Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mayoral candidate debate

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Sunday's mayoral debate (new topic) and question. Since they were at Obama, the candidates seemed focused on education. The media with usual bias, only ran some of the candidates points.,so I may not have this right, but...it sounded like Mr. Perduto stated that the PROMISE MONEY should be used to expand preschool education. I thought the foundations etc. set the parameters for these funds. Was someone there? Did Darlene Harris say anything meaningful- since she was on the board previously?


jane doe said...

http://pghcomet.blogspot.com/ reports on the debate and is very clear on what Peduto said. It is best to read The Comet's summary.

Peduto was not the only candidate who mentioned something about education. Harris said "work with unions to help Pittsburgh graduates get jobs in the skilled trades." Funny since not many classes exist that provide skills to make pps grads trade-training ready. Wagner plans to keep Schenley open. Let's all watch how that goes. But back to Peduto. He seems to have identified the area of greatest weakness and is setting himself up to be the one to turn education around. Just how deep does he think the Promise trough is right now? He wants to battle UPMC but to bite that hand that feeds the Promise at the same time? Has he really thought this through?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link...i personally wonder if D. Harris is awareof the total decimation of classes supportive toward the trades. Part of the promse was to make students aware of post- high school training options. Again, think of the classes that ar no more in the city.
Another topic discussed was drop out rate. Pps has one of the best records for urban areas in this. And again-- rhis is a parental issue. It cant be- damn i'm tired if that school pestering me. It has to be where are you going to if you are dropping out.
As far as promise money, people in my damily have been betting snce te inception that some group was going to change its focus. It cannot be yet another remedial preschool program ( nothing against early education) but the focus is why it is working.

jane doe said...

Not too many can disagree with the expectation that better students are made when the beginning is a strong start. Bill's plan is not a good one for Promise money to be used to give all our 5 year olds a strong start. If the enhancements only last for one year or two how can the strong beginning be sustained? It's not like one good year of school at an early age can set the stage for a kid's entire school career. I think each candidate needs an education advisor, preferably one who has a kid or two in a city classroom; perhaps a parent of a very average student.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The entire debate will be on demand via PCTV21.org web soon. It should also run on cable with PCTV 21 and PCN.

Nice to see some talk here about the event.

We counted around 400 at the Sunday afternoon event. Many had not been in the school before. All were greatly impressed with the PPS STUDENTS who delivered a great experience for candidates, citizens and themselves.

The event got good press and placement, and by contrast on a day of the Stuebinville verdict and a tragic bus crash vigil.

Setting the stage at the school helped swing attention to our youth, summer jobs, Summer Dreamers, facilities, youg families,mPgh Promise and plenty of other issues that we all care about.

These types of events could be and should be fixtures in our communities.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Mark-- knowing Pgh students are impressive and everyone should join in "burgh pride" whenever our youth are involved.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Another spin room take on the comment just came in a discussion with the debate's moderator.

He said that it was his understanding / intention that Mr. Peduto did not want to change the Pgh Promise. However, it is a late in the game solution, and many are already in dire need by then.

The PP is like Affirmative Action in that it offers a remedy late. Rather, get the tykes and early grade students to flourish.

Questioner said...

All of this should have been discussed before decisions were made but MR presented the PP and most things he did as done deals. Little community input but lots if community support expected.

PPSparent said...

As much as I think the Promise was a politically expedient way to get some cash and cover for the rest of reform, I don't think it should be used for anything else.

How many tens (hundreds?) of millions of private money have been pumped in to the district since 2006 -- and what have we seen? At least Promise money is supporting those kids who managed to get out without too much harm from the system.

I see no evidence that anyone in upper administration could spend that money wisely or well on earlier education programs. It would be flushed away with nothing at all to show for it.

Anonymous said...

There is no debate that when children attend a good pre-school they are more likely to perform better in subsequent years (read the Perry study). There are not enough spaces now to accommodate all children (it was a while ago, but at an EFA meeting an administrator said 50% couldn't be accommodated). PP money would probably better spent in the early years...of course, would be hard to divert this money if it left upcoming students without the money they were promised.

Anyone know the quality of PPS preschools?

Anonymous said...

As long as Gates money is allowed to corrupt the ethics of the administration of Pittsburgh Public Schools, NOTHING will change.

Gates has targeted teachers, and has done so with a $50 million gift to the district. Lane, Lippert, French, the school board---all have acted like giddy school children in accepting the money and selling their souls.

No candidate on the dais would have been any different.

The district is an absolute joke. What's even more funny is the idea that some politician is going to turn it around. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Amen, and all ethical employees at central administration are weeded out quietly and quickly.

Mark Rauterkus said...