glad you are not requesting a lecture on debt!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes 9:31, you hit one nail on the head with this statement:

"routine political pressures to strengthen segregation for the sake of enrollment,"

And frankly, that might be the best approach for a ______ city like Pittsburgh with one critical provision, to, not only permit, but encourage an African-American CONTENT focus that is completely aligned with the thinking skills of the Common Core State Standards.

With that kind of EQUITY, our currently underachieving students would SOAR!

Questioner said...

Trib article on the new renovation estimate:

Anonymous said...

I'm a little take aback here, Questioner. While I understand that the Schenley building is a huge issue, especially to readers here, how to skip over the resignations of Poncelet and Camarda?

Poncelet's resignation should have been more of a firing some time ago. Her office was out of control from the start and has had this district paying more attention to items which should be negligible, at best, rather than its charge of educating children. Given that one of her "cronies" was here a few months ago relating how show could bend research info to make anything look enhanced, why in the world was there ever any credence paid to this ilk?

But Camarda's resignation? Why?

Anonymous said...

In PPS 50s is the new retirement age. Are there any administrators 55 or over left?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Carmada! It is an abusive work climate and he is a decent guy. I wish him well. Poncelet should have been let go a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on Poncelet. Where did she come from and what did she know or do? Seriously?

Who will replace her?

How about the person at PPS who does all the work and knows the system?

Anonymous said...

Yes, someone with integrity and ethics, (and doesn't need a doctorate to exhibit intelligence & intellectual capacity) and whose honesty will facilitate a solution to the problems in curriculum and leadership that keep the majority of PPS students at low levels of achievement.

Anonymous said...

There may be a handful of principals 55 or older still around but they will soon be out the door along with the teachers. My principal's last year was when she turned 55 and the next year three seasoned veteran teachers also retired. Actually two of the three left before the year ever ended opting for surgery just to get out. The well oiled school and the relationships that existed with our principal deteriorated into an atmosphere of mistrust and fear of reprisal with the current principal. I'm glad to have moved on.

What a shame. The old gal was tough but but fair. I can honestly say her knowledge of best practices and content was far superior in comparison to any principal I have ever worked for. She knew and helped many teachers grow their practice over the years. Now, teachers who are placed on a plan have resigned or on sick leave weighing their options. Funny how the targeted teachers now are all older employees. Is the PFT keeping any data regarding the number of older teachers who have resigned or retired prematurely?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:04: "Funny how the targeted teachers now are all older employees."

A good statistician would love to work on a (hypothetical)problem such as this: Suppose that the average employee age in a 2000-person company was 32. And suppose that the average age of a fired (or forced to resign) employee was 50.

What is the percent chance that this is a random occurence and not deliberate age discrimination?

Yes, it sure would be interesting to look at the PPS data.

Anonymous said...

Here is a better proposition for the amateur statistician:

-Look back at the last two years of board minutes.
-Take a look at terminations and/or (forced) resignations
-Investigate whether these individuals were at the top of the pay scale (In almost all cases, they were)
-Now, considering that the district places people who are at the bottom of the scale in those positions, calculated the savings to the district.

I say that we are already in the millions

This is the intention of RISE, my friends.

This is how PPS---LInda Lane, Gerri Lippert, Jeannie French and company---and the PFT---have thanked teachers for years of dedicating their lives.

Here's hoping that our teacher-hating governor offers an enticing early retirement plan to veteran teachers---you know, the professional trash of society---next month. I never wish my life away, but this district has made retirement a no-brainer.