Thursday, May 30, 2013

New administrators hired

On another post Anonymous wrote:

New post: new administrators hired

Herring Sr. is going to assume duties as the Westinghouse principal AS WELL AS helping with high school transformation efforts in other schools. The principal job will be open for a year. First of all, doesn't Westinghouse need/deserve a full-time principal now? Why keep the position open for a year? Is Herring Sr. the principal or isn't he? He is being hired as an assistant superintendent - not as a principal.

Dara Ware Allen has gone from the Board to being an assistant superintendent. This just doesn't seem kosher. Throw in the fact that Sylvia Wilson, a just retired PFT honcho, is going to be on the Board, and we have an interesting mix. The Board, PFT, and Bellefield have all been in bed together for quite a while in my opinion. We are seeing the results of this.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rally against closing schools with inadequate public input- TODAY

GPS Pittsburgh Rolling Rally Route and Detailed Itinerary as of 5/17: 

Rally 1: Directly across from Pittsburgh Obama at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

3:15 Framing the Issue: The state of public schools across the nation - Nina Esposito Visgitis, PFT President
3:18 Student speaks to school closings and relocating - Mya McCray, senior at Obama
3:20 Ask to school board candidates (Sylvia Wilson & Lucille Praytor Holiday, District 1) - Rev Herndon
   3:21 Response (2 min each)
   3:25 Blessings/Send off - Rev Thornton
3:26 Board Buses
3:30 Depart

Rally 3: Burgwin School - Hazelwood

3:45 Action United: Highlighting this community with no public school in the neighborhood. Prime example of a community in need of a neighborhood impact study to asses the impact of school closing on the neighborhood since Gladstone Middle School closed over a decade ago and Burgwin in over 6 years ago. Burgwin closed in 2006 in first round of District's "right-sizing" plan for public schools. Building is still empty.
4:00 Bus Arrives 
      4:05: Former Burgwin school counselor speaks to issue - Tijuani Phelps Jackson, Counselor Pittsburgh Colfax 
      4:07 Ask of School Board Candidates - Hazel
      4:08 Response - Terry Kennedy & Steve Deflitch,, District 5  - 
   4:12 Thank you/send off - Rev Thornton 
   4:13 Board Buses 
   4:15 Depart
Final Action: Former Schenley High School

4:45 Buses arrive 
4:50 Intro - Rev Thornton
      4:52 One Pgh - The funding problem 
      4:55 HDEC - Highlighting the sale of Schenley & the disregarded community & political voice against closing Schenley & what  
      school meant to community - Tamanika Howze - Hill District Resident, AAAPS 
      4:57 Yinzercation - Yinzercation - "School Size" -- this is one of the key arguments that will be used in school closure
      debates & leads into intro of independent impact studies . - Jessie Ramey
5:00: Call to action - Rev Thornton
Asks: To Board - Rev Thornton 
  1. A moratorium on school closings until local, independent neighborhood impact studies are conducted 
       5:01: Response - Mark Brentley & Regina Holley (agreed to above ask)
       5:05: Ask to Mayoral Candidates - Rev Thornton 

      Ask for Mayoral candidates to speak to: 
  1. No school closings before neighborhood impact studies are conducted.
  2. Make everyone pay their fair share: Explore and advocate for enhanced and additional sources of revenue before considering cuts or closings
  3. Keep public schools public: Reject any plan to give any control of our schools to the private sector
5:06 Response - Peduto, Wagner, Wheatley 
5:15 Recap of Accomplishments & Next Step for Great Public School Pittsburgh Vision Statements - Irene Habermann 
   5:18 Thank you/Prayer/Song - Rev Thornton  
5:20: Board Buses

Friday, May 17, 2013

New education secretary

On another post Anonymous wrote:


PA State Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis has resigned. It has just come light that Gov. Corbett will appoint William E. Harner, Ph.D
56, who is the superintendent of the Cumberland Valley School District, in Mechanicsburg, PA.

In 2005, Harner was a Fellow in the Broad Foundation’s Superintendents Academy. Apparently, he was a Broad Fellow at roughly the same time as Mark Roosevelt. However, unlike Roosevelt, Harner appears to have a strong and deep expertise and experience at all levels of Education. Does anyone know him, personally or professionally? What is the inside information on this appointment?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Link to Yinzercation/ Big $

A request was received to post the following link to a very interesting post about the growing influence of private money on school districts:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Common core

On another post Anonymous wrote:

NEW POST from Today's PG -
Just the FACTS:

"In defense of the Common Core
Pennsylvania high schools must graduate students who are prepared for the world.
Almost a decade ago, governors from across the country got together to have a long-overdue discussion about why so many students were graduating from high school ill-prepared for college. The business community was sounding the alarm . . ."
The consensus among the governors -- Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals -- was that our students could do better but we had to set higher expectations to get better academic results. With the input of educators, parents and experts in English and math, along with governors and other state leaders, the Common Core State Standards were developed for English and math. Eventually, 46 states voluntarily adopted these standards, including Pennsylvania in 2010.

Lately, there's been a lot of negative chatter about the Common Core, much of it based on ill-informed speculation that it is a federal government plot to "take over" our local schools, dictate classroom curriculum or compile databases on our kids for some sinister, unstated purpose. In reality, the Common Core is a state-led initiative that involves no new student-data collection and in no way usurps Pennsylvania's long history of local control.

The Pennsylvania Common Core Standards will help give our students, parents and taxpayers assurance that the resources we put into education are truly preparing our graduates for the challenges they will face beyond high school -- whether that means moving on to vocational training, joining the workforce, enlisting in the military or pursuing a post-secondary degree.

To understand why the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards are necessary, consider the issues our schools and employers have been trying to address.

In 2012, about 32 percent of high school graduates in Allegheny County received diplomas despite failing to show proficiency in math and reading. . .
If these under-prepared graduates went on to post-secondary education, there's a good chance they'd either drop out or have to take time-consuming and costly remedial courses to learn what they should have learned in high school.

This lack of preparedness damages the region's economy, too. According to the state Department of Labor and Industry, nearly 7,000 job openings in seven Western Pennsylvania counties went unfilled for 90 days or more this year, in large part because employers couldn't find adequately skilled workers.

The fact is, giving a high school diploma to a student who is not proficient cheats the student and the taxpayers. . .
The standards don't tell teachers how to structure their lesson plans, they don't dictate which textbooks your kids have to use, and they don't undermine local control by school districts. The standards simply set the bar for what our students should know at each grade level. They serve as a floor of basic academic expectations, not a ceiling that limits a student's learning. If a school or district wants to set a higher academic bar than what is dictated by the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards, they are free to do so.

To ensure that academic standards are being met, our public schools use the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments and the Keystone Exams. The Keystone Exams are used in high school to ensure graduate preparedness, and when students fail a Keystone Exam, they can get additional instruction and re-take them. The goal is to make sure we aren't failing those students by letting them graduate unprepared.

Those who say we should abandon Pennsylvania Common Core Standards don't have a workable alternative.

Doing so would mean stranding the commonwealth's students on an island of academic mediocrity and lost opportunities. Our students, parents, employers and taxpayers deserve better."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Westinghouse principal moves to online academy

On another post Anonymous wrote:

new posting:
The new board minutes list Shemeca Crenshaw as moving from Westinghouse principal to principal of the Online Academy at the end of this school year. Could this be in response to the number of teachers who have left Westinghouse? Two more left this month.

Who will the board bring in as principal now?