Thursday, February 28, 2013

Schenley/ Board meeting online

"The point is, doing the right thing!"

Start at 40 Minutes 20 seconds into the video

31 comments:

xxy said...

The whole thing is sickening. Mark Brentley is to be commended for doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Can Mark Brentley nominate himself for Superintendent?

Anonymous said...

2140 Saw Mill Run, PPS property transfer listed in Sunday's PG real estate section. $50,100
32nd ward.

Are we to conclude empty buildings are white elephants?

Anonymous said...

so you peolpe want to shut down 2 schools to open 1.It dosent make sence .there is not enough students.they would have to close uprep and obma and that will leave the 2 buldings empty or sell for nothing like what just happend in overbrook

Anonymous said...

was brentley ever board president or wont the let him

Questioner said...

Why not just shut down one, Peabody, and put it on the tax rolls?

Anonymous said...

The alumni is bigger a peabody and would fight harder the the ones at shenly

Anonymous said...

Is the sale of Schenley a done deal, or not?

Is there a plan to revoke the decision made at the Legislative Meeting to sell Schenley to the bid for apartments?

Is there a reason that we do not know about to continue the fight for Schenley as a school??????????????

Is this not an exercise in futility?

Questioner said...

The alumni know the Peabody building is already ruined and hardly any alumni protested the closing of Peabody.

Anonymous said...

Schenley is the school that should be resurrected, whatever it takes in terms of cost.)

Schenley is so much better than Peabody or Reizenstein in so many ways (the windows alone, make it far superior psychologically, environmentally, physically, etc.)

Surely, a special legislative meeting could be held to retract Wednesday's vote, but WHO CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN?

Anonymous said...

Even if Schenley were to be brought back as a school it would be several years before the doors were ready to open and there are problems that need attention now. How many parents are just able to find their kid's school? I am being facetious, but the grain of truth is that, particularly at the high school level a lot of parents don't step up to become interested in what is happening in their kid's school as long as the report card is satisfactory. PSCC meetings have become just a place for the district message to be consumed when they were once the forum to discuss testing outcomes, discipline measures, class size, availability of a bathroom and even bigger issues. So much emphasis has been placed recently on assuring that everyone is fully aware of all things Promise that it seems it is the only thing worth knowing about.

Anonymous said...

Yes, certainly there are very serious issues at the high schools in particular. The Math courses are in total disarray and dis-function.

College students who were high-achieving "A" students in our high schools (including Allderdice) are struggling in college because they were so ill-prepared in PPS Math classes.

PPS courses, content, and skills deficits are at the highest level in our history. Can an audit be done by the state to check out the "depth of knowledge" levels for ALL of the courses in PPS?

Something is very, very wrong in PPS High Schools. City students are being put at great disadvantage and while they may be passing with "A"s and "B"s, the Promise Scholarships will not make them successful in college and careers.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Many citizens gave great effort to save Schenley's building as an educational asset for city students. This was a noble fight. The public district used all its might and loads of misinformation to insure its eventual liquidation.

Now, I fear, it is safe to say that the only things left to do is watch, wait, wag fingers and say, "We told you so."

The deed to the building is almost gone from the clutches of its public trustees.

Fingers wag at Mark Roosevelt, Patrick Dowd (former PPS board member who greased the pathway to closing the school) and all other politicians who did nothing, little or mowed down the grass-roots opposition.

Eventually the building will be filled with student housing.

Perhaps there will be a tweet or media story about the first resident to the Schenley Dorm who also uses some Pittsburgh Promise funds to pay for college. Perhaps the ownership of the building will flip from PMC. Perhaps historic tax credits will come too -- or a TIF like "development deal" to another project bundled with this rehab. Perhaps the union workers will get an elevator job and taxpayers get the shaft.

Let's live to fight another day.

Sold!

Wag on the ready.

Anonymous said...

It is true that the deficiencies become evident once our graduates reach college and begin to compare themselves to students who graduated from other public schools. This was my daughter's experience at a large PA university. It is not just academics either, kids have to aggressiely persue deeper understanding of issues that face society and the world. I reckon it to our kids reading People or Us Weekly when other kids are reading Time.

Questioner said...

If everyone could actually read Us they would be pretty happy.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, it is the "burn in the belly" that is missing in pps hs students. They really have no clue as to how competitive other districts are, the importance of academic life to families, etc. In other districts a student's JOB is school. When there are great programs in the city- the SAT FREE prep classes etc. in the sdummer, counselor's struggle to fill them. In the suburbs, your parents would put you on the bus, push you out of the car (sarcasm!) to get you to free learning. Teachers struggle to get city kids to attend the Saturday art classes at the Carnegie-- the same one that Andy Warhol attended. These teens fight to be sure that they meet requirements. The result is that when they all roam back at Thanksgiving, they seem to say that most classes are easier than they expected-esopecially writing.

Anonymous said...

Parents need more opportunities to interact with teachers.Conference Day is a fine thing to discuss your specific student, but teachers are in better positions to promote programs outside the classroom like the Carnegie program above and others like the teen program at the library in Oakland. I know of parents who heard about opportunities after they were over because their interaction with their kid's building is so limited. How many parents access their school's daily bulletin on-line. How many schools are thorough in providing all options available in a bulletin? Does your school make a good robo-call?

