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?


Anonymous said...

The online academy job sounds cushier than the Westinghouse job. Was a pay increase or decrease involved? Sounds like a promotion in terms of working conditions.

Anonymous said...

If teachers are said to be leaving AFTER the promotion of the Principal, it couldn't it be taken as a protest to her leaving, rather the what was implied in the original post?

Questioner said...

The original post didn't say teachers left after the job change was announced; the post only makes sense if the teachers leaving came first. And in what way would the online academy be a promotion?

Anonymous said...

Teachers have been leaving Westinghouse all along - way before it was announced she was changing positions. Moving her to the online academy may be the board's way of stopping teacher flight - and having more teachers willing to come there to teach.

Anonymous said...

No. The principal asked to be reassigned to another school. She has very young children at home. No one else but Dr. Crenshaw could have pulled WHS back from the shameful condition it was in under D. lopez's leadership, conditions so terrible that they caused grown men and women to openly weep at what they were seeing over there. She has done an incredible job of even making it functional at all over there in the first place and should be thanked profoundly fir that alone. that work took courage and skill, and she has both. There comes a time when sacrificing oneself harms the people one loves, and sons and daughters wont be little forever. She deserves the time to raise her kids while working in a reasonable school structure. She asked for a school. The online academy was central's answer. so much for a thank you for helping central office clean up after Derrick Lopez. IMHO, PPS requires everything from employees, including their home lives and health. The harassment at all levels is destroying staff a d students and must stop. Shameful, with people with no real history of leading a school or teaching in a classroom now rating those who do have that kind of deep expertise. The raters have no idea what they're looking at.

Anonymous said...

Harassment at all levels is absolutely correct.

Since Westinghouse is now a much better school thanks to Crenshaw (I presume), who will the Board place there to continue the good work? This should be very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Crenshaw might have cleaned up Westinghouse. Comparative test scores will soon show whether that is true or not.

But she harassed, insulted, and demeaned teachers and staff while she was there.

When a school is on the rise - and is being lead by a caring and competent principal - the word gets around. Teachers want to transfer in. At Westinghouse, the teachers I know all want to transfer out. Some of these excellent teachers are so disgusted they are thinking about leaving the school district entirely.

Sorry, but that is not the mark of a caring and competent principal.

And I say this not because I have any personal ax to grind against the current WHS principal. I say it because her style of leadership is completely inappropriate. There has got to be a better way to fix an ailing school.

Anonymous said...

Principals are harassed to harass teachers. That is what this evaluation system does. It is designed to focus on the most micro faults, with a rubric that gives wide latitude to the rather to use personal opinion. This is abusive.

Anonymous said...

PPS is now ruled with a pattern of harassment. Principals are harassed, therefore teachers are harassed. The teachers spend more time on the "RISE" procedure than they do on lesson plans. What began as a necessary process to evaluate teachers has become a burdensome, judgmental, gotcha process. The scores are given in 24 categories, multiplied by weighted numbers and include everything from test scores to the student's opinions. "Are you happy?" is the lead off question on the surveys. Teachers are observed and rated by people who have never had experience with the grade level or curriculum they are seeing. They are judging, not empowering anyone. The leadership styles of all of the principals has become mean spirited and insulting. Student success will not happen when you have demoralized staff and stressed out students who are working with a curriculum that is scripted and ineffective. Let's get real and come up with a solution that does not involve so much negativity.

Anonymous said...

Again... Now is the time...4 new school board members COULD combined with Mr. Brentley and Dr. Holley turn this district back to world class. You have Taylor Allderdice at 15th in the state, beating out some well-heeled suburbs. You have some CTE programs revitalized. Dump the the consulants. Maybe pilot a "new program"-- let the teachers teach!

Anonymous said...

10:46, I agree with you when you say "Principals are harassed, therefore teachers are harassed."

I understand it when supervisors are tough on subordinates because of pressure from above.

But too many PPS supervisors are going way over the top.

They insult, and they act with a mean spirit.

There is absolutely no reason for that kind of behavior. It is neither helpful nor useful. In fact, it is quite damaging.

And yes, I am talking about the current WHS principal, among others.

Anonymous said...

Who would posters like to see as principal?

Who are the successful(in every way that's important) principals or vp's in the district?

Are there any good principals?

Anonymous said...

3:36 said: Maybe pilot a "new program"-- let the teachers teach!

That is a great idea in general. Bring back the piloting concept. Instead of turning the entire district upside down, test new ideas for a semester or for a year in one school, or even in one class.

That's the way we used to approach new curricula back when Dr. Wallace was superintendent.

