Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All things positive

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"**New Post

Can we try a thread of "all things positive" items? I will start...

The facebook First day of School Picture posts have been fun."


Anonymous said...

Here's my contribution to the All Things Positive list:

Pure Reform is still up and running, and providing a place for people to discover what's really going on in the PPS.

Anonymous said...

There were no school closings this year.

Anonymous said...

PSSA results have not yet been disseminated, so we can still believe Lane and Co have increased student achievement last year.

Anonymous said...

Really listening to what parents want and need - Early Childhood started after school programs at select schools based on parent feedback. Great response. I can see this expanding rapidly.

Thanks, Pure Reform, for this venue.

Anonymous said...

At least four new consulting firms have "negotiated contracts" with the District for interventions at University Preparatory at Milliones.

Questioner said...

And how is that a positive?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, its five new Consultants at Milliones U-Prep in addition to the renewal for Success Schools.

Anonymous said...

11:29 - Aren't the consultants hired to improve achievement at district schools?

Improved achievement is desperately needed at the majority of our schools!

Isn't this a positive for an underachieving school like University Prep?

Anonymous said...

Questioner, the #1 goal is maximizing achievement. So, more hands on deck to maximize student achievement is a tremendous positive!

Questioner said...

You would think so, but the massive increase in spending on consultants over the past 8 years has not been accompanied by significant overall progress. Are there better ways to spend this money?

Anonymous said...

The photocopiers stayed online ALL day yesterday! It was amazing! We could actually print something and get a moderate amount of work done.
Stay positive PPS.

Anonymous said...

We in the community are skeptical of the continued spending on consultants because there is so little evidence of the success of the programs they implement and operate. This is especially true when we see contracts renewed without reports of success.

I find it a positive that we can post here and have someone who is closer to the issues try to better inform us or change our minds.

Anonymous said...

Its a positive step to hire lots and lots of consultants to help the schools when no one in the district knows how to solve the problems.

It is also positive that PPS has the hundreds of thousand of dollars to pay the dozens of consultants.

It is also positive that we are improving the economy in the many other places where these consultant live.

It is also positive that we can begin the year with new promises and new hope that student achievement will improve.

It is also positive that we are not depressed about learning about that 2012-13 scores went down again since what you don't know can't hurt you!

Mark Rauterkus said...

My $.02 positive, re-posted from FB for yinz:

Today is the first full day at College for my oldest, and he has a TEST. Swarthmore College requires a SWIMMING TEST and they administer that on day 1. Sink or Swim Class of 2017. Erik didn't pack his floaties, but I have a hunch he can ace the 100 yard swim and 15 minute tread. Perhaps he will post an update? He is ready for today's test. Lets hope the others yet to come are met with equal confidence and preparation.

Now it is my job to work harder and expand our Swim and Water Polo Camp and after-school activities so that all the other kids in Pittsburgh can breeze along with similar tests on their first day on their respective colleges. Swimming helps on vacation at the beach, ... And any time in the face of water.

Anonymous said...

The great white hopes are on their way to save the day at University Prep.

LRDC (Learning Research & Development Center), Success Schools, On Hands Schools, All About Achievement, the United States Department of Education,
the What Works Clearing House, and the United Way are swooping into this PPS 6-12.

(Not one among them has what is needed; but they will collect the money.)

Wait, this is a positive because PPS is building the economy!

Wonder what this will cost and who will be held accountable

Anonymous said...


But then again why would anyone be surprised, 6:45?

Anonymous said...

From this blog--March 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM
"Where is our Title I, II and III money going?"

Anonymous said...
This article is a MUST read! From the article and definitely applicable to Pittsburgh Public Schools.

'Is this really what we want for our communities? When children in affluent communities have all the best supports as they grow and learn, and children in our most economically depressed neighborhoods aren't afforded the same opportunities -- we can not even begin to approach using words to describe such an injustice.

I've taught in schools in our most under-served communities, and I've taught in schools where children have every kind of support service at their disposal, and the difference in opportunities provided is unconscionable.

It is simply disingenuous at best to suggest that we can bridge the achievement gap by simply raising expectations. Yes, expectations should be high, for students, teachers, administrators, and parents, but such an argument diverts attention away from the vast inequality in services afforded students.

A school is not a spreadsheet. A school is not data we can examine on a page so that a six-figure consultant who doesn't even live or work in the neighborhood can make snap judgments about what the community most needs.

A school is a community where relationships form, and through these bonds, children, teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians, parents and administrators establish trust, and nurture, foster, and create an ever-changing, constantly growing, always tenuous environment where mistakes become opportunities, and the insurmountable becomes possible.

These relationships only form and grow when schools foster an environment where children who otherwise would drop-out have a reason to stay in school.'

March 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Mark Rauterkus said...

No coach in the list, sadly.

" ... children, teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians, parents and administrators establish trust, ... "


children, teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians, coaches, Afterschool providers, parents and administrators establish trust,

Anonymous said...

The "BE THERE" campaign with community partners and the involvement of all staff is probably the most important launch of any initiative in several years. If every family would take just the two-sided page "Pay Attention to Attendance" and "If You Are Absent From School" and hang it on the refrigerator that alone might be the daily reminder needed in some homes.

Thanks goes out to the agencies and organizations that participated in the campaign.

Teachers will say in many instances showing up is half the battle. Get to school and they will teach you. Let's hope this is the best program of any ever tried before.