Anonymous said...

Urban students also face a socio-economic dilema where they may want to take advantage of programs widely used by suburban students outside the classroom but the fact is that many pps students are self-supporting and need to work jobs.

Anonymous said...

GOOD points! Parents need to know what is available in their city-especially related to academics. It seems of late (translate post- 2006) that great outside programs arent encouraged or publicized. Pittsburgh has alot to give- but teachers feel that they cant "put things out there" or again they are rocking the boat. There really has been a change in teachers' freedom to apply for grants, work on special projects with students etc. Again you all are right-- that too was a PSCC thing-- exgaging in programs outside of the script. Many activities for student benefit came out of active PSCC. These things gave schools an individual flavor. Some schools still have those things-- but if your scores are low, just teach reading and math and talk abhout scores.

Questioner said...

Getting back to Schenley it cannot be ignored that all of the Board members who voted to close Schenley OR to sell Schenley were white and all but one of the Board members who voted to keep Schenley open and not to sell were black, except for one white Board member who voted to keep the school open but then voted to close it. Not good.

Questioner said...

How a similar school in Detroit "with its classic and imposing architecture, made high-schoolers feel like they belonged to something great."

http://mail.aol.com/37488-111/aol-6/en-us/Suite.aspx

The loss of Schenley will go down in Pittsburgh and PPS history as one of the major follies. Schenley was much greater than anything Broad will ever do for us.

Anonymous said...

If the loss of Schenley is a done deal and there is no plan to take massive action to retrieve it, then there is no need to "get back to Schenley." It is either 'over' or its not! Right?

And, 10:49: The absolute worst strategy to improve achievement is to narrow the focus to reading and math classes to the exclusion of other enriching activities that expand the mind, the interests, the motivation, the talents, and so much more. Narrowing the focus to Reading and Math is verifiably COUNTERPRODUCTIVE! The skills needed for Reading and Math must be embedded seamlessly in EVERY other activity, bar none. Teachers need professional development on how to do this successfully. Then you will see achievement soar and only then.

We will continue to lose students at high rates with the current teaching and learning processes.

Simply put, when you lose students, you lose schools!

Questioner said...

This is the schenley thread and there are plenty of reasons to get back to schenley lots of lessons still to be learned. PPS keeps repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Lots of lessons to still be learned, true enough. I never had a kid go there but followed the process just as a study in procedure mostly and still felt the outrage well up in me. I know that being financially responsibe is critical and maybe there won't be money to launch any improvement project in our lifetimes but it would still feel pretty good to have someonw admit a big mistake was made. Was there any real effort to maintain the spirit of the school in a new location?

Questioner said...

No, Schenley was treated as the enemy. Its biggest crime was being more successful and more popular than anything the administration has been able to come up with.

Questioner said...

No, Schenley was treated as the enemy. Its biggest crime was being more successful and more popular than anything the administration has been able to come up with.

Anonymous said...

ANY program and school that was successful prior to 2006 was put down and told it was wrong. It was the principals' script. "the old is dead" stated over and over--a geunine fear of the past. It is really hard to fathom how the smart people of the 'burgh fell for this garbage.

Anonymous said...

My thought is that there is an interlocking directorate among the foundations and those who depend on foundations for their livelihood ... keeping in mind that very few of these people have their kids in PPS, but somehow they know best! Government by foundation is not in our best interest.

PPSparent said...

Yes, there is. This is how we ended up with Roosevelt and Broad in the first place. Prior to his appointment, the foundations had pulled their money from the PPS. Bear in mind that their money, while nothing to sneeze at, was a very tiny percentage of the overall budget of the schools. Questioner may be able to give us a good idea of how small that is or was.

The reason given for pulling the funding was primarily the dysfunctional school board. However, in retrospect, even that argumentative and contentious school board probably served us better and got more different viewpoints into the press and the general conversation than the rubber stamps we have now.

Choosing a superintendent based on the foundations' recommendations renewed the funding. Foundation moneys also bankroll the "watchdog" group A+ Schools. Many people felt that really could be a force for community/taxpayer/parent voices in the district. However, anyone who has attended more than two meetings run by them knows the futility.

After the first meeting, you're excited. You were told how important it was that you'd come out. Information (at least some carefully chosen information) was shared and then everyone's conversations in small groups was noted and briefly discussed.

It seemed like an effective way to "speak" to the administration. However, after doing that once or twice and noticing that input given never seemed to affect any plans in a meaningful way, one's sense of involvement waned. Obviously, these meetings were useful to the administration only.

They provided:
1) a platform for selling new plans and putting them in the best light possible
2) the ability to say that community input was sought and received
3) the chance to make small tweaks or to repackage the same plan using different phrasing, so as to make the wider roll-out more appealing.

There was never a genuine belief that anything useful or valuable would come out of the mouths of the attendees. It was all about using them to put forward an already developed plan of action.

PPSparent said...

Corrections:

" the rubber stamps we have now." TO

The 5-6 rubber stamp board members we have now.

"Foundation moneys also bankroll" TO EITHER

monies also bankroll

OR

money also bankrolls

And now, self-correcting parent will go away again.

Anonymous said...

A more recent thread concerns the Broad handbook and includes a phrase about "meetings are held in the spirit of compliance" which is a nice role for A+ to fill for the district.