If some hot-shot in some university came up with a new educational theory, a teacher-parent committee was formed to test the theory out. The theory was tested on a limited basis to see if it would actually work in Pittsburgh.

Not so today. We immediately go full-throttle into everything.

Not only is that unwise, it forces the top administrators to become personally invested in their programs. They cannot abandon or significantly modify anything for fear of losing face.

And as far as the new Board members go, I hope that they make noise from day one!

But I fear that the current administration will advise the four new members to "sit back, listen, and learn." Then the new members would be slowly co-opted into the old system.

Mr. Brentley and Dr. Holley, don't let that happen!

Anonymous said...

"The theory was tested on a limited basis to see if it would actually work in Pittsburgh." Sounds so wise-- hard to believe it would be innovative but today it would be! Materials were piloted, method of delivery was piloted,changes were made-and lessons were learned by ALL!

As far as principals--look to non-PELA,principals who actually TAUGHT and who remained "teachers to the core." Principals who lead by example- as one old school principal said, treat the students as your own--same goes for staff- Do you think talking down to people builds anything? Good admin- supervisors and principals treat this like a family--where input and opinions are respected. Imagine a family dinner where you must "say the right thing" to "get an exit slip" from dinner-- We dont script families

Anonymous said...

Co-option into systems that do not work (rather than the "old" system) happens almost immediately as it did most particularly with Shealey and earlier with Sumpter.

The new Board members (with influence and intelligence) will be trained into Broad/Gates/Pearson theories and networks and their human NEED to feel "connected" to these (fnds and corps) as well as to the PPS SUPERINTENDENT and VIPs will be the corresponding need to align themselves with monied folks (whose only real strengths lie in the money they have or make).

Critical EDUCATION skills and knowledge are very, very weak in the areas needed to educate children who are not also 'monied.'

Adult agendas rule here. None of it is about education for Pittsburgh children.

And the beat goes on.

Yes, Brentley and Holley have the range of skills needed to begin the EDUCATION of Pittsburgh children, but they do not have the money, prestige, position or support to "flip" the current agenda. They need the people, the parents, the communities, the students en masse to overcome the 'odds' in place in PPS.

Anonymous said...

Remember that it was our failed union leadership of Tarka and now Esposito who were also hypnotized by the position and power of a Roosevelt and the money and prestige of a Bill and Melinda Gates. PPS continues to fall behind with employees always looking over their shoulder. There's a lot of blame to go around for getting PPS in such a mess. Looking at the candidates running for school board, I sincerely doubt if they will be knowledgeable and courageous enough to ask the right questions and question our current path.

Anonymous said...

The School Board candidates were NOT asked good questions at the A+ Forum!

Many, many of the good questions that were submitted at the A+ Meeting on Wednesday nite were NOT ASKED!

An unknown woman from Women Voters League was SELECTING the questions that were given to the moderator.

Odd, don't you think. Why did not A+ persons select the questions?

Anonymous said...

May 10 9:15 am The answer to your question is obvious to those of us who are employees. A+ is merely a sounding board for PPS. Judy Johnston's service as A+'s president speaks volumes. Johnston a retired PPS principal serves as a highly paid consultant to PPS through Pitt. Do you really think that A+ Schools would permit an open forum for questions and answers by the candidates? A+ schools was created to ensure good PR for PPS even as the Titanic is sinking.

Anonymous said...

The new board members will be indocrinated and we will have more of the same old same old... Don't expect any new changes.

Anonymous said...

Don't expect changes at the Board, if Sylvia Wilson and Carolyn Klug get elected. The city taxpayers will have placed two retired PFT members right on the Board. What do you think will happen with our millage rate? Do you think that these two candidates will have the students, families and taxpayers as their #1 interest? My thought is that the #1 objective of the PFT is securing loyal, retired PFT members a spot on the Board. Now how do you think they'll vote on the upcoming teacher contract? Think before you cast your vote!

Anonymous said...

The PFT has been in bed with PPS all along. Putting these foxes in the hen house will just further cement that relationship.

Anonymous said...

That's why city taxpayers need to be informed so PFT members are not elected to these positions. Also why would anyone cast a vote for Sylvia Wilson when she can't even pay her taxes on time. She's made some good money for many years. There is no excuse that is acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Crenshaw wasnt allowed back at WEIL. The power that e couldn't give her Westinghouse and so they parked her in the Pittsburgh online academy she has zero people skills. THE ONLY REASON THE THING IS UP AND RUNNING IS THAT THEY MAKE $7800 PER STUDENT INSTEAD OF PAYING A CYBER 12,780. SO THIS IS A RUSE. ITS WORST FORM OF DELIVERY POSSIBLE OF EDUCATION

Anonymous